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ELLE MEN MAGAZINE HONGKONG - September Issue

EXO-M LAY (works harder since people look down on me)

E: Elle Men  |  L: Lay

E: How do you let yourself become well-rounded?

L: I have to ensure myself first before the process of growing steadily by developing my abilities in other areas. For example, even though I debuted as a dancer I’m also working hard to improve in playing the piano, guitar, composing, arranging music, singing, etc.

E: Do you think being well-rounded is an advantage or disadvantage?

L: As a performing artist, I’ve always believed in the phrase “艺不压身” (skills will not crush the body). On top of that, I’m a Libra, who strives for perfection and balance. That’s why I put myself under a lot of pressure- to always work hard, to do everything well.

E: Considering the lifespan as an artist, being well-rounded is also a type of advantage, right?

L: Yes, yes, yes, (the type to) begin slowly, then later on you can showcase something more when you become a more developed person.

E: Is your character the type to mature slowly as well?

L: Not particularly a good character- usually very gentle, but there are times when I’m irritated, I tend to accumulate them for a long time and then explode later on, it scares the other people.

E: If there are good opportunities for acting, will you gladly accept it?

L: Of course, a good opportunity is also very helpful for me when writing songs, more skills can be honed through acting, as well as meeting more friends. And maybe in that same cast, I could find friends who like music as well, that is so much better!

E: What if the OST you would also write?

L: WOW……if they use my title track, I will not charge talent fee for acting in it.

E: What is your goal in the field of music?

L: In the field of music, our seniors have already set a really good example.  I have never thought of bringing Chinese music to wherever, but I kind of have an advantage: I’m not only a part of a Chinese group, I’m also a member of an Asian group groomed by a Korean company. Our activities are all over the world, therefore I hope that this could create a channel of connection and linking bridge. I give myself 10 years, or 5 years, I would like to lead in bringing up Chinese music to everyone. This is my ultimate goal.

E: Supposing that you return to a Chinese environment, if by any chance it’s different from what you’ve expected, how will you adjust?

L: I would be quite happy to accept failures, really willing to accept defeat. In the musical point of view, there is no right answer. It only says that for your music, your beat, your melody, your lyrics, you only need 2 to capture everyone, then your song is basically complete. It’s impossible for everyone to like your music. If later on they’d be as sad as you are after hearing the song, feeling the song, then that is good.

E: What songs do you usually like to listen to?

L: I like listening to the songs that I composed. Do you want to listen to it? I wrote a rap lately, and did a demo. These and the Chinese pop music certainly have a connection (The writer was listening to the song while Yixing was explaining and doing dance moves)

E: So do you depend on watching TV shows to find inspiration?

L: I really don’t have time to watch! Isn’t “You Who Came From The Stars” quite popular? I always have no time to watch it. I always thought that a girl from outer space came over, and from then on a series of events occurred.

E: How do you see yourself in 5 years, 10 years’ time?

L: Besides my career, should be looking for a girlfriend?, perhaps already married? HAHAHAHA!

E: What about your career?

L: Of course I won’t give up my career, my goal is pretty big, therefore it’s important to prepare a lot of things, they’re piling up. I wish to lead Chinese music well.

E: How did you got such thoughtful and polite traits?

L: Since young, I was brought up by my grandparents. Both of them are teachers, therefore it had a huge impact on me in terms of my behavior, I also quite respect the elderly. When I just first came to the company, they have a lot of formalities, and the differences in culture caused collisions, it was really a headache. Koreans are really particular when it comes to ranks, when meeting someone of a higher status, it is important to bow and greet them, while meeting someone of a lower status, it’s alright to use informal language. But because of the influence of how I was brought up,  I think that all the people who helped me, the people who silently contributed behind my back, all of them are my rightful benefactors,and therefore they should be placed of higher status than me. 

It is even more so for the fans. We may not be able to develop a close relationship with them, and I may have never said words like “you are my girlfriends” but everyone knows that we share a special kind of relationship. While all we do is put on make-up, wait on air-conditioned rooms, perform onstage, then sweat a lot, but they started since probably yesterday, the day before yesterday, or even a month before to buy the tickets, sometimes even going to the airport to see us, they go way back. So I feel like the kind of love that the fans give is really admirable and at the same time, cute. If my bows could represent gratitude and respect, then I hope that you don’t think that I bow too much. For everything that you have done, a hundred, or a thousand bows is not enough.

E: Can you tell us about your experience as you were growing up?

L: Since I was little, my mom likes to show me Michael Jackson clips. At that time moonwalk was really popular. I badly want to learn, but I really can’t learn how to do it. During highschool, I was quite interested in popping. In the end, I even became the lead dancer of the club. I think that throughout this whole journey, it is most important to still work your hardest, and practice more. I also encouraged my friends that regardless of what company they join, all of them are likely to do very well on that field. When I was still a trainee, everyday I would practice for more than 10 hours. There were times when I tend to practice more, and realize that I practiced too much for an entire day, I won’t be able to go home and sleep. My motivation comes from those number of teachers who all looked down on me, that I’m not doing well, so I make sure to have some achievements. Specially when some people despise you, it motivates you to work even harder.

E: What is your most favorite motto in life?

L: 努力努力再努力 (work hard, work hard, keep working hard)

E: List 3 of your best qualities.

L: Something that I listed recently- grateful. This is what I sincerely feel. For the other qualities, I still have to think about it. I’m considered pretty talented I guess, HAHA, also hardworking!

E: And lastly, for ELLE MEN’s first anniversary, please say a few words!

L: First of all, to be able to represent EXO in this photoshoot for ELLE MEN in Hong Kong, and to get close with our Hong Kong friends, I am extremely honored and especially happy. When we had our concert in Hong Kong, I really wanted to say something: (Cantonese) “Thank you everyone who came to watch our concert! Thank you all! I wish that EXO would grow even better and greater, and give you all a better image. I hope everyone would give ELLE MEN lots of love, and love EXO too!

 © yixingology | @jiashuais

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T/N: Translated as closely as how Yixing had said it so grammar might sound off.

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