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How Blackpink’s Rose Found Her Voice as a Solo Artist With ‘On the Ground’

“We wanted to find something that spoke to me, so it felt right to be talking about what I’ve been thinking about these past couple of years,” Rosé says over Zoom, joined by her dog, Hank (who spends most of the interview snoozing next to her). “It sounded like if you would have dinner with me, have a conversation with me. It’s something I would passionately talk about and question.”

From the pressure of fan expectations to the occasionally frustrating process of finding her sound, Rosé says stepping out on her own wasn’t easy. But she wasn’t totally alone — she credits her bandmates with encouraging her to pull the trigger on her solo music and holding her hand along the way. And any worries she had about how the music might be received were quickly assuaged: “On the Ground” topped both Billboard’s Global 200 and Global 200 Excl. U.S. charts and reached No. 70 on the Hot 100.

Below, she tells Billboard about learning to get vulnerable in her music, how she fell in love with the guitar and what it’s like discovering she has a fan in Britney Spears.

Now that the project has been out for a few weeks, have you been able to process the experience?

I think I’m finally getting used to the fact that it’s out there. At first when it came out, I was very unsure of how I should be feeling. I didn’t see that coming. I thought I had it all planned out like how I do everything with my work, but I don’t think I had my feelings planned out. So when the time came, I was like, “Oh my gosh! What do I do?” I guess the right thing is to celebrate all the work I’d put into it, all the preparation, and leave it up to my fans to react and see what happens.

I hope you did celebrate!

I wasn’t prepared to, but my family surprised me. I was like, “This feels like my birthday!” Which, basically — my song came out, so it’s the birthday of my solo debut.

Why were you unsure of what to feel? Because the material was so personal?

It was a lot of things. I know that my fans have been anticipating my solo and waiting and asking for it. So the pressure was high. On top of that, these songs are a lot like me, I would say. It was just being nervous about how people will react to something that was a different approach from what we would normally do for Blackpink.



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