Onew @ GQ Korea 10Men interview translation



Q:Love is patient, love is kind*, the song “Love is Always,” do you know it?
A:It’s also a reference to the ‘o-new’ of summer**. Haha. I’ve heard that my name was created as reflection of my personality. I don’t really know, but the people around me say that. That my name matches me well.

Q:You’ve been defined as ‘flubber,’ a person who doesn’t know where he’ll bounce, and people around you also say that unlike the calmness of nature you’re 4 dimensional and silly?
A:I’m not silly. Since I debuted at a young age people around me have watched over my growth. Perhaps that is why they say that? I’m not that special.

Q:It seems that you may be referring to something else when you say that you’re not special?
A:I think I’m just ordinary. I really changed a lot after debuting. My personality was originally quiet, but in comparison to my age I’ve gone around meeting and getting to know many people, so I’ve become outgoing to match the atmosphere.

Q:Do you have a thirst as an idol singer in regards to freedom?
A:I have plenty of freedom now. The things I can express I’m expressing as a MC, singer, musical actor. I’m not in confinement somewhere.

Q:Did you ask the people around you for their reactions to your lyric-writing for this album?
A:Speaking honestly, I don’t think that there are many people who will speak truthfully about everything to those around them. Only my parents, close friends, and members can speak of my personality with certainty. However, I wasn’t able to receive much feedback from those people. So I don’t think this portion is something I can speak about with certainty.

Q:Rather than speaking with uncertainty, do you opt to not say anything at all?
A:You don’t know how other people will accept words you say by mistake. I believe that you can change a life with just one word. If I feel that I’m in the wrong then I apologize no matter what. If I happen to slightly brush past someone on the street I say that I’m sorry first. That’s what my parents taught me to do since I was young.
To always greet the security ahjusshi even if I see him several times a day. I think the inner thoughts that I formed as I lived like that have made me who I am.

Q:What do you think when you compare the lyrics Jonghyun wrote for “Obsession” and the lyrics you wrote for “Your Name.”
A:“Obsession” is better. They are lyrics that feel a lot more than the scenes I’ve seen and thought of up until now. Even though I concentrated on the lyrics as well, I don’t think they’re always right. I don’t think there’s an answer. There are many points in “Obsession” that are missing in my lyrics. Though another person’s thoughts and my thoughts can’t possibly be the same.

Q:So you’re saying that although it wasn’t the best, it wasn’t particularly the worst either?
A:I did what I wanted to do and what I felt was fun. There are so many people who are better than I am. Though of course there must be people who are worse as well.

Q:The lyrics for “Your Name,” and the title of the song you sang with Kim Yeonwoo is “The Name I Loved.” Do you have something with names?
A:There’s a part I wrote while thinking of my mother. Rather than being called by their names, mothers are usually referred to as so-and-so’s mother. I felt that when they’re called by their names something would reach out to them more.

Q:Kim Choonsoo’s “Flower” approaches that topic.
A:It was that sort of meaning. I think it means that the general practice of calling them so-and-so’s mother is awkward. There are pet names between lovers as well. I thought that in relationships of love and affection, names would be very important.

Q:When people call you by your real name ‘Jinki’ and when they call you Onew, do you feel a difference about yourself?
A:There is a difference, but as I’ve been called that for 3 years I’ve gotten accustomed to it and it’s no longer awkward. And people tell me it matches me well. Some fans say that Jinki has more sentiment. Truthfully I also like it a little more when I’m called by my real name. It’s precious because it’s the name my parents created for me first. If my parents had called me Onew from the beginning, then I would be Onew.

Q:What would you want your significant other to call you?
A:I would like it if another pet name was created. But if I had to choose between the two I would like my real name.

Q:Do you have a nickname close friends call you?
A:I do. They call me ‘yah.’ Haha. My friends don’t call me by a nickname. Adults often did. ‘Jinki Myungi.’

Q:You know that fans say that they’re “aching for Onew,” right? Because it’s used as a term of endearment it’s a bit complicated. You use this term when you like someone but no matter how much you endure you can’t fill the void. What sense of responsibility do you feel towards these people?
A:I think that I need to repay them. Even if things are really difficult before going up on stage, I know that if I just complete this I’ll receive strength from fans and create synergy. When I’m on stage I unconsciously do things that fans will enjoy. I wonder how I would perform if it wasn’t for these people. I first began all this simply because I enjoy singing. Without a sense of responsibility or burden, I want to do this for them.

Q:I felt quite sad for you when I once saw you talk with the air of ‘one day I’m going to try dating too.’ It’s not as though dating is something that needs to be postponed. In order to pursue music you’ve sacrificed a lot. So if there is something you’ve gained, is it that explosive emotion you feel on stage?
A:I believe that it will occupy many different parts. At concerts I often feel a sudden burst of emotion. When cheers come and go I feel like I was physically hit.

Q:Rather than on the stage, how is SHINee’s musical profession being set? As the leader.
A:This is just my personal thought, it may be different for the members. It’s to become the contemporary band in all the aspects we always talk about, like fashion, music, dance, artwork, everything. Honestly, even with “Lucifer” there were many points that were difficult in terms of public appeal. However, didn’t the public ultimately came to understand and like it? I think it would be good to lead the contemporary in such a manner.

Q:By saying that, does the public point to all age groups?
A:That’s right. Like when you talk about the South Pole you think of penguins. So that when you talk about contemporary, you think of SHINee.

Q:The composition of idols receives love from all age groups, but don’t you think there ultimately is a limit?
A:I don’t think of that as being the answer. It hasn’t even been 20 years since idols began to debut. I think that if we do well we’ll be able to promote for as long as we want. There’s a lot left ahead without restriction.

Q:You see it as being longer?
A:Objectively I’m still young.

Q:What do you think the virtues of a person who is acknowledged by society as a grown-up, a man who is an independent adult, are?
A:Above all dreams, aside from character and personality. I think that if you just think that you’re going to do everything you want to, then everything is possible.

Q:How about a man who cries easily?
A:He can cry. Every person is different.

Q:What do you mean by different?
A:I said that objectively. Personally I think that somewhere there is a person who looks like me or behaves the way I do. A person who is simultaneously doing the same thing as me or singing the same song. I have many thoughts. It’s a bit strange.

Q:You are a ‘musician’ and are referred to as an ‘artist,’ it seems quite natural that you would think that there’s someone out there who is the same as yourself.
A:I think that somewhere there is a person having the same interview that I’m having and doing the same work that I’m doing. I don’t think that only our earth exists.

Q:What do you mean by that? Andromeda?
A:It could exist outside the universe, or it could be something that makes us look like a speck of dust, or something that’s a speck of dust to us.

Q:By any chance do you put in a lot of effort in studying physics?
A:I want to. I also want to study psychology. I’m accustomed to thinking to myself, but I think that certain parts would become official, and be cleared up.

Q:Most recently when you cried on a music program, there was much speculation about your tears. Your colleagues said that the preparation for the 2nd album wasn’t that difficult, and that they couldn’t understand. I wonder if perhaps you faced difficulties through your individual schedules like your musical “The Brothers Were Brave.”
A:That could be a part of it. But I think that when a person cries, he doesn’t necessarily think of just one single happening or moment. We won 1st place and I cried, that’s true. However, it would also be true if I said that I didn’t cry at winning 1st place. Couldn’t I also be crying because of my maternal grandmother who treated me warmly? I didn’t cry because of a certain reason and I didn’t cry because of a lack of it either. Everyone is different.

Q:You say that people are all different quite often. What about SHINee? Do you have characteristics that make you different from other teams?
A:We’re working to give off something that is surely our own. Giving off our own color is the ultimate point. However, I think with that comes personal satisfaction. If we reach some point and go “Now we’ve become SHINee,” wouldn’t that be the end?

Q:Just as you wrote the lyrics for “Your Name,” I hope that you will be able to write the lyrics for SHINee.
A:There are many different directions that can be taken. I could choose many, or I could choose one, or I could not choose at all. You can say that taking on various activities from different fields is an effort to collect diverse experiences and make a broad choice.

*In the Korean lyrics of the song, the actual word used is “onew.”
** “O-new-wol” is short way to refer to the months of May and June. Onew is joking about his stage name.

Posted by Admin K
Credit: Forever_SHINee, 10Men
Source: GQ Korea 10Men
English translation: live laugh love @ soompi

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