The members of ITZY debuted in 2019, and, over three years into their story as a group, they’re still peak girl crush.
Over the years, Yeji, Lia, Ryujin, Chaeryeong, and Yuna have refined the girl crush “concept” under which they debuted, at this point confidently wearing it almost like a second skin. The quintet operates as part of South Korean giant JYP Entertainment and made quite a stir when they burst onto the scene with their first single album It’z Different — they were the first new group out of JYP since Stray Kids, and offered a new direction from that of their labelmates.
The women of ITZY are cool. They’re confident, they’re interesting, and they seem to genuinely enjoy working together, which contributes to their cohesiveness onstage and off. Their recent mini-album, CHECKMATE, is their first new collection of music in over a year. With CHECKMATE now available and the band deep in preparations for their first-ever world tour, ITZY sat down with Consequence to unpack it all.
The lead single from the EP is “SNEAKERS,” another colorful, vibrant track that slots neatly into ITZY’s discography so far. “Since it’s summertime, we wanted it to be a whole bop,” says Lia. Yuna adds that recording the track made her feel like summer had officially arrived. They loved the “chic and classy” concept photos, which show the girls dripped out like royalty, but felt energized by the process of recording the lead single.
While “SNEAKERS” is certainly all fun and games, CHECKMATE still has range. Yeji, Lia, and Chaeryeong point to “DOMINO” as their favorite song off the new collection, designating it as very emotional, akin to a fan song (a K-pop term for a track dedicated to a group’s fans and followers — in this case, MIDZYs). Ryujin, with a small smile, shares that many people had said that her vocals had improved throughout the process of recording CHECKMATE, a statement that prompts her bandmates to let out cheers of encouragement.
Fresh off the heels of the release, the five are busy spending time preparing to hit the road for a world tour. Things kick off with two nights in Seoul, South Korea before the group arrives stateside, where they’ll make their way through shows in Los Angeles, Phoenix, Dallas, Sugar Land, Atlanta, Chicago, Boston, and New York (get tickets here).
As with so many musicians, especially international artists like ITZY, it’s been quite some time since they could see their fans face to face. They underscore that a top priority for the tour, in addition to spending some much-needed quality time with MIDZYs, is to complete the tour as safely and healthily as possible.
What else are they looking forward to throughout 2022? Yuna laughs — Prepping for world tour? “It’s enough,” she says.
Check out the full video interview above.