Blackpink's debut full-length album The Album is set for an Oct. 2 release

By Karen Mizoguchi
September 17, 2020 01:30 PM
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Credit: Hee June Kim

Years before they were in every area, Blackpink was training and living in a dorm to become the perfect quartet.

Members Jennie Kim and Lalisa Manobal a.k.a. Lisa, who are the resident rappers, as well as vocalists Chae Young Park a.k.a. Rosé and Jisoo Kim have become household names, especially in the U.S. due to their inaugural world tour and becoming the first K-pop girl group to conquer the Coachella stage. As K-pop has become a genre synonymous with massive social media fandom, Blackpink has amassed a huge following outside of South Korea, where they spent nearly a decade developing their identity.

Hearkening back to the days of Making the Band and even Simon Cowell's U.K. talent shows, which created One Direction and Little Mix, Blackpink was formed in 2016 after an expansive audition search that crossed many countries.

Credit: Hee June Kim

The phenoms recently recalled the intense development process behind their inception with Elle for their first U.S. cover story. "I was the first one on the team, and I got to watch everybody come in," Jennie, who studied in New Zealand, told the outlet.

Lisa, who was raised in Thailand, was the second member to come on board, followed by Jisoo, a Korean actress, and Rosé, who grew up in Australia. "My mother says I was always dancing and singing as a child, [pretending] to hold a microphone," Lisa says as Jisoo recalls her first impression of Lisa: "She came in, eager to learn everything and catch up to everybody, which was really motivating for me as well."

Credit: Hee June Kim
Credit: Hee June Kim

After passing the audition process, the trainees moved into a dorm and lived together during their four to six-year priming stage. "I was born and raised in an English-speaking country, so [Jennie] helped me out with the cultural differences. I had never danced in my life," Rosé recalled of her first introduction to pop star boot camp.

Thus, the blurred work-life relationship bonded Blackpink. "We all lived together since the beginning. After our training time was over, we'd go home together and order food, talk about how scary the teachers were, how the work was too much," Jennie told Elle. "And just like how kids at school become friends, we just got along. It was very easy—we didn't really have to try."

Credit: Hee June Kim
Credit: Hee June Kim

Blackpink released their first album Square One in August 2016, with singles "Boombayah" and "Whistle," quickly garnering millions of YouTube views. Years later, with releases of "Ddu-Du Ddu-Du," "Kill This Love" and their Dua Lipa collab "Kiss and Make Up," they set themselves up for meteoric success and a highly anticipated year of releases in 2020.

In June, Blackpink debuted "How You Like That," their lead single from their debut full-length album The Album, which is set for an Oct. 2 release.

What followed were collaborations with Lady Gaga, their Chromatica song "Sour Candy" made the K-pop group the highest-charting and the only female Korean act on the Hot 100, and with Selena Gomez, who partnered on their second lead single "Ice Cream."

Up next, the phenoms will be launching their new Netflix documentary, Blackpink: Light Up the Sky, on Oct. 14.