Interview with LEGGO: From the Beginning

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EXID debuted on February 16, 2012. The next years were filled with ups and downs, happiness and heartaches. Most of us know their story, but only a rare few experienced it all with them. Today we share the story of a LEGGO who has stanned EXID since the very first day. We’ve asked @hy9jin (whose username has since changed) on Twitter to share her story.

The Beginning

In 2011, Hy9jin started listening to old kpop songs from groups like O-24. She would listen occasionally, but it wasn’t until EXID debuted in 2012 that she really got into the genre.

Interviewer: Let’s start at the beginning. Did you listen to kpop before EXID?

Hy9jin: Kind of? I listened to some occasional songs back in 2011 from older groups like o-24 but never actually got into it until EXID debuted.

YouTube recommended EXID’s “Whoz That Girl” to her on the very same day it came out! On February 16, 2012, Hy9jin discovered her new favorite group. Their sound was similar to others that she had heard, but there was a different vibe to it that she really liked.

Interviewer: When did you first hear about EXID?

Hy9jin: Youtube, Whoz that girl came up as a reccommended song the first day it came out while i was watching a compilation of older kpop songs.

Hy9jin: To me back then, while i thought it sounded similar to some other songs i heard then, I also thought and still think that it had it’s own unique vibe

Hy9jin was an instant fan!

Interviewer: After Whoz That Girl, were you an instant fan or more of the gradual type?

Hy9jin: Definitely an instant fan! […]

The Restructuring

Soon afterwards, in April 2012, there was a lineup change. The three members Yuji, Dami, and Haeryeong left the group. Solji and Hyelin replaced them. For an existing fan, this was tough, but Hy9jin decided to stick around after hearing their voices.

Hy9jin: […] Back then Dami really got me whipped for her and even i got quite sad once i learned she alongside Yudi and Haeryung left the group which kind of killed the mood for listening their songs but once I heard Hyelin and Solji i decided to actually stick around because their voices really had something in them.

The Early Years

The next couple of years were both happy and worrisome. There was happiness with the new content, but there was worry because of the hiatus and unpopularity.

Interviewer: What was it like the next couple of years before they found popularity?

Hy9jin: It was really mixed feelings all along the way.

Hy9jin: One it was happiness due to the two new members, new content and songs but then it wasn’t so happpy anymore when the news of the girls hiatus and possible disbandment came around.

Hy9jin: It was a very rocky road.

The hiatus isn’t something that’s talked about often. A quick look at their discography shows the gaps of activity. Hy9jin told us more about that time.

Hy9jin: During 2013, we got EXID on social media (twitter) so people weren’t that worried due to still getting EXID content.

Hy9jin: Yes Dasoni released goodbye at the start [of 2013]

Hy9jin: But as a group we didn’t get much aside from sns updates

We also asked about the disbandment rumors. Looking back, we fans know there was that possibility, but what was it like at the time?

Hy9jin: It was really mixed, in some places you could’ve seen people worried about no more exid music especially that they were still a young group and in other places there were people simply happy that they got to know exid and listen to their songs during their existing career and they didn’t really think about it just enjoyed their content.

Hy9jin: Looking back and trying to remember what I saw briefly on youtube twitter etc the group that had the larger focus was definitely the second group of people, people that were excited about the content we’ve already gotten

The 2014 Chart Reversal

Up and Down was released in August 2014, but it wasn’t popular enough. Pharkil’s famous fancam, the one that brought EXID their fame, was in October. By December 24th, the term “chart reversal” was coined, and EXID became popular.

Interviewer: And then in August 2014, Up and Down was released! 🎉

Interviewer: The Pharkil fancam was in October.

Hy9jin: and december 24th was when EXID boosted overnight.

Interviewer: Ah, so the fancam took a minute to pick up?

Hy9jin: Yes, it did take a while for the fancam to sike interest up although

Hy9jin: Social Media wise (twitter etc!) [December 24th] was when it mostly seemed to reach everyone.

Hy9jin: Before it started spiking the interest it had during december, in mid november it had already over 5 million views!

We just had to know what it was like as a fan at that time!

Interviewer: What were your first thoughts when you realized what was going on?

Hy9jin: It was actually quite confusing but pleasant. It was confusing because i just wanted to listen to Up&Down but there was much more views and comments than the day prior to when i watched it.

Hy9jin: It was pleasant back then as it seemed that more people finally found out who EXID were

The Best Years!

After the chart reversals, EXID enjoyed some much-deserved popularity. Hy9jin says 2015 and 2016 were the best years for them!

Hy9jin: I’d say 2015+2016 were the best years for EXID

Hy9jin: For me exciting was the release of Hot Pink. The concept the stages 😬

Hy9jin: Even though it was a single it was definitely my favourite era due to the concept, the wait for it was so !! exciting.

Interviewer: Yea, those teasers!😍

Hy9jin: best exid teasers ever !

The Missing Solji

In December 2016, it was announced that Solji has hyperthyroidism. She would be taking a break from their promotions so that she could be treated.

Interviewer: And then December 2016 happened. Were there any clues leading up to that that something was wrong?

Hy9jin: Hmm kind of? Most clues were just fans noticing solji was more tired sometimes her eyes seemed swollen and that really was it? Noone exactly expected announcement of soljis hiatus

Interviewer: How did you feel when the news dropped?

Hy9jin: Definitely sad and weird.. We all got used to seeing EXID as five it was really weird. A lot of people wondered what will happen now? When will soulg comeback? and we really didn’t know when will everything go back to normal.

EXID continued as 4 members. Their next EP was Eclipse, with the title track “Night Rather Than Day”.

Interviewer: And when they continued as 4 after that?

Hy9jin: It was also sad. It was like a piece of a puzzle you love was missing.

Hy9jin: It was also a big chaos of emotions as a lot of rumors were created that solji is going to leave exid. I’d say everyone had faith in her that she won’t but there was definitely a part everyone had in them that was anxious about it..

Hy9jin: At first it was hard to enjoy it knowing one member was missing but after a while i kind of grew and wasn’t particularly sad about solji missing from those songs although i always wanted an ot5 versions of the comebacks that were made during soljis absence.

Fans were worried about Solji, as Hy9jin recounts. Eight months after her hiatus started, Solji made an appearance that comforted fans.

Interviewer: After 8 months, she made a surprise appearance in Seoul. What was that like?

Hy9jin: It felt amazing, it felt really nice to see her then. It reassured fans back then that Solji is most definitely not leaving EXID and theres nothing to be scared off.

Hy9jin: It was also really interesting because we got to see solji again after a while, we finally saw how she was doing during her hiatus

The Return of Solji

Solji returned to us in July 2018 as a contestant on King of Masked Singer. While she wore a mask, many fans recognized her voice and were excited! We asked Hy9jin what that was like as a long-time fan.

Hy9jin: It meant happiness because god.. exid have been my favourite band since their debut and all these ups and downs they went through, It always felt like they were nearing the end or they may loose a member. So when the interest went into solji returning i can never explain the feeling because… as most groups exid had a contract for 7 years so when solji went on hiatus it felt like when she’ll finally be able to return there might not be enough time for it

Hy9jin: So when we learned about solji returning in 2018 it really was something wow because that meant there still was – maybe not much but there still was some time for exid to comeback as five

The Last Hiatus

EXID’s contract with Banana ended at the end of May 2019. As a fan who has known them since the debut, we feel that Hy9jin is an expert on what to expect from them.

Interviewer: You’ve known them for 8 years now.

Hy9jin: Yes.. 8 years and still counting!

Interviewer: Do you have any worries about the current hiatus? Do you think they’ll come back as five?

Hy9jin: Sometimes i guess there are small worries about what if they end up not coming back? But i guess that’s something natural.

Hy9jin: I believe in their words because there wasnt a time where they failed us and simply just looking at them and their bond. I doubt they would want to leave all this behind

Hy9jin: There was many times they promised us something and kept the promise

Hy9jin: And i believe its like that in this case also, especially now with the japanese comeback,

Hy9jin: its definitely going to be harder but i believe sooner or later we’ll be able to see them as five with a korean comeback

The Fan

Thank you, hy9jin for taking the time to share your story! For those who are interested, the full transcript is available for download (here).

We asked Hy9jin for some final words:

Interviewer: So this being a fan, you’ve been a good fan for so long! What is it about them that makes it so easy to like them?

Hy9jin: Hmm its hard speaking out on this due to everyones opinions being different but personally i think it’s their bond! Their bond is definitely one of the bests and that also really pushes you towards them. You can see how easily they care for eachother, how easily they feel comfortable around eachother

Hy9jin: its nice stanning a group with a bond like exids.

Interviewer: Has stanning them and being a LEGGO impacted your own life?

Hy9jin: Yes! It may seem quite odd but !! their songs, and their advice helped me get through some of my saddest times!

Interviewer: Before I put all of this together, is there anything else you’d like to share with LEGGO?

Hy9jin: I think mostly that it doesn’t matter how long you’ve known EXID for. Whether it is 8 years, 2 years or even 2 weeks — as long as you love EXID and support them as a group and solo its okay because that is what matters the most not how long you’ve known them for!

Hy9jin: Just enjoy your time as a leggo!

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