The Korea Herald


Illit says goofiness and honesty are what make them ‘Magnetic’

By Hong Yoo

Published : March 26, 2024 - 13:21

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Illit poses for photos during a press conference in Seoul on Monday. (Belift Lab) Illit poses for photos during a press conference in Seoul on Monday. (Belift Lab)

Hybe’s new girl group Illit made its debut Monday with its first EP, “Super Real Me.”

Illit consists of three Korean members Yunah, Minju and Wonhee, and two Japanese members, Moka and Iroha, who were the finalists of the JTBC global girl group survival program “R U Next?” which aired for three months starting June 2023.

“The name of our group is a combination of the words ‘will,’ which depicts our independent and adventurous will, and ‘it,’ which symbolizes something special. We are a group with a big potential to make people look forward to what we can and want to become,” Yunah said as she introduced the group during a press conference in Seoul on Monday.

The debut press conference attracted not only local reporters but also reporters from Japan.

“I am thankful to debut with these members. Please look forward to our whimsical and confident characteristics. I think the name ‘Illit’ best portrays the group which consists of members with unique colors,” said Wonhee.

The group’s first EP consists of four tracks led by the track, “Magnetic.”

Bang Si-hyuk, the founder and head producer of Hybe, took part in composing the hybrid dance number which is a mix of pluggnb and house.

“The title track expresses the honesty and confidence of a teenage girl in love. The song carries our fresh and charming vocals,” explained Wonhee.

“Producer Bang advised us to always approach music with a sense of responsibility,” said Minju.

Illit performs during a press conference in Seoul on Monday. (Belift Lab) Illit performs during a press conference in Seoul on Monday. (Belift Lab)

It was obvious to everyone watching the group perform the title track for the first time onstage during the press conference that the members had worked meticulously on every detail to make sure their performance was perfectly aligned, powerful yet fun to watch.

“We had six months after the show ended to prepare for this debut. Our teamwork has improved a lot in the past few months. We also learned how to work on the details of our performance by monitoring our rehearsals. This has helped us grow more confident in ourselves,” said Wonhee.

Other tracks in the album are “My World,” “Midnight Fiction” and “Lucky Girl Syndrome.”

Sporting straight black hair, Illit could not help but remind the audience of NewJeans, another girl group of the K-pop powerhouse Hybe. Indeed, it would be a challenge for the group to establish its own identity in the highly competitive K-pop scene, a challenge which the members are well aware of.

“We will prioritize showing everything we’ve worked on for this debut. Our goal is to show our magnetic charms through diverse music that our fans can enjoy,” said Moka.

Before the group's official debut, Illit attended Acne Studios Fall Winter 2024 runway show at Paris Fashion Week earlier this month in an effort to expand its reach overseas.

“We met with our global fans when we were in Paris for fashion week. We want to meet them again. We hope to become a K-pop act that represents the fifth generation of K-pop and be loved by many,” said Iroha.

“We will present songs that show the real us, songs that listeners can relate with. This is just our first step. We will continue to develop to be recognized for our talents,” said Yunah.