'Everyone orders their own food': tripleS on the pros and cons of a 24-member K-pop group

Twenty-four member girl group tripleS poses for the camera during a showcase for the group's first full-length album "Assemble24," held at the Yes24 Live Hall in eastern Seoul on Wednesday afternoon. [DANIELA GONZALEZ PEREZ]

tripleS's press showcase in eastern Seoul was a more chaotic affair than the average K-pop conference. Shouts and scrums ensued as photographers struggled to fit the full group — a whopping 24 members — into one frame.

The commotion was emblematic of the challenges, but also the unique excitement, that come with a group of such unusually large size.

“We are finally here as a complete 24-member group, and our strength is in the cool performances that you can’t really see in other K-pop groups,” Yoon Seo-yeon, the first tripleS member revealed in 2022, said during the press showcase for the group’s first full-length album, “Assemble24,” held Wednesday at Yes24 Live Hall in eastern Seoul ahead of its 6 p.m. release, once the kerfuffle had calmed down.

“Assemble24” — consisting of lead track “Girls Never Die” — selected by fan vote — followed by introduction track “S,” “Heart Raider,” “Midnight Flower,” “White Soul Sneakers,” “Chiyu,” “24,” “Beyond the Beyond,” “Non Scale” and “Dimension" — is both tripleS's first full-length album and first release to feature all 24 members. It is not, however, its debut: tripleS has gradually gained members since 2022. The artists have been sorted into subunits called "Dimensions" by the vote of its fans, who also weigh in on its lead tracks.

tripleS's massive size allows the group to embrace an exceptional variety of concepts and perspectives —"We don’t force each other to order the same menu; everyone orders their own food," Kim Yoo-yeon explained — but also carries unique logistical challenges.

Up to now, for example, the group has traveled to engagements in a cadre of five minivans. Its current size has now rendered that option impractical, Kim Yoo-yeon explained, and members will now be packing into a bus.

Tasks, from household chores to performance choreography, are coordinated through a network of group chats — many for the various subunits, in addition to large one with all 24. Housing is similarly decentralized, with members spread across different dorms. While Kim Soo-min is the group's official cook, she often must delegate. "Different [dorms] have different members in charge of cooking," Kim Soo-min said.

"It works," Kim Yoo-yeon added.

Girl group tripleS performs ″Girls Never Die,″ the lead track of its first full-length album ″Dimension24″ on Wednesday. [YONHAP]

Even professional tasks that other K-pop acts might complete without a hitch require expert coordination. Styling, for example, is done in shifts. "We have to split our team in half, and the team that goes early will have to leave the dorm at 1 a.m," Kim Na-kyoung said — though the members do, she clarified, switch around who goes first in the interest of fairness.

And working 24 members into a ten-track album was a tough task for Park So-hyun, composer and lyricist of tripleS’s many past releases, who produced “White Soul Sneakers.”

“Our 24-member album is that much more meaningful in itself, but it does lack in showing the charms of the individual members,” Park So-hyun said. Park ultimately tried to incorporate “not the stories of each individual, but the story of the group” into her song.

That was Seo Da-hyun's goal as well. “I thought about how I should, as the team’s lead vocalist, incorporate my voice in a colorful manner,” she recalled. “Instead of making my voice stand out from the others, I put the focus on how I should blend in with the other members. That’s how I can really stand out."

Member Kim Na-kyoung found that differentiation as a writer; she made her lyricist debut with “Midnight Flower.”

“I’ve been writing lyrics for a while now, but I’m honored to have my name credited in our 24-member album. I hope I get more opportunities like this in the future,” Kim Na-kyoung said.

Park So-hyun also gave a peek into the group's future: more "Dimensions" activities that allow individual members to shine more.

“Going forward, we plan to engage in more ‘Dimensions’ [subunits] to show more charms of the individual members,” Park So-hyun said.

“Though, if fans want to see the 24-member activities again, I’m sure we can do that too.”

To find out more about tripleS, visit Celeb Confirmed!