What does SHINee mean to Jonghyun? What is Minho really focused on these days? Read to find out!
He was unreservedly relaxed throughout the photoshoot. When he had an eye contact with me, he didn’t avoid it. My first impression of him was different. A born vocalist and emotional man who cries often on stage. I expected him to be shy, but he wasn’t.
“We have had photoshoots with a variety of concepts. The formal style with a shirt and tie is not very comfortable to me. I usually pose and act relaxed and loose.”
Jonghyun endured the first half of the year “patiently” because of his leg injury.
“We had our solo concert for the first time since our debut, but I couldn’t dance for most of the time. But we had lots of performances together at the later part of the concert, and special stage sets helped me slake my thirst somewhat.”
His tears before fans during their concerts in some Asian countries, including Japan, became a hot topic.
“I’m sensitive and easily moved to tears. Usually all our emotional rhythm goes “up” during performances. My emotion seems to become uncontrollable as all kinds of thoughts come to me. But I’m not crying because I am sad.”
How does Jonghyun think of his voice as a vocalist?
“Most vocalists don’t like their own voices very much. Some of them receive training to change their voices. But I can at least assure you I can make whoever listens to my singing recognize it like “Ah, this is SHINee Jonghyun” instantly. I think I have my own distinct color.”
Then, what song does Jonghyun like most amongst SHINee’s songs? He answers immediately:
“Actually, there are some unpublished songs I like. Yet ‘Noona Is So Pretty’ is the song I feel most attached to.”
I was curious about ‘Obsession,’ the song whose lyrics he participated in writing.
“When I was little, my mom didn’t give me pocket money if I didn’t write book reports, haha. Maybe because it’s become my habit, I feel relaxed when I am writing. I make notes of ideas and use them when I study writing lyrics.”
Jonghyun was serious throughout our Q&A about music. He was back to being lively when I asked an unexpected question.
“Three things I like most besides music? Well, I think I have nothing left with music excluded. Ah! I like animation with heroes and comics. And also exercise except for playing with a ball.”
Jonghyun was a very good speaker. He used every word precisely and made clear pronunciation carefully. It didn’t take him long to answer any question. Lastly, I asked him about the ‘identity of SHINee.’
“(Identity of) SHINee? SHINee is SHINee. What more is there to explain? To me, SHINee is like this: Going together all the way as we get older.”
A slim body with long arms and legs, a small face with big eyes. Which part of his face does Minho, who is agreed to have the top visual amongst idols, like most?
“My eyes. When asked (to choose a part), I always answer it is my eyes.”
Seated face to face for the interview, I found him a serious and straight young man who wasn’t as talkative as I thought. He had a low voice too soft and quiet to be associated with a guy who won triple gold medals at the ‘Idol Track & Swimming Competition.’
“I think I’m rather serious and prudent. I’ve been like this from my childhood. But I like exercise very much. Especially playing with a ball. I’m very competitive. Desiring to win and do well whatever I do? Haha.”
I was curious what he thinks of his image fixed as an athletic idol.
“I enjoy it. That is what I am. When I filmed ‘Start Dream Team’ with grand sunbaes, they treated me like their maknae and let me win the race. I am very thankful for that.”
What else is Athletic Idol Minho doing recently?
“It’s now Champions League season, so I’m trying not to miss any game. I’m also studying Japanese hard for our upcoming Japanese activities. Oh, I find it really difficult as I learn more.”
Our conversation naturally turned to their concert when he mentioned the Japanese activities.
“We had our solo concert in Japan at the end of last year, and then in Korea. Members all had high expectations. We had lots of concerts with our SM sunbaes, so we had this longing and desire for our solo concert. It was great fun. I felt, ‘Ah, this is what a concert is like, how it tastes.’”
He made a debut as an actor before their first solo concert. He starred in ‘Pianist,’ a KBS special drama which was aired last November.
“It took two weeks to film it. My character was a piano repair man with an innate talent for piano. I had a hard time practicing because I was not familiar with piano. Although it wasn’t easy to practice in a short time, I enjoyed the experience.”
As he often revealed his desire for acting, I asked what kind of roles he wants to try in the future.
“I think I’m too much a beginner to be desirous of roles. Yet I’d like to do a character that is my age. I want to play a character I can express naturally based on what I am.”
I saw a 21 year old young man positive and enterprising during our Q&A. Minho says he tries to follow his plan two out of three times and to be leisurely the last time in his everyday schedule. I wondered what hobby he enjoys while he is busy studying Japanese and practicing for their debut in Japan.
“Please, don’t laugh, it’s soccer. And soccer game. Haha, soccer is really my life.”