More Than Idols, TWICE is ONCE’s Best Friend: “We hope to continue to live happily, just like we did back then”

With YOU-th

The best thing we ever did? Is that we found TWICE. Drawing closer to a decade of memories, TWICE and ONCE’s bond has become stronger than ever.

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Nine seasons of growth: TWICE, once ordinary girls, now idols whom millions of people get strength from; idols who touch millions with their performances and melodies, through eyes and ears. They are still going strong, with no sign of stopping from showcasing their undimmed talents and love, especially for ONCEs (fandom name). NAYEON, JEONGYEON, MOMO, SANA, JIHYO, MINA, DAHYUN, CHAEYOUNG, and TZUYU are ready to open another glittering chapter of their journey as they commemorate a decade of being together next year.


For 9 years, TWICE has worked hard to put out quality albums. Every album release brings its own hurdles. NAYEON shares, “There were challenging times when preparing for this album, from shooting the music video to recording songs. But I worked hard, thinking of ONCEs who are looking forward to our new album.” JIHYO, the group’s leader, agrees, saying that for her, it seems like there are no smooth parts every time they prepare for a new release. “Since it’s a new album, there’s a lot to think about and organize.”


The group always tries to knit their priceless relationship with ONCEs into their releases, as evident in their recent records, Formula of Love: O+T=<3 and Between 1&2. And this continues to be woven through With YOU-th, with the tracks I GOT YOU, One Spark, RUSH, New New, BLOOM, and You Get Me. CHAEYOUNG credits their fans’ unwavering encouragement as the driving force behind it all. Her voice carries a touch of heartfelt gratitude when she continues, “That’s why I always think it’s essential to include ONCEs in our minds when we create albums.”

“This album is about the theme of youth, and while ONCEs already know how close we are, we wanted to convey the message and express how strong our bond is,” JEONGYEON voices, who also once said before: “When ONCE says, ‘TWICE was in my youth days,’ I feel very happy and satisfied.”


The I GOT YOU music video opens with a chilling scene: MINA looks out through the window, and what she sees is the furious ocean, its towering waves with the raging storm. But a shift occurs. She turns around and smiles. That glance transforms into a beacon of hope as she gleefully looks at her fellow members. A strong message is delivered in that silence: in the face of fear and uncertainty, their sisterhood acts as an unwavering anchor, reassuring them that they will always be able to weather any storm together. 

The pinky promise and red strings of fate in the music video are testaments to TWICE’s inseparable bond. And because of the presence of the nine members and “you,” they continue to sail, even through reckless moments, looking in the same direction to get past these obstacles. 


“It feels reassuring not to be alone,” confides DAHYUN, “and whether it’s moments of joy or difficulty, knowing that everyone feels the same thing and can empathize with me feels comforting.” JIHYO then echoes her sentiments, saying that rather than making efforts, maintaining a good relationship between each other comes naturally because they know each other’s strengths and weaknesses. She adds, “It seems that having a friendly relationship always contributes significantly to a sense of unity and teamwork, more so than any specific reasons.”

More than just ONCEs’ support, DAHYUN reveals that working together as a group of nine also makes their work more enjoyable and fulfilling. A testament to their solid relationship? “There are times when we understand each other without even having to say anything because we’ve spent so much time together,” she says.


The girls still vividly remember the memories they have had from their early years. For them, it’s the shared experiences that shine brightest, hoping to “continue working hard and living happily, just like we did back then,” as MOMO says.

Bubbly anthems have somehow become their trademark, but their ambition goes beyond it. The members have always been ready to explore new sounds. “Many people have mentioned that seeing TWICE perform bright songs gives them energy,” SANA tells NYLON Manila. Rather than letting her intense training back during her trainee days “go to waste,” SANA knew she couldn’t let them become remains of the past. 


She confesses, “I had a strong desire to show a variety of concepts in terms of stage presence, choreography, and music genres, so I appealed to the company.” From releasing cute and cheerful tunes to expanding their spectrum to include more powerful tracks and intense choreography, SANA believes that this shift in their concepts has helped them enhance their stage presence over time.

“We discuss and consult with the company and members, putting effort into showcasing new aspects of TWICE that haven’t been revealed before,” adds DAHYUN.


The seemingly never-ending cheers and encouragement from their fans become the wind beneath TWICE’s wings. “Our appreciation towards fans who make it possible for us to enjoy our work is the same now and then,” SANA expresses.

And for her, seeing joy on their fans’ faces is the most important thing above all else. “I’m more excited about the fans’ reactions than worrying about anything else,” says SANA. A sentiment that she witnesses in her fellow members’ eyes, too.


Everyone has seen how TWICE has grown as artists, and through years of growth, they have developed a resilient approach to negativity. “We don’t pay much attention to it,” MOMO shares. “I believe if ONCEs gain strength from us… That’s all that matters.” With each passing year, a deeper connection unfolds between TWICE and their fans. It’s another thing ONCEs love most about the group: their honest, authentic selves.

Looking back on the past, JEONGYEON recalls, “In the early days of our debut, our schedules were so hectic that we once performed on stage with incomplete preparations,” adding that she felt like she wasn’t being professional enough because of those instances back then. However, with experience, she realized: “As humans, we are allowed to make mistakes.”


“From that point on, I stopped dwelling too much on those aspects,” JEONGYEON admits. “Even if we make mistakes, ONCEs always find it cute and love us even more, which makes me feel more relatable.” 

Instead of feeling the weight of being in the spotlight, DAHYUN embraces it as an opportunity for growth. “Receiving that much attention means people are interested in us,” she says, “so instead of feeling burdened, we strive to show a better side.”


TWICE’s past is packed with a plethora of historical moments and achievements, and the future promises more of the same, or perhaps even more. Though it might not exactly be the same, the biggest difference is: their first years were defined by tireless effort to share their music to a larger audience. But now, millions of people are listening to their songs, hundreds of thousands of people are lining up to see them perform live on stage — a full circle moment the girls would absolutely reflect and be proud of for the rest of their lives. 


Now, their focus is to give back to people who love them and hold them dear, near and far. “When we debuted, we worked hard to promote the team,” SANA says. “Our focus now is performing to those who love and support us, like our ONCEs.”

Fans seem to find that spark and charm in such genuine connections, and TZUYU believes that this is what ONCEs see: the strong bond among the members: “The close relationship between our members, as well as our friendly and comfortable interactions with fans, has created an atmosphere where ONCEs feel like friends.” But behind this celebrated fame is TWICE’s artistry that needs not to go unnoticed. The members have consistently demonstrated their multifaceted talents, dazzling stage presence, performance, and personalities, among others — factors that also contributed significantly to the band’s current popularity. 


And one of these is their involvement in the creative process of their music. The nine-piece group has songwriting credits under their name, and for this particular album, CHAEYOUNG, JEONGYEON, and DAHYUN penned RUSH, BLOOM, and You Get Me, respectively, showing the band’s commitment to participate in the creative process and add their own flavor to their music.


It was in 2019 when TWICE took their first steps onto the Philippine stage, captivating a crowd of around 10,000 at the Mall of Asia Arena during TWICELIGHTS tour. Four years later, they returned, not to one, but two sold-out shows at the massive Philippine Arena as part of their 5th world tour aptly titled READY TO BE.


While CHAEYOUNG’s absence at the shows was certainly felt, the deafening cheers that erupted whenever she appeared on screen before the show started, or whenever her lines in the songs were heard, were a powerful testament to the fans’ support despite her not being on stage. Just as ONCEs hope for TWICE to come back to the Philippines as nine members, TWICE also shares the same wish: to return completely next time. “I felt really sorry for the ONCEs in the Philippines because we couldn’t be together,” echoes CHAEYOUNG, saying reassuringly, “I hope we can be together next time.”

The band has been touring around the world and added even more“firsts” to their resume, including being the first K-pop girl group to perform sold-out stages at massive stadiums like SoFi and MetLife in the United States, Jakarta International Stadium, Foro Sol in Mexico, and Allianz Parque Stadium in Brazil, among others. Soon, TWICE is set to make history as the first K-pop girl group to hold a concert at the Nissan Stadium in Japan, accommodating 75,000 fans.

Though some would think that the girls are fed up whenever they perform the same songs over and over again, TWICE sees it differently: “The setlist and stage may be the same, but because the ONCEs in the audience are different each time, we always approach the performance with a fresh mindset,” MINA explains. “Watching ONCEs enjoying the show provides a new feeling each time.”

For MINA, she tends to get nervous on the first day of the concert and won’t have much time to even think about it. She shares that they are having lighthearted conversations right up to the moment before the performance, flipping that nervousness into fun. “It seems like we approach the shows with a relaxed mindset, aiming to enjoy the performance,” she adds.


The mere thought of solo concerts and meeting international ONCEs is thrilling, but personally witnessing their love from these incredible stages, bigger than we ever dared to imagine, is heartwarming. “This time, performing in truly massive venues that we could never have imagined makes my heart swell,” says DAHYUN.

While meeting fans and touring reifies their success, NAYEON acknowledges the flip side: a heightened sense of responsibility that comes with the immense attention they’re receiving: “Realizing the influence and the ability to impact others, I find myself thinking more and being more cautious in various aspects.”


2024 marks their 9th year as TWICE, a step closer to a decade full of memories. They’re eager to commemorate the day, October 20th, with their fans, usually through the traditional fan meeting. “Bringing happiness to our fans, ONCEs, in return is something that makes us really happy,” says TZUYU.


If TWICE could leave a lasting mark, TZUYU hopes that it’s a source of “healing” and “hope.” Everyone goes through tough times in their lives, and the girls want to serve as a comforting light during those times. “When we perform on stage, we want to help make those difficult moments a little easier for people,” says TZUYU. “We hope to be a source of comfort, sharing and understanding the pain.”

Photos courtesy of JYP Entertainment

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