Red Velvet Break Down Creating an English Version of ‘Bad Boy,’ Musical Aspirations at KCON 2018 NY

CJ Entertainment

They may be based in Korea, but the world is demanding more Red Velvet

From their first official fan meetup in Chicago last April to landing hits in Canada and releasing original music in Japan, the girl group is becoming increasingly in-demand internationally and the quintet wanted to make sure their time at KCON 2018 New York was used well. 

The ladies delivered one of the biggest surprises of the festival when they performed a half-English version of their hit single “Bad Boy” on the KCON stage, a major nod to their growing overseas fanbase. Backstage at the fest, Irene, Seulgi, Wendy, Joy and Yeri spoke to Fuse about how the performance came together, where it’s signaling their future music and more.

FUSE: You’ve done a lot of KCONs, your first U.S. performance was at the 2015 KCON in Los Angeles, you performed at the Mexico City date in 2017. How is this New York show going to be different?
Irene: This time, we prepared a special stage of “Bad Boy.” The first verse is going to be with the original Korean verses, and then the second verse is going to be in English so we would like it if everyone would enjoy it a lot.

Can you take us through the process of making this happen? When did you have time to plan this?!
Wendy: We really don’t have any time, but just for the fans we work it out.
Yeri: The company helped us out.
Wendy: Someone at the company wrote the English lyrics, but then we saw the lyrics and we kind of talked it out a bit and decided what should be changed and such. 

Speaking of other languages, your debut Japanese single just dropped with “#Cookie Jar.” It’s very fun and funky. What can we expect from your Japanese debut? Any particular tracks you’re excited about?
The performance is really strong and I feel like it’s exploding with energy. With that, the performance also matches with the lyrics so there’s also little cute parts to it so you can have high expectations in that sense.
Seulgi: The album will be out July 4, but there’s a track on the album that we actually sang in our tour. The song is for the fans so while we already sang it for the fans, it’s still really special.
Wendy: Also, we are debuting with the new Japanese song, but maybe if we get a chance we might have another song in English, maybe? Like today, we’re performing half in English, and even though it’s the second verse only, maybe we can have “Bad Boy” out in English? 

Are you hinting at something, Wendy?
Wendy: No! [Laughs] I’m saying maybe it’s just the second verse, but maybe at a point we may have a whole song. It’d be really nice.

Last time we spoke, you talked about how you wanted to try out a lot of different genres and inspirations from different artists. Where are you hoping you go next musically?
Seulgi: While we were preparing for “Bad Boy,” I got a lot of inspiration by watching Rihanna videos and watching her perform. I was actually preparing to see how I could incorporate what I learned from Rihanna into “Bad Boy,” so that that was actually something very recent I used for inspiration. And while our concept that we’re going to continue to do isn’t this, my personal feelings are that I would like to do something very retro.
Joy: I also really likes that retro concept. I recently watched Bruno Mars‘ “Finesse” and I was shocked. It has that retro feel to it, but it’s still really fresh when you’re watching the choreography and the passion in it. I personally really like New Jack Swing and I hope that maybe Red Velvet can try out something like that as well.

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