Lapillus makes a welcome addition to the K-pop world

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Lapillus makes a welcome addition to the K-pop world
The multinational group’s members — Yue, Chinese-American; Shana, Japanese; Chanty, Filipino-Argentinian; Bessie, Seowon and Haeun, South Koreans — want their songs to inspire audiences to be more confident and to go for their dreams without fear.
Photo from girl group’s Instagram

A welcome addition to the growing number of Korean pop groups is the all-female ensemble called Lapillus.

Thanks to its synchronic dance choreographies, colorful fashion trends, and mellifluous vocals, the six-member girl group instantly caught the attention of music aficionados, following its formal entry into the music scene last June with an upbeat debut single Hit Ya.

Lapillus is a multinational group, composed of Chanty, a Filipino-Argentinian; Shana, Japanese; Yue, Chinese-American; and Bessie, Seowon and Haeun, Koreans. It was formed by MLD Entertainment, the home of another well-known K-pop girl group Momoland. Except for Bessie, I recently had an interesting conversation with these five beautiful, smart and talented girls with the help of Dani, the group’s interpreter.

According to the girls, the word Lapillus refers to a gemstone that changes colors depending on the direction of the light.

“Each member has her own unique color and unique talent, so when we perform together on stage, we are like gemstones of different colors,” group leader and vocalist Shana said.

Chanty, formerly known as Chantal Videla when she was still with Star Magic, further explained that each member is like a gem and when all the gems are together, they shine brighter, especially when they perform on stage.

Their songs Hit Ya and Gratata can easily both leave any listener feeling more energized for their catchy lyrics and upbeat music.

Lapillus made the Philippines its very first show venue outside of Korea, knowing how Filipino fans appreciate K-pop. In fact, Pinoy supporters collectively named themselves and all those who idolize Lapillus as Lapis.

“Filipinos are so warm and supportive. We’re having such a fun time being here,” declared Yue.

Below are excerpts from my exclusive chat with the girls.

What’s the first thing you’ve learned about the Philippines?

Yue: The first thing was when I met Chanty, I was like, ‘Oh my God! She’s so pretty!’ Secondly, she’s super kind, so I was like, is it just Chanty or are all Filipinos like that? So, when we came to the Philippines, I found out that it’s in your culture because everyone was so kind. The Filipino fans are so warm.

What languages do you speak?

Shana: Japanese and Korean.

Seowon: Korean and little, little Japanese.

Yue: Chinese and English. I was born in America but my parents are Chinese.

Haeun: Korean and a little bit Japanese.

Haeun, how does it feel to be the youngest?

“Actually, I don’t feel I’m the youngest (she’s only 13 years old). But most people say, ‘You’re very young for this industry.’”

What’s your favorite color?

Seowon: Pink.

Shana: Yellow.

Chanty: Green.

Haeun: Blue.

Yue: Purple.

There are many girl groups in the world. Why would I listen to your music?

Yue: In our songs, we are really talking about how we wanted to inspire audiences to become more confident and for them to go on for their dreams without any fears and to not care about what other people will say about you.

How do you teach someone who doesn’t have confidence to be confident?

Shana: Every moment is challenging for me because I’m trying to be confident when I’m on stage. So, basically to feel confident, act as though you are. It can be seen through the expression of the face. While I’m dancing, I try to show (confidence) through (facial) expression.

Do you get nervous?

Seowon: Yes.

What do you do when you get nervous?

Seowon: Actually, I enjoy being nervous because when I try to get rid of feeling nervous, it makes me feel more nervous, so I just try to enjoy the moment.

What do you do before you start a performance? Do you try to exercise? Do you pray?

Haeun: We hold hands in a circle and we pray together.

How does that prayer sound?

Haeun: A silent prayer.

Who leads the prayer? Is that a group prayer or each one prays differently?

Haeun: Depending on the situation, sometimes we pray one by one or Chanty leads the prayer.

Do you do breathing exercises? Some singers would jog, others would do stretching. Each one has a ritual before a performance. What is yours aside from praying? Do you vocalize?

Yue: We actually have this vocal exercise (and she proceeds to demonstrate), pap-pap-pap-pap-pap-pa.

What does it achieve?

Yue: When we were still in training, our teachers taught us how to use our stomach. You feel it from the stomach.

And then, you’re ready to go on stage?

Chanty: Yeah. And when we dance, we have to sing also, and the best way to sing live is using your stomach strength and so, when we do that warm-up vocalization, it stimulates our breathing.

In your performances, do you only do original songs or do you do covers?

Chanty: We also have covers.

What is it that you want in your career and in life?

Yue: I keep hearing (from people) like we want to be successful. But honestly for us, we really just want to be an inspiration to other people like when they watch our concerts or watch our performances and stuff.

To inspire people to become better, but you can only go to that concept if you are famous.

Yue: We wanna be both. Our main goal isn’t to be successful; our main goal is to help our audience become successful.

But you can only do that if you are successful. How about the others, what is it that you want?

Haeun: My main goal is making the name Lapillus be known to all people.

Seowon: We want to have our own concert.

Shana: As I am inspired by my role models by listening to their music, I also want to be a role model for other people who are dreaming to become idols through listening to our music and watching our performances.

How often do you get in touch with your parents and siblings?

Chanty: We talk every day.

Shana: Sometimes when I feel really lonely, I call my mom. I also try to write down in my notes if there is something in my mind. It’s like a diary.

What’s next for Lapillus?

Chanty: For our group, we just wanna keep doing what we’re doing now — making songs with really cool music. We will keep on bringing really inspiring music, relatable music and yeah, we just wanna enjoy every moment and every opportunity that we get. We also want to keep in touch with our fans and be a good inspiration to them. I hope our fans find confidence in themselves as they watch us (in our performances) and start to believe in what they can do. We can all shine. Don’t follow any standards that the world makes because it changes. Be the best of who you are.

How about boys, where are they right now?

Chanty: For us, not in the list yet because there are so many things (we want to do). Wala pa sa list (ang boys), sorry, hahahaha.

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