☆ qristagram ☆
☆ qristagram ☆
This is me. It doesn’t all have to be ‘good’ and ‘fine’. This is the room where you don’t have to be brave. I still love you.
novacane by frank ocean
I just got her back.
You’re the first SHINee member to release a solo album.
Being a solo artist was my original dream, but when I went into SM Entertainment and debuted with SHINee, I was relieved to have people beside me who could fill the aspects I lacked and push me on. But I always thought I would get to do it one day. There was a time I vaguely talked about a solo debut with SM Entertainment’s performance director, Jaewon hyung. I asked him, “What do you think?” and he told me, “If you work hard and do well, do you think the company would just leave you alone?” Since then, I’ve quietly worked hard.
In one word, describe how you felt when you heard that your solo debut had been decided.
This interview is actually a hidden camera too.
It… can’t be, can it? I was that bewildered.
Do you feel more excited or burdened?
I’m more excited. When I was young, I used to feel really burdened. I think burdens gets bigger when you are acknowledged by someone. These days, I’ve come to think more about my own satisfaction and the people who like it when I work hard.
I saw your audition video from when you were in 6th grade. You declared that you will do your best to death. Does it feel like you’ve now achieved a bit of what you’ve wanted since then?
After watching Rain’s “How to Avoid the Sun” in the 3rd grade, I became obsessed with dancing. Since I’m a guy, saying that I want to become a celebrity was strange, so I couldn’t do it. I thought to myself that I’ll eat and live by dancing.
You must have originally had a talent for dancing.
Anyone has talent. When I get into something, that’s all I do. I locked the door to my room and pretended like I was doing other things, but all I did for six hours a day was dance. When it became night, I would look at my reflection in the mirror and be pleased. I was a funny elementary school student.
Was it without your parents knowing?
I couldn’t play music loudly, so I put songs into my MP3 player, put my earphones on, and danced.
You chose steak as your favorite food and I thought that was a very child like answer. Is it still your favorite food?
My body needs meat. I don’t really gain weight and I exercise a lot, so I keep eating. I’ve recently come to like spicy fermented flatfish. I ate it for the first time when Jonghyun hyung’s family sent some. It was really delicious. I’ve only been eating meat these days due to my meal plan, so I want to eat spicy braised chicken or spicy whelks with noodles and beer.
You look like someone who wouldn’t change no matter what for certain things. Is there anything you have kept the same since you’ve started promoting?
There are two things. One is to not lose my roots. As time passes by, I am cautious about becoming lazy without realizing it. I am a Catholic. I don’t attend church regularly, but I always try to reflect on things that I did wrong. And I promise myself not to do it ever again.
Isn’t that such a model student answer?
I think it’s my parents’ influence. They say that it’s not charming if you’re too nice. I was actually concerned about it. When bad guys were the trend, I seriously contemplated, “Do I have to become bad too?”
How far did you think about that?
Insincerely spitting out words. It looked cool, but I couldn’t actually do it.
I can see your strong stubbornness towards singing. Why is singing so important to Taemin?
I heard many times that I couldn’t sing. If you want to say confidently that you are a singer, I think you need to have skills or at the very least, a voice of your own or a special feature when you sing.
What kind of songs do you like?
I mainly like songs that aren’t too loud but are calm. I don’t shy away from folk, country, ballad, pop, R&B, and even classical.
Out of the many things you’ve done for your solo album, what do you think you’ve done the best with?
I wanted to show things that I wasn’t able to in SHINee. Many people may think that dance songs and happy songs suit me, but majority of my solo album has mature music. There’s a song called “Ace”. I worked together endlessly with the choreographer and DBSK’s Changmin hyung sang the chorus, so it became a lavish song.
You worked on the choreography with Ian Eastwood.
Ian is a Youtube star who became popular after uploading his video. I was attentively watching his videos and thought I’d be able to do new things together with Ian. When I first met him, Ian said “Wassup, man?” without any hesitance, but all I said was a timid “Hi.” We’re the same age, so we became closer and later on, we talked a lot as we worked.
You didn’t give up singing or dancing.
It really is 50:50. Doing music that is shown through performance is my spot and I decided to dedicate myself to it. I want to work on singing skills, but it’s something I have to put more effort on it.
So in the end, is effort practice?
It’s hard to judge for myself, but I think I practice a lot. I think the process is more important than the result. But practicing is a know-how too…
Why can’t you use your know-how?
I must not be talented in practicing. Or maybe I’m not talented in know-hows.
In your interview with <Dazed> in 2010, you chose Michael Jackson as the person you respect the most.
He was an artist from when he was very young until his death. He was cool for having both masculinity and sexiness that could dominate the stage. I still like him.
What do you think masculinity is?
It’s having one face instead of having many faces depending on the person he is with. And when I see mature men, I feel jealous.
Have you matured?
It’s a vague time where I’m not a boy and not a man. Right now is the hardest.
When do you feel that you are immature?
I still watch animes that I watched when I was little. <One Piece> and <Dragon Ball>. I think the most immature thing I do is complain to the manager hyung.
Is there a phrase you like so much that you would use it as the title of your 2nd album?
Our family motto and my motto are “Do you best and God will do the rest.” I like the word “trademark”. The initials are the same as my initials.
You don’t seem interested in fashion.
Comfortable clothes are the best. Dressing up during promotions is good enough for me.
How do you normally dress?
I worked out today, so I was wearing a tracksuit. I usually enjoy wearing jeans and a large achromatic t-shirt. The hyungs are very interested in fashion, so I thought about getting into it too, but it was hard. I had to take care of what to wear the next day before I went to sleep…
Is there a musician or photographer that you want to work with?
I don’t really know designers or photographers. I’m introverted, so I still can’t really imagine working with another person. I think it will be good enough to just listen well and practice for a long time.
What is your favorite thing to do by yourself?
Playing with dogs! I have fun just being by myself too. When I stay still, I hear a beeeee- in the silence. I like to lay down and listen to that sound.
It seems like you’ll have a lot of things you’ll want to do in the future.
I’ve never gone on a vacation overseas by myself. I want to go backpacking.
You must have always been asked about your ideal type.
I’ve always answered Emma Watson. But I’ve realized more that a pretty face is not everything. Being nice and having an innocent personality is important.
What do you fear the most?
I worry the most about the health of my family and those around me. I have a hard time when I hear that someone was sick and passed away. I’m not scared of being forgotten by people though. I think it’s exciting to be able to live another life.
How well do you want your album to be received?
I want to receive the top prize, the daesang. Rather than wanting the award, I want to become a person who can receive that kind of rating.
What will you do the day before your first performance?
I’ll sleep early and wake up early. After I finish performing, I’m going to eat everything I want.
The spicy fermented flatfish?
Yes. I’m going to have a feast in the waiting room.
Source: Dazed & Confused September Issue
Translated by: kimchi hana @ shineee.net