July 14, 2023

BLACKPINK’s JENNIE: “I was scared to express myself…I want to break more boundaries for people in my culture”

Global superstar JENNIE speaks exclusively to Dua Lipa in her first ever podcast interview on BBC Podcasts Premium

Please credit “Dua Lipa: At Your Service on BBC Podcasts Premium” in any coverage.

Speaking on season 3 episode 3 of Dua Lipa: At Your Service on BBC Podcasts Premium, BLACKPINK’S JENNIE chats about her journey from trainee to global mega star, opening up about how she felt about rapping at the start of her career, how emotional it was to headline Coachella this year, and branching out to acting in The Idol.


DUA: “I know one of the reasons you became a rapper is because you spoke English, so you got assigned the rap parts and you’ve obviously really grown into that rap role in BLACKPINK, it’s something that the fans love you for. What comes over you when you do the second verse rap in DDU-DU DDU-DU? You know, it’s like it’s like watching you become an entirely different person!”

JENNIE: “I’ve never really said this anywhere, but I’ve wanted to. After our debut, we did like six songs where I would just rap like, seriously rap and along the way, I kind of got confused because I came to realise that there’s a big side of me inside that loves to sing,  but I actually never had the chance to really explore that as a trainee because I got told that I should be a rapper, you know? So there was a phase where I would hate to rap. I was like, ‘This isn’t me like, this isn’t the journey that I envisioned in my head like, I don’t think I’m a rapper.’ So there was definitely a burnout.”


DUA: “It’s so good to see you rediscovering so many aspects of yourself and on the Born Pink tour your amazing fans the ‘Blinks’ have noticed that you really love singing the song ‘Tally’, that’s a song which is about asserting your autonomy when there’s a lot of pressure and demands on you. But tell me like what does that song mean to you? And what are some ways that you’re able to assert yourself with such a regimented schedule in life?”

JENNIE: “Starting my career in Korea as a K-pop artist has restricted so many sides of me where it wasn’t just allowed to be shown because I’m a K-pop idol, and I was scared to express myself. As things grew over time, I was able to express myself and people would see it as breaking boundaries rather than doing something that I’m not allowed to do. That’s when I realised, I want to break more boundaries for people in my culture to understand that you can express yourself as however you want. So I think the song Tally was one of the first songs that we actually say the F-word and at first when I started performing the song, I couldn’t even say it out loud. I was like, ‘Oh, like what do people think, this is like not right’, you know? And then more fans were loving the song and I was connecting with Blinks, like while I was on stage when I was singing that song, they were like ‘yeah, do your thing’ and they were the ones who gave me my confidence and support to really enjoy the song.”


DUA: “BLACKPINK became the first K-pop group to ever headline Coachella this year. Walk me through like your feelings and that historic moment, like how did it feel to present your culture, your music and your life’s work to 250,000 people in person and millions more watching along at home?”

JENNIE: “It was the most exciting and nerve-wracking thing that happened in our lives, and this happened in the middle of our tour so that was also a big challenge. But to me personally, the hardest part was because we’ve performed the Sahara Tent four years ago, I had an idea of what Coachella was now. Because four years ago, I was like, I guess it’s a festival where, you know, people just rock out and if you like your music, they would just you know dance along with you. And then I couldn’t believe it at first, like I had to sit down with their girls and be like, ‘Guys, this is happening.’ I think it was my first time crying just as soon as I was off stage. It was so emotional, like, I was so proud, the hard work that we put in and just the overwhelming feeling that we got from the crowd and it was just a lot of emotions.”


DUA: “You’ve been doing some really stunning modelling in recent years and now you’re branching into acting with the HBO series The Idol, what are these new experiences teaching you and why did you feel like now is the time to start branching out as Jennie Ruby Jane, as opposed to Jennie from BLACKPINK.”

JENNIE: “I think acting was definitely one of the things that I wanted to explore. But when I do something I decide to really go for it, I know I need to do it right, and first of all, I wanted the new acting part of my life to be authentic, rather than just me trying to grab any opportunities that came to me. I really was being patient with my first ever acting job, which means when I was spending some time in LA, last year, I actually got to meet Sam (Levinson) in person, and he talked me through the role that he envisioned for me and everything. It felt really like authentic and real, it moved me and it gave me courage to believe that this was the right thing to do.”

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