I hope fans will see our funny side in Japan.
“Onew,” “溫流” in kanji, is a stage name that comes from his warm and gentle image. His nickname is “Tofu leader.” Fans call him so because he is white and gentle.
“Actually I’m not at all. I’m…(in Japanese) a human! Is this oyaji gag? Sorry.”
He smiles showing his characteristic intelligence. Onew-goon’s voice that is intelligent and classy is the group’s treasure. In the two sold-out rounds of SHINee’s first solo concert in Yoyogi Stadium, he sang Nessun Dorma of Turandot. This song was unexpected even to fans, and he enwrapped the stadium with his wonderful singing.
“My repertory? I have more. I’m not prepared yet, so I’ll have to practice it. I’m happy I can show what I like.”
On the stage, he announced SHINee’s Japanese debut in Japanese.
“I wanted to confirm it as leader, and think I was able to deliver it well. Our activities in Japan are a new challenge for us. I hope we can show more of our funny side.”
Last, I asked what he thinks he would have been in his past life.
“…a dandelion seed. It can feel free flying in the air and look around to see diverse things.”
He says with a face dreaming and smiling. A poetic boy with a distinct personality, that is Onew.
I’m happy when I can write lyrics that express a given concept well.
“I like a puppy so much. I can’t resist myself when I see a playful puppy and end up playing with it. I often hear people say I have a puppy face (laugh).”
Speaking with his face slightly upturned, Jonghyun-goon exudes natural sexy aura. Although he seems to be known as “the one who acts like a baby” among fans.
“I also want to know why (laugh). I’m rather shy, and to people I met first time, I think I don’t look like that. But once we become friends, certainly…”
Jonghyun’s singing is highly appraised in the industry and has power that pumps up the listener’s tension to a peak instantly in the chorus or adlib part. He wrote lyrics for Juliette, one of SHINee’s hit songs with romantic lyrics and thrilling melody.
“In writing lyrics, I’m quite self-satisfied (laugh). But I’m happy when I get a good output that expresses the given concept well. I also wrote lyrics for Obsession. I think it came out well as a good song with weight and mood.”
Asked about his ideal type of girl, he says, “It changes on occasion,” and looks out the window smiling. Then he wrote lyrics:
“Under a cloudy sky / when her hair is scattered by wind / I see her sad eyes / her thin figure touches my heart / she is such a girl (laugh).”
I was surprised we were able to do our first solo concert in Japan.
Key-san cried singing the ending song in the first solo concert in Japan.
“Well, I was surprised (in Japanese). It was SHINee’s first ever solo concert. We were able to make it in Japan, and all the memories of our experiences for the past 3 years since our debut came back to me.”
Fans were touched by his tears he shed recalling the past. He owns a very lovable character. His name “Key” shows his wish to “become an almighty key that can do anything,” but everyone knows he is a hard worker and mood-maker.
“Many people find me a person who gets more interesting as they get to know more about me. We visit many countries, but my fans have a distinct characteristic. (He continues in Japanese) They are all the same! Their reactions are similar. Everywhere, in Korea too (laugh).”
He is chuckling even before the interpreter speaks, and said he actually has good hearing. In charge of SHINee’s cultural department, he says:
“(In Japanese) I think fashion, music, and dance are all the same. They are all art. All combined make a good outcome. Maigetsu? Maitsuki? I go to an exhibition every month, read a magazine. It’s more like checking on things than studying.”
Key-san himself can be called a culture. What type of girl is his favorite?
“(In Japanese) A girl who is stylish, does a perfect job, and enthusiastic in both work and love. But such a girl is rare (laugh).”
I don’t like losing in competition.
Minho-goon has impressive twinkling eyes, which make one count stars in his eyes. He is the standard handsome guy who has a runway experience as a model in the Seoul Collection and an acting experience. However, he seems not to be interested in his own looks, and his eyes twinkle more when we talk about baseball. He loves sports and smiles saying, “I really don’t like losing in competition,” while he is known to be a kind-hearted person who understands what other people feel.
“I don’t like losing in competition, but if I’m competing with a woman, I don’t care about winning or losing. However competitive I am, I don’t try to win against a woman (laugh). I think some people may think I am ‘sweet’ in that respect.”
He has a bright and calm mood. He writes lyrics for rap parts, so prince Minho-goon turns into a cool guy who attacks with his low voice on stage.
“The nuance of the rap part is different in our Japan debut single, and most of all, (Japanese) pronunciation is difficult. I get to mess it up in the middle (laugh).”
He has a precious sunbae who listens to him when he has concerns about work.
“DBSK’s Changmin hyung gives me advice like a real brother. I contact him 4~5 times a week.”
Two young men with extraordinary beautiful looks, which might be a connection between those with something in common.
I immerse myself in the mood of a song to make viewers feel with me.
If you watch Taemin-goon dancing on stage, you will be moved to see how enjoyable and beautiful dancing is. It never makes a showy appeal but is like a miracle that a sense of beat and delicacy, sharpness and elegance co-exist in a slim body. He was standing showing his back and looked back when he was asked to make a certain pose during the photoshoot. A sexy, light, and tender air. That moment was perfect like a scene in a music video.
“SHINee don’t have parts clearly divided among members, but I think I’m in charge of dance. I like pop star Michael Jackson or Usher. I refer to Michael Jackson for the parts I have to make a pause during a performance, make a finish, or for a song with a dandy feel. I immerse myself in the mood of a song to make viewers feel with me.”
He is only 17 years old. He explains bashfully in a high and cute voice you can hear in his singing. A boy like a fairy who is smiling by someone when you awake to your full mind. His hair style, as to which he says, “It is my first time to have hair this red,” matches the mood. Lastly, his favorite girl type?
“Hmm…pretty and cute? Yes, I like such a girl (laugh).”
[Korean Translation: ㄷㅂ29@DC Shinee Gallery | English Translation by jujugal]