On April 15, KST, Sakura shared her thoughts on the criticism LE SSERAFIM faced following their Coachella performance in the US.

While acknowledging some perception of immaturity, Sakura confidently asserted that their Coachella performance was their best yet, stressing the importance of trusting one’s own instincts regardless of external opinions.

She contemplated the true essence of being on stage, pondering whether it was solely about flawless execution or about creating an unforgettable experience for the audience.

Her aim was to create a stage presence that would deeply resonate with the audience, leaving them with cherished memories.

Photo: Instagram/LE SSERAFIM

Acclaim from international media

LE SSERAFIM’s Coachella set, featuring 10 songs over 40 minutes, received acclaim from international media for its safe execution and enthusiastic audience response.

However, online viewers pointed out deficiencies in their live performance skills, resulting in a mixed reaction of support and criticism.

Following Sakura’s statement, public sentiment within the K-pop community has shifted, with some disapproving of her justification. Comments hinting at a ‘Japanese mindset’ have sparked criticism of Japanese members of other K-pop groups.

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Successful Japanese members of K-pop

Conversations have broadened to include assessments of Japanese members across various groups, with discussions touching upon their vocal positions, abilities, and historical context.

Some have questioned the necessity of Japanese members, while others have defended against nationality-based discrimination, citing examples of successful Japanese members in K-pop.

Amidst these discussions, there have been voices advocating against blanket criticism of Japanese members and condemning discriminatory remarks based on nationality.

Confident, strong image

LE SSERAFIM consists of Sakura, Kim Chae-won, Huh Yun-jin, Kazuha, and Hong Eun-chae. Originally, there were six, but Kim Ga-ram left the group in July 2022.

They debuted on May 2, 2022, with their mini-album “FEARLESS,” which broke records for first-day sales by a K-pop girl group. Their name, LE SSERAFIM, is an anagram of “I’m Fearless” and reflects their confident, strong image.

Sakura began her career in the Japanese idol group HKT48 in 2011. She achieved recognition through the project group IZ*ONE (2018-2021), formed through the reality show Produce 48.