Part 2 – Final
What stands out in Kim Junsu’s songs is his emotion.
From a long time ago, I always believed that the most important thing to music is emotion. Whatever timbre or technique you have, I believe it’s a good song when emotions fit that song well.
As you go on in life, and as you grow older, emotions die easier than you think. It seems that artists always need something to stimulate their emotions, what is the thing that helps you keep your emotions stimulated and intact?
That’s right. As you grow older you change into a realist, and with that you can lose your imagination or your sense of challenge. That is fatal to an artist. Ironically, however, I think the experiences I’ve gained while getting older protect my emotions. While I’m doing music, my own story comes up. Singing is like acting. You have to fall into it to do it. If it’s music with lyrics about getting someone, I think that you have to sing with the intent of really seducing someone.
What do musicals mean for Kim Junsu?
Mozart! has the meaning of being the work that allowed me to stand on stage again. After experiencing a huge hardship in 2009, I was very hurt personally, instead of being scared of the stage I was scared of the world. Although that was frustrating and sad, I realized through this work that the place I could stand on again was the stage. Also, I felt like the musical numbers were speaking to my heart, and doing the dark story of Mozart, a genius musician who captivated the whole world, became a good opportunity for me as an artist.
I’m curious about the process of your young and sexy portrayal of the character ‘Death’ from Elisabeth.
Honestly, after doing Mozart I really fell into musicals and went around seeing all kinds of productions. While doing that, my thoughts broadened. In a musical, all the performers must be the character itself and focus one’s energy on showing that character. The method I chose was to be devoted to practice while finding a solution. I looked attentively at how other people made their characters. I made my own character while understanding all the other characters that come out in the play. It was a fairly passionate and fun work. This August, I will do an encore of Elisabeth. Honestly, because I felt greater sense of responsibility after receiving the Best Male Musical Actor Award, I worried while looking through all kinds of productions. But there aren’t many works that an actor in his 20’s can do. Therefore, I also want to quickly enter into my 30’s. If I could do this musical again, I thought about making a character that exceeds the first run, and although the time coincides with my solo album activities, since I have confidence, I will try once again the character of ‘Death’ on Elisabeth.
Throughout the past 10 years there have been good experiences, as well as bad experiences. There are things we know, and also things we don’t know. Do you think that all those experiences were meaningful?
Although I’m only 28, I’d like to think that my bad experiences were in my early 20’s (laughs). But I don’t think there were any useless experiences. I came to think that if there were only good experiences, then I would not have been prepared for life. There were a lot of things and I learned a lot. There are 2 years left until I turn 30 but to me, my 20’s are, whether I liked it or not, my 10 years of learning. I think they are the 10 years that will continue to control the direction that my 30’s, 40s and the rest of my life will take.
Throughout those 10 years you seem to have become very strong.
But maybe it’s because I’m the team’s youngest, but the fans still think of me having a ‘woochuchu’ atmosphere [T/N: the fans love him and treat him like their own child). It seems like you need to have a flexible self-center. Although you may falter if you follow the words of those around you, if you think that only what you say is the right answer, there is no growth. In a flexibile self-center, should I say that there should be some sort of twitching? Ah, when I listened to Cho Youngpil sunbaenim’s ‘Bounce’ I was very surprised and thought about it again. While staying true to my own color, I want to become a singer that that makes music that that the generation ahead wants even when getting older.
These days, I think that seeing the group Shinhwa who has resumed their activities is fun to watch, and that they are cool men at the same time. JYJ’s three men also seemed to have formed a close-knit relationship where you can really talk with each other. Have you imagined how JYJ will be in 10 years?
I remembered hearing something like this from them. When they’re alone, they match their ages of mid-to-early 30’s but when they come together as Shinhwa, they are like high schoolers. It’s because they grew up together like that. JYJ is like that too. When we’re separated, we’re not like that but when the three of us are together we become very childish (laughs). Our jokes go overboard and because the instinct to want to laugh comes up we end up doing weird stuff, and the three of our voices get louder.
After 10 years? I hope it’ll be the same. While listening to the stories Spring-Summer-Fall-Winter sunbaenim’s shared on , I thought it would be great if JYJ will also turn out like that. When looking at the Japanese acapella group Gospellers, all the members are married and although they have wives and children, they still go around together and even their families are close. When I see that image I thought that I want to grow older exactly like that.
In a few past interviews, you said that “Instead of trying to break away from the image of idols, I’d like to change Korea’s views on idols”. Have you not changed your thoughts?
Yes. Idols are singers who do the hottest and trendiest music in that era, and they are people who lead their time with songs, dances, and carefully planned performances. Just because you’re young doesn’t mean you’re an idol and just because you’re old doesn’t mean you’re no longer an idol. The Hallyu Wave has received enormous love from all over the world. That shows how much our pop songs have the power. In that regard, idols groups, instead of being used up and consumed, should continue to maintain their self-esteem and continue to develop. My colleagues and I certainly have that responsibility.
The Tokyo Dome concert earlier this year seems to have been very meaningful place.
Because it was not easy to get there. It was our first official Japanese activity in 3 years and our return to Tokyo Dome. After it became impossible to rent Tokyo Dome, we’ve performed at an outdoor concert 3 hours away from Tokyo. We were very grateful to the fans who came all the way there although we were very encouraged, on the other hand we were very sorry to make them come all the way there. Although we were unsure whether we could stand on stage in Tokyo Dome again, everything worked out dramatically. Truthfully, while in the midst of preparing for Tokyo Dome, I thought that it could be cancelled any moment. Since the shock would have been bigger had I not prepared myself for the worst case scenario. I thought like this often. However, fortunately, we were able to stand on stage. It was very moving. I got choke dup on the last day.
Do you still have any fears now?
I have no fear. Instead of fear, I’ve vaguely thought about until when I will be able to continue doing music and receiving so much love. After that major change happening to us, for 3, 4 years, since the love we received from fans is so big, I believe that right now it’s our turn to return their love rather to expect popularity and do music.
When other members or idol members say things like this, it could be heard as something that’s obvious. But since it’s Kim Junsu, and also JYJ’S story, it sounds a little different.
I also have various roles. I’m Kim Junsu, XIA, JYJ’s Junsu, my parent’s son, and also soccer player no.12. At that time, I can’t separate each role. All of them are me. I dislike being fake. In any situation, I try to be sincere and want to do my best in a positive and enjoyable manner. However, as the musician Kim Junsu and XIA, it’s okay for me to sacrifice ‘myself’ a little more for the fans who have given me so much love. At least on the stage, I don’t want to think about anything but singing sincerely from my heart.
Translated by: mindy@DBSKnights.net