Jonghyun: Elle Feb 2015 Trans
English Translations by @real052525 in collaboration with SHINee USA (editor)
2015 02 JONGHYUN ELLE : honest & sexy 2015
The boy has already become a 26-year-old man talking about his own music and youthful life. SHINee Jonghyun released his first solo album, filled with his original songs and varied collaborations. A talk with him who was sexy in front of the camera, and more candid after the camera turned off.
Honest & sexy
An honest man is sexy. The same goes for SHINee’s Jonghyun, a 26-year-old idol who wants to be honest with shifting emotions and youthful thinking.
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“I hope the days of writing emotional writings will come again……I also hope making fun of the focus of one’s sensibility, saying that it is cringy to other people, would be stopped, too.” I almost pressed a retweet button. Looking at the social networking site of celebrities ahead of an interview is similar to examining the date before going on blind dates. It is worth waiting for if it is a man with this empathetic ‘emotional’ thinking. As if he had waited for it, Kim Jonghyun from SHINee announced the solo project as soon as the new year started. “I have been giving out ‘spoilers’ little by little on SNS. Fans also need a warm-up. (Laughs)”
The veteran idol with a career of eight years and global popularity displayed his experience in photoshoots. He has lost a lot of weight, but his upper body shown while changing clothes is well toned more than ever. Moments of being sexy and showing drowsy eyes crossed each other, in a smooth flow. ‘An exciting tension’ could be felt, which was pulling all senses of the whole body.
“There was no rush as I have been thinking on my own that I will be doing music for all my life. The things I’ve been working on alone without the goal of ‘when’ were very helpful to this album.”
Jonghyun’s first mini album <Base> is not just a mere solo album. As he is the team’s main vocalist, his personal musical achievement was the one to be most anticipated. He wrote the lyrics of SHINee album tracks like ‘Juliette’, ‘Selene 6.23’, and more – his songwriting skill is famous among fans. He formed a team named ‘We Freaky’ with two friends who [he] played [with] in a band together in middle school and have been writing songs, and also wrote songs for fellow singers, IU and Son Dam-bi. Jonghyun filled 4 out of 7 tracks of this album with his own composition and participated in the songwriting for all of the tracks. “The one thing I put my heart and soul into the most is the album’s quality. Anyone who does music would be sensitive about their own albums but all of my nerves were on edge as if I was abnormally obsessed with it. Usually, I am pretty personal when doing music, but this time I tried to find the midpoint by asking many people and listening to their stories. People who worked with me might still have thought that I am ‘stubborn’ (laughs).”
Unlike before when intersection with the team [members] was considered, this album is wholly about the ‘basics’ of the music Jonghyun wanted to play. He mixed different genres based on soul and R&B, which is the special feature, and also worked on collaborations with other talented musicians. The title song ‘Crazy’ with rapper Iron, who became known by <Show Me the Money – Season 3>, and worked with Zion.T, who is acquainted with him, on retro hip-hop style ‘Deja-Boo’. There is also ‘Hallelujah’ which he composed the lyrics to with sunbae Wheesung, who he picks as an ‘icon’. “He has been my favorite since childhood. I studied lyric writing a lot while listening to Wheesung hyung’s album. So I had been almost nagging him to write lyrics to one of the songs for sure this time. I like hyung’s ‘Masterpiece of You’ so much that I put it in the lyrics like an homage.”
The best way to look into Jonghyun’s exceptional sensibility and language sense is listening to MBC radio channel every midnight. It has been almost a year since he started as DJ for <Blue Night>, which is a program that was DJ’d by [prominent] male singers like Sung Si-Kyung, Alex, and Jung-Yup. Jonghyun who meets [listeners] on night radio leads conversation pleasantly with the guests, friendly as if he is touching the hearts of listeners, and is also sometimes moody.
“I usually stay up late without any special reason, so it gave me pleasure like nothing else when the DJ offer came in. I feel like I am being comforted while doing the radio. It’s not polite to appear on a TV entertainment program and show a weary look just because I am a little tired. But since radio is meeting every day, I can be more honest about the mood of the day. It is okay to say that ‘I am a little gloomy today’.”
Another way to peek at 26-year-old (T/N: Korean age) Jonghyun’s humanly side is on Twitter (@realjonghyun90). He communicates with fans like a playful boyfriend and have made acquaintances with poet Ha Sang Wook and cartoonist Jung Da Jung. His statements about what he believes is right is also considerable. About a year ago, his tweet pointing out a bill to ‘ban the use of cordless phones’ raised the awareness of netizens, which contributed to the revisions of those related policies. He is fearless in showing his feelings and beliefs. “I am an emotionally honest person. I’m also a person who feels different emotions that change quickly. It’s not like I don’t know what others want me to be. I do match them at times, but most of the time I try to express the candid emotions that I feel.” The mind of a youth that aspires to growth, the instinct of an artist that wants to express, and the sense of professionalism that can see oneself objectively, could be all read from Jonghyun.
After being selected as a trainee of SM in his middle school days, he lived his entire life as SHINee except the trival free time spent reading comic books or watching movies using beam projectors. He says that he found the way to ‘my music’, by doing that – but then did he find any path of his life? “I am in my youth now, and I have my own ideas about how a youth should live. I think it’s a youth’s job to speak up or try to change what is not right. After time goes by and I get older, I hope I don’t have any regrets about not being able to do so.” It’s been a while that I faced a man in his 20’s who talks about his own dreams and ways of life so clearly.
A few days later, Jonghyun’s ‘Crazy’ performance was seen on TV music show broadcast. His singing method goes from original voice to falsetto with a tempting performance using a standing mic. An auditory appreciation of the album was even more interesting. ‘Love Belt’ which he composed, wrote lyrics for, and sang with singer Younha was especially warm and sweet. Listening to ‘Fortune Cookie’, a hidden track only included on the CD that was said to be inspired by Marvel’s post-credit cookie videos (T/N: bonus scenes), caused me to recall a snatch of the passionate and calm conversation I had with him [for this interview]. “My love for music is one-sided. I don’t want anything back. I would be very grateful if someone would enjoy and love it when I show something. But then, I am not going to aim at the music others would like. I want the main thing in my life to be something I like and want to do.”
Photographer Kim Hyung Sik
“SHINee Jonghyun seen over the viewfinder reminded me of gin and soda water”
Behind the Scenes (video below)
Bling bling, dazzling Jonghyun.
Candid man is sexy. Thus, SHINee Jonghyun is even more than sexy. A spark of the day when sexy-brained sentimental idol Jonghyun and <Elle> met!
The thing to focus on for First Mini Album <BASE>?
I put in a lot of my musical outlook that I thought of, and I’ve worked on a lot of new songs with other artists so I hope the synergy of those songs would be listened to carefully. I hope that you will enjoy it.
Valentine’s Day that you dreamed of?
Valentine’s Day – what is that? (Laughs) Actually, I’d like to go to an amusement park on Valentine’s Day. [Together] with whoever it is, I would go to the amusement park, enjoy, have fun, chat, eat a lot of delicious food, scream until I get hoarse, and then come home completely exhausted and fall asleep.