EXO-K “I look like Song Joongki senior, so I was called his doppleganger”


From: H.O.T – Shinhwa – TVXQ – Super Junior – SHINee

All the boy groups produced by SM Entertainment, not one has failed. More than a hundred trainees have been training under SM Entertainment, hoping to be polished and grind into a star. And within one year, all of the hot rookies could become SM Entertainment’s new rising star.

SM Entertainment’s new boy group EXO-K (consisting of Suho, D.O, Kai, Chanyeol, Sehun, and Baekhyun) has debuted with their first mini album <MAMA>. As rising stars, they’ve topped the charts on different sites already, beating out their seniors. With their other half (EXO-M) aimed for the Chinese market, it has also caught a lot of attention from the media. In total, EXO consist of 12 members, but is separated into two groups EXO-K, whom are responsible for the Korean music industries and market, while EXO-M aims to pursue in the Chinese music industry. The twin group, whom both debuted on the same date, same time, with the same songs, just with the lyrical language difference are now promoting in two countries. The name EXO derived from a planet called EXOPLANET which is a planet in the outer space, basically meaning that they’re the mysterious new born rising legends from another planet.

● Debuted just three weeks ago, already gaining fame?
Suho: During our first week of performance, we weren’t able to find the cameras at all. We were really nervous so we had quite a few mistakes in the first few performances but then we became better. Of course we’ll work really hard to show everyone a better, more improved, performance.

● Any memorable moments?
Baekhyun: It has to be the first stage we were able to stand on. With seven years of practice and training, this had to be the most awaited and anticipated stage for us, so it was a very meaningful stage. Before going up on stage, we always huddle together to chant a “EXO-K LETS LOVE!”, it makes us stronger. When we finally get off stage, our legs were shaking like crazy, our parent’s said that their hearts had popped.

● There must be a lot of pressure.
Kai: There was never once that SM Entertainment had debuted something and failed. There was a lot of seniors to give us pointers, so it made us comfortable knowing we have seniors to help us when we debuted. But there was also the question as to “will we ruin the image of the seniors” in our mind, however, when we started the “100 day online promotion”, we’ve received a lot of good feedbacks, not just from the domestic fans, but from the international fans as well. So that’s when we thought “we really can do this”.

● Debut song was intense since the start.
Sehun: The producer of this song was Yoo Young Jin, whom is in charge of the SMP which is also known as SM Performance, its the style. The style of the song is very similar to TVXQ seniors, where their music is filled with intensity and charismatic performances, but there are also very fresh and colorful mixture in the music too. There are many boy bands out there who debuted with very fresh beats in the music, so with us having this much intensity from the start made us unique and interesting, especially the orchestra included in the tracks.

● The powerful performances too.
Suho: We put a huge emphasis on the stage to differentiate ourselves. Since the music is orchestrated with a very mysterious feeling, the dance moves and performances has to match, so it has to be big and bold. We’ve been practicing for more than a month or so, we didn’t have time to eat or sleep at all, we spend so much time practicing. Especially Kai, who’s in charge of center stage, he had to get a good balance and perfect his moves.

● The lyrics have been criticized on the internet
Kai: We are now aware and we accept the criticisms on a moderate level. But when there are harsh comments posted by ‘anonymous users’, it should disappear. But we haven’t really faced any “internet bullying” at the moment, we’ve only seen cute fans who’ve written a lot of good things about us.

● Has there been any advices from Seniors?
D.O: TVXQ Senior U-Know Yunho have seen our first broadcast and immediately phoned us all the way from Japan. We opened up the speakerphone, and he carefully gave us pointers one by one including how we should have more facial expressions, and our body movements. I think he was the most caring senior.

● What’s a positive advantage, training with SM Entertainment?
Sehun: First off, you get free food. HAHA. Honestly, the biggest advantage is that we get to train in a lot of different aspects. There are many talented dance and vocal trainers and teachers who teaches us different techniques, and we learn them slowly one by one. We are taught the basic manners and proper etiquette . We are also taught what is called a “Broadcast speech” which is trained verbally and teaches us the basic manners.

● You debuted as a twin group.
Chanyeol: When it was first announced, I thought that it was really neat. It was something we should really be proud of and take pride in, when I first heard it, I thought, wow we’re really a team now. During dance practice, we’ll take videos of one another and monitor it very closely, I think we really improved while pointing out mistakes for one another”

● Member’s personal pride
Kai: People had always told me I was a good dancer, whenever I enter a competition I would always win. Ever since 2nd grade, I started learning Ballet. But I never took it seriously until I saw Shinhwa seniors who at that time was really popular and they made me build up my dreams.

Baekhyun: Because I look like the actor “Song Joongki” people started calling me the “doppleganger Song Joongki” , and I’ve even met him before. I was also in a band back in High school, I also won an award from the Bucheon Rock festival. I also like pop music such as Jamiroquai and Maroon 5.

Suho: During middle school I usually rank the 2~3rd, but ever since I started high school and started focusing on my trainee life, i had to put aside my studies and focus on what I really wanted to do. Even though I had to balance between training and studying, I still think I was doing better than my friends who focuses on sports and art.

● Goal for this year
Suho: We would really love to receive the best rookie award for this year, because being a rookie is once in a life time thing. Since all of our seniors had received this award, it really worries us whether or not we can get it as well.

credits: isplus + reen @ CODE:EXO

translated by: xiushipao @ CODE:EXO

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