SXSW 2016 Interview: MAMAMOO on their SXSW experience and their smash hit “You’re The Best”

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K-Pop girl group MAMAMOO speaks to us during SXSW 2016 in Austin, Texas. Fresh from their smash hit single “You’re The Best” which earned an ‘all-kill’ on the Korean weekly music shows, MAMAMOO made the trek to Austin for the K-Pop Night Out showcase at SXSW. The four members of MAMAMOO talk to Hello Asia about their SXSW experience and the success of “You’re The Best” and why they are so addictive. (TURN ON YOUR CAPTIONS FOR ENGLISH SUBTITLES)

MAMAMOO welcome to SXSW! Tell me what your SXSW experience has been like so far?

Hwasa: SXSW is one of the stages we have dreamed of performing at so it was an honour to be performing on the stage.  It also was a great honour to be performing with various artists at the event and we are thankful for such an opportunity.

Your K-Pop night out showcase is tonight. What are your thoughts on playing to a new audience? Do you have something special planned?

Moonbyul: We were all very excited but I was nervous at the same time as we were performing for a new audience. So for each of our songs, we prepared new ad-lib lines especially for the SXSW performances. So please look out for the changes we made!

Will you get to see some music here in Austin?

Solar: Unfortunately, straight after our SXSW performance we had to head back to Korea this time. So sadly we did not have the chance this time.

Girls congratulations on your new album Melting! Let’s talk about the success of “You’re The Best”. You guys got pretty emotional winning your first weekly show. Can you talk to me about the emotions you felt?

Wheein: Firstly we have achieved a very good result for the new album and we are very thankful of the result. It took us all by surprise as none of us expected a result like that. It was unexpected for us to achieve such good outcome. We are very thankful and honoured to have reached where we are. We as Mamamoo will continue to try our best.

Do you think the retro grooves of “You’re The Best” captures the best qualities of MAMAMOO?

Hwasa: Yes we do think so. I believe the musical foundation for Mamamoo lie with retro grooves. With retro as the foundation we collaborate various aspects of music and by doing so we try to challenge ourselves which I think is what makes Mamamoo charming.

We can’t forget about the other two singles from Melting; “Taller Than You” and “I Miss You” which are both very different songs. Can you describe the two songs for me?

Moonbyul: Our song I Miss You best reflects our vocal powers within the album and is a sad ballad song. The song Taller Than You is the exact opposite, with different musical components to make it exciting and fast-paced. By introducing 2 different songs with contrasting charms, we wanted to show the audience that we have various styles within the album Melting.

What’s MAMAMOO‘s schedule after SXSW?  What’s your plans for the rest of 2016?

Solar: Straight after SXSW, we had to return to Korea to carry on with various schedules such as music broadcast performances and radio. As for our plans for 2016, we are planning to continue the promotion for our song “You’re The Best” and after the promotion period, each member will participate in different areas of broadcast to show off our varying charms to the fans. So please look out for more of Mamamoo!

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If MAMAMOO was a flavour what would it be?

Wheein: Has the question come out again? (laughs) As a flavour? Should we be consistent with this? Ah I know, I know We have a flavour like that of soda.

Moonbyul: And the reason is?

Wheein: The reason is because we are very addictive and we have the popping charm so I want to describe Mamamoo as a soda flavour. Importantly I want to emphasise the addictiveness the most.

Well girls it’s great to see you at SXSW. Before we go to you have a message for your fans here at SXSW, in Australia and around the world?

Hwasa: The chance for us to meet the fans are approaching and we are looking forward to the occasion and are very excited. We want to see you as soon as possible and hope you are looking forward to our performances as well.

Solar: And to our fans in Australia, we want to say thank you and that we wish to meet you as well.

All: This was Mamamoo and thank you for watching!

Translation by Lucy Lee

Photos by Johnny Au