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Meet Dreamcatcher: The Face of Rock in K-pop

Leading K-Music Spotlight’s rock digital cover are South Korean septet Dreamcatcher. In an exclusive interview, the group breaks down their journey thus far and what it takes to be the face of rock in K-pop.

Divyansha Dongre May 23, 2022

Dreamcatcher. Photo: Courtesy of Dreamcatcher Company

This cover story appears in Rolling Stone India’s K-Music Special Issue, on sale now. Buy your copy with Dreamcatcher’s cover included inside the edition here.

1,923. It took the K-pop fraternity 1,923 days to award Dreamcatcher their first music show win. Almost incomparable to anything JiU, SuA, Siyeon, Handong, Yoohyeon, Dami and Gahyeon had experienced before, the evening saw the septet take home the award for their latest single “Maison,” and it evoked a dizzying mix of exhilaration and contentment. “Whenever we have our comebacks, we talk about our goals and we always wanted to get first place,” revealed Sua during the group’s celebratory livestream. “But for this promotion, it was hard to say that we wanted first place because every time the disappointment was so big. But now, what we want has happened and I’m so thankful.”

The day of the victory saw InSomnias (Dreamcatcher’s fandom) and casual listeners of the group rejoice. More than unmatched levels of elation, the win ushered in a sense of great relief. After all, the trophy was not only a testament to fans’ dedication and the quality of the release but an answer to what 1,923 days of commitment to one’s signature sound, diligence to the craft and an unbreakable resilient spirit looks like.

It is no secret that rock remains a niche sound in the Korean music space, and while the industry has recently experienced a resurgence of the genre, Dreamcatcher was the first K-pop girl group to make the pulsating concoction of rock and metal their signature sound. Over the past five years, the septet could have deviated from their signature sound on their lead singles to present an assortment of genres, catering to what the sonic trend at the time called for, but they trusted the process and continued with a string of rock- and metal-centric comebacks, making their first music-show win even more significant. 

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Originally formed under the name MINX, JiU, SuA, Siyeon, Yoohyeon, and Dami were promoted under the aforementioned group from 2014 to 2016. Wrapped within your average girl-crush K-pop concept, their compact solitary EP and singles album discography exuded bright, upbeat dance-pop influences. In 2016, the quintet shared their plans of revamping themselves, and making a debut as Dreamcatcher in 2017, with Handong and Gahyeon joining the group. 

40 K-pop groups debuted that year, including the Korean pop-rock band The Rose, but none with a dark rock concept. Amongst those 40 groups, Dreamcatcher were the only group to tap into horror concepts driven by a rock soundscape; a theme we’ve seen the septet stick to even today. Take for instance their metalcore single “Endless Night,” progressive rock track “Sahara,” symphonic rock “Deja Vu” or the electro-rock anthem “Breaking Out,”; the group has been building upon its rock discography extensively since the very beginning, regardless of whether the genre was making numbers on the charts. To Dreamcatcher, rock was more than the ‘safe choice.’ It was at its core, the genre that effectively captured the essence of their unique concepts and vocal prowess.  

With a new identity and lineup in place, Dreamcatcher swapped their clean-cut, bubblegum-pop persona for darker, fantasy-led concepts helmed by a soaring rock and metal soundscape. What made the group’s reimagined sonic identity unique was the seamless blend of rock with genres ranging from pop, EDM and moombahton among others. While others kept their art within a limited set of styles, Dreamcatcher took the creative leap, embracing rock way before any mainstream act employed the genre’s power. With concepts rooted in dark themes such as nightmares, dystopia and, more recently, the apocalypse, this soundscape further elevated the septet’s ethos, which strives to discuss issues that haunt us. 

In tune with their horror concept, the group debuted on January 13th, 2017, with “Chase Me” – the lead track from their first single album Nightmare. The track was unlike anything MINX had released. Contrary to MINX’s pop-synth arrangement, “Chase Me” opened with a dark piano melody, presenting an eerie yet calm ambience – a near-perfect segway for the spirited percussion sounds and guitar riffs that lurked around the corner. A solid introductory chapter to their refined artistry, “Chase Me” gave us a taste of Dreamcatcher’s sonic style and a glimpse into the group’s nuanced conceptual universe. 

Along with tracks such as “Good Night,” “Fly High,” and “Piri,” the ‘nightmare’ chapter narrates the story of seven girls trapped in, well, you guessed it, a nightmare. With each member symbolizing a particular horror, the intricate plot line follows their attempt to break free from their fears – Jiu being chased, Sua being restrained, Siyeon feeling claustrophobic, Handong being watched, Yooheyon finding herself lost in an unknown place, Dami being injured, and Gahyeon free-falling from high places. 

Primarily rooted in a soaring rock space, the ‘nightmare’ chapter ran from 2017 to 2019 and also saw the group experiment with metal influences – a sound that would go on to become a staple in Dreamcatcher’s releases. Other experiments from this era included rock-ballad (“Lullaby”), electronica (“Sleep Walking”’ and “Silent Night”) and trance (“Trapped”). 

Their sophomore chapter commenced with Dystopia: The Tree of Language. As the name suggests, it’s set in a post-apocalyptic society, and Dreamcatcher’s 2020-2021 releases hit close to home. Doubling down as a social commentary, this chapter examined the endless spew of toxicity that plagues our real and digital world. Tracks such as “BOCA,” “Scream” and “Odd Eye” placed an acute focus on symbolism, showcasing a tree of language overcome by evil words. Entrusted with the duty of purifying this tree and building a utopia, the members transform into seven goddesses to fulfill their destiny.

With the septet welcoming a new era, the final threads of their sonic tapestry started coming together. While the first era meshed pop and rock influences, the lead singles from the dystopia chapter relied on blending the ferocity of metal with dark pop elements. Deep, resonant and intense, tracks from Dystopia: The Tree of Language, Dystopia: Lose Myself and Dystopia: Road To Utopia pointed toward the group’s artistic odyssey. Despite rock and metal taking the lead, Dreamcatcher continued to test the limits of their artistry with the gradual introduction of secondary sounds such as dance and R&B. 

Now with their second album Apocalypse: Save Us, the group is currently writing the pages about a new adventure centered around the greatest nightmare haunting our generation. Focused on the global environmental catastrophe, Dreamcatcher’s April 2022 single “Maison” embodies the group’s celebrated sonic identity with its rock influences and distortion bass, synthesizing a powerful and electric soundscape. The track directly calls out those who’ve turned a blind eye to the environmental catastrophe and have consciously (or subconsciously) become a part of the vicious cycle damaging the planet: “Is it strangely hot?/ The laws of this planet/ It’s like it’s drying up/ It’s the same as your conscience [Hoo].”

“The message of the track is that we need to raise awareness about environmental damages, pollution, and global warming,” recall Handong and Yoohyeon. “‘Maison’ is French for home. We are asking for help to protect the environment, and our home, together. Therefore, “Maison” is a warning message for everyone to understand that we must preserve and save the planet for the next generation. And when we first heard the song, we immediately thought that this was going to be our title track and immediately agreed that this was going to be the song to open our new chapter. We immediately thought ‘this is it!”

The 14-track LP is special for many reasons. Not only has this album earned two music-show wins so far, but is reflective of the group’s growth- courtesy of the seven solo tracks, where each member participated in a songwriting capacity. Marinating on a platter of delectable genres, the album opens with the organ piece-rock instrumental “Intro: Save Us.” Eerie yet hauntingly beautiful, it is a perfect track to open an album dripping in different motifs and sonic styles. The mood quickly shifts to the charm of retro with “Locked Inside A Door.” Discussing feelings of hopelessness, entrapment and changing yourself to please someone, the track’s funk-rock arrangement is an interesting choice to embody a song that discusses a relatively heavy topic in detail. 

Allowing listeners to relish the pure adrenaline rush that rock has to offer, the septet touches base with the next track “Maison,” followed by the return of the eighties in “Starlight.” Fast-paced, upbeat and with abundant vocals, “Starlight” is a gentle celebration of healthy relationships and admiration. Introducing a secondary genre to their growing discography, the septet’s deep-house track “Together” explores the bloom of a childhood romance like a dream. Up next is the rich piano ballad “Always,” expressing Dreamcatcher’s eternal admiration for their fans. Delivered in their exquisite vocal colors, it is a paradigm of the lost art of minimalistic production with a hawk-eye focus on vocalizations. 

The second half of the LP focuses on each member’s iridescent hues led by the instrumental interlude “Skit: The Seven Door” – think closing (or opening) credits soundtrack of a Korean drama with dialed up levels of fast-paced percussion arrangement and a piece of breezy celestial music. From JiU’s retro-funk solo “Cherry,” SuA’s rock-electronic banger “No Dot,” Siyeon’s ethereal, OST-esque “Entrancing” to Handong’s bilingual R&B gem “Winter,” Yoohyeon’s jazz lounge perfection “For,” Dami’s pop-punk energizer “Beauty Full” and Gahyeon’s cheerful pop solo “Playground,” each solo track unravels hidden chapters and sonic ambitions from each member’s book of life. 

In an exclusive interview with Rolling Stone India, JiU, SuA, Siyeon, Handong, Yoohyeon, Dami and Gahyeon navigate through their artistry thus far, discuss what rock symbolizes and most importantly, reveal what it takes to be the face of rock in K-pop. 

Your previous comeback (“BEcause”) was quite a symbolic track that explored the dark side of obsession, and with Apocalypse: Save Us, you’re addressing a very pressing global issue. What prompted this drastic switch in concept? 

JiU: I don’t personally feel that it was a drastic switch or change. “BEcause” was part of our special EP, with which we wanted to present another side to Dreamcatcher. But we have based our concepts and main messages surrounding various societal issues before. For instance, Dystopia: The Tree of Language addresses the pain from hurtful and negative words that are thrown at one another. There is darkness in many different aspects. So, for our new album, we thought we need to understand and know how important it is to preserve the environment. We believe that raising awareness is crucial, which is why we decided to work towards this concept for Apocalypse: Save Us.

Amongst the various concepts you’ve explored, which one has been particularly fun to shoot and share? What are some other concepts or storylines you’d like to share with your fans in the future?

Siyeon: I remember that our “Black Or White” stage performance was extremely fun. “Black Or White” is actually not a title track, but is one of our tracks from our first album, Dystopia: The Tree of Language. And I remember that many of our fans also loved our performance for it. The song’s concept and mood was also my style which made it even more enjoyable for me. I would like to explore concepts that are a bit more laid-back and fun [maybe a little less dark], not just for us but also for our fans to enjoy in a different manner!

Handong: For me personally, “Fly High” was a concept that was the most memorable, especially since we usually go with strong and bold concepts. “Fly High” was different. It was a bit more youthful and softer, so even our fans found it refreshing. I also have many special memories during the ‘Fly High’ era. As for the future, I would like to continue working on concepts that people can resonate with. Concepts that we can relate to together, and I believe that this is important because it builds a bond, a connection between us and the audience.

Yoohyeon: I, too, chose “Fly High” because it was a combination of sadness and brightness. As Handong had said, it was a concept that was refreshingly new to us since we always tried concepts that were bolder and dark. And it just made me realize that it would be nice to try a concept similar to this in the future. It’s been a while since we’ve done and shown performances on stage where we could smile. We usually put on a charismatic expression to go along with our performances. 

“My solo track expresses and emphasizes one thing. It’s that one wish and hope that all pet owners have and will also relate to – we hope that our pets stay by our side forever happily and healthy!”- JiU. Photo: Courtesy of Dreamcatcher Company.

Since your new chapter tackles climate change, how close is this subject to you? What are some ways through which you ensure you live a sustainable and environmentally conscious life?

Dami and Gahyeon: Overall, it’s about ecological damage and global warming. We can feel it. We can feel that the temperature has risen. For instance, Dami normally doesn’t feel the heat or get too hot easily because she prefers staying warm. But recently, we started to notice that the temperature has risen. Dami always has a jacket with her to wear whenever she’s feeling slightly chilly, but we have realized that she’s started to leave her jacket at home. And to make sure that we stay environmentally conscious, it is the simple things that can make a huge impact. For instance, recycling is one example. In Korea, we can’t throw our plastics, paper or glass in the regular trash bin. We have designated bins for recyclable items, to make sure that we recycle it properly, which is important. And I think opting for your own tumblers or cups to replace take-out cups can be a great method to implement in our daily lives. We also recommend reducing the use of tissues to prevent waste. And reducing the use of shampoos is another great way to make a difference.

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How do you usually approach the concepts for your albums and music videos? Is there a significant amount of personal research and reading that the members invest in once the concept is locked in?

JiU: When our company shares the concept and story, we each think about it to see how each of us understands and interprets it. We imagine how the story would flow and what it would lead us to next. For our new album, I think I watched a lot of documentaries and informative content about the environment and nature, and I also watched the movie Avatar to help us with research. Watching these movies and documentaries has helped me realize what kind of a role I have to play, and the emotions that we need to feel and express to protect the environment. Through Avatar I gained inspiration on how the hero tries to protect the planet. And I feel like our audiences could feel a similar emotion that is expressed in our music video and the movie. 

SuA : I watched many movies as we were preparing for our album. I looked for movies with similar settings or movies that were set similarly to our story, and this had helped me really feel as if I was in those circumstances. And as you may have noticed, we are portrayed as these hero figures in the music video. I watched Black Widow and referred to some of her action scenes to gain personal inspiration to show more strength in my movements, expressions, and actions like my kicking scene.

“There were times when working on the song was difficult and I would also lose concentration, but the thought that this was my own song really kept me going and I think it turned out well.”- SuA. Photo: Courtesy of Dreamcatcher Company

How does this concept tie in with all the other concepts the group has worked on? Will we be seeing a resemblance of any kind to your previous chapters? Perhaps, the return of a few key elements from your previous chapters like the Tree of Language?

Siyeon: If our previous chapter, Dystopia, was a story about how much impact language and negative comments can have upon people and the world, then Apocalypse: Save us is about the environment. It’s a warning message to raise awareness and understand the importance of preserving the environment together. Since our ‘Apocalypse’ series is a new beginning and chapter, there won’t be a recurring element from the previous era. So, it’s best not to make a connection between our previous storytelling with the new one. However, Dreamcatcher has always brought [forth] music and visuals that are unique to us, and this is no different.  

 If not “Maison,” what other track would you have picked to lead your LP?

JiU: I think I may have chosen “Locked Inside A Door” and recommended this song. It might not be like our usual Dreamcatcher sound, since it doesn’t have the guitar riff or the faster beat, but I feel like we could have performed well with this song. I am sure that we would have expressed and interpreted this well, so it might have been different but a refreshing approach!

Dami: Perhaps “Starlight.” “Maison” was the song that everyone agreed on, but out of the tracklist, I feel “Starlight” could have been a song that may have had the biggest possibility of leading the album. I chose it because I was able to imagine us performing the song. 

Gahyeon: As we have stated before, “Maison” was the song that we all felt was perfect for our new album. It was THE song. We knew immediately it had to be our title song, so I honestly never considered going with any other song. 

“I am extremely happy with the way my song “Entrancing” has turned out. It’s a song that is about how you don’t want to wake up from an entrancing dream, so I hope that fans can listen to the song as if they’re watching a movie!” -Siyeon. Photo: Courtesy of Dreamcatcher Company.

Your LP contains solo tracks too; we are super excited to see the sound and style each one of you brings to the table. How was your experience working on these solo tracks? What were some crucial elements each member wanted to highlight?

JiU: My solo track expresses and emphasizes one thing. It’s that one wish and hope that all pet owners have and will also relate to – we hope that our pets stay by our side forever happily and healthy! I wanted my solo track to be my personal story and it’s about how I want to be with my loveable dog, Cherry, forever. I just can’t imagine a life without my dog. As I was working on the song, I continuously thought about Cherry. At first, I thought about how I needed to express this in lyrics, and I decided to work on my song as if I was writing a letter to Cherry. And I feel like this process helped in my songwriting. 

SuA: For my solo song, there were two things that I was really split between – whether to go for a style of music that I listen to often or a style that I always wanted to try on stage. Since it was my first solo song and it had great meaning to me, I decided to go with a style that I can express myself well with because I wanted this song to be one that you could not only listen to, but also watch. There were times when working on the song was difficult and I would also lose concentration, but the thought that this was my own song really kept me going and I think it turned out well. The message I wanted to deliver through my solo track is the feelings you have when your love for someone becomes so big. The song stands on a fine line between desperation and obsession, so I feel like it’ll be a good song for people to relate to and get immersed in. 

Siyeon: This time, I worked on an Asian traditional sound ballad. I felt that it’s a sound that I could express well and a track I could fill with my emotional interpretation. I am extremely happy with the way my song “Entrancing” has turned out. It’s a song that is about how you don’t want to wake up from an entrancing dream, so I hope that fans can listen to the song as if they’re watching a movie! And I hope that it can be a comfort for those who have experienced a farewell and I also hope it can have a positive impact on them. It’s a ballad that’s easy to listen to, so please listen to the song whenever and wherever. I’ve worked hard on all aspects, so I’m very confident of it. I will always want to be a singer who brings strength to everyone. 

Handong: My solo track “Winter” is based on a winter mood. I was inspired by the movie Love Letter. And I wrote the song like a reminiscent letter that expresses the regrets and looks back on the emotions of not being able to turn back time. It’s an R&B track and it was my first time writing my song in Korean. It was a bit difficult, but so much fun. Through this experience, I was able to learn more Korean and it was extremely meaningful to me. I also want to send a message of doing what you want to do and to not regret any of the decisions made. And that it’s not always about the results, but also about the beauty of the process. 

Yoohyeon: During the time when we were not promoting and resting, there were a lot of emotions and feelings I experienced in that period. I was worried that many of our fans would become exhausted waiting for us. And I think my song incorporates all the emotions that I had felt at the time. I hope that the fans can feel and listen to the song’s message, as they wait for the day when we can meet one another again. If the opportunity arises, I would like to try exploring another genre to challenge myself and I hope our fans love our solo tracks. 

Dami: I wanted to work on a song that could express freedom. I wanted to fully express the joy and let go of all the worries and concerns by having fun and gaining strength. So, the song ‘Beauty Full’ is all about filling myself with more confidence and being more carefree to enjoy the moment without worries. And the songwriting process was extremely fun. I tried singing the song one way and trying another way to see what sounds the best. I felt a sense of accomplishment whenever a certain part, tone or singing felt perfect. I even tried jumping around while singing it to express the excitement as much as possible. 

Gahyeon: Working on my solo track was definitely not easy. It was difficult when I started work on it, but I had a lot of help. It was fun and it has become a meaningful memory for me. When I first started working on the song, I  wanted to write about my personal story. So, I think this was an opportunity for me to do that.

“My solo track “Winter” is based on a winter mood. I was inspired by the movie Love Letter. And I wrote the song like a reminiscent letter that expresses the regrets and looks back on the emotions of not being able to turn back time. “- Handong. Photo: Coutesy of Dreamcatcher Company

How has the group grown through the process of recording this LP? What has this process taught you about your art?

SuA: I would say that it was a moment of realization rather than a [process of] learning or a takeaway. I personally feel that all our members have grown so much musically, to the point that we are each aware of what kind of a vocal tone and voice we have. So, even if we are challenged with a new style of music, we have matured and learned how to emphasize what works for each of us through the years. I was extremely happy to hear how our unique identities were expressed individually without sounding similar. 

Siyeon: As SuA has mentioned, we are able to create great music with our voices! It brings out Dreamcatcher as a whole and shows the world what Dreamcatcher can do and what only Dreamcatcher is capable of doing. It’s still an ongoing process, but I feel that we are doing an amazing job of showing who we are. 

What were the most exciting and challenging parts of recording the album? Are there any interesting behind-the-scenes stories from the recording studio?

Handong: When we started recording “Locked Inside a Door,” there was this one part of the song that everyone wanted to sing. There’s a part in the song where it beeps [like it’s censored]. Since everyone takes turns to see which part fits the members, I think we all tried to sing that part really hard because everyone wanted it. 

Yoohyeon: This is my personal behind-the-scenes story, but I recorded an English liner for our teasers. It was the first time I’ve ever done anything like this, so it was interesting, fun and exciting. It was also an honor that my English narration was released along with the teaser; it was such a new feeling and experience. And I remember that I had to record it within 25 seconds, as in [I had] to make sure I narrate everything in that much time, which was extremely short. I really felt like I was chasing time. So, I even had to concentrate hard on my breathing to act out the narration.  

 

“I was worried that many of our fans would become exhausted waiting for us. And I think my song incorporates all the emotions that I had felt at the time”- Yooheyon. Photo: Courtesy of Dreamcatcher Company.

Dreamcatcher is the face of rock in K-pop. The group had strong rock and metal influences before the pop scene started seeing a resurgence of the genre. How do you feel about the return of rock to K-pop? These days, many groups and solo acts have started embodying the sound in their releases or music videos too. 

Dami: Thank you for stating that Dreamcatcher is the face of rock in K-pop. It is such an honor for us to hear that. I think we are just doing our best to showcase our unique identity in all that we do, whether it is music or our concept. And we feel that trends are indeed repeating themselves. There’s an energy that rock music delivers that brings excitement. I’m happy to see that rock is found in many different songs and will be heard by many people. 

Gahyeon: I am so happy that rock is making its return. I hope people can get to know it better because it definitely has its own charm. And we just hope that people continue to listen to our style of music and look forward to us. 

While it’s true that Dreamcatcher is versatile with its sounds and styles, what aspects of the rock genre inspired you to stay committed to it from your debut? What does rock music mean to you?

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JiU: It began with building our concept. Our search for our signature sound began from our initial conversations about how we could deliver Dreamcatcher’s stories. And that is how Dreamcatcher met rock. And as you may know, Dreamcatcher’s sound is not only about rock but it’s a blend of rock, EDM and so many versatile sounds that make it so unique. And this has definitely become a part of us. But rock is Dreamcatcher’s identity. It’s us. 

“I wanted to work on a song that could express freedom. I wanted to fully express the joy and let go of all the worries and concerns by having fun and gaining strength.”- Dami. Photo: Courtesy of Dreamcatcher Company.

How do you plan on reinventing within the rock space, ensuring every rock-inspired track by Dreamcatcher sounds fresh and exciting? 

Dreamcatcher: Our songs have always been a genre-blend of multiple different styles and sounds. This is what makes us unique. This time, we feel that we have focused on rock a bit more. But in order to make sure we present something new, we added distortion bass rather than adding more metal. We feel that we managed to differentiate our new music from the rest of our songs because we turned a different direction musically while staying true to our signature identity. 

Why do you think rock has made its way back into the pop space? What advice would you give to artists who wish to experiment with this sound?

SuA: Rock can be unfamiliar and yet familiar to many. And when a genre becomes popular and makes its way to becoming extremely familiar, then it gets even stronger. Especially when you’re performing on stage, when the genre is familiar to many, then you know it and you can feel the energy. Personally, for me, rock can get me emotional and extremely excited. And when you do want to experience these sorts of emotions, please listen to our songs. You’ll know it once you hear our songs – because it’s so good. 

Siyeon: Adding to what SuA said, I’m not sure if giving advice is the right word that I have in mind, but I would say that it’s so, so important to know how to enjoy the stage and the music. Of course, it applies to all music and genres, but you need to know that you are the best. And it’s extremely important to have the mentality that you are amazing. So, please remember to have confidence.

Handong: I would say, be proud of yourself. Be proud of the music you’re making. The fact that you are walking on your own path with your music and are able to make your own music is something to be really proud of!

“Working on my solo track was definitely not easy. It was difficult when I started work on it, but I had a lot of help.”- Gahyeon. Photo: Courtesy of Dreamcatcher Company

Rolling Quartz have cited you as one of their inspirations. How do you feel about inspiring the next generation of K-rock acts? Have the two groups met in person? If yes, what was your first meeting like, and can we expect the two groups to come together on a record?

Yoohyeon: We would like to thank them for saying that we are their inspiration. And it just makes us feel that we should work on showing our progress and our growth. We will continue to work hard to show our music and identity to everyone. And we have actually met Rolling Quartz before. It’s a rock-meets-rock moment, but we each bring a very different charm. I also thought that it would be extremely interesting to do a collaboration together. It’ll be really cool.

Since your debut to date, how has the group evolved as artists? What are some of the things this journey has taught you?

Dami: Ever since our debut, I feel that we have been working towards presenting and showing our unique colors and stories through our stories and messages. We always work together on how we can deliver our message and express our music and identity better. We wonder about how we can be more versatile and how we can showcase our identity more. Together, we have been challenging ourselves endlessly and this time, we have returned with an album that showcases our individual messages through our solo tracks. We have also grown and learned as artists how to express our messages individually through the solo songs. 

Gahyeon: Dami has mentioned about working on our solo songs. To add a bit more, we have grown to [each] become an artist who is much more involved in the song-making process. If we had focused on our vocals and performances more in the past, then I can say that we have now expanded our involvement to composing and writing lyrics. And this has helped us expand the spectrum of songs that we listen to and discover.

You are a group of seven strong women creating a unique identity for yourselves in an industry that’s dominating music markets worldwide. What role does each member play in creating the group’s globally celebrated identity? 

JiU: I would say that my role is focused on how we can deliver our stories to the audience. I feel that we all each play a role in this, but it’s my role to help people interpret our story easier. 

SuA: I would like to say that although each of our individual roles are important, we are stronger together because each of our voices and opinions play a larger role for Dreamcatcher. Together as one makes us even stronger!

Siyeon: I think I can say that I am the most charismatic member. Being charismatic on stage helps my members get immersed into the mood and the feel of our music and story that we want to deliver to the audience through our performances. It wouldn’t feel right if our dark story is expressed with happiness.  

Handong: Each of us plays an important role for Dreamcatcher. And we all have a part in making sure our group identity is expressed. But for our ballads, I think I can say that I have the most poetic vocal tone. I feel that my vocal charm adds an element, just like the other members’ elements are incorporated into our songs. 

Yoohyeon: We each have our unique personalities and charms, but I think I can say that I am the softest emotion-wise. If members are feeling sad, then I will be the person to ask, “Why?” In addition, vocally, all of our members each have their unique tone. And I would say that my vocal tone is warm. 

Dami: A role that I play… I can confidently say that I’m good at getting immersed into a certain situation or a role that I’m playing. That’s how much I want to express our music and concept well on stage. Our members are also good at becoming immersed, but I tend to fall into the character deeply. I want to be able to portray the music and express it with confidence. 

Gahyeon: For me, I am always on my toes whenever we’re monitoring our performance. I become sensitive so that I don’t lose concentration on the details to make sure we maintain top-notch quality. And I feel that I’m good at expressing our concept with my facial expressions when we’re performing. 

As artists, what is the most important aspect[s] of your job? What do you consider of utmost importance when you’re working on new music?

JiU: As I am working on music, I always think that making this song my own is extremely important. It’s important to make the listeners feel that this song was made for and only for Dreamcatcher. If I am unable to pull off the song, then it’s meaningless. So I put a lot of emphasis on how I can interpret and express the song to truly make it my own.

SuA: I believe that my thoughts and experiences are the most important elements. The confidence and pride that I derive from personal experience plays a huge role in my career. And those experiences have made me who I am today. Therefore, whenever we challenge ourselves with something new or explore something different, applying our knowledge and experience to the music-making process makes a difference in so many ways. 

What does being a part of Dreamcatcher mean to each member? How do you continue to inspire and motivate each other every day?

JiU: Dreamcatcher is my source of inspiration and motivation. The fact that we are together like this and working on getting our music out into the world inspires me every day. Dreamcatcher reflects my 20s and how I had put my passion and all [I had] into Dreamcatcher, and I wonder how its meaning would change for me when I’m in my 30s. 

SuA: Dreamcatcher inspires me every day. Every single day. Seeing them brings me joy and they give me so much positivity and strength. We rely on one another, so they are my inspiration and motivation. Dreamcatcher is so meaningful to me that my heart wouldn’t be full without them. We’re like a reflection of one another. They’re the closest and the most comforting people.

Siyeon: Dreamcatcher is my life. There’s no other way to express what it means to me. My members are my lifelong friends. Dreamcatcher and the members inspire [me] so much. They motivate me in many ways and aspects, be it in our everyday lives or in our professional career. 

Handong: To me, Dreamcatcher is like family. They are my source of motivation and encouragement in everything that we do. The fact that we are together like this and working hard every day drives me. And I believe that we will one day succeed in everything that we do since we become one another’s inspiration.

Yoohyeon: The fact that they are here for me and they exist always motivates me. Our members are so professional on stage, and they inspire me as an artist and as a singer when I see them on stage. And when they’re offstage, they’re friends who are always there for me. They’re incredible and I also want to become like them and resemble them. The fact that I’m with these incredibly talented individuals always drives me to work harder.

Dami: They’re my best friends. No one can take their place. And they’re the ones who understand me and one another the best. I don’t think anyone in the world will be able to understand us like we understand each other. When I see my members, they trigger me to work harder. They are my source of motivation. 

Gahyeon: My Dreamcatcher members mean a lot to me. They are extremely precious to me and they hold a special place in my heart. I feel that I am truly blessed to be surrounded by these individuals and I’m so thankful that I am with them. I believe that being there for one another helps us to continue to push and inspire each other. 

How do you plan on reinventing your creativity without sidelining your established personas as the face of rock and dark fantasy concepts?

Siyeon: We are each trying to increase our participation in the overall production more. It’s the members who know what’s best for Dreamcatcher and what we are striving for in our music. Increasing our involvement will definitely elevate our creativity without straying away from our core concept in our K-pop rock. Making sure that we stay true to our sonic identity and concept is important and what we do best. We will make sure that we continue to grow in order for people to discover new aspects to Dreamcatcher. 

Something that I found very interesting in “BEcause” was the use of the colors red and blue to represent human behavior. In this case, blue is used to symbolize the version we show to society and red has been used to symbolize the real us, our true selves. In the music video, blue and red come together to form purple. In many ways, this could be interpreted as a commentary on accepting the good and the bad in yourself. In a society that continues to fixate on each other’s flaws, how can one learn to accept themselves for who they truly are? Have you reached this stage personally and professionally? If yes, how did you arrive here?

Handong: It’s important to realize and accept that each and every single person is unique in this world. Each and every person’s existence and their own being is special. Please don’t compare yourself to others. Whether the qualities are good or bad, it’s important not to compare yourselves. I believe that we are all special in our own way. 

Yoohyeon: It took me a long time before I was able to accept myself for who I am. And I, too, cannot say that I love everything about myself. I tend to overthink things and get worried easily, so what I do is prevent myself from drawing negative thoughts in the first place. Having too many worries and concerns will lead to stress, mistakes and can even lead you to blame yourself. Which is why I had a hard time accepting everything about myself. We only have one life to live. So, what I want to say is that we all need to love each other and also be able to understand ourselves and love ourselves more.

What message do you want fans to take away from your album? What should fans pay close attention to while listening to the album?

Dami: We would like for our fans to understand that the most important message of our album is that we must see how precious the environment is. We must protect it to the best of our abilities. And I hope that this message can be delivered well through our music and stories. Also, I hope that our fans and people can see our growth musically. I hope everyone listens to our self-written/composed tracks from our album and see what messages we are trying to deliver as they listen to our songs.

What does the group have lined up for the year? 

JiU & Gahyeon: We believe that we will be able to meet our fans more in person this year! We are doing our best to create more opportunities to meet our fans for sure. And we also have our [performance at] Primavera Sound Festival in June in Spain, so we’re extremely excited for that. Please look forward to us.

If you had to leave a message for your past and future selves, what would it be? Also, do you have a message for your Indian fans?

Dreamcatcher: We want to tell our past selves that we made the right choice, the right decision. During a time of uncertainty and when in doubt, we feel that words of motivation that build faith will be the best encouragement. So, we want to tell our future selves that we are indeed awesome and encourage ourselves to give ourselves strength. We also want to say that InSomnias are always and forever in our hearts, so let’s always be healthy!. To our Indian InSomnias, we love you as much as you love us. Let’s all love each other. We miss you.

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