ITZY, the champions of self-love, want you to be just as unapologetic when it comes to loving others. The girl group that made a major debut in the K-pop scene in 2019 — made up of members Yeji, 20, Lia, 20, Ryujin, 19, Chaeryeong, 19, and Yuna, 16 — dropped their new EP, Not Shy, on Aug. 17, and it delivers just as much of a confidence boost as their debut album and last two EPs did. ITZY takes on a new tone in Not Shy, however, by encouraging their fanbase (endearingly known as MIDZY) to express “feelings and emotions more honestly,” Yeji EXCLUSIVELY tells HollywoodLife.
From the get go, ITZY established their distinct voice with their debut album It’z Different in Feb. 2019. The music video for the album’s lead single, “DALLA DALLA” — which asserted itself with empowering lyrics like “Bad, bad, I’m sorry I’m bad / I’m just the way I am” — became the fastest music video from a debut K-pop group to reach 100 million views on YouTube. These successful numbers rolled into ITZY’s first EP, IT’z ICY, which landed a No. 11 spot on Billboard’s World Albums chart after dropping in July of 2019. ITZY climbed the same chart’s ladder even higher after releasing their second EP, IT’z ME, in March of 2020, which secured a No. 5 spot on the ranking list.
ITZY is making just as strong a mark with their third comeback since debuting! JYP Entertainment’s newest girl group told HollywoodLife about the important message behind Not Shy, an “exciting memory” about shooting their new music video, future goals and even more exciting details in our EXCLUSIVE interview:
HollywoodLife: What makes this EP different from the last one? What is the overall theme you intended to deliver?
Yeji: The theme of our new album Not Shy is love with confidence. No matter how it ends, don’t be shy about your love. Express your feelings and emotions more honestly.
HollywoodLife: What is your favorite lyric from your new track “Not Shy”?
Ryujin: I like the lyrics “Why do you wait, what are you waiting for” the most, because I think it has a very confident and bold vibe.
HollywoodLife: Do you have any fun stories from shooting the music video that you can share?
Yuna: There is a part where we were drifting in a car. It was more thrilling than I expected. It was our first time driving on an off-road, so it was an exciting memory. Yeji was quite good at driving even though it was her first time.
HollywoodLife: What is everyone’s favorite track off the new EP and why?
Chaeryeong & Yuna: We all like “Be In Love” the most. I think the song delivers our message to our fans, MIDZY, so we are very attached to it.
HollywoodLife: Can each of you share something about you that may surprise your fans?
Ryujin: I had another cat before! MIDZY may already know that I have two cats, but I used to have another cat before, too.
Chaeryeong: When I start to laugh, I can’t stop myself!
HollywoodLife: How long have you all known each other? How has your relationship as a group developed since your debut?
Lia: We have known each other for three years now. Since our debut as ITZY two years ago, our relationship has deepened, and we’re much more comfortable with each other now.
HollywoodLife: What are your goals for the rest of 2020?
Yeji: We want to perform well, and do our best to show different sides to ITZY. We would love for people to remember ITZY when they think about 2020. Also, we always want to make our fans proud.
HollywoodLife: In just the past few years, K-pop’s global reach has exploded. How do you hope to expand your music’s influence across the world?
Lia: We hope ITZY’s music will be the path to spread fun, active, positive energy to the world. We are thankful to every K-pop group and every musician in the world who are trying to reach and spread good vibes to others.