If you aren’t into Thai pop yet, let girl group PRETZELLE introduce you to this vibrant and thriving genre.
Related: 5 P-Pop Groups Worth Stanning
When you think of Asian pop, the mind usually goes to K-pop or J-pop. But the region is also home to diverse sub-categories of the genre, such as in the Southeast Asian region. P-pop has been having its golden moment over the past couple of years, and that looks to continue moving forward. Another country that also has a healthy pop scene is Thailand with T-pop. You don’t need to look far to see the Thais have pop talent, and one group that has been making a name for themselves as of late is PRETZELLE.
GETTING US IN TWISTS
The Thai girl group, whose name is indeed based on the pastry, is a quartet under 54 Entertainment composed of members INC, ICE, AUMAIM, and GRACE. They made their debut in May 2020 with the appropriately titled debut album PRETZELLE DAY. Since then, the group has scored a series of hits, grown their fandom (fondly called Twist), appeared on high-profile shows, and even been featured on the OST for a Thai TV drama called Love Revolution on PPTV and a Korean animation called Teteru on KBS1. Already, PRETZELLE has been played over 85 million times across all platforms, and are hoping 2023 is the year they bring pretzellemania and T-pop to the international stage.
To that end, they start the year with the release of their new single called U R Mine. The catchy love song sees the members be fiercely devoted to a romantic partner and not wanting to accept any “different opinions” or competition for their affection. All the members participated in writing the entire song, but also added that global touch with the track being mixed by Shin BongWon who has worked on, among other things, Ditto by NewJeans. It all makes for a song that represents their growth from their previously introspective style as they embrace their more confident and assertive sides while still maintaining their signature charm.
NYLON Manila had the chance to speak with PRETZELLE about their new music, hopes for the global stage, their favorite pretzels, and more. Get to know the members and dip your toes into the world of T-pop by reading the full interview below.
Could you describe the meaning behind the group’s name, PRETZELLE?
INC: For us, the name PRETZELLE represents the idea of spreading joy and positivity through our music and energy. It’s like an infinity symbol, symbolizing our goal of sharing an endless amount of happiness with our audience through our songs.
How would you describe T-pop for people who are unfamiliar with the genre?
AUM: Thai songs are known for their relatable lyrics and contemporary themes, such as our song U R Mine, which expresses the idea of self-confidence and being sure of one’s feelings in a relationship. The Thai title of the song, “Not taking second opinions,” is a phrase commonly used by Thai people to express their admiration and devotion to their idols. By listening to a variety of Thai songs, you will get a sense of what is popular in Thailand at the moment.
Additionally, the Thai language is tonal, with a melodic quality to it, which gives Thai music a distinct and unique sound that sets it apart from other languages.
How would you describe PRETZELLE’s style of music?
GRACE: PRETZELLE’s music is a combination of pop and other styles, with an energetic sound and lyrics that focus on love from the perspective of the four members of the group. If you’re a fan of PRETZELLE’s music, you’ll easily be able to recognize our new songs as soon as you hear them.
INC: It’s pop music that has a unique style. once you listen to our songs, you’ll be able to easily recognize the distinct sound that sets us apart.
ICE: PRETZELLE’s music is a blend of various styles and emotions. Our songs range from upbeat and lively to reflective and melancholic, providing a soundtrack for all different moods and moments in life. We aim to be a friend through our music, providing a source of support and companionship in any situation.
What was the experience like getting to write the lyrics of U R Mine?
AUM: Our producer sent us the beats and melody for the song, and from there, we came up with the theme of “no more second opinions,” which resonated with us as a group. It’s a phrase that relates to our own experiences as young women and also makes for a catchy phrase in Thai. We put a lot of effort into writing the lyrics and were thrilled when our producer approved them.
GRACE: I was thrilled to have the opportunity to write my own rap section for the song. I worked closely with the main lyrics that Aumaim had already developed, carefully selecting words and themes that felt true to my own personal experience. I’m so excited to see my ideas come to life in the final product.
ICE: Working together on the lyrics for our song was a really enjoyable experience for us. We felt comfortable sharing our ideas and opinions with each other, which helped us to better connect with the song and capture the emotions we wanted to convey.
In just a couple of years, you guys have received strong support from the public. How does it feel to receive all this attention?
INC: We appreciate all the support that our fans have given us. Thank you for recognizing our hard work, and we promise to continue bringing new and exciting music to our listeners.
GRACE: We still have a lot of potential and room for improvement. We are extremely grateful for all the love and support our fans have shown us.
What do you think it is about PRETZELLE that helps you stand out from the other girl groups on the scene?
GRACE: We have a distinct sound and style that sets us apart from other artists. Our approach to music is unique, and it’s what gives us our own image and identity.
AUM: Our music is upbeat and lively, but our music videos have a mysterious and intriguing vibe. We are also very quirky and playful.
Why do you think the world is ready for T-pop?
GRACE: I think there are many talented artists in Thailand. Over the past two years, I’ve had the opportunity to work with and meet other artists in the Thai music industry. I’ve seen firsthand that everyone has a high level of skill and produces great work that is worthy of being shared on a global stage. I am confident that if more people were exposed to T-pop, they would fall in love with it, too.
ICE: I believe that Thai culture and language are inherently playful, which allows for a unique and fun approach in T-pop music. With the ability to blend multiple languages, T-pop songs have a distinct and enjoyable sound that sets them apart from other genres.
What are the group’s New Years resolutions for 2023?
GRACE: We want to create high-quality music that showcases our unique style and personalities. We are constantly working to improve and evolve as artists so that our fans can continue to enjoy fresh and exciting content from us.
INC: We will make many songs and give happiness to our Twist.
If people want to get into PRETZELLE, which song/s of yours do you think they should check out?
GRACE: I believe that Never Give Up represents us well as a group. It showcases our unique style and sound, and if you enjoy this song, you’ll likely enjoy the rest of our music as well.
AUM: I would say U R Mine because it’s our latest release, and it showcases our growth as a group. It also has a special significance for us as it’s a song we wrote ourselves.
INC: I would recommend First Love as it’s the song that really put us on the map. It’s a great introduction to our music, and it’s still a fan favorite to this day. I think it’s a good song as well.
ICE: I totally agree with Inc! First Love is such a sweet and special song for us. It’s the one that really put us on the map and made people fall in love with our music. The lyrics are so genuine and relatable, it’s a song that will always have a special place in our hearts.
What’s your favorite kind of pretzel?
INC: I prefer my pretzels with a sprinkle of salt. It’s the original flavor, and I don’t like things that are too sweet.
GRACE: I’m a chocolate lover, so for me, it’s pretzels with chocolate drizzle. It adds a sweet touch to the salty pretzel.
ICE: I also love chocolate on my pretzels, it’s a perfect balance of sweet and savory. Plus, chocolate always puts me in a good mood.
AUM: I like my pretzels with just a simple sprinkle of salt. It’s easy to eat and doesn’t make a mess.