A REAL WINNER
A new YG boy group for the first time in 9 years since Big Bang. Through Mnet , the 5 members who were chosen by the public, needed another year even after the program ended. In a never ending competition in the music industry, to become true Winners, they chose ‘completeness’ over ‘time. ‘A Real Winner’ who can win in any battle have appeared.
– You seem like the visual of WINNER with your handsome face. How would you assess your own face?
Jinwoo: I think people think this because I have big eyes. Everyone has different perceptions of what good looking is so I don’t think it’s the coolest compliment. Maybe it’s because my eyes, nose, lips are well defined and I look close to a standard handsome man? If I had to assess my own looks, it’s quite embarrassing but I think they’re average.
– Then, when do you think you look the most good looking?
Jinwoo: Right after I take a shower. And when I look in the mirror, there are times when I think ‘I look good today’.
– Who do you think is the coolest member?
Jinwoo: Taehyun. Of course he’s good looking, but I’m envious of Taehyun’s unique vibe. Even as a man, Taehyun has a lot of cool aspects. Starting with the hairstyle that doesn’t look good on everyone, and even his superb fashion sense, he’s a really cool man.
– On Mnet’s WINNERTV, you seem like a very pure and delicate person. In order to survive in the harsh entertainment industry, you’ll have to become stronger.
Jinwoo: I think so too. Thankfully, the amount of my tears have been fluctuating lately. Even when I watch sad movies, I don’t cry as much as before so I was surprised. But, a while back, Seunghoon had an accident where he fell off the stage. I didn’t show it to the members, but I cried seeing Seunghoon getting carried away. It really hurt my heart. To take care of my dongsengs, as the eldest hyung, I have to strengthen my mind.
– On Mnet’s WINNERTV , we saw you take over 3 hours to reach a destination that usually takes 10 minutes. Is it a really serious case of having no sense of direction?
Jinwoo: All my life I have never thought of that but I wonder why I was acting so stupidly at that moment. Usually, I tend to find places really well. When I got off the subway, there was a Tokyo Tower sign but I didn’t see it. Truthfully, even if I did see it, I wouldn’t have been able to read it.
– When do you want to go to your hometown after debut?
Jinwoo: When I’m sick or want to be taken care of. These days, since I’m so busy, I don’t have time to think about those thoughts but when there are times when I suddenly want to be taken care of, I think of my hometown.
– Your calm tone and voice are your charms. It’s a different feeling from the usual Busan men we know.
Hoon: I was always subconscious of my voice but I’m thankful that you said that. I’ve always wanted a low and thick voice like Mino. Until now, I thought that my voice wasn’t that manly. Through WINNER, I think my voice will become another charm so I’m happy.
– The stage direction that you showed on SBS’s ‘Good Sunday KPOPSTAR Season 1’ was very impactful. Are you doing a diverse stage directing for WINNER as well?
Hoon: These days I’m working hard as well. At first, it was something I did cause I liked it but because it’s becoming something that I have to do, there are times when it’s stressful. However, since I like it and it’s something I’m confident in, the company trusts me and lets me do it a lot. To repay them for their trust in me, I work hard.
– Are you getting along well with the competitors from SBS ? Who do you have the strongest friendship with from there?
Hoon: I can’t pick one person, but I’m in touch and get along well with the friends that shared the dorm with me. We support each other a lot and we check up on each other as well. They all work hard and are busy so we can’t meet often but I want us to meet normally after everyone has achieved their dreams.
– Fans call you Seri (“Dominant Lee”). Are you really the most dominant in your team?
Hoon: I know this. I never had a nickname so it makes me happy because I now have one. Since I’m in charge of our performances, I can be seen as being dominant but I’m not. Performances often require someone who leads. So I think people see me as being dominant. It doesn’t make me feel bad.
– When you saw the physiognomist on Mnet , he said that you would have a lot of complications with woman but how is it in real life?
Mino: It’s complicated. With our fans. (laughs). I’m joking, it’s not like I wasn’t popular during school. However, these days, I don’t have the time or freedom to confirm if my fortune is accurate.
– You developed a high recognition from when you were in the underground. Can you talk about your experiences in the underground?
Mino: Back then, I didn’t have high recognition, but I did a lot of featurings and I performed constantly. Because I was combining my trainee life with the underground life, it was physically exhausting but I was really happy. Living while doing what you want to do is something that makes you happy even by thinking about it. Truthfully for me, my dream was to be a rapper not an idol. While going through trainee life, I became an idol rapper with my own colors. Also, there have been times when I made references in lyrics, but I like living while attracting interest. Whether it’s the past or now, those aspects make me happy.
– You were WINNER’s original leader. Are there times when you want the leader position back?
Mino: Seungyoon does a really good job so there aren’t any times when I’m greedy for it. When I was the leader, I felt myself lacking in certain aspects but Seungyoon took care of those aspects well. So, I think that the leader position fits Seungyoon better. I make inputs and comments when I want to and the communication is good so I have no greed at all for the position.
– You’re an older brother who has a pretty younger sister who was in a girl group, is there a member you want to introduce your sister to?
Mino: No. Absolutely not.
– Pick good things about your members and make a new person with those aspects.
Mino: Hmm, Seunghoon’s humor, Seungyoon’s warm but strong appearance? Ah, but I’m really sorry but I don’t think I can do this. Not my younger sister. (laughs)
– The ‘nasigoreng’ that you mentioned on Naver Starcast was trending real time searches.
Seungyoon: It’s a dish that an acquaintance recommended to me and it’s really good so I’ve been eating it often lately. There have been times when I went to eat nasigoreng for 3 days straight, it’s a dish that I recommend a lot. However, I didn’t think it would show up on real time search engines. Next time, I’ll take all the members with me and upload a proof shot.
– On the radio, you said you wanted to go into acting again. What genre and role do you want to challenge?
Seungyoon: There’s not a certain role that I want to do. Right now, I have to pay full attention to my singer activities but if I get the opportunity, I will prepare hard and show a perfect look no matter what role I play. There’s a saying that I really like. ‘Change is the key of success’, with that mindset, I want to attempt diverse roles.
– Out of all the songs you’ve made, which one are you most attached to?
Seungyoon: I’m attached to all the songs I’ve made. There’s a saying that not one finger hurts after biting all ten. For me, my songs feel like my children. I feel attachment to released songs, and I also feel attachment to songs that are unreleased. Having to pick one song is really a cruel task for me.
– How are you getting along with your competitors from Mnet’s SuperStarK2 ? Is there anyone that you’re supporting the most?
Seungyoon: A while back, [Park] Boram finished her last broadcast and sent a supportive message. I was thankful. We talk a lot in the Superstar K chatting room. They are people that always support me and never forget me even though I’m busy and can’t contact them often. I’m always sorry and thankful.
– Do you have any plans to do solo activities again?
Seungyoon: If I get the chance, I might pursue it but right now, I only think about WINNER. It’s a time to be concentrating on Winner. However, as time passes and if the opportunity arises, I want to work harder than I did before.
– It seems like you fixed your dialect a lot. It must have been hard to fix.
Seungyoon: There’s nothing extra I did to fix it. People I meet use standard language so naturally, I started using it too. When I’m alone with Seunghoon-hyung, the dialect comes out without me even knowing. And when all the members are together, I don’t use it. It’s influenced by who I am with at the time. I think the best method is not getting stressed over it and using it naturally.
– There’s a lot of interest online regarding your fashion style and hairstyle. Do you have a personal “styling tip”?
Taehyun: I have a lot of interest in fashion. I especially try to attempt a variety of different things. When I’m home, I watch overseas collections and runway shows of famous brands. I did a lot of sports since I was young so I have thick legs. If I had to give a tip to people who are like me, I would tell them to wear boots that go above your ankles. It covers it to a certain extent. Also, try on pants before buying them. There’s a personal fit. Don’t buy it according to your waist size and pay attention to length and the width before buying. This is my fashion tip.
– Do you have any difficulty as WINNER’s maknae? Who’s the hyung who’s most fond of you? In contrast, is there a dongseng-like hyung?
Taehyun: I have no difficulties. Our team doesn’t have a heirarchy or a mood that makes it difficult to interact with the hyungs. Rather than saying there’s a hyung who’s most fond of me, we’re all close. I’m actually more comfortable that they don’t take care of me because I’m the maknae. All 5 of us treat each other as friends. If I had to pick a hyung that’s like a dongseng, I would pick Jinwoo hyung. From the first impression I got, I thought he was the maknae. When you look at him, he looks young. He has hyung-like aspects but he’s innocent so he’s often like the maknae.
– You have a 5:5 hair split, slanted eyebrows, manly personality, and other diverse charms. What do you think is your best charm?
Taehyun: It’s embarrassing to answer this with my own mouth. I don’t think my face is attractive at first glance/look but I think it’s charming. If you didn’t see me from the start, you didn’t see me. Should I say you won’t forget me if you see me? Rather than saying there’s one specific point that’s charming, wouldn’t you say there’s many things about me put together that complete my charm?
– How long are we going to be able to see your 5:5 split trademark? Is there a different hairstyle that you want to challenge?
Taehyun: I don’t have plans to keep the same hairstyle. I want to show diverse appearances. As I get older, I want to try short hair. A shortcut that gives off manly vibes. The reason I grew out my hair was to increase my patience. However, I realized that the 5:5 split fit me well and I became more patient as well so I killed two birds with one stone.
Translations by: timthemine