The massively popular K-pop girl group is gearing up for the release of their first Korean-language studio album on Friday. Simply titled The Album, the offering includes eight new BLACKPINK tracks, including the previously released singles "How You Like That" and "Ice Cream," the group's collaboration with Selena Gomez.
ET's Denny Directo sat down for a virtual chat with the girls -- Rosé, Lisa, Jennie and Jisoo -- ahead of the exciting release, where they opened up about their favorite tracks, major collaborations and getting even more candid with fans in their upcoming projects -- including the difficulty of making and releasing an album during a global pandemic.
"[These times are] very difficult for everybody," Rosé explains. "We dove into the album hoping that this would come out as more of a hope for our fans to listen to."
"It's a very nervous and exciting [time], emotions just going up and down for us," Lisa admits, adding that she's excited for the group's loyal fans and first-time listeners alike to get a glimpse of their musical range. "We gave a little sneak peek with 'How You Like That' and 'Ice Cream' -- how many genres we are gonna explore. We just want our fans to enjoy whichever one that you like. 'Cause we have everything ready for you."
"They're all a little bit of BLACKPINK," Rosé adds of the album's tracks, noting that it's the "hardest question" to try and choose a favorite. "We all know what fans might be excited about -- we do have a collaboration in there," she notes, nodding to the group's song, "Bet You Wanna," which features a verse from rapper Cardi B.
"Also I'm very excited for our fans to hear 'Lovesick Girls,' our title song," Lisa adds, "because I feel like we showed like the BLACK side with 'How You Like That,' and the PINK side with 'Ice Cream.' So they're probably wondering like, 'Oh, where are they gonna go from here?'"
"I feel like we chose the right song to go with for the title [track] of our album, because it has ourselves into the song and it has a great message that we all really relate to and we like."
Fans went wild for the release of "Ice Cream" in August, with the music video topping 10 million views in under three hours. The vid's super-sweet pastel palette and fun dance moves were a major hit, though the BLACKPINK girls were just a bit disappointed that travel restrictions meant they didn't get to collaborate in person with Gomez.
"It would've been a lot of fun if we actually got to do that together," Lisa admits. "But just watching her clips made us happy. And I guess our fans felt that too. Just watching our videos. It was a great song."
"She did a great job with that," Rosé praises. "We're very grateful that she was really down to explore the kind of music and kind of things that we do too."
However, the group didn't need an A-list American collab to hit big with their worldwide audience. They were already breaking records last spring, when they became the first-ever K-pop girl group to take the stage at Coachella, which Rosé calls a "life-changing moment."
"It's definitely a moment that we'll never forget," Lisa recalls. "It was one of the important steps that we took last year to make us into better artists and better selves."
"I personally feel like I was so much confident after performing at Coachella, because of how low my expectations were for myself, too," she adds. "I knew how nervous I was... Even today, I cannot go back and watch that video, because I can see how excited I am."
Despite their massive popularity, the girls admit they have kept parts of their personas under wraps. But they're ready to start sharing even more with fans -- beginning with their upcoming episode of the YouTube Originals series Released, which will give fans an up-close-and-personal experience with the group in the moments leading up to the release of The Album.
"I think it was the right time for us to share those moments with our fans, because in the beginning of our debut...we wanted to be very sure about the contents that we put out -- and make sure to not let anyone see our flaws, maybe," Lisa notes. "But I think we've come to a point where we're kind of laid-back and [ready to] share the unfiltered, real versions of us to the world...just be like, 'This is how we started, and this is why and how we got here.'"
"Just ready to be vulnerable," Rosé agrees. "It was about time that they get stuff like that."
BLACKPINK's The Album is out Oct. 2. YouTube's Released premieres Thursday, Oct. 1 at 11:45pm ET.