FIFTY FIFTY on Going Viral With ‘Cupid,’ U.S. Success and Their K-Pop Idols
Until now, global success for K-pop acts has mostly come through massive conglomerates like YG Entertainment and HYBE. That all changed when indie label Attrakt (stylized as ATTRAKT) rolled out an innovative campaign for their nascent girl group Fifty Fifty (stylized FIFTY FIFTY) centered on highlighting the members’ individual talents and reaching as many fans as possible by releasing multiple versions of their new single “Cupid.”
An English language version of the song — dubbed the “Twin Version” — went nuclear on TikTok and Fifty Fifty found themselves with a global hit. This week, “Cupid” surges to No. 19 on the Billboard Hot 100, making them only the second K-pop girl group to crack the top 20 after Blackpink.
More from Variety
With “Cupid” making a historic chart run, Fifty Fifty’s members are still coming to terms with their meteoric success. Saena, Aran, Sio and Keena kindly agreed to answer some questions about how their runaway smash has changed their lives, the promotion circuit and the K-pop groups they look up to.
How do you feel about “Cupid” being a massive international success?
Saena: I am grateful to all those who love our music and prove that music can bring us together, regardless of our different thoughts, feelings, and cultures. However, this is merely the start, and we will try our best to keep improving and bring you exceptional music.
Aran: We’re thrilled and so grateful that the results have exceeded our expectations! We’ll leave no stone unturned in ensuring the group lives up to everyone’s expectations and keeps on exceeding them.
Sio: We can’t thank you enough for your love and support for our music! We’ll stay focused on making more great tunes for all our fans out there.
Keena: We were blown away and so grateful when we heard that so many of you had listened to our song! To be honest, it was overwhelming and hard to believe that all this was happening. That’s why we owe it all to our fans, and we’re committed to creating even better music to give back the love we’ve received.
Have your lives changed since “Cupid” was released?
Saena: Honestly, it’s still sinking in for me because so many people have been showing us love and wanting to know more about us. I feel like I’m getting used to this new reality, and I’m incredibly grateful for all the chances to practice and engage in different promotional activities. Of course, there’s a lot on my mind, but no matter what, I’m determined to keep pushing ahead.
Aran: What stood out to me at first was how the people around us responded. They were genuinely proud of us for making meaningful progress, and that brought a big smile to my face.
Sio: While I don’t think it’s made a massive difference at this point, it’s still heartening to know that my family and friends are proud of me and happy for me.
Keena: I think I’ve become more responsible lately, and I’ve made a promise to myself to create even more heartfelt and high-quality music for all our amazing HUNNIES who’ve shown us so much love and support with “Cupid.”
Which K-pop groups do you look up to?
Saena: I really admire K-pop groups in general, but Blackpink holds a special place in my heart. The way each member shines on their own and as a team is just incredible. We dream of creating our own unique vibe like Blackpink and hope to make a mark in the K-pop scene someday.
Aran: It’s hard to pick just one, but Girls’ Generation stands out to me because of the incredible passion and love they convey on stage.
Sio: Thanks to my parents, I was exposed to 2NE1’s music from a young age, and I’ve been a fan ever since. Their distinct style is what drew me to them.
Keena: Although it’s tough to choose just one, Red Velvet is the first K-pop group that comes to mind for me. Their performance videos were a huge help to me when I was preparing for my end-of-month evaluation as a trainee.
What did you think when “Twin Version” went viral around the world?
Aran: To be honest, I never expected the twin version to blow up like this! But in hindsight, I think it was a smart move to record the twin version, given the diverse range of languages out there.
Sio: When we were working on the twin version, our main goal was to make the message of “Cupid” more understandable for as many folks as we could. And we’re happy to say that our strategy worked like a charm!
Are you excited to perform and promote the song in the U.S.?
Saena: It’s such a thrill! As soon as we get the chance, we’re eager to meet our fans and bring our music to life in front of them.
Aran: Absolutely! Knowing that our music and shows are resonating with so many people is what keeps us going.
Sio: We’re super excited to have the opportunity to meet our fans in the U.S. and share our songs with them in person. Meeting fans and promoting Fifty Fifty wherever there are people who love our music is something we can’t wait to do!
Best of Variety
Tony Predictions: Best Musical -- Four Stand Poised to Give ‘Kimberly Akimbo’ Some Competition
This 'Fast and Furious' Arcade Cabinet Allows You to Step Behind the Wheel as Dom Toretto
From 'The Shards' to 'Daisy Jones & The Six': Books Made Into Movies and TV Series That You Should Read
Sign up for Variety’s Newsletter. For the latest news, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.