We Interview Idols: LuciDreaM

While last time we covered a veteran group of the Korean live idol scene, this time around I wanted to showcase a newer addition with a charm all their own. And though they may have formed only recently, this is a group with some serious past experience and a very interesting pedigree. So why not read on and allow Homicidols to introduce you to LuciDreaM, an idol duo formed by a pair of seasoned rock vocalists.

LuciDreaM’s Ria (left) and PPOYO

While some idol fans may know Ria (@Vocalist_RIA) as a former member of “Hear My Voice” -era NEKIRU, she began her musical career as the lead singer and frontwoman with the rock band Red Sonnet, and subsequently retired from idol life to return her focus to band activities (such as her seriously underrated 2021 album “Gravitas“). Her counterpart PPOYO (@PPOYO_official) had also fronted the quirky indie rock group Error-B before beginning activities as a solo idol, with a string of releases to their name. But then something unexpected happened, with both artists joining forces to form the idol unit LuciDreaM, signaling Ria’s return to idol activities in one of the nicer surprises of the year so far. With two experienced songwriters in their ranks, original material followed soon after, with their debut EP in March leading all the way to this week’s release of their second MV “The Remaining Story“, which you can see for yourself right here.

So then, how did this curious combination of events come to pass, and how does the idol lifestyle compare to the rock scene? We figured the best way to find out would be to ask them ourselves, and they were gracious enough to spare some time for us to do just that.

Homicidols: Can you tell me a little about your influences? What inspired you to become an idol?

PPOYO: Originally, I was happy to see idols performing from afar. “I want to become an idol”, I hadn’t thought of that at all. But one day, I noticed a group standing on the same stage where they debuted who were now holding their album release event, and being there at the scene, I felt a rush of emotion as if I was hit in the head.

It looked cool to perform songs like that after a lot of trial and error and hard work, and I wanted to perform on stage with the music that I wanted to do. I wanted to be a person who could impress people the way they did while standing on stage and giving people energy and happiness. I had no idea before watching the show. I decided right after seeing it. The decision was made very quickly!

Ria: Originally, I had decided to quit my idol activities and concentrate on being a band member, but after receiving an offer from PPOYO, I thought deeply about being an idol once again. At first we felt we should do it in a way that didn’t interfere with our other activities, but as time went by, idol activities with PPOYO became really fun and precious, and the affection grew more and more.

What made you decide to form LuciDreaM?

PY: On the day I saw the above-mentioned event and thought I wanted to do it, even though I wasn’t really close with Ria, I suddenly thought of her. I thought it would be fun to perform with her and promote together. Ria’s solo songs were also really to my taste! I contacted her right away on the same day I saw the performance, and although Ria had a lot of concerns, she accepted the offer quickly and LuciDreaM was created.

Ria: As I briefly mentioned earlier, I got an offer from PPOYO.  I wasn’t close with her at the time, but I usually watched her performances, and thought maybe it’d be fun to perform with her on stage one day! And when they contacted me, my original decision to quit everything was shaken. I’m still grateful to PPOYO for that.

Do you prefer to collaborate together or do you work on your own songs individually?

PY: Both our styles are strong, so I prefer individual work! Come to think of it, something funny happened. I tried writing  vocal melodies for a song that Ria composed. The difference in the melody gap was so great that we laughed a lot together. While I usually have cute and bouncy melodies, Ria’s melodies are calm, serious and atmospheric, so it was really fun! In the future, I want to work together sometimes!

Ria: I prefer individual work. It’s not that I don’t have experience collaborating, but if I do it, I prefer to do the basic song form and structure, or I prefer to do the overall sound arrangement according to the structure made by others.

Both members have past experience as rock vocalists, Ria with Red Sonnet (along with her solo work as Re:A) and PPOYO with Error-B. How does the feeling compare with performing as an idol? Is it very different?

PY: Very different! First of all, I found out about the buppan system when I got to know live Idols. If Error-B had the feeling of doing everything alone, it felt like LuciDreaM’s activities were being made together. I think it’s because the system allows you to interact more with the audience and actively push the stage!

Ria: It’s very different. Still, I think each has its own distinct strengths.

LuciDreaM put a lot of work into their MVs for a live idol group. Is the visual element very important to you?

PY: I think visual elements are important, but considering the intention of forming the group, we mainly focused on musicality. Although the musical element is most important, as we are a group that shows our world by performing directly on stage rather than just releasing an album by itself, I think the visual element of the experience should be part of that too. That said, if the music video quality seems to be ambiguous in the future, I think we will boldly give up on the music video launch!

Ria: I think the visual element is almost essential. I think the more things you can show, the better.

There is a lot of co-operation in the live idol scene, with Ria composing and producing for C.LiTZ, among others. It seems like an exciting scene to be a part of.

Ria: Recently I was also in charge of arranging and sound designing tracks 2 and 3 of DEATHDATE‘s first release. I have a lot of interest in composing and arranging, and I also enjoy working with people I like, so I do my best to work.

What has been the most surprising thing to you about being an idol?

PY: The performance site is very hot. And when I look at the exchange culture of performances and cheki that contain such joy and sorrow, I am often touched.

Ria: When I was performing live, the part where the audience put out mix calls was the most surprising at first. It was the first time I knew there was such a culture through idol activities, and I personally thought it was a really good culture because although I was surprised it felt like I was communicating with the audience while I performed.

Photo courtesy of Lunar Stage!! (@LNST_official)

What are LuciDreaM’s plans for the future?

PY: I will be active until I’m 80 years old. I want to do a one-man live, and I want to do a band set live too. There are so many things I want to do! I also want to perform in countries other than Korea.

Ria: As far as I can go, I will continue to make music and continue to perform live. I want to continue making this team called LuciDreaM with PPOYO.

Lastly, do you have a message for LuciDreaM’s fans overseas?

PY: Thank you for liking it. There are still many things I want to do and show you. I’ll do my best!

Ria: I’ll repay you with good music. thank you.

Thanks again to Ria and PPOYO for their assistance with this article and be sure to check out their debut release “Night Dream” at your streaming service of choice.