If you’re looking for a new K-pop group to obsess over for years to come, look no further. FIFTY FIFTY are just getting started, and they’re most definitely not going anywhere anytime soon.
FIFTY FIFTY barely got their feet in the water toward the end of last year, debuting with their EP titled THE FIFTY in November, yet they have already skyrocketed to becoming one of the most successful, well-known, and celebrated K-pop groups of the 2020s. Within only a few months, they have amassed a fanbase that makes them established enough for a world tour and a top-charting album.
“Cupid – Twin Ver.,” the fully English version of their hit single, “Cupid,” has been climbing the charts non-stop since its release last month. This is largely thanks to its massive replay value and virality on TikTok, with the song taking the platform by storm. Its infectious chorus, fun lyrical content, and addictive melody all make for the perfect summer anthem, which is why the track’s streaming numbers continue to soar.
Last week, “Cupid – Twin Ver.” cracked the Top 10 on both the Global Spotify and US Spotify charts. There’s no slowing down for this organic grower, either, as FIFTY FIFTY have just reached over 20 million monthly listeners on Spotify alone. They’ve also joined BLACKPINK, TWICE, NewJeans, and Wonder Girls as the only K-pop girl groups to chart on the Billboard Hot 100 in history.
Pop Crave chatted with SAENA, SIO, ARAN, and KEENA of FIFTY FIFTY to learn more about their hit song, “Cupid,” what transitioning to stardom has felt like, and their excitement to meet fans from around the world soon. Keep reading for the full interview!
In just five* words, how would you describe FIFTY FIFTY’s music?
SAENA: 확실한컬러 → distinct color.
SIO: 이지리스닝 → easy listening.
ARAN: 완전새로워 → totally fresh.
KEENA: 표현력만렙 → extremely expressive.
(*The five words were answered in Korean and then translated into English.)
You debuted at the end of last year and are already achieving massive success! How overwhelming have the last few months been for you with adjusting to life in the spotlight?
SAENA: To be honest, I do feel some pressure, but I’m grateful for the opportunity. It’s like a gift that inspires me to work even harder going forward.
ARAN: It didn’t feel real in the beginning but it’s slowly starting to sink in, which inspires me to live up to expectations.
Your new single, “Cupid,” is becoming super popular on TikTok! How fun is it getting to watch the creative ways people are using your song online?
SAENA: It’s amazing to see that so many people are having so much fun with our music. I’m truly grateful and quite surprised to witness all this. I also feel like I’m learning a lot from these creative ideas that people expressed through these videos.
SIO: I saw a lot of the hand dance challenges. It’s amazing how people can get super creative with our song. I still can’t get over the fact that our song has been trending on TikTok!
ARAN: Simply amazing! I never thought we’d have such awesome new dance moves for our song. It makes me really happy to see people getting into our music and adding their own creative twists to it.
KEENA: I’ve been watching a lot of TikTok videos for a while, and it feels so new that our music is widely used within the app. It’s really cute how people are doing hand dance challenges. It made me really proud too!
Do you have a favorite TikTok video you’ve seen of someone using your song?
SIO: I’m thankful for all the amazing videos that people uploaded. They’re all so amazing that it’s difficult to just choose one! But I’d say the dance covers are the ones that stick in my memory the most.
SAENA: Sped up versions of the hand dance challenges are the most memorable to me. We’re so thankful that people are getting into our music and blending some of their own unique colors to it!
ARAN: The very first video of “Cupid’s” hand dance challenge is definitely my favorite.
KEENA: I was most impressed by the video that Yeoreum from WJSN uploaded on TikTok using our song!
What’s your favorite lyric from “Cupid”?
SAENA: I like the call and response in SIO’s parts that include words like “hold me” and “kiss me” because they’re so adorable! They’re definitely the best part of the whole song.
SIO: My favorite part of the song is “I’m feeling lonely” because the choreography in the beginning is so cute and delightful.
ARAN: “I gave a second chance to Cupid” is my favorite part!
KEENA: The chorus part is definitely my favorite! It’s just so catchy and the lyrics stay in my head all day long.
The music video for “Cupid” is incredible, and it’s almost at 8 million views already! What’s your favorite memory you have from filming that MV?
SAENA: The music video had some acting involved, which was different from our debut album videos. We did group scenes and individual scenes while embodying the ‘NERD’ concept. It was a bit awkward, but honestly, it was super fun and one of my favorite memories.
SIO: First off, I’d like to thank everyone who showed us love and support for our music video. It means the world to us! One of my favorite memories is when we were filming this scene where ARAN was running around the room and all of us were just going crazy. KEENA and I even jumped on the bed and it broke! We were so embarrassed but couldn’t stop laughing. Definitely one of my favorite memories from the shoot.
ARAN: I totally loved the set of our music video; it was so gorgeous! The street scene we shot was my favorite part because it felt like I was in a real movie with its beauty and atmosphere.
KEENA: I think my favorite part was when we shot our individual scenes. I had the coolest role as the owner of a tarot shop, and I loved every minute of it! I mean, I’ve always been into tarot cards, so it was like a dream come true.
What was your reaction to watching the “Cupid” music video for the first time?
SAENA: On the music video set, there were so many cool backgrounds, you know, the ones that look like green screens? And then they put all these different images behind us in the actual music video. It was so cool to see how they combined all those different styles into one!
SIO: I loved how cute the music video turned out! It was a perfect match for the song’s vibe.
ARAN: The music video was awesome! I was totally not expecting those super colorful and cool graphics. And can we talk about how gorgeous the members looked?!
KEENA: When I saw the music video, I was totally into the pretty colors they used. And they caught our expressions just right. The whole thing matched the song perfectly, so I’m really happy with how it turned out!
THE FIFTY EP was the world’s introduction to FIFTY FIFTY. How exciting did it feel to release your first-ever project?
SAENA: It was something I had been wanting for a while, so I was super happy, but also really anxious because I had no idea what was going to go down.
SIO: When I listened to one of the songs for the first time, I was hit with a wave of emotions because I was like, “Wow, our album is finally out!” And now that the promotion for THE FIFTY is over, I’m feeling pretty proud of myself for getting it done.
ARAN: I was always on edge because we had no clue how the world would judge us once we ventured out into it.
KEENA: This was my first big project, and honestly, I was feeling all kinds of things – excited, but also pretty nervous! But now I’m putting in the work to give back to our fans with music that’s true to us. Every day, I’m trying to keep up the good vibes and stay grateful for the opportunity.
When people listen to THE FIFTY EP, what do you hope they take away about who FIFTY FIFTY are as artists?
SAENA: We really want our fans to know that we’re serious about our music and that we value communicating with them through our genuine feelings. It’s also important to us that we keep expressing our music in our own unique way.
SIO: We really want to be seen as artists who truly value music and all of its different possibilities, especially with the amazing songs on our album.
ARAN: I believe that everything in the world has its own vibe or mood, you know? And when it comes to us and our music, I hope people recognize us as artists who are one-of-a-kind and stand out from the rest.
KEENA: We want to create music that truly reflects who we are as artists – all of us are serious and committed to being professional at all times when it comes to music. Ultimately, we hope that our fans can see and appreciate the authenticity behind our intentions.
Your fanbase is growing rapidly! Any chance we could see FIFTY FIFTY on tour sometime soon?
SIO: Nothing specific has been decided yet, but I can promise you that we’re working hard behind the scenes to make sure we can see you all in person as soon as possible.
KEENA: We’re always looking for opportunities to connect with our HUNNIES in person and share our music with as many people as possible. So, I hope everyone will stay tuned and look forward to our future endeavors!
Which member of FIFTY FIFTY would have the best chance at surviving in a zombie apocalypse?
SAENA: SIO because I think she’s going to be the best at using various tools to get through the apocalypse.
SIO: I have a feeling ARAN is going to do just fine because she never really leaves the house.
ARAN: SAENA is totally on top of things, so when the end of the world comes, I bet she’ll be in her full armor and have all the snacks ready in her backpack!
KEENA: I think SIO has a really practical way of thinking, so if there’s ever a zombie apocalypse, she’ll be able to survive it like a boss.
Is there anything you can tell fans about what FIFTY FIFTY has in store for the rest of 2023?
SAENA: We’re thrilled to share that we have a lot in store this year! We can’t wait to dive into new music and explore new concepts for our future projects.
SIO: We’re also exploring opportunities to meet and perform for our amazing HUNNIES around the world, so we’ll keep you all posted!
ARAN: As artists, we’re always striving to push ourselves to grow, and we hope that our fans will come along on this journey with us.
KEENA: We feel incredibly grateful for all the love and support we receive, and we promise to make 2023 a year that won’t be forgotten!
FIFTY FIFTY’s smash hit, “Cupid,” is out now.