The multi-lingual (Korean, Indonesian, Japanese, and English speaking) global K-pop girl group Secret Number (@secretnumber.official) has spent the past three years unleashing utter perfection through their sensational and adaptive discography, ranging from sweetly coated pop tracks to an assertive technicality that’s led to some of the most robust tracks associated with fourth-gen groups.
Starting with their uniquely paced, empowering debut single “Who Dis?” and an entrancing acoustic-pop b-side “Holiday” the instantly captivating Vine Entertainment heavy-hitters used their rookie platform to delve straight into establishing major vocal control without any reservations – before then gaining even more attention for their fierce visuals and well-trained member composition. After garnering more than 20 million views across their 2020 debut music video for “Who Dis?” (now approaching 50 million), the group’s follow-up single “Got That Boom” quickly altered their rookie sound by tapping into the Secret Number’s indisputable tenacity with a seasoned banger, alongside their second hypnotic b-side single, “Privacy” making their first year active quite the memorable excursion for their devoted fans (LOCKEY).
Around the time of their third single album’s announcement (Fire Saturday), the group would undergo an unexpected roster change with the departure of an original member and the even more shocking addition of two new members, coyly teased by the company leading up to Secret Number’s epic relaunch. Through their nostalgic pop charms and retro style concept, the revamped sextet used the reinvention to construct a brilliant comeback era that thrived on unity – giving the already underestimated group a newfound display of versatile talent in the process.
By 2022, fans were finally gifted with a return to the fearless side of Secret Number via “Doomchita” arguably becoming the group’s hardest concept to date built entirely on unfaltering confidence and perpetual hip-hop beats. Its striking music video (which has currently garnered nearly 20 million views) included the typically colorful members donning all black, masterfully executing choreography and rapid-fire verses that would cement the lineup as absolute legends. During the fall of that year, the group’s hard work continued into their next era (Tap) and primarily introduced itself as an R&B/pop hybrid, acting as a cool-down period and sister track to their prior single “Doomchita”, with a more relaxed, necessary mid-tempo identity as opposed to its flashier predecessor.
However, just last month the six-member unit opted to expand and enhance their skill set by the inclusion of their first Japanese EP Like It Like It, collecting some of their previous music now re-recorded paired with the brand new title track. Delivering an instantly charming opening and relentlessly bouncy chorus, the feel-good energizing track pulls components from each of its impactful members to form something new – much like the inspirational conviction behind Secret Number’s identity.
As our new digital cover stars, we recently caught up with the distinguished K-pop group (who just surpassed 175 million total views across YouTube) in order to discuss their tremendous journey and to learn what fellow fans can look forward to in the very near future.
I’ve been following your career from the beginning, and actually watched the group’s debut showcase – so it’s really incredible to see how much you’ve accomplished in those three years together! What would you each say has been the biggest skill you’ve either developed or enhanced since joining Secret Number?
Dita: Being in Secret Number definitely made me a better team player. Since we have our own styles of performing, we all have to work our ways to complement each other and achieve a performance that feels complete! Also, I think I am getting more comfortable on stage. Not only dancing and singing but as I do more stages, I learn how to find cameras and handle unexpected situations better.
Since you’re hitting the three-year mark, you’ve naturally transitioned into more established artists who are now leaving your rookie era behind! Looking into the next chapter, what kind of aspirations do you have for the group?
Jinny: We have so many things that we would like to achieve in the future, but I would say that one of our biggest goals is to go on a world tour. Till that day comes, we’re hoping to release a full-length album, in order to build our discography and to bring more diversity and color to it
Secret Number’s discography actually has some of my favorite modern K-pop title tracks, including “Fire Saturday”, “Doomchita”, and “Got That Boom”, but every release has such a unique vibe to it. What would you say are a few specific qualities you look for in a Secret Number title track?
Minji: We have always been striving to show different concepts every time. An addictive melody is one of the most important things we look for when choosing our title songs. By showcasing different styles and concepts, we hope to make a strong and a lasting impression on the audience.
Then there are your perfect b-sides like “Holiday” and “SLAM”, further proving you have a well-versed group sound. When we eventually get the first full-length Secret Number album like you mentioned earlier, what kind of genres or concepts would you each like to either revisit or explore?
Jinny: When we eventually get the first full-length Secret Number album, I personally would like to have more of the easy listening r&b and hip-hop songs on our album. I also think that the moombahton genre would be a good fit for us, so I would love to explore the moombahton music in the future.
You recently dropped your first Japanese single with “LIKE IT LIKE IT” and it’s such a solid, energetic track that deserves its moment! What was that particular experience like considering this is a language that only one member speaks fluently? And what other languages would you like to incorporate into future releases?
Dita: Thank you so much! As hard as singing in other languages can be, I had a great experience learning “LIKE IT LIKE IT”. Well of course Léa helped me a a lot with pronunciation. But the song is also so fun so I had fun learning it! We would love to incorporate other languages in the future whatever it may be! It would be so interesting!
To make the release even better, you traveled to Japan for a fan event that was such a joy to watch, and it truly seemed like such a magical moment for everyone involved. What would you each say was your own personal highlight of that exciting adventure?
Léa: Every moment was memorable and I will never forget it, but what was especially memorable was that my mom was able to come to see it. It’s been 10 years since I lived in Korea. It’s been a while, but now that I think about it, it’s gone by quickly, but for a mom waiting in Japan, I don’t think it’s a short time to wait. I was finally able to show my mom Secret Number on stage who silently supported me during that time. I was the most happy that she could be there.
Fans are always eager to see group activities under any circumstances because they really enjoy the chemistry of Secret Number too! If you were going to choose your own ideal series of content outside of music, what would you like to see the group do in the future?
Zuu: I’ve filmed quite a lot of content, but I also want to shoot vlogs of amusement park dates with the members, I would also like to take a picture of the contents of the restaurant tour selected by the members. Besides that, I would spend time with one member at a time. If I can shoot content that way, I will go to watch Japanese anime and movie content with Léa. Learning baking with Dita, going to an owl café with Jinny, a palace tour type of content with Minji, and then content where Soodam goes shopping – I want to capture those moments.
The visuals behind Secret Number are also extremely noteworthy, which can be seen in several striking moments from the group’s music videos. Who would you say has the most effortless time stepping into a character-like concept when necessary?
Soodam: As we are called concept craftsmen, all of our members are good at handling any concept. It’s hard to pick one person because it’s the same, but if I had to pick one person who really thought about it, I’d want to pick Léa. When filming music videos, I sometimes am surprised by my sister’s acting skills, and no matter what the concept is, it seems to be really cool and pretty digestible to her especially!
Within the past few months, you’ve released new music with TAP, then LIKE IT LIKE IT, so it seems like you’re diving into the creative process pretty consistently lately! Have you started to work on your next comeback, and if so, how would you describe the next era? Without spoiling too much of course!
Minji: These days, we’ve been very busy preparing our new album. All our members and staff are working hard together to create the best performance. We hope you guys will like it when it’s released! LOCKEYS let’s meet soon, love you all!
Any last message your thoughts you’d like to share with Vanity Teen readers and the always-dedicated LOCKEY?
Soodam: Vanity Teen readers, and our beloved LOCKEYS! So today, our group Secret Number greets you through Vanity Teen! All six of us are constantly putting in our sweat and hard work to make sure we are always doing everything to look our best. I hope you look forward to more activities in the future and we have a lot of new music coming out soon. Please send us your love and know that I love you so much LOCKEYS!