In an interview with Billboard, BLACKPINK‘s Rosé opened up on her love for the guitar, talking about how she started playing the instrument and the major role it played in her solo debut album, R.

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| Netflix

Rosé has been playing guitar since she was a kid. What originally drew her to the instrument was the look of it: she liked the fact that it was a portable, versatile instrument that looked cool when played.

It was such a cool instrument! I just felt like all those people who could play the guitar were so lucky — as long as they have a guitar, they have everything. It’s all there for you. It’s portable, you can take it everywhere. and it just looks so cool when you’re holding a guitar. I was so attracted to that whole image of somebody being able to play a guitar and sing.

–Rosé

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She recalled her first guitar to be a cheap one with a painful fretboard, but as they say: no pain, no gain!

I bought myself a $70 navy blue one — it was wood, but it almost felt like it was a plastic. It was a terrible guitar from Amazon or something. When I was practicing the F chord, it would hurt my fingers so much. The strings were so far from the fretboard, that’s how bad the guitar was. And then I remember we invested in more of an expensive one, which I still have right now and use every day. We changed to that guitar, and I was like, “What?! It’s so easy to play the F chord! It wasn’t that I couldn’t play it, it was the fretboard!” I literally spent a week with my fingers bleeding. It’s hard! it’s a very painful process. But once you get through it, it’s like, “Yay! You can play anything you want!”

–Rosé

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When it came to the two tracks on her solo debut album, R, the guitar was the key element to their completion. Once the guitars were added onto the songs, she knew they were ready to be shared with the world.

At first, the track didn’t have much guitar in it, and we went and added a bunch. When they mentioned that, I was like, “Huh, I wonder how that would sound.” Because I couldn’t really imagine it with guitar. But then they had it all done and brought me in: “What do you think about it?” It spoke to me. I was like. “I love it! This is so much more attractive!” If there’s no guitar sound, it’s always OK, but with the guitar, it always sounds much better. Honestly, when the guitar was in there, it was like, “Yup, all done!” Before I was like, “Oh, this could be…” But when the guitar was there, it was like, “This is it, this is a full package, I’m loving it.”

–Rosé

| MBC 

Nowadays, she tries to carve out time during the day to play, but her schedule is so hectic that sometimes she has to make compromises.

Since mid January till now, I’ve barely had any time off. Maybe in this past week I got a few days off [but] it’s been a while. Yesterday, I remember it was 1 or 2 a.m and I really wanted to play the guitar, but I thought, “OK, I’m just going to take it a little slow.” I definitely need to get back on that. I think I’m going to have a lot of fun with it now that my [solo] work is done. I’ve been working very hard, and I’m pretty proud of myself. Now it’s time to just enjoy getting back to that process.

–Rosé

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We hope that Rose gets some downtime soon to refine her skills and play the instrument that she loves!