LE SSERAFIM‘s Sakura has debuted several times in both the J-Pop and K-Pop industries. Prior to joining her current group, she was one of the top members of HKT48 and AKB48. She was also the second place winner of Mnet‘s survival program, Produce 48, and thus a member of the wildly popular group, IZ*ONE.
This temporary group disbanded in 2021 after two and a half years together. The twelve members went their separate ways, with some debuting solo or in a group. Sakura was one of the few who was able to re-debut with another IZ*ONE member, Chaewon.
In an interview with Weverse Magazine, she discussed their relationship in greater detail. In one question, the interviewer asked, “What did you and Chaewon talk about while practicing with your new group? Even though you were in IZ*ONE together, too, some things must have been new to you since it’s in a different environment.”
According to Sakura, the main difference between their dynamics in IZ*ONE versus LE SSERAFIM was their increased openness with each other. Gone were the days when they used to be awkward with each other—they’re now close friends.
Sakura: Chaewon and I never really used to tell each other about the difficulties we were facing, but now we’re so comfortable that we can talk more and more about any difficulties or concerns we have even when we’re in front of the other members.
Chaewon: There were a lot of members, plus we didn’t have a lot of time together. It was amazing the way I got to know Kkura better only after coming here. I never could have imagined I would be working with her again. Life throws you curveballs. We both said we made the right choice and wished each other luck. We’re so close now that I can’t understand why we were never close back then.
When they were still in IZ*ONE, they were able to rely on leader Eunbi who was older than Sakura by three years, as well as other members of the “unnie line” such as Hyewon, Yena, and Chaeyeon. Now, however, Sakura and Chaewon both have to step up as the oldest members of LE SSERAFIM.
There were several other older members and even a leader when we worked together last time, so I never saw her talk about practice. But we’re the oldest ones in LE SSERAFIM so we have to guide the younger members.
They also grew individually. Chaewon, for instance, learned to speak up and take a stand when interacting with the younger members.
Chaewon is so different now…I was still really surprised to hear something like, ‘This part isn’t working, so let’s practice it more,’ coming from her, though, and I thought she was really cool when she said that.
Above all, Sakura was just happy that they were able to stay together after IZ*ONE’s disbandment.
We didn’t talk much when we were getting ready for the debut, either, but we could understand each other with just a look. I told her there’s no way I ever could have come this far without her, and she said she felt the same way, which made me feel grateful.
Learn more about Sakura’s thoughts on LE SSERAFIM, the K-Pop industry, and more below.