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Singer Son Dam-bi returned to the music scene with her new song “The Queen” earlier last month, but her transition from her previous two hit albums to this new mini-album has been rocky. By Kim Min-kyu

In the flood of carefully manufactured idol groups on the nation’s K-pop scene, it takes serious talent for solo singers to get noticed. But Son Dam-bi is one of the lucky few.

After debuting in 2007, her two songs “Crazy” and “Saturday Night” became huge hits, and the 27-year-old singer soared to instant stardom.

With the release of her new mini-album “The Queen” earlier last month, however, she became embroiled in a plagiarism scandal, and the title song received a lukewarm responses from the public. A clip surfaced online of her singing with all mixing effects removed, and her vocals were criticized.

She sat down for an interview on these issues and her plans for her future with Ilgan Sports, an affiliate of the JoongAng Daily.

Q. It’s been a year since you came back to the music scene, but you had to deal with many issues from the moment of your comeback.

A. I was shocked. I thought some people were jealous of me because my two previous songs were loved by so many people. But I soon realized everything happens for a reason, and I think I should accept their criticism.

Some say you need to learn more about singing.

I partly admit that, but they should know each singer has a different vocal range. My voice is pretty low and I think it’s one of my weaknesses as a singer. But I will keep working to improve my vocals.


After I finished the TV drama “Dream” in September last year, I went to the United States and enrolled in the Edge Performing Arts Center located in Los Angeles. I learned how to dance and sing for a while. I heard the center is an institution for professional singers and dancers. I think American pop singers Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake also took classes there.

Let’s move on to your private life. I heard you associate with a few close friends.

It’s true. I think I’m a kind of an introvert. I enjoy my me time. And it’s been only three years since I debuted, so I have a handful of celebrity friends.

What kind of student were you back in your school days?

I didn’t like to receive attention from my classmates. I think I was a good student. I often received the fifth- or sixth-highest grades in my class.

What kind of man do you like?

I often find myself attracted to men who have a passion for their work. If I had to pick an actor I’m attracted to, I would choose Hwang Jung-min. I often run across him at a hair salon and he looks very nice.

You spent about four years as a trainee before you debuted. What was it like living as a trainee for such a long time?

Life was hard. My mother gave birth to me when she was 37, which was pretty late. She was old and my father was sick. I’m the only daughter, so I had to take care of my family. But only 100,000 won ($90) was given to trainees every month. I cried a lot around that time.

As a female singer, you always have to look perfect. What’s your secret to keeping in shape?

I think I easily gain weight, so I try to be strict on myself. I work out about two hours every day and I always care about what I eat.

Did you get any plastic surgery?

Just on my eyes.

What’s your ultimate goal?

I want to be recognized by the public as a musician first and want to take on drama acting later. I don’t want to miss out on either career.

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From left, Super Junior members Donghae, Ryuwook, Eunhyuk, Yesung, Lee Teuk, Shindong, Siwon, Sungmin, Heechul and Kyuhyun. [SM Entertainment]

Q: There are a few members missing this time. How does it feel?
Heechul: Of course we’re sad. I also suffered from a bit of depression because of such incidents and I had a very hard time.

Q: A lot has happened within the team. Shindong, you confessed your love through your new album. How did your agency respond?
Heechul: I think they only let it out because they didn’t know what it means. (laugh)
Shindong: If I had written it in Korean, I think they would’ve asked me to do it next time. (laugh)
Heechul: I had talked about this earlier with Lee Teuk but if a fan had bought an album, saw that Shindong had written a code so crack it to see he had asked someone to marry him… We’re lucky if the fan doesn’t rip up the album. (laugh) Shindong actually kept apologizing to us before we gave our comeback performance for “BONAMANA.”
Lee Teuk: There could’ve been mixed responses to what he did but we’re grateful that there have been a lot of good articles on it.
Shindong: I’ve become a romantic guy thanks to them. I’m thankful.

Q: Did you all know about this?
Lee Teuk: Heechul did.
Heechul: I agreed do Shindong when he told me he wanted to do this. I told him it’s great. A guy should confess when he has to. But when I saw what it [the code] read when it was deciphered… was it a sight to see. (laugh) I didn’t know it was going to be that serious.
Lee Teuk: We were doing a photo shoot when he was writing it. He kept looking up something on the computer keyboard.

Heechul (left) and Shindong [SM Entertainment]

Q: Do you plan on getting married if for example, the song does well?
Lee Teuk: Like getting married if we sell over one million albums. (laugh)
Shindong: I will if we sell under one million. (laugh)
Heechul: I’ll sing the nuptial song. Love so hurts… (laugh)
Lee Teuk: It was only possible because it was Shindong. He’s the one who gave our group a friendly image. Everyone else is slim and good looking so there was a distance between the public and us…
Heechul: It sounds like you’re dissing Shindong.
Lee Teuk: No, I’m not dissing him. (laugh) I’m just saying that we must have Shindong on our team for his friendly image.
Shindong: I’m grateful that you think of me like that. I’m very grateful toward my group because I hear the word ‘pretty boy’ wherever we go. (laugh)
Heechul: Now, let’s not be too grateful toward each other. (laugh)

Q: The group went through a lot before this album came out so I think you must’ve felt different preparing for it. How did you feel while rehearsing?
Eunhyuk: Everyone was feeling different. It was great because we practiced with the determination we had when we first debuted. Donghae and I are in charge of the choreography so we had to take the lead in showing that we were going to work really hard this time so we got almost no sleep preparing for the album this time.
Donghae: I was so stressed that I even had nightmares. I was very shocked because I dreamt that we were rehearsing for our comeback performance but everyone snickered at us.
Lee Teuk: Eunhyuk said he had a similar dream too. I was very surprised that everyone was under so much pressure.

Q: Some poeple are pointing out that your title track “BONAMANA” is similar to your previous song “Sorry Sorry.”
Lee Teuk: I know. But I think that’s our style. It’s an extension of “Sorry Sorry” but also the last word to it.

Q: There’s a dance move which looks like you guys are skating.
Lee Teuk: The choreographer said he thinks of skating when he thinks of Korea. (laugh)

Lee Teuk (left) and Eunhyuk [SM Entertainment]

Q: The choreography for “BONAMANA” looks like it’s more complicated than before. Did you not have a hard time memorizing it? (laugh)
Eunhyuk: It was supposed to be even more difficult. We changed some of the difficult moves so they’d be easier because we had to keep some of the moves which were key to the song. It was so tough everytime though. It felt like we were continuously running full speed.
Lee Teuk: Isn’t Super Junior great because we can pull off even the most complex choreography? (laugh) The choreographer said our moves this time our energy. The person who came up with the choreography for “Sorry Sorry” came up with our choreography again this time. We’re very grateful to him because he was supposed to join the Michael Jackson tribute concert.

Q: Isn’t the new song hard to sing because you have to go with the bounce from the start. Especially for the members who are used to singing ballad songs, how was it?
Kyuhyun: In my case, I’m better at singing ballads but it wasn’t too bad because I’ve been a dance singer. I have been practicing constantly. And I think I’ve been able to show diverse sides to myself through this album because there are a lot of ballad songs too.

Q: How was it singing Yoo Hee-yeol’s “Good Person”?
Kyuhyun: I was under a lot of pressure because it’s such a classic that I couldn’t mess up on it. We talked with the directors for a long time about the song, saying a certain part should be sung with such and such emotions, that we sounded we’re smiling too much in another segment, that this is a sad song.
Lee Teuk: We edited the song quite a bit because it’s a classic and Yoo Hee-yeol hosts his radio show right after ours so he asked about it too. After our album came out, he said he listened to our version of the song and when we asked “It’s not as great, right?” he said it was good so we were thankful.
Yesung: When I heard we would be recording “Good Person,” I thought it would be Park Hyo-shin’s “Good Person.” (laugh)

Q: Haha, Yesung, you must go on variety shows.
Yesung: I am extremely interested in variety shows. (laugh)

Donghae (left) and Sungmin [SM Entertainment]

Q: Lee Teuk, Eunhyuk, Shindong, the three of you are regulars on SBS talk show “Steel Heart.” But it must be difficult trying to head a segment of the program for several minutes.
Lee Teuk: We seen quite a number of photographs get ripped up (laugh) but the more it happens, the public wants to see more intense photos while the celebrities want to hide more. We were able to udnerstand what a hard time comedians must have. And it’s usually hard to maintain a segment for more than three months. We’re into our ninth month now and it’s very tough. So I’m thinking we should comne up with something different.

Q: Isn’t it difficult getting the guests to dispaly their talents on the show?
Lee Teuk: (Sigh and laugh) It’s really difficult. And many of them say they don’t want to so we have to keep persuading them.
Eunhyuk: I had never been that interested in vareity shows but I started taking part in it little by little because it sounded like so much fun when I listened to it. And then we got to appear on “Steel Heart” but I felt so much pressure to make people laugh. The two led the segment well though. Honestly, I’m doing a lot of freeriding. (laugh)
Yesung: When I see them talk to each other, it really looks like they don’t even have time to sleep because they’re so busy coming up with what to do for “Steel Heart.” Shindong looks at the Internet a lot, Lee Teuk is the one who wraps up the jokes and the segment and Eunhyuk does well in spicing up … I didn’t kow they’d do such a good job.

Q: Some of you do musicals. Have the experiences helped in your singing career?
Yesung: They have really helped a lot. I have got to try acting and do more thorough jobs with praciticing singing live after doing musicals. I’ve also gone back to the determination of when I was a new singer after meeting seniors in musicals. There were about 40 people who were older than me on set so I started by going around with 40 cups of coffee to say hello to everyone.
Sungmin: I think I’ve become more freely on stage after doing musicals. I used to just sing and dance on stage but I have to act and calculate for musicals so when I perform “BONAMANA,” I became more comfortable putting on expressions or actions that I never had before. So I want to keep doing musicla.s

Q: You said on “Steel Heart” that Heechul almost quit Super Junior. Didn’t you guys need time to form some sort of mutual understanding again after having been through so much?
Lee Teuk: We talked a lot while we were on our Asia tour. Everyone usually has a lot of individual schedules to fulfill so we have time to talk before and after our concerts which is when we talk about everything. Heechul and I become very close because of our Asia tour.

Q: Then had you felt awkward around him before?
Lee Teuk: No awkward but we had always told each other that we should only be friends. We didn’t talk much about work together. But with what has happened, we ended up talking a lot about work too.
Heechul: Are personalities are completely opposite from each other and we haven’t really worked together that much either so that’s why we didn’t talk much even when we’re at home together. We even started having different opinions on issues and after wondering why that was happening, Lee Teuk, Shindong and I said we should go back to eight years ago which was before we had debuted, and just let out everything, cursing and all. That’s when things cleared up.

Yesung (left) and Kyuhyun [SM Entertainment]

Q: What did you talk about?
Heechul: I just felt much better going back to the days we were friends and talking about anything and everything. Before, I avoided appearing on variety shows with other members of my group because it felt uncomfortable and we had our difference of opinions. We would also have to talk about incidents we experienced as a group but there were many things i didn’t know because we were close as friends but not as a teammates working together. But I ended up talking with Lee Teuk and Shindong for about five hours, felt much more comfortable after that, and decided to say what we did on “Steel Heart.” I have a lot of fun on variety shows these days.
Lee Teuk: He calls up producers himself these days and sets scehdules. (laugh)

Q: Heechul, do you plan to continue appearing on variety shows?
Heechul: I’m considering making appearances here and there starting with the second season of “Family Outing” (laugh) but I know that I have my ups and downs when I make guest appearances. And I don’t have that many stories to tell so I know people would get sick of me easily if I go on too many. That’s why I’m taking caution to prepare myself as an emcee. I personally would like to host a program like Super Junior’s “Super Show.” As a joke I tell producesrs and executives that I want to do a show liek that. (laugh) I used to be very anxious. I was under the pressure to achieve something before I go to the army but it felt like I hadn’t quite found my place yet. But once I eased myself out of those feelings, I saw myself on a much larger picture. It’s my dream to act but I’ve also wanted to do a vareity show with my group.

Q: We heard that Kang-in will be going to the army within the year. What about the rest of you?
Lee Teuk: I think we’ll be going next year or the year after that rather than this year. We plan on putting in our best efforts for our careers and go without having any regrets.

Q: You’re idols who are now even considering getting married. How do you feel compared to when you first debuted?
Lee Teuk: We’re aging with the people who liked us from when we debuted, which I think is amazing. I’m also surprised at how I’ve been able to last this long. A lot has happened over the years which has helped me to grow stronger so I don’t think I’ll be shaken up by small incidents anymore. I think we’d be able to last for another 20 to 30 years at this rate. We’ll also have to go to the army soon and of course we should go since it’s our military duty to. I hope we’ll be able to say at the end of the year that we worked hard and have no regrets.



From left, boy band 2AM members Jo Kwon, Jinwoon, Seulong and Changmin [Chae Ki-won/10Asia]

“Jo Kwon is the “It boy”!” This is how Jo Kwon described himself during the “Radio Star” segment on MBC variety show “Golden Fishery”. That is very true. Jo Kwon and his group 2AM are the “It boys” of the moment. Their new single instantly shot to No. 1 on digital sound source chart and they are all over the television.

But come to think of it, they were quite a strange bunch. In 2008, they debuted with a charismatic image yet presented themselves as idols who are starting from rock bottom, singing that “the only thing to give you is this song.” And rather than becoming talk of the town right away, they looked like a group of hard-working singers.

Two years later, they have finally started to establish an identity. They are one of the most sought-after guests on variety shows and their most recent single “I Can’t Let You Go” topped online sound source charts immediately after its release. 10Asia talked to the group who is steadily rising to top.

10: Your single “I Can’t Let You Go” topped singles charts as soon as it was released.
Jo Kwon (Jo): I couldn’t believe it. The highest our song ever ranked was No. 3 on a chart with “This Song.” But “I Can’t Let You Go” topped all real-time charts within an hour of its release. And it was the first time I had seen the members of my group look so happy. Chang-min’s face was all red when he came home and how he smiled!

10: Topping a chart as soon as a song is released also proves how popular you are. Do you realize how popular you are?
Jo: I do a bit now. Since even the elderly recognize me. It had been my goal to show the real me and be loved by people by appearing on variety shows so I’m happy nowadays because I think its gradually coming true.
Seulong: We all like going on variety shows so we’ve enjoyed appearing on them but it’s been hard too. Kwon in particular had such a tightly-packed schedule that he had to get IV shots in between too. But I think we’ve gotten to see such good results because we tried hard.
Changmin: And in the meantime, we also kept talking about working on an album. That we want to make a comeback.

10: It must’ve not been easy taking care of your vocal cords.
Jo: It’s actually difficult. Since I have to keep talking when I’m shooting MBC make-believe reality show “We are Married.” too. But it’s all about self-management. I go to the hospital if I’m in the least bit worn out and drink lots of water. I don’t want the rest of my group to suffer because of me. Whatever situation I may be in, I want to do the best job I can at singing.

10: I think your feelings toward each other must have changed during the past year because of the different schedules you had.
Changmin: There were times when we wouldn’t see each other for days. But I think we grow closer during rough times. We worry more for the other person.
Jo: Jinwoon kept text messaging me while I was shooting SBS variety show “Family Outing.” He sent it right when I was feeling tired saying, “How is it? Careful you don’t catch a cold.” I felt so thankful to him. Some people ask if other members of my group don’t envy me since I sometimes have the busiest schedule but we don’t have any qualms about it. We’d been trainees together for a long time, going through hard times together, so we are good at understanding and being considerate toward each other.

10: What did you think of “I Can’t Let You Go” when you first heard it? It seemed like producer Bang Si-hyuk put a lot of though into it — so that it could be received well by the public.
Changmin: We too immediately said the song was going to be a hit.
Seulong: I felt a bit awkward singing it in the beginning because it wasn’t the JYP style I had become used to but I started realizing how great it is while recording it.

Boy band 2AM members Jo Kwon (left) and Changmin [Chae Ki-won/10Asia]

10: It was impressive how your harmony in the hook of the song was emphasized, different from your previous songs. It expresses your voices better as a group.
Jo: I think harmony is important in appealing who we are. Since we are singers and part of a group. We hadn’t harmonized for the recorded version of “This Song” but we did when we performed the song live.

10: Jo Kwon, you lead the harmony. Is there anything you keep in mind in particular when you sing?
Jo: I think emotions are crucial to harmony. The listener will be moved when we put our hearts into the song rather than being too technical about it. I’m the main vocal for the hook but when every member concentrates on the lyrics and pours his heart into his singing, we can make the melody sound like it is sung on a single note rather than several.
Seulong: “I Can’t Let You Go” is a song which shows that we are indeed a group. I hope people will feel and think that we are a group, not a 2AM which pursued their individual activities upon hearing how we harmonize.

10: What did Bang Si-hyuk ask for when you recorded the song?
Jo: Both him and Park Jin-hyung always emphasize that we have to sing as if we’re talking to someone so that our emotions get delivered to the listener. The difference between them is that Park will point out everything about the song, to the smallest detail, while Bang will ask us to sing the song in the way we feel about it after looking at it overall. He’ll then coach us until we express the emotions in the right way.
Changmin: Park is a singer-turned-producer so he’d give us vocalization lessons while recording a song. But Bang emphasizes expressing the emotions more. We kept practicing based on that and what we thought worked so I think that’s why the album may seem different from our previous albums.
Seulong: I have a part where I sing as if I’m churning out the rhythm. I like grooving as I please so I think it was easier to express who I am as a singer with this song.

10: How was singing “I Can’t Let You Go” for you, Jinwoon? Part of the lyrics that you sing says, “I get hurt too, even if I’m young.”
Jinwoon: I sang it the way it was written. I had a first love too and everything but when I tell people, they often say “What would you know when you’re so young.” I really sang it the way I feel it.

10: At the SBS Music Festival last year, I saw Jinwoon patting Seulong’s shoulders. It looked like you do your job as the youngest of the group.
Jinwoon: He told me to, as if I’m practicing playing the drum on his back.
Changmin: We step on him when we’re at home.
Jo: He does a good job of being the youngest. (laugh)

10: In reality show “We are Married,” you guys seemed to give off the vibe that you as a group would attack intruders when Jo Kwon’s make-believe wife Ga-in appeared at your house.(laugh)
Jo Kwon: We do that. Do everything as a group.
Seulong: We were able to act comfortable around her when we shot that because we’re friends with her. And she came to our house as Jo Kwon’s wife so we tried to make it funny.

2AM members Seulong (left) and Jinwoon [Chae Ki-won/10As

10: Jo Kwon, it seems that you’re going on the dates that you usually don’t get to do through “We are Married.”
Jo: At least I can. There are cameras and a lot of people around when we shoot the show but I don’t mind it too much. I really have fun with it.

10: Well fans usually object against idols going out but I think the response is a bit different with you and Brown Eyed Girls member Ga-in.
Jo: I’m surprised about that too. I didn’t know we would receive this kind of response when we first appeared on the show. I think some people think we would actually look good as a real couple because we treat each other like friends, quite comfortably. I also think we’ve scored some points from fans after appearing on the show because I get to show the more masculine side to me and Ga-in is seen more as a lady who knows how to act coquettish, different from the slightly haughty look she puts on when she’s performing on stage.

10: You seem to be the one who acts more coquettish though. (laugh)
Jo: I can’t help it because I’m younger. (laugh)

10: What do the rest of you think?
Seulong: He acts exactly the same as he usually does.
Jinwoon: It’s fun watching other couples but Jo Kwon and Ga-in really look good together.
Changmin: I envy them a lot. For the fact that they can date so openly. (laugh)

10: Well it can’t be all fun, especially since you’re all becoming busier with your appearances on variety shows. Jo Kwon had to participate in a sports event on “We are Married” even though he caught the stomach flu. What keeps you going?
Seulong: I think the common desire to make 2AM successful.
Changmin: What we said when we first started appearing on variety shows was that one’s individual popularity equals to that group’s popularity. When we go on a show, we introduce ourselves by saying, “Hello, I am 2AM member whoever.” And by saying this, the viewers get to hear the name of our group. That’s what was important to us — making our name known. When we first debuted, Park Jin-young used to tell us, “Wherever you are, at a small event or on TV, put yourself out there with the mindset that you’ll each attract just ten fans that day.” I think that helped us a lot.

10: And I think the response to “I Can’t Let You Go” proves that. I think your group has entered a new phase due to your activities during the past year. What sort of team do you want to become in the future?
Seulong: First of all, we want to keep going the way we have been going so far. Show our real selves on variety shows, sing sincerely on the stage and be good at self-management and also taking care of our throats. We’ve gotten where we are now because we steadily built on our experience so I think we’re stable now. I think that if we keep going, there will be a day we receive even more love from our fans.

Boy band 2AM [Chae Ki-won/10Asia]

10: Changmin has to answer three questions in a row. (laugh) First, why did you change your singing style? When we listen to you sing “Another Day” in high school, your deep voice sounds very attractive. Do you think you will go back to singing in your old voice tone?
Changmin: For the time being, no. My real voice is the current voice but it was the trend back then to sing R&B in a deep voice like [Fly To The Sky singer] Fany, so that is how I did my vocal exercises. But I kept getting a sore throat singing like that, so I started doing vocals in my own voice and changed to my current voice.

10: I will read you this question, asked by one of your fans, word for word. “When I heard you were a military-graduate-idol, I thought you would be very old but was shocked that you were surprisingly youthful.” Why did you go to the military so early?”
2AM: Hahahahaha
Jinwoon: He called you “youthful”, not “young”…
Changmin: My mother told me to go. She persuaded me by saying things like if I go during my freshman year of college, she will buy me a car when I get back. Or that there will be no obstacles in pursuing my singing career if I fulfill my military duties. I wanted to go to the army later because if I became a singer first, I wasn’t sure if I would be able to keep doing music after I went off to the military. That is why I went early.

10: Changmin is an idol but he gets ignored a bit on KBS variety show “Star Golden Bell”.
Changmin: I get ignored a lot. (laugh)

10: You are an idol and ballad singer. What is like to play a character who gets attacked like that?
Changmin: Honestly, in the beginning… I sort of liked it. I thought they were expressing their interest in me and I had said I wanted show my funny sides a lot. But after a while the fans would laugh when I was singing ballads. (laugh) That was a little hard on me. But the image that I show in variety programs is sort of the guy-next-door image, so when I get attacked on entertainment shows, I attack them back. It was a little difficult for a while but I don’t feel the pressure now.

2AM member Jo Kwon [Chae Ki-won/10Asia]

10: What kind of thoughts run through your head when you get involved in spontaneous situations, like when you suddenly had to start beatboxing on “Radio Star”?
Changmin: That I have to do it. I could be bad but be honest and give my best shot at it. If I run out of breath, that could be funny too.
Seulong: I think on variety shows, people accept you the way you are as long as you are honest about whatever it is that you’re doing.

10: So you were being yourself and got misunderstood in the Netherlands as being gay with the “Dirty Eyed Girls” video. [“Dirty Eyed Girls” is a parody group of Korean girl band “Brown Eyed Girls” composed of two 2AM members and three 2PM singers.]
Seulong: I sort of overdid it in that… (laugh)

10: How do you feel about doing many variety shows even though you are very skilled singers?
Seulong: It is all right because we ourselves enjoy appearing on them. We like talking with a lot of people on those shows.
Changmin: There are people who listen to our music more after seeing us on variety shows, so I like it.

10: Jo Kwon, have you felt that you could really date Ga-in after having appeared on MBC variety show segment “We Got Married”?
Jo Kwon: I think I would be lying if I said I don’t have such feelings at all. I heard that even actors believe that they are truly in love with the person while they are acting to express romantic emotions toward a lover. I think it is a similar case with “We Got Married”. I think we’re increasingly developing these wonderful feelings as we get to know each other’s personality and charms.

2AM member Changmin [Chae Ki-won/10Asia]

10: How did the other members react when Jo Kwon said on “Radio Star” that he “almost became a 2PM member but saved 2AM by coming to this team”?
Seulong: It was true and bitter to hear too.. (laugh) There was a 2AM member among 2PM singers too. Like all the trainees at the company, Kwon and I went through seven different combinations of groups before finally making our debut as 2AM on the eighth combination.

10: When Jo Kwon took his college entrance exam, there was a heartwarming story about Changmin making a lunchbox for him. What about when Jinwoon took his exam?
Jinwoon: My mom made mine. Everyone had a very busy schedule…
Changmin: We couldn’t go and support Jin-woon when he took his college exam because work ended late in early morning. But we plan on going to his graduation if we don’t have any work that day.

10: Fans really loved to see Jinwoon wear his school uniform and many have requested that he keeps wearing the uniform in college.
Jinwoon: I heard there were schools in the U.S. that wear uniforms, so if you send me to the U.S….
Jo Kwon: Just wear it. Wear a sailor uniform.

10: If 2AM could hold a solo concert, what kind of performances would each of you want to put on?
Jinwoon: At the last fan meeting, I made a digital sound source myself and sang a rock song. But the sound was disappointing because it was not a live performance. When I do a concert, I want fans to see me making music with friends that I have been doing music with.

Changmin: I want them to hear the songs that I really like. Personally, I like everyone from Ray Charles to Rancid, but so far I have only song trot songs. (laugh)
Jo Kwon: I want show them a unique and fantastic performance.
Seulong: Lady Jo Kwon?
2AM: Hahaha
Jo Kwon: Not Lady Gaga, something cool.
Seulong: I want to do a performance but with no dancing. I want to just stand and sing a song like Ne-Yo’s.

2AM member Seulong [Chae Ki-won/10Asia]

10: Are there any activities that you want to do separately? I think some fans still want to see Seulong’s body accentuated.
Jo Kwon: Shoot a sexy photo spread?
Jiinwoon: Im Seulong sexy photo spread!
Changmin: If you appear topless, you’ll get mistaken for a woman.. and become famous in the Netherlands again.
2AM: Hahaha
Seulong: I do work out harder because fans like that side of me. Everybody wants to do solo activities, and I do too. But I think we still need to work as the group 2AM.

10: In the teaser video prior to the album release, there was a scene where Seulwong got soaked in the rain and you received an outpouring of questions such as, “Seulong, how did you bulk up your chest?” (laugh)
Jo Kwon: His chest was big even before he started working out. His chest feels hard because it is all muscle now but before working out…
Seulong: Everyone is born with certain exceptional body features. I was born with an exceptional chest. (laugh) The trainers at the gym always touch my chest, saying that they want their chest to be like mine. They told me to “develop the area which is best developed” and that is how I got to be like this, but all you have to do is just work out hard. But you can’t do anything about what you are born with, so you have to give it up. (laugh)

10: After watching “We Got Married”, fans even wanted to know what kind of smell was coming from Seulong’s room.
Seulong: Oh come on.. that is so wrong. My room doesn’t smell, right?
Jinwoon: That is because you are in your own room.
Seulong: No! I don’t smell! Really!
Changmin: There was one time when we left a chicken breast in there and it rot. (laugh)
Seulong: That was because I am very forgetful and I forget to remove lunchboxes and stuff. It doesn’t smell now.

10: What about the rooms of other members?
Jinwoon: Not really…
Jo kwon: Oh, your room smells too. Sometimes it’s even worse than Seulong’s room.

2AM member Jinwoon [Chae Ki-won/10Asia]

10: Jo Kwon seems very confident. (laugh)
Jinwoon: His really doesn’t smell.
Jo Kwon: I buy a bunch of air fresheners and put them in my room. I put about two in Seulong’s room and I even put in moisture removers in all the closets. (laugh)

10: What is the most radical thing that you have done while working as 2AM?
Changmin: Taking my glasses off. My eye sight is 2.0 and I feel uncomfortable wearing glasses. So I took them off for wardrobe and concept reasons. Some people like it and others tell me to put them back on.. I think that was a radical thing. (laugh)
Jinwoon: Hitting my chest during my singing. (laugh) It was okay to hit the chest but I went too far by saying on the radio, “What I can never give up on stage is hitting my chest.” If I give it up now, I feel like losing.
Changmin: Chest-hitting was not in the original plan, but he did it once during the music video and got a pretty good reaction from people. And he’s been hitting himself ever since.
Seulong: Looking back on it now, I think I went a bit too far with “Dirty Eyed Girls.” (laugh)

10: How did you guys react after shooting “Dirty Eyed Girls”?
Seulong: I didn’t think it would be such a huge hit when I was shooting it. When we get together with the 2PM boys, we get along really well, even better than you see on TV. We just did our thing and people really enjoyed watching it.
Jo kwon: I knew it would become the talk of the town. (Licking his lips with his tongue) We do it like this — how could it not be a hot topic? (laugh)
Changmin: I still remember these guys saying, “I think this will surely get us onto [Korea’s year-end music festival] MKMF.”
Jo Kwon: And we really did it a lot on variety shows.
Seulong: They still make us do it.

10: You will probably have do something beyond that performance to make them stop.
Changmin: Beyond that? What in the world can we do…

Senior Reporter : Kang Myoung-Seok
Reporter : Choi Ji-Eun
Photographer : Chae ki-won
Editor : Jessica Kim, Lee Ji-Hye
<ⓒ10Asia All rights reserved>


Actor Lee Seung-gi [Chae Ki-won/10Asia]

10: The photographer said you are good at putting on different expressions, as if you’re acting while thinking about a certain situation. What do you think about when you take photos?
Lee Seung-gi (Lee): I noticed that some of my senior actors put on different expressions when they take photos. And it seems that the more I think, the more various expressions I can put on. That’s why I imagine I’m acting when I’m being photographed.

10: Are you the type that usually prepares and thinks a lot in advance?
Lee: The president of my agency is strict (laugh) so even if I do start becoming lazy, people around me set me straight so that I can prepare in time. And it’s different when I go to a shoot for TV shows with the ad-libs prepared. Even with talk show “Strong Heart,” I can think up several dozens of ad-libs if I look at the script enough. But I’ll only get to use one of them on the show so I keep thinking of the different situations which could arise on the show.

10: So the seemingly spontaneous remarks you make on “Strong Heart” are actually from thorough preparation.
Lee: That’s why I have a headache. [Kang] Ho-dong is the main host of the show so he has no choice but to go along with the script. I can help make the show better by wrapping up a conversation after a guest answers Kang’s question. But it’s something you can’t prepare in advance which is why it’s so difficult.

Actor Lee Seung-gi [Chae Ki-won/10Asia]

10: Did producer Park Sang-hyuk tell you why he cast you as one of the main hosts for the show?
Lee: I don’t ask those type of questions. I’m scared I might become too conscious of what I’ve heard and not be myself. How I do in the future is more important, I think.

10: Does Kang give you advice?
Lee: Kang doesn’t pressure the guests. He is cautious about telling people what he thinks because he believes that those who appear on TV are doing so because they have an ability they trust in themselves.

10: What is your thoughts on him?
Lee: That the difference between being first and second are nowhere close to each other. With variety show “Two Days and One Night,” I wasn’t host of the show so I thought all six of us were involved in its making. But now that I know what it’s like being emcee, wow. It’s definitely not an easy job at all — listening to the the stories of all the guests, figuring out the connections, giving people roles… The person who is at the center of a show, like Kang, and has to make the program fun and those who are watching from beside, are on a complete different spectrum I think.

10: You once said you have room to breathe when your goal is to reach 99 but it’s entirely different when you add 1 onto it.
Lee: I used to tell myself that I would be happy with 99. But people who will be content with reaching 99 seem to have a mindset so different from those who want to reach 100 that the gap is closer to 200 or 300.

10: How did you come to think such thoughts? I heard that you went out to do manual labor after debuting and becoming famous because you thought it wasn’t right that you were making so much money.
Lee: So many people around me were telling me that I don’t try hard enough because I didn’t face much difficulty growing up so being the immature guy I was back then, I told myself I could put myself in that situation then. I had the wrong idea about it now that I think about it. because it’s a different kind of difficulty.

10: Is it in year nature to control yourself and keep developing/
Lee: I’m very cowardly. I don’t like creating problems and I was taught at home not to either.

How did your parents teach you? I read on the Internet that you are close with them yet courteous toward them.
Lee: They dind’t boss me around but rather let me do what I want. But I feel guilty when they cross the line (laugh) so iI guess you could say that’s in my nature.

Actor Lee Seung-gi [Chae Ki-won/10Asia]

10: But weren’t your choices rather bold, on the other hand? Everyhitng must have been a risk for you — from your role as an annoying guy in KBS series “xxx” or taking on the role as host in “Strong Heart.”
Lee: I’m not the one who calls the bets. I’m very cowardly (laugh) so I just go with whatever bold decision my agency makes for me.

10: Even if your company makes the decision, you’re the one who gets the response. Isn’t it tough?
Lee: I really was so stressed about “Strong Heart.” If I was going to take it on, I wanted to do a good job with it, but with all the preparing I had to do, I kept myself if I could really do it. But I’ve only been at this career for about six years now. I haven’t experienced that much failure or success either. I don’t think I should be making my own decision with the mere experience I have right now.

But despite that personality of yours, you seem very bold in “Two Nights and One Day.”
Lee: You’re right. I’m emotional in many ways. I try not to show it too much on TV though because it won’t do me much good but I do think a tenaciousness, in the good sense, is necessary in making a show. I just let myself go (laugh) or I might get sick.

10: It seems you show more of your real self when you’re working.
Lee: It’s comfortable because I’m working within a set boundary — in broadcasting in my case. I don’t go on TV to create problems so even if there’s a misunderstanding, the viewers will know I didn’t intend on it and I get to work with veteran celebrities and they accept pretty much all I say as long as it doesn’t cross the line. And I don’t know that many celebrities. I never even went on a trip with my friends in high school. So I love traveling with the cast of “Two Nights and One Day.” I can’t wait till we shoot another expisode and I feel so happy when I make others laugh.

Lee Seung-gi [Chae Ki-won/10Asia]

10: You seem to have a vibe that’s different from other celebrities your age. Even at year-end award events, you didn’t seem to quite fit into the category of idol stars.
Lee: You’re right. I felt that at the end of the year. The singers were all sitting together but I felt awkward being there. Amongst the idols, plus I’m not really that with anyone in particular. And the idol singers dance too so I wouldn’t really get to perform with them either.

10: Does working alone, separate from people your age, influence your work? You seemed to be a bit uneasy in responding to another actor’s lines in comparison to when you lead a scene alone in SBS TV series “Shining Inheritance.”
Lee: It’s because my acting wasn’t good. And I’m the type that practices a lot so I had gone over my lines numerous times. I memorize my lines perfectly to make up for my acting but that doesn’t always mean I’ll deliver them perfectly either. But I wouldn’t think of that and just pour out my lines, even after making a mistake. Because that’s how I rehearsed. (lauigh) I think that’s why my acting may have seemed awkward. And I’d be the clumsy character on a variety show at 6:30 p.m. then a son of an heir at 10 p.m. so I think that didn’t help in getting viewers into my character.

10: Are you not pressured by doing a variety of work?
Lee: I like to be natural. People see me as Lee Seung-gi so when I did “Shining Inheritance,” I think it was good that there was some of me in the character rather just being the plain bad boy. People have already seen the me at 6:30 p.m. I think I’d be driving viewers away if I was greedy and declared that acting is something completely different.

10: But a variety of responses come out depending on the success or failure of every realm of the entertainment industry you work in. For example, if your drama does well but not your music, they’ll still say you failed.
Lee: I honestly had expected my fourth album to do better so the result wasn’t as satisfying. But before that, “Will You Marry Me” received great response, much more than I had expected. I think there are times that something will work out better than you expected or worse. In the beginning I would feel good after hearing a compliement and then disgruntled after being criticized. But I don’t think I should be swayed by it.

10: You were very popular last year — doesn’t that pressure you?
Lee: I’m always the same. I wanted to be the same person I was when I first debuted so that’s why I kept working hard on “Two Nights and One Day” after “Shining Inheritance.”

Lee Seung-gi [Chae Ki-won/10Asia]

10: Then how do you picture yourself in the future?
Lee: People like Kang Ho-dong and baseball player Park Chan-ho say they want to do all that they can, while they can, rather than quitting at one point and becoming a legend. They want to keep going till there is no lingering emotion left. It’s the same for me too. And I still have about ten years left to become their age so I’ll work hard for the time being.

10: Many mothers pick you as the ideal son for your trustworthy image. What sort of atmosphere were you raised in?
Lee Seung-gi (Lee): They never set any restrictions. But no matter what, they did not like me sleeping over at someone else’s house. So even in college, if I hang out till late with my friends, I would still go home to sleep.

10: Isn’t it hard being a celebrity and a college student at the same time? You graduated without taking a single leave. Are there any special memories you have from that time?
Lee: College went by in a flash. I wanted to enjoy it more but I couldn’t get the best of both worlds. I didn’t have time to hang out with other students or anything.

Senior Reporter : Kang Myoung-Seok
Photographer : Chae ki-won
Editor : Jessica Kim, Lee Ji-Hye
<ⓒ10Asia All rights reserved>


Watching “The phantom of the opera” to study the character

“Ghost is a person who can’t forget his ex-lover, he can’t leave a pension in the forest in Kangwondo and he lives like a phantom. Because of the acting for this character, I have to question myself continuously <I’m still alive or I’m dead. Why I am here ?>. I feel like I has become a philosophical and contemplative person”

The movie had started filming when the screenplay hadnt been finished yet. Therefore, Kim Kibum hadnt understood his character so well when he first attended the filming, moreover he is still in his early 20s’ so it was very difficult for him to use his body to express one person’s deep sorrow because of love

“During 2 months, I avoided contacting with people and spend almost the time in the dark places. I had tried my best to be able to be mysterious like the character <phantom> in the movie <The phantom of the opera> which I was recommended by the director”.

“We (Kibum & Bora) sometime drink together. Also, the winter came to Jumunjin quite soon so I remember we got to see the first snow in November”

Suju is a strong family

“I’m the one who always busy but although I dont have chance to share every small story with the other members, inside my heart Suju still exist like a strong family. This time “Jumunjin” press conference, the other members also came and gave me their support”

Challenge in director Heo Jinho’s play “A middle nap”

Not long ago, Ki Kibum has been cast in the play “A middle nap” of directer Heo Jinho. Singing, drama, movie, play…to him, the question “What do you really want to do ?” hasnt have its meaning already.

“I think it’s not important what modifier will be put in front of my name. I enjoy my life as much as I can so whatever I want and experience the happiness from that. Moreover, it’s a honor that director Heo Jinho himself had suggested me to the play so I didnt question anything and agree.”

“Everybody please stay healthy in the new year. I hope I can get healthier. It’d better begin with I should make my cold go away….”

original article is here
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251209 interveiw with Leeteuk and EunHyuk in KBS world radio Arabic Department

two DJs for this interview i refering to them as DJ 1 , DJ 2 and DJs (if both of them talk)
ET(Eeteuk ) , EH ( EunHyuk)

DJ 1 : today guys we have a big gift for the new year
DJ 2 : yes , honestly this not just a gift for you (listeners) , it’s for us as well , right ?
DJ 1 : yeah
DJ 2 : I feel like i’m dreaming right now and I don’t want to wake up . guys , do you know who are with us today?
I think you (listeners) didn’t expect this too . because of you and because of your massages that you tell us throw it (massages)
to do this interview with Super Junior . your dream has achieved and we (all) will not forget it .
DJ 1 : today guys we are hosting 2 handsome guys from the korean boyband Super Junior.
DJ 2 : here they are Eeteuk and Eunhyuk .
DJs : welcome welcome
ET & EH : Hello , we’re Super Juni ~ o r
DJs : nice to meet you , nice to meet you guys
DJ1 : before we start please introduce your selves to the listeners
ET : hello , I’m Super Junior’s leader Eeteuk
EH : hello , I’m Super Junior’s member Eunhyuk , nice to meet you
DJ 2 : so , do you know guys that you and all Super Junior’s members are very famous in Arab countries .
DJ 1 : we have a lot of massages from the listeners expressing their feeling about Super Junior and saying how much they like you
And your songs too . and ask us (KBS world radio) to do this interview and some ask you to visit the UAE
DJ 2 : have you been in any Arabic country before ?
ET : unfortunately we haven’t visit any , but if there is a chance we want to visit Arabic country in the future . thank you for loving us
DJ 2 : is there any chance to hold concert in any Arabic country like UAE ?
ET : we want to go there for concert and fan meeting but first we want the Arabic fans to give more love to us .
DJ 1 :some of the members are doing drama and you DJ-ing in Kbs radio , how is your schedule coordinating ?
ET : it all done by the manger’s help , we also cooperate and try not to make our solo activity conflict with our group activity
DJ 2 : then what do you do in your free time , do you play a video games ?
EH : for me , I like spend my time in shopping and .. I like driving also.
ET : I like spend my free time in the dorm and going online and sometime I play piano
DJ 2 : he’s an artiest after all
DJ 1 : do you go to noraebang* and what kind of music do you sing there ?
ET : yes we visit it (noraebang) sometimes and we sing all kind of song especially Trot songs.
DJ 1 : how many time do you go there ?
ET : 2 times in a year
DJs : not so much , you have to go often
DJ 1 : can we listen to some song from you guys ?
ET : when we go to Noraebang we sing trot songs so now we will sing a trot song called “ with My love “
ET&EH sing
DJ 1 : we want to listen to Sorry Sorry too please
DJ 2 : yes, Sorry Sorry
ET&EH sing Sorry Sorry
DJs : woo very good
DJ2 : have you listened to Arabic song before or do you know any male/female singer ?
ET&EH : no we didn’t , but if you recommend some Arabic songs to us we’ll listen to it of course .
DJ 1 : I want to ask a personal question . when will you plan to get married ?
EH : when all the member of Super Junior gathering together we always talk about this and even discuss it with other (male) ideal
but all of them are not married too . For me , I want to get married when I can even if it’s tomorrow
ET : I want to get married within 10 years .
DJ 2 : do you have girlfriend ?
ET : unfortunately I don’t have but if I have (girlfriend) , I’ll marry her within 3 years
EH : I’m suffering in this winter alone (also) without girlfriend .
DJ 2 : tell us about your future plans..
ET : we well release our 4th album and continuo our 2nd Asia tour that we already started in beginning of 2009
DJ1 : I heard that you were in Thailand recently and held a concert there . is there any plan to hold a concerts in other Asian country too ?
ET : we held 3 concerts in Korea and 3 in Japan and we’ll hold it in Taiwan , Hong Kong , and China too
DJ 2 : we hope you hold concerts in Arabic countries also
ET &EH : we want that too .
DJ 1 : Eeteuk also want that (too) just keep asking him (and other members ) if you want (them to hold a concert) .
DJ 2 : how can you see Super Junior in the future ?
EH : firstly, Super Junior’s name will remain forever . all the members are working in all , we have singers , actors , MCs , DJs ,models
So in future we’ll be the top in all .
DJ 2 : in sha’a Allah *
ET : also we plan to hold a concerts in Arabic countries , in sha’a Allah
DJ1 : do you want to be in drama or movie ?
EH : if I have chance I’ll try my best to be in all fields.
ET : Me too if I have a chance , I want (also) to be in Arabic drama/movie .
DJ s : great !!
DJ2 : he will studying Arabic language .
ET : in sha’a Allah .
DJ 2 : and memorizing some words
ET : in sha’a Allah
DJ 1 : great . our loveable listeners are you still enjoying this interview like me?
DJ 2 : yes, me too . I really want to talk to you guys more but because of the radio you DJ-ing will start soon , so unfortunately we have to
Finish this interview .
DJ 1 : yes. We wish we can do more interviews with you and with other Super Junior members in future in Korea or any Arabic country .
DJs : thank you very much .
DJ 1 : can I ask you to say Arabic words ?
ET : this is (word will he say it in arabic ) from a funny experience but it’s very entertaining . I learn some Arabic words but I’m
worried since the pronunciation not that good . ela aleqa’a *
DJs : haha nice
EH : ma’a Alsalama *
ET : in sha’a Allah
EH : I love you
All : thank you

*(noraebang ) karaoke bars
*(in sha’a Allah ) its Arabic/Islamic way of saying god willing
*(ela aleqa’a ) arabic word means see you soon
*(ma’a Alsalama) another arabic word means bye

Source : Kbs world radio video
notice & video found by : UAE-E.L.F & jojo.27@
Translated by : Gova @