Advanced Shawol Guide
Are you new to SHINee? New to Kpop? We’re here to help~! ^^ If you’re just starting out, introduce yourself to SHINee with our Beginner Guide~!
An Advanced Shawol Guide: K-Pop Basics
SHINee’s Official Fanclub. All Korean artists manage fanclubs differently. SHINee’s Korean fanclub registration has only been opened once in 2009 leading up to their 1 year anniversary and it has not been opened again since then. So as of right now you cannot become a member of their official Korean fanclub. They also have a Daum Fancafe (click) that as of writing (2017) does not seem to be updated much. It’s run by fans, not officially by SM. The reason for this is that all of the schedule information and board updates can be found on SHINee’s SMTown Homepage (click). Whereas other k-pop artists still use their Daum fancafes. You can however become a member of their Official Japanese Fanclub, SHINee World-J (click). To become a member (click), SHINee World-J requires a Japanese address, contact info, etc. Benefits include fanclub only merch, SEEK Magazine, & pre-ticketing for shows in Japan. (Update: Referencing the previous link for joining SWJ, as of 2017 you don’t need a Ticketbo account to sign up for SWJ but you do need it if you want to purchase SWJ only merch/albums. Reference these guides as well: Ticketing (click) & SWJ Sign Up (click))
What does “SHINee” mean? SHINee is a name given to them by SM’s CEO Lee Soo Man that combines the word “shine” with the English language suffix “-ee” (the recipient of an action). Ex: Employee = someone who is being employed. Advisee = someone who is receiving advice. Trainee = someone who receives training. So SHINee instead of being a group who gives light, they are the ones receiving light, being shined on. This is the official explanation (“ones who receive light”). [Admin Note: As English language speakers, we know there are exceptions to this rule where the “-ee” suffix is used to mean “one that does ____”. Ex: Attendee = Someone who attends. Retiree = Someone who retires. So I like to think that SHINee both gives and receives light. ^^]
Taken from “SHINee World” as pronounced in Korean “Sha-ee-nee Wol-deu”. A Shawol is a SHINee fan.
Throw out everything you associate with the phrase “comeback” in English (an artist who makes a triumphant return after a decline). In Korea, “comeback” means that an artist is “coming out” with new music – regardless of how long it has been since their last album or how well the previous album did.
Your favorite member in a group.
Taken from OTP (One True Pair = the perfect couple). Used to refer to SHINee as all 5 members – usually for comparison purposes when talking about solo or unit (more than 1 member, less than all 5) activities.
What Korean labels do to steal your money – I mean… – When an album is repackaged a few months after release to include more songs than the original release. This also includes a new title song and an additional promotional period. (See the “repackage” drop down menu on Wikipedia album pages for song details)
SHINee World (2008) -> A.Mi.Go (2008)*
Lucifer (2010) -> Hello (2010)
Misconceptions of You & Me (2013) -> Misconceptions of Us (2013)
Odd (2015) -> Married to the Music (2015)
1 of 1 (2016) -> 1 and 1 (2016)
*To the left is the original album release. To the right, ” -> [album (year)] “, is the repackage.
A half album – will not be repackaged or included on an additional album.
SHINee’s Japanese album releases work a bit differently from their Korean albums. Generally, SHINee releases singles throughout the year (digitally & physical CD) and then those singles are combined into a full album release later in the year with additional songs. Ex: Boys Meet U [single] + 321 [single] + Lucky Star [single] = I’m Your Boy [album]. These albums sometimes come with photocards (or sometimes don’t) depending on the version & press release. Most Japanese albums release in multiple versions (A & B, regular, deluxe, etc.). Regular versions are CD only, Deluxe usually includes a behind the scenes DVD & MVs or with a larger photobook. These albums are not available to purchase digitally in the US (except their first single “Kimi wa boku no Everything [Replay]“). If you would like a digital copy, you can create a Japanese iTunes account & buy a gift card.
Most SHINee albums (excluding the oldest albums) come with a random photocard of the members. These are considered collectibles (cost depends on the album age/availability) and are often traded among fans like baseball cards. Note: Not all Japanese versions come with a photocard. Please be sure to read the album’s release notes from SHINee’s JP label (click here) for more information.
After a Korean album is released, artists go on music shows, do interviews (magazine/radio), & have variety show appearances (talk shows, game shows, etc.) to promote the album.
Artists perform on daily music shows during promotions (2-4 weeks) that are usually pre-recorded early in the day and aired in the late afternoon. Fans attend these by waiting in line very early in the day at the recording studio (line organized by fan staff). Most music shows have an award system. Points are calculated by different criteria depending on the show (online votes, live votes, album sales, etc). The artist that wins first place each week gets a trophy. Read our Music Show Guide for more info~!
There are multiple music charts that contribute to wins on Korean music shows – both physical and digital. The main charts you need to know are Gaon/Hanteo & Instiz iChart. You can read more about it on our full guide here~! The guide includes also Japanese & US music chart info!
Chants that fans shout in unison during title songs. Fanchants are posted on SHINee’s official Korean homepage (click) notice board before the first music show recording of a new song. Chants typically include things like: members’ full names (Ex: “Lee Jinki”, not Onew), I love you (“saranghae”), the group name “SHINee”, and chorus call & responses (“Are you Married to the Music?” “We’re Married to the Music!”).
Japanese promotions tend to include much of the same type of content as Korean promotions in regards to TV appearances, radio shows, etc. However, music shows in Japan do not have “winners” or give awards.
“SHINee World” Concerts
SHINee’s concerts are all called “SHINee World”. The Korean concerts are named with a roman numeral (SHINee World I, II, III, IV, V, etc.). The Japanese concerts are named by the year (SHINee World 2014, 2016, 2017, etc.). In the past, SHINee’s Korean concerts (click) were held after Korean promotions for a new album concluded. However, with the past few tours, SHINee has kicked off their new Korean album promotions with the tour first in Seoul, allowing fans to experience the new music before the general public. The tour then goes around to other countries for a world tour after the Korean promotions end and this tour generally lasts a year. In Japan, the SHINee World concerts begin after a new album is released. In recent years, their Japanese tours tend to last a long time with many many stops across the country – unlike Korea’s SHINee World concerts which last just one weekend in Seoul.
Lightsticks & Fandom Symbols
A major part of the k-pop concert experience is having your own official lightstick. All SHINee lightsticks are a specific aqua color, the fan color. This color is used everywhere on fan merch along with a “diamond” symbol (there is no official logo) which is associated with SHINee. In 2018, SM created SHINee’s official lightstick which was first used at their 10th Anniversary Fanmeet~!
All of this gets more complicated than these simplified explanations, but hopefully this provides a good overview. ^^; If you have more questions, please feel free to ask and we’ll cover it in a later Part II of the series~!