The year is 2020. Specifically, March 13, 2020. EVERGLOW just wrapped up the penultimate stop of their Everlasting Tour in Newark, New Jersey. The day before, they announced that the final show in Los Angeles was to be canceled in light of…. well, you know. Fast forward to now. As our interview begins and I’m sitting in front of the six-member girl group, I’m taken back to four years prior and the regret I felt about not being able to attend their Newark concert (which I tell them as an icebreaker of sorts).
When EVERGLOW debuted in March 2019, they took the K-pop world by storm. The teaser for “Bon Bon Chocolat,” their debut single, racked up five million views in just two days and the official music video surpassed three million views in just one day. Their sophomore single “Adios” reached over seven-and-a-half million in the same period and “Dun Dun,” which was released just before the tour, skyrocketed to over 16 million views at the end of day one. For context, when you’re not signed to a “big four” agency, those numbers (and trajectory) are especially impressive.
Knowing that, and taking into account that they were in the midst of their first-ever international tour, makes the fact that EVERGLOW’s pandemic-free career has been shorter than the time spent, well, living through a pandemic, rather poignant. (Both the US and South Korea marked the end of COVID-19 categorized as a public health emergency on May 11, 2023, following the World Health Organization’s announcement).
“The pandemic was a sad and depressing time for everyone but I think it was a good opportunity to look back on your loved ones and spend more time with your family, friends, and pets,” Sihyeon, the leader of the group, reflects. K-pop idols (“아이돌” or “aidol” in Korean, a term largely referring to someone who has debuted in the Korean pop industry) spend a great deal of time training before their debut; coupled with their normally demanding schedules, the pandemic gave the EVERGLOW members some much-needed restorative time away from the limelight.