[INTERVIEW] Young Posse Talks Head in the Clouds New York, Dream Collabs, and Staying True to Themselves

Cr. @dillonmatthewc

DSP Media and Beats Entertainment’s five-member girl group Young Posse has been making waves and stirring up buzz since debuting in October 2023. They’ve set themselves apart from their K-Pop peers with their explorative hip-hop sound and their self-composed lyrics. TELEPOSSE, Young Posse’s fanbase, have also come to enjoy the group’s fun music video concepts and the way their music doesn’t take itself too seriously. Eight months, two EPs, and one debut U.S. debut later, Young Posse’s Sunhye, Yeonjung, Jiana, Doeun, and Jieun are ready to continue taking the world by storm.

Cr. @dillonmatthewc

On May 11, Young Posse lit up the stage at 88rising’s second Head in the Clouds New York Music & Arts Festival at Forest Hill Stadium. The group performed songs like “POSSE UP!,” “MACARONI CHEESE,” and “ROTY” for festivalgoers. They had high energy throughout their set and gave festivalgoers the perfect introduction to who they are. They almost certainly left with new fans excited to keep up with what they will do next.

After their performance, Young Posse were able to experience the event as both VIPs and as music lovers themselves. They met rapper Token in person for the first time after collaborating with him, NSW Yoon, and Verbal Jint on the song “YOUNG POSSE UP” back in February. Dressed in 88rising and Head in the Clouds merch, the group also took photos with fans who recognized them throughout the festival and were spotted enjoying various artists’ sets across the weekend. In addition to meeting Token, the group also got to meet fellow Head in the Clouds performers BIBI and thuy.

On Day 2 of the festival, Kpopconcerts.com was able to catch Young Posse in between their tight schedule (the girls were eager to watch Atarashii Gakko! perform after media meetings). They got candid about their performance, reverence for hip-hop, and how they hope to authentically tell their own stories through music.

This interview has been lightly edited for clarity.

Cr. Aleisha F.

KPC: Yesterday was your debut U.S. performance. How does this achievement feel and what was it like to meet American TELEPOSSE?

Sunhye: There were some fans who we’ve only met via video fan meetings, and some fans that we hadn’t met yet. They all had such amazing energy that we could see them jumping up and down even from far away.

KPC: What was it like preparing for the performance yesterday and how did you choose what songs went into the setlist?

Jiana: There were many songs we had to choose from during the preparation. We had to think of the songs that represented us the best so we had to ponder and think deeply on it. There were some songs that we really wanted to perform but were sad not to.

Cr. Aleisha F.

KPC: How do you overcome any pre-performance jitters or nervousness?

Yeonjung: There is a chant that we usually do as a group. It helps us feel united, and it gives us confidence and helps us to calm our nerves.

KPC: Earlier this year, you collaborated with Verbal Jint, NSW Yoon, and Token for the track “YOUNG POSSE UP,” and recently BM of KARD was featured on the song “DND” from your latest mini-album XXL. Do you have any dream artists that you would love to collaborate with in the future?

Sunhye: We were able to collaborate with artists that we love and respect and as we work together with them, we feel more confident that we can move forward as an artist. We hope to collaborate with BIBI, who is here today, and we were able to spend some time with thuy yesterday. We would love to see her again and collaborate. 

Cr. Aleisha F.

KPC: You’ve mentioned in past interviews that you and your producers are very inspired by 90s hip-hop. What is it about the music and culture of that specific generation that inspires you and your artistry?

Sunhye: Because none of us lived through the 90s, we refer back to videos and footage from the 90s. We all like hip-hop, so we try to study the culture of that time to learn the essence of the style. Because we enjoy hip-hop, I think we naturally enjoy 90’ hip-hop as well. I think that 90s hip-hop is great for having fun and enjoying the music with others, so it was very easy for us to grow fond of it.

KPC: You have become well-known for writing your own lyrics. How would you describe your creative process and what goes into it?

Sunhye: Our group doesn’t have a“backstory” or “fictional world” that was created for us – we are our own story. Because of this, we try to stay true to ourselves through our lyrics.

Jieun: We started writing lyrics when we were still trainees. It was kind of hard for us at the time. But, as we dove deeper, kept writing, and gained more experience, it became more enjoyable for us and we learn from it.

Cr. Aleisha F.

KPC: Fans have enjoyed how your MVs, concepts, and music are very fun. What kind of concepts would you like to try in the future?

Jiana: I really like our current concept as well, but I do want to try something a bit brighter. I enjoy “easy listening” music, so I would like to try that kind of concept.

Yeonjung: A “cutie” concept!

KPC: What are you most excited to try to see or do while you’re here in New York?

Jiana: During the preparation [for Head in the Clouds New York], the only thing that was on our minds was the festival itself. But now that we’ve performed on the stage we’d love to go shopping and have some of the desserts that are very prominent in New York like gelato, cheesecake, and brownies!

KPC: How have you been enjoying Head in the Clouds? I know you mentioned BIBI and thuy. What stages have stood out to you?

Jiana: I’ve looked up to (G)I-DLE since I was younger. I’ve liked them for a long time. I was so happy and excited to be able to see their performance in person.

Cr. Aleisha F.

KPC: What made each of you want to go into music? Was becoming an idol or artist always something you dreamed of, and was hip-hop something you wanted to pursue?

Sunhye: Hip-hop isn’t the first genre that I started with, but after joining this company, it’s something that I’ve come to love. Since starting I’ve learned to love the genre and as I move and grow as an artist, I’d love to venture out to different genres.

Jiana: I also first learned of hip-hop after joining our company. When I first joined, I was told that we would be doing “trendy” music, but I didn’t think it would be trendy hip-hop music. But after seeing how cool the other members looked, I ended up falling in love with the genre.

Jieun: Even before becoming a trainee, I liked hip-hop but after being part of this group and this company I learned to love hip-hop even more.

Yeonjung: I fell into hip-hop after being part of Young Posse and I’m confident that I’ll fall deeper in love with hip-hop.

Doeun: Before training, I loved idol K-Pop music. But as I began training to be part of this group, I really saw the charm of hip-hop. After that, I’ve only fallen for it more deeply and I listen to it more often.

Cr. Aleisha F.

KPC: You guys recently celebrated 200 days since your debut, so congratulations! What have been some memorable moments, whether that’s from fans, the music you’ve made, or the experiences you’ve had?

Jieun: Soon after we debuted, we were performing on Music Bank, and I received letters from fans for the first time. There were a lot of letters telling us that we were doing great and it meant a lot to us.

Thank you to Young Posse and Platform PR for the interview and photo opportunity, and thank you to Nahri L. for additional translations!

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