Photos by Kath Ramirez
It’s more common to see three-leaf clovers, so the sight of a four-leaf clover is surprisingly pleasant. This is why there’s a popular superstition that says that good luck will come your way when you spot and pick up a four-leaf clover.
P-Pop girl group Clover is out to channel that luck (added to their hard work) on their career and, hopefully, on the Philippine music industry. Composed of Jade (leader, main dancer), Yuni (main vocal), Mia (main rapper, visual), and LA (youngest, rapper), the four members trained under Korean company KP Entertainment and will make their debut on March 20 with the single “Kumakabog-Kabog (Pounding Heart).”
KStreetManila sat down with Clover in an exclusive interview, and we asked them about debut preparations, their goals, and their fans!
From Ordinary Girls to Trainees
Their journey started when KP Entertainment released a call for auditions for a girl group. Though they went through almost the same process, their motivations back then were different.
LA was one of the first auditionees, though she initially came to KP Entertainment to support a friend. “Wala sa plano ko mag-audition,” she admitted.
(Translation: I had no plans of auditioning.) She was curious about the dynamics of a Korean entertainment company in the Philippines and joined her friend only when the auditions were approaching.
Jade and Mia came from a different Korean entertainment company stationed in the Philippines. When the company closed down, the two decided to continue their dreams of becoming idols and applied at KP Entertainment.
Yuni was the last member to be added to the group, although the members admitted she boasts the most experience out of everyone else. She was a mainstay at local K-Pop events, sometimes as a solo singer and other times as half of a K-Pop cover duo with her brother.
“Actually, [I auditioned] as a rapper at first,” Yuni admitted with a laugh. But now, she’s the group’s main vocal.
The Road to Debut
The quartet was completed around late November 2019, giving them only a few months to prepare for debut. Aside from singing and dance practice, they also had to work on styling themselves and practicing their expressions on camera.
“Medyo mabilis ‘yung mga pangyayari,” LA shared. “But at the same time, nakaka-catch up naman kami.”
(Translation: Everything was happening quickly, but at the same time, we’re able to catch up.)
“Dahil na rin yun sa tulong ng mga producer. Tinulungan nila kami, lalo na ‘yung pagkanta ng songs,” said Mia.
(Translation: It’s because of the support of the producers. They helped us, especially with singing the songs.)
Another challenging part of being a trainee of a Korean company was adjusting to Korean culture. Mia mentioned that the concept of self-improvement, when K-Pop trainees work on their own after a grueling day of practice, was difficult for her.
“Pero ang mas nakakatuwa doon kasi, madami kami, so pag nahirapan kami sa isang lesson, tulung-tulong kami,” she said.
(Translation: The funny part is, there are four of us, so we help each other out when we struggle with a lesson.)
For LA, improving her time management skills is the challenging part. “Bukod sa training, meron kaming pamilya. Ako naman may schoolwork, tapos malayo pa ‘yung eskwelahan, so ‘yung travel time.”
(Translation: Aside from training, we have to spend time with our families. I have schoolwork, and I have to consider the travel time from my school to the company.)
Jade also had to adjust to her role as a leader. “Hindi … mabigat [ang pagiging] leader, pero ang daming responsibilidad. Hindi ako ganoon katapang before, so kailangan tapangan ko para sa kanila.”
(Translation: Being a leader isn’t a heavy duty, but I have many responsibilities. I wasn’t tough before, but now I have to be tough for the members.)
The girls feel the hard work paying off, as they’ll be releasing their debut song soon.
“Sa debut single namin … ‘yung song ‘yung parang feeling mo pag nakikita mo ‘yung crush mo. Andun na mismo sa kanta ‘yung nararamdaman mo,” Jade said.
(Translation: Our debut single describes the feeling of seeing your crush. The song already includes everything you’ll feel.)
“Tsaka doon sa debut single namin, doon makikita ng tao ‘yung kanya-kanyang flavor or charm,” added Yuni. “May kakaiba siyang charm na kailangan abangan ng mga tao. Siya rin kung maka-catch lagi yung mga tao. Mae-LSS sila.”
(Translation: In our debut single, people will see our individual flavors or charms. The song also has a charm that people should anticipate. It’s also catchy and will cause LSS.)
Showcasing Different Charms
The group decided on their name when they were announced as part of the final line-up of KP Entertainment’s first girl group. Aside from symbolizing luck, they named themselves Clover so that each member represents different charms: love for Jade; faith for Mia; lucky for Yuni; and hope for LA.
They said that their versatility is what makes them stand out from other idol groups in the Philippines. “We can be lovely, we can be sexy, we can be cute,” said Mia.
“We can be charismatic,” Yuni added.
“We can be boyish,” LA said.
Clover also mentioned that their fans—called Lucky Charms—are also unique. They admitted being surprised that they’ve already gathered a following even if they haven’t debuted yet.
“Sobrang suporta nila! Andun sila naghihintay talaga para sa release ng song. Although mga vlogs pa lang ang mga nilalabas namin. Hindi rin namin akalain,” said LA.
(Translation: They’re so supportive! They’re already waiting for the release of the song even though we’ve only released vlogs. We didn’t expect it.)
“Sobrang nakaka-motivate talaga,” said Jade.
(Translation: They motivate us.)
Making an Impact on the P-Pop Scene
Clover is emerging in a P-Pop scene that is starting to recognize and appreciate idol groups taking concepts from Japanese pop and Korean pop. Like the groups that came before them, the girls have big dreams for OPM and P-Pop.
“Gusto namin gumawa ng OPM songs na makakanta ng buong mundo, hindi lang dito sa Pilipinas. And mag-establish kami ng opportunities or doors [para sa bagong generation ng idol groups],” said LA.
(Translation: We want to make OPM songs that people around the world can sing to. And to establish opportunities and doors for a new generation of idol groups.)
“Kumbaga, yung K-Pop hindi lang siya sa Korea kilala. Kilala siya worldwide. We want P-Pop din. Kasi kung kaya ng Korea, why not Philippines? We want to set that trend of P-Pop na kinakanta ng mga taga-ibang bansa yung Tagalog words and lyrics,” said Yuni.
(Translation: Korea isn’t just known in Korea. It’s known worldwide, and that’s what we want P-Pop to achieve. If Korea can do it, why not the Philippines? We want to set that trend that people outside the Philippines can sing Tagalog songs and lyrics.)
Mia added that she hoped that their music would lead to fans outside the Philippines learning about the country’s culture.
For Yuni, she wants the group to become an inspiration to at least one fan. “Kasi mas nakaka-overwhelm tsaka mas maging proud tayo na ginawa natin lahat through our hard work as a girl group.”
(Translation: I think it’s more overwhelming that we were able to inspire someone through our hard work as a girl group.)
Baby Steps First
While they have big dreams, Clover wants to prioritize activities after debut. After releasing their debut single, they want to hold fan gatherings, mall shows, and release more music.
As the interview wrapped up, the group relayed messages to current and future Lucky Charms.
“Sa Lucky Charms namin, mahal na mahal namin kayo. Sa nakisama sa amin ngayon at sa magiging Lucky Charms pa, mahal na mahal namin kayo. Salamat sa suporta ninyo. Kayo yung motivation namin, ang inspiration namin,” said Jade.
(Translation: To our Lucky Charms, we love you. To everyoe who became our fans and will be our fans, we love you. Thank you for your support. You’re our motivation and inspiration.)
“Maraming salamat, dahil sa ngayon, although naghihintay, nandyan pa rin kayo. Maraming salamat dahil wala pa man kaming papatunayan, sinusuportahan niyo na kami,” said LA.
(Translation: Thank you for being there even if you’re still waiting. Thank you for supporting us even if we haven’t proved anything yet.”
“We will be bringing everything that we can para ma-satisfy yung mga support na binibigay niyo sa amin, and we will do our best para maging proud kayo,” promised Yuni.
(Translation: We will be bring everything that we can to make up to the support you’re giving us, and we’ll do our best to make it proud.”
Mia’s message is simple: “Sana tumagal tayo. Kapit lang.”
(Translation: I hope we last long. We can do it.)
Congratulations to Clover on their upcoming debut! And thank you so much to the girls and KP Entertainment for accommodating us for an interview.