TWICE, the nine-member K-pop band with over 9 million Twitter followers, says they feel their growing popularity overseas.
“People didn’t know as much about us as they do now,” band member Jihyo told The Associated Press ahead of last week’s release of the band’s third full-length album “Formula Of Love: O+T=3,″ adding that the growing popularity of K-pop around the world has allowed the band to release more English tracks.
The new album has 17 tracks with three all-English songs. On Monday, they announced a tour that will start in Seoul on Dec. 24 and will bring them in February to five U.S. cities: Los Angeles, Oakland, Dallas, New York and Atlanta.
TWICE released their first full English-language single “The Feels” in October, which was their first song to debut on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
TWICE is a household name in South Korea and Japan — where the band regularly tops the Oricon music charts, Japan’s equivalent of Billboard. (Members Sana, Mina, and Momo of TWICE are from Japan.)
The band’s success comes after years of hard work. TWICE, which debuted in 2015, walked into the interview with full energy even after undergoing five hours of intense dance practice ahead of the album release.
Jeongyeon had surprised her bandmates by announcing that she’d briefly helped out a friend by working as a barista — a breath of fresh air for the star who’d announced a hiatus since September citing mental health issues.
She said no one had recognized her and said she didn’t play TWICE songs at the cafe.
Jihyo, who co-wrote several songs for the new album, said she’d taken inspiration from real-life events, including the death of a houseplant.
“I used to own a cactus, really,” Jihyo recounted, adding that she’d failed to water the plant and take care of it citing her busy schedule. “I totally forgot, and a few months later, I realized that it’d died,” she said. “I felt so bad. I even named it.”
She said the song, “Cactus,” was written from the plant’s perspective, seeing its owner walking in and out of the room and ignoring it.