Music

ZICO Reacts to Earning His First Billboard No. 1 With ‘Spot!’ Featuring BLACKPINK’s Jennie

In the increasingly global K-pop industry, ZICO epitomizes the concept of a multi-hyphen musician after establishing himself as a rapper, singer, songwriter, producer, boy-band leader, television host and label CEO. But the 31-year-old can now add Billboard chart-topper to his resume thanks to his latest single, “Spot!” featuring Jennie of BLACKPINK.

Released on April 26 to mark the HYBE artist’s first time dropping a song among the globally focused New Music Friday releases, “Spot!” unleashes ZICO’s latest offering as a hook-heavy, feel-good pop/hip-hop hybrid. Similar to his singles such as viral smash “Any Song” or “Summer Hate” alongside K-pop legend Rain, the playfully buoyant “Spot!” lets the duo bounce through bars to shout out the many meanings that “hit the spot” can conjure.

The collab caught on quickly Stateside, with “Spot!” debuting at No. 1 on Billboard‘s World Digital Song Sales chart, marking ZICO’s first-ever No. 1 on a U.S. Billboard sales chart. It’s Jennie’s second time ruling the chart after her debut “Solo” single did so back in 2018.

“Spot!” sold 1,000 copies in U.S. in its initial April 26-May 2 tracking week, according to Luminate. It also registered 2.5 million official U.S. streams in the same period.

But the impact of “Spot!” was not confined to the U.S. The collab debuted at No. 24 on the Billboard Global 200 chart with 47 million streams and 5,000 downloads, and also earned a No. 8 debut on the Billboard Global Excl. U.S. with 44.5 million official global streams (excluding U.S. activity) in the tracking week, and 4,000 downloads (excluding U.S. sales).

Sharing his reaction to the good chart news with Billboard, ZICO expressed his gratitude, saying, “I feel like a new chapter has opened up for me as a musician.” 

Read on for more from ZICO about working with Jennie, how he approaches collaborating for his new music variety show and what’s next.

Congratulations on the success of “Spot!” It’s your first No. 1 on a U.S. Billboard sales chart. What was your reaction to the chart news?

I feel like a new chapter has opened up for me as a musician. The song’s reach to Billboard, beyond Korea, fills me with immense gratitude. I’m eager to share this joy with everyone who contributed to making this project a reality.

You’ve collaborated extensively in the K-pop world. Is there something particularly charming about Jennie that impresses you?

Everything about her is charming. From vocals and visuals to acting, as well as her sense of professionalism in bringing the song to fruition — it’s all these things combined. But personally, I think it was her professionalism.

How was it filming the music video? It looked like you two were having a blast.

It was our first time getting dressed up and seeing each other in front of a camera [like that]. At first, it felt a bit awkward and funny, so we had a hard time holding back our laughter, but it was these candid moments that were captured on camera for a natural result.

Do you have a favorite Jennie or BLACKPINK song?

I had the chance to peek at Jennie’s to-be-released solo track demos — there were so many good ones.

I understand you have a lot of respect for the artistic process. You host a new music variety show, The Seasons: Artist With ZICO. How do you approach spotlighting other artists’ work?

I believe my role is to assist the larger audience in comprehending the unique charm of each artist with the most fun and fresh perspective, so I dedicate a lot of effort to this aspect. But most importantly, it’s not solely about music. Rather, it’s about the chemistry, like the candidness and wit, that can come from any moment — I want these moments to be enjoyable little experiences for many people so I really strive to focus on every small second.

It sounds like you’re an observer. Are you seeing or feeling a larger impact with your new song?

I’ve noticed a shift in which more covers, reactions, and challenges [for “Spot!”] are coming from overseas compared to Korea, which differs from my past songs.

Have any new ideas or plans emerged as a result of the achievements or chart success?

Today, after thinking about these questions, I’m starting a kick-off meeting for my next project!

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