150522 Interview with Jonghyun & Minho:
SHINee “7th year since debut, but we’re still ‘SHINee-like’”
Question: You had your comeback stage on yesterday’s (21st) Mnet ‘MCountdown.’
Jonghyun: It was our first stage after our concert, so we were nervous and felt lacking afterward. Even when we were monitoring, the members were saying, “This part could have been better,” or “This part is lacking too” to each other. From here on out, we’ll show you activities that will make up for these regrets.
Question: You’re getting reviews saying you’re “relaxed” (performance-wise). Are there any areas you’re trying to emphasize?
Minho: It’s not that we’re trying to look relaxed; rather, we wanted to show a leisurely image through our dance. We’re trying to highlight our expression of that, as we always try to show new sides of ourselves. To be honest, we were curious how everyone would take to it since it’s a genre of music and dance that we’ve never tried before, but it’s getting more love than we expected so we’re getting a lot of strength through that. I think we’re off to a good start.
Question: We hear you’re preparing to show off a diverse variety of songs.
Minho: Excluding the title track “View,” the concept of “Love Sick” is that it’s a continuation of the story in our debut song, “Replay.” It includes choreography we showed off back then, and the lyrics were also written like a sequel. If there’s anyone who liked us from the start, it’ll bring up old memories for them. For us, too, we reminisced thinking, ’We promoted like this,’ and memories of those days popped up in our heads. We’re planning to show “An Ode to You” on Inkigayo, and that song is a “fan-song” as well. I’m hopeful that our fans will enjoy it. Honestly, I’m regretful that we couldn’t prepare more for our comeback stage since we had our comeback straight after our concerts. I wanted to show more diverse performances.
Question: The lyrics to the title track, “View,” is Jonghyun’s work. With the competition of 40 to 1, weren’t you thrilled/overcome with emotion (when you got selected)?
Jonghyun: Not so much overcome, because that [T/N - as in the high competition rate] is always how the process of selecting any song lyrics goes. To tell the truth, it isn’t like I’ve only done this once or twice, so I did have my own knowhow. There are more cases where I don’t get selected, so even when I wrote the lyrics for “View,” I waited without any expectations. That makes things easier. When the lyrics I wrote on a subject I’d been saving got selected, I edited them three or four times, and many thoughts crossed my mind as I worked on them. Actually, I felt a lot of anxiety when my lyrics were chosen. Because it was a lot of pressure to be writing lyrics for the title track. I felt pressure because it had been so long since I’d participated in the production process.
Minho: All the members really liked the title track lyrics as soon as they saw them. What’s more, sir Lee Sooman gave him high praise.
Jonghyun: I think he kind of likes my lyrics a lot. He’s talked about them often, ever since a long time ago.
Minho: Even when we were filming the music video and album jacket, we were thinking, “I wonder how the staff and the public will react” — but because sir Lee Sooman said he liked it, we felt more at ease.
[T/N - The title they use for Lee Sooman is literally “teacher,” but I changed it to “sir” to make it sound more natural.]
Question: If you look at the lyrics to “View,” there’s a lot of unique rhyme and flow.
Jonghyun: Because I’m a singer, I consider the position of the person singing when writing lyrics. Even if it isn’t hip hop or rap, I think flow or rhyme are important aspects of lyrics. Because the genre is deep house, I tried to show words that would highlight the repetitive melody while also highlighting the rhymes. I highlighted the pronunciation of “du” in “Like you,” “fondue,” “saek du” (“saek do” pronounced with poetic license), etc. And I also thought about what kinds of enunciations the members are good at. The person singing has to be comfortable with the pronunciations for them to be delivered and recorded well. It was easier for me to work because I knew the characteristics of the way they enunciate.
[t/n - “Saek do” is the proper term (meaning “color too”), but “do” is often pronounced like “du” in casual speech.]
Question: What are the characteristics of SHINee members’ pronunciations? And how did the members react to singing the song with your lyrics?
Jonghyun: I thought that with this song, the singing method and tone had to have some degree of commonality and become unified. So I made a lot of pronunciations and rhymes. If you look at everyone individually, Onew sings smoothly like his image, but he also delivers lyrics with exact precision. So I gave him the role of pronouncing “fondue,” and took a lot of care to ensure that he could deliver it precisely and that the “F” was enunciated really well. Taemin’s breathing is really appealing, so I made it so he’d release a lot of breaths. For Key, I had him enunciate in an “English” sounding way. In the line “Yeminhaejin geol neukkyeo,” Key’s pronunciation of “geol” will sound like English. Because Minho has done a lot of rapping, flow is second nature to him. I divided the lyrics of the beginning and end of the song so I could highlight that. The rhymes will probably stand out.
[T/N - In the first verse, Key pronounces the Korean word “geol” like the English word “girl.” “예민해진 걸 느껴” means “I feel you’ve become sensitive.”]
Minho: Truthfully, it’s really difficult for the songwriter to give two lines of lyrics to a singer and ask them to choose which one is more comfortable. Thanks to Jonghyun’s efforts, we were able to create a song with a high degree of completion. From our standpoint, he took special care to make sure we could do better and record more comfortably, so we were thankful to Jonghyun.
Question: Your activities also overlap with BoA’s.
Minho: She was in the waiting room next to us today, probably. Director-nim.
Jonghyun: We went to greet her because she’s a director-nim.
Minho: BoA has overlapped with our activities a lot of times. Honestly, we like it because there’s a lot to learn from watching sunbae’s stages, dry rehearsals, and pre-recordings. I think we’ll have opportunities to learn a lot from BoA this time around too.
Question: What does the new album mean to SHINee?
Jonghyun: On the 25th, SHINee turns 7 years old. Time goes by naturally, so if you debut it’s only right that your 7th anniversary will arrive. But because we’ve been active for a long time without rest, we’re grateful for that fact. Now that time has passed, we don’t have any thoughts like, “I’m going to become a man,” or “I want to show a tough, masculine side.” We still want to show the “SHINee” side of ourselves, and as a result, we were able to come out with a concept where we decided to present our natural image, the way it is originally. I think this album will become a comfortable album where we can show ourselves as we’ve been together [T/N - with each other and the fans over the years]. Also, our members are all friends who have their own appeal, so I hope people will notice that.
Minho: To add on to that, I want to convey that even if time passes, we’re still in the process of “growing” rather than being “complete.” We have a lot of diverse sides to us still left to reveal, so I hope everyone will watch us even more, and listen to us even more during these promotions.