BLACKPINK Almost Didn’t Debut With ‘Whistle’ — ‘It Just Sounded Too Empty’

When Lisa, Jisoo, Jennie, and Rosé debuted as BLACKPINK debuted in 2016, they showcased the unique almost “country” track, titled “Whistle.” Here’s what we know about this song and why the K-pop group almost went a different route with their first single. 

Girl group BLACKPINK performs on stage during the 8th Gaon Chart K-Pop Awards
Jisoo, Jennie, Lisa, and Rosé of BLACKPINK perform during the 8th Gaon Chart K-Pop Awards | Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images

BLACKPINK is the K-pop group behind songs like ‘How You Like That’ and ‘Pretty Savage’

This girl group is in your area. BLACKPINK includes vocalists Rosé and Jisoo and rappers Jennie and Lisa for chart-topping songs like “Kill This Love” and “How You Like That.” Since their debut, BLACKPINK broke YouTube records with their colorful and creative music videos. 

They became the first K-pop group to perform at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. BLACKPINK was featured on Lady Gaga’s Chromatica track, “Sour Candy,” and Dua Lipa’s “Kiss and Make Up.” 

They also featured award-winning artists on their original music, including Selena Gomez and Cardi B. Even when they debuted with the song “Whistle,” this girl group almost immediately found success, with Jennie saying that she just wanted people to see her potential in them.

BLACKPINK almost didn’t debut with their song ‘Whistle’

When this girl group debuted in 2016, they released two songs featuring Jisoo, Rosé, Jennie, and Lisa. That was “Boobayah” and their official debut song, “Whistle.”

During the Netflix original documentary, BLACKPINK: Light Up the Sky, the members discussed how they recorded the whistling sound for “Whistle” many times, which was a moment that their producer, Teddy Park, would “never forget.”

“And we almost didn’t come out with ‘Whistle,’ for our debut song,” Rosé said. Teddy Park added, “because too many people thought it was risky.”

At the last minute, Rosé continued, the group decided that it had “to be that one.” Teddy Park said, “‘cause it has this weird country vibe to it, and it’s super minimal. It just sounded too empty for a lot of people. Most of the people were against it. We just pushed forward, whatever.”

It was this track that landed BLACKPINK in the No. 1 spot for the World Digital Songs Chart. Jisoo said she would ask her friends to send videos whenever “Whistle” would play in public. Years later, this song currently has over 215 million Spotify plays, making it one of their most popular songs. 

As the unofficial fifth member of this quartet, Park functioned as BLACKPINK’s producer before they debuted. 

This documentary featured his favorite photograph of Rosé, Jisoo, Jennie, and Lisa, hanging in their studio. According to Park, that shot showcased the moment he knew working with this K-pop group would be “fun.”

The documentary BLACKPINK: Light Up the Sky is available exclusively on Netflix. Music by this girl group, including their single with Gomez, “Ice Cream,” is available on most major streaming platforms.

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