In the fall of 2022, the four-member girl group FIFTY FIFTY (@we_fiftyfifty) made their radiant debut with an EP labeled THE FIFTY, revealing pristine vocal capabilities and a collaborative dark horse effect that’s impossible to ignore.
Through their four-track EP, the group (whose name reflects a 50% chance of reality and a 50% chance of dreams) sprinkled their own individualistic and combined colorful techniques across varying genre sounds – with an appreciation for everything from EDP/Pop hybrids to iridescent radio-friendly hits in the making. In fact, the group’s adaptive and magnetic synergy has played such a crucial role in their heavy-hitting introductory sound that they’ve since established near-equal streaming numbers for every sleeper-hit track attached to their near-perfect debut.
Now, after successfully earning close to 500,000 monthly listeners on Spotify (so far) and dropping aesthetic-heavy visuals for every hit song, FIFTY FIFTY is officially back with their charming new single “Cupid” to keep love alive in 2023.
Fortunately, the four members of FIFTY FIFTY are offering us the chance to dissect the group’s layered (yet still developing) discography, uncanny rookie magic, and much more.
Congratulations are in order because just months after debuting, you’ve already gained major buzz for your immaculate EP, The Fifty! What would you each say is one thing that has drastically changed in your day-to-day lives as a result of debuting?
SAENA: A lot of things changed as we’ve participated in numerous promotional activities that we haven’t experienced before! We appeared on major music shows, shot various contents, and many more.
SIO: The fact that I can listen to our songs on major music platforms is something that resonates with me the most! It still feels unreal.
ARAN: We now have our fans (yay!) Back when I was a trainee, I had to endure all the difficulties by myself, but now we have such supportive fans so I feel much more confident and motivated.
KEENA: I’m proud to become a part of FIFTY FIFTY with my talented members. And most importantly, I’m extremely thankful that we have our awesome fans!
Obviously, the trainee process varies from person to person, and there can be a lot of changes that come with the conception of a group. Prior to joining FIFTY FIFTY, how long were each of you trainees for, and how long did you prepare for your debut as this particular four-person lineup?
SAENA: I began my trainee years when I was a freshman in high school, so it took me about 2 years. After getting into the debut team, it took us around 3 months to prepare for the debut as we recorded our song and practiced our choreography every single day.
SIO: Similar to Saena, I spent around two years as a trainee.
ARAN: Likewise! I also spent around two years as a trainee, but I was the last member to join the team. To me, I felt like the preparation process was too tight; so much work but so little time! I remember doing the best I could to prepare for our flawless debut.
KEENA: I spent a total of 7 years as a trainee. Prior to joining FIFTY FIFTY, I had to compete against many other trainees at numerous companies. I tried my best to go above and beyond by not only practicing the vocals, raps and dancing, but also acting, speech, exercises, and many more. I wanted to absorb all these various skill sets into my own, and poured everything into becoming a member of FIFTY FIFTY. It was tough but it’s totally worth it!
Your first single “Higher” has amassed millions of streams so far, closing out 2022 with a cheerful pop creation and a playlist essential! Were there any nerves going into this top-tier introductory song? Because you each certainly do a lot of heavy lifting with your vocals on this track!
SAENA: Oh absolutely! I contemplated a lot on how I could clearly and effectively show my distinct color when recording the song. Through numerous trials and errors, I was so happy that we were able to express our unique colors as individuals.
SIO: I was a bit overwhelmed in the beginning for sure. But the song was great and I enjoyed the overall process, so I was able to successfully overcome the burden and the result turned out really well!
ARAN: There was a strong pressure that I had to do really well because it was our first debut song. I was definitely under a lot of stress but thanks to our members’ hard work and dedication, I was motivated to push through and successfully wrapped up the preparation process.
KEENA: It was such an honor for me to participate in a great song. Not only I wanted to do better, but also wanted to incorporate my own voice into the song, especially the rap part so that whoever listens to it can recognize my voice. This is something that I paid the most attention to.
“Lovin’ Me” is a commanding 2010’s-stylized EDM/Pop song that has an addictive sleeper-hit effect on listeners! Due to its extensive production requirements, what was something you took away from getting to record a song in an EDM-tinted genre?
SAENA: For me, it was the range of emotions that I expressed when recording the song. Subtle details made a huge difference so I realized this is something that I need to constantly work on in the future.
SIO: Because EDM music usually has fancy sounds and instrumentation, I thought my voice would sound a little bland if I didn’t express it clearly so I focused on singing more powerfully. As a result, I learned how to control the overwhelming feeling of emotion, and how to best utilize them in certain situations.
“Log In” then gives you a chance to create your own interpretation of an assertive and bold sound! When it comes to building a confident or edgy pop track like this, what qualities would you say are likely going to be consistent elements of FIFTY FIFTY?
SAENA: I believe it’s the strengths and capabilities of each member. It’s the balance that every member maintains in their respective position, which enables us to show our confidence and boldness as a team.
SIO: I devoted myself to making the repetitive lyrics of the chorus part to sound more addictive when recording this song. I also paid extra attention to make sure the transition between my natural voice and falsetto voice was as smooth as possible.
ARAN: There’s a lot of essential elements required to successfully perform a song like “Log in.” I think one of the most notable ones is the dance performance because there has to be a portrayal of charismatic movements that can go along with the aggressiveness of the song, which could better express our vibrant energy. That’s why we focused on choreography the most when we practiced this song.
KEENA: One thing that makes us unique as a group is the individual colors of each member. I personally think “Log in” is a song that is similar to us because it well-expresses our unique colors in various ways as shown through lyrics, sounds, choreography, and arrangement. We all tried our best to make sure that our strengths stood out while maintaining the overall balance of the song.
“Tell Me” has a very whimsical and retro vibe, but skillfully incorporates undertones from every song on the EP as a versatile opener. With so many exciting styles mixed into The Fifty, what’s one concept that now feels like a safe space for the group?
SAENA: I personally think the concept of “Higher” makes me feel at home every time I listen to it. I can feel the pure vibe oozing from the song, which makes me feel like I’m up in the clouds!
SIO: All of the songs in our album are unique and great to listen to, but I’d say the title track “Higher” makes me feel most comfortable and steady when performing on stage.
ARAN: Me too! I feel the same way with “Higher” as well. It’s a song that makes me feel comfortable because we practiced so much that I’m very used to it, and it also best represents the color of our album at the same time.
KEENA: In general, I think our concepts are easy on the eyes and attention-grabbing at the same time. I like how there’s a twist to our comfortable vibes every now and then.
Your new single “Cupid” is such a treat for fans who adore your unique spin on K-pop trends because it continues to keep things fresh and fun – while still bringing the focus back to vocals where it belongs! How would you compare this song to the music on your first EP, and was there anything that you intended to do differently for this comeback?
SAENA: The overall sound of the music is a bit more bouncy and playful compared to the last album. Plus, there’s a variety of concepts and styles shown in this single song, so I think there’s a lot that people could enjoy from our album.
SIO: If “Higher” sings about the ideal world that we dreamed of, “Cupid” takes place at the very first part of our narrative, focusing more on the naive, pure sides of FIFTY FIFTY. You could say that both clumsiness and excitement are well-blended together in this song.
ARAN: Just like how the album mainly talks about taking the initiative, portraying the growing process of FIFTY FIFTY, I also had a personal goal to further grow and develop as an artist. If the debut album focused on announcing our beginning, we focused more on showing how much we’ve improved in various ways in this album.
KEENA: “Cupid” definitely sounds more upbeat compared to our last album for sure. It’s a song that gets the message across purely. When writing the lyrics, I paid close attention to the rap part. I wanted to make the rhythms tighter than I did for “Higher,” so I made sure I was able to clearly deliver the message with style.