“Living in Korea doesn’t mean that your world revolves around KPOP only. I am Korean, but little people know that some Kpop acts are fake. It is sad, but that is the truth. At one point, I even stayed away from the Kpop scene and opted to listen and follow the underground acts only.
…But working in the publishing filed, directly involving with Kpop.. I have to be neutral. I have to keep reminding myself not to be too skeptical but it was hard when the thing you do not wish to see, do not want to hear are in front of your eyes. But it all changed in one day. It is all because of SHINee.
We anticipated that day very much, because we finally got our chance to do the interview of this group that we admire so much. I am not a big fan myself, but I respect them as they work very hard to accomplish what they have today, being in this cruel industry where the competition is very fierce.
That day, we couldn’t wait to meet SHINee.
As soon as we were done with talking and interviewing Key, Onew, Taemin and Jonghyun, it was finally Minho’s turn. He was very quiet and thoughtful the whole time questions were being asked to the rest of the boys. He talked occasionally, and smiled most of the time. At other times he simply looked down, and laughed a bit at the jokes Onew was telling. He threw glances at the boys and there was no mistake the strong brotherhood that these boys have. He would pat Taemin’s back sometimes and squeezed the tense muscles out of Jonghyun’s shoulders.
The sessions continued for more than two hours, and at one point he even went to get the drinks for the members instead of waiting for our staff to bring them to them.
Jonghyun and Taemin went out of the room for a while, and we started to ask Minho our 1st question to him. “Minho is known as a very competitive person. Some people say it is very disturbing to see that streak in you because you are young and you are supposed to enjoy your life or not taking anything too seriously. What do you have to say to that?”
He looked very much lost in thought for a while before calmly stating:
“When I was very young.. I wanted to become a professional soccer player. I love sports very much to a point where I learned everything there is to it about football, and entered every football match around. My thirst in winning was unquenchable that I worry my family off. One day, my dad told me he opposed of me of pursuing that one thing I ever wanted at the time and I was crushed. He didn’t want me to become a football player. He said having sports as a career is very tough, he knows it because he is a professional football coach himself. I was lost and didn’t know what to do and when I came to my senses, I decided that I would never quit to fight in everything I do. If I do one thing, I do it wholeheartedly, even if people keep telling me it’s impossible, I would never want to believe them and I would have faith in myself instead. Fight something as if it is your last fight.. as if there would be no more chance to do that later. That’s what triggers the competitiveness in me.. If I lose, I would be very disappointed with myself, keep blaming myself of the loss. Keep telling myself I would do even better in the future.”
At this point, Onew kept nodding at what Minho was saying. We were surprised when Onew added, “Minho does what he does best, doing at his very best ability like there’s no tomorrow. Be it in performing, or playing or sports. Even I cannot do that as a leader.”
Q: You were seen as the quietest out of the five. Is there any reason to it?
A: I am the youngest in my family. I have an elder brother. I was raised to listen and then talk. Not to talk and then listen. Meaning that, I was taught by my mother to be an observer and a listener. Because my hyung is the first son in my father’s side of family line in 30 years, he was the center of attention, while I enjoy being by his side – to be a good friend for him in an oppressed situation, to always be there for my mother and my father when they need me… even if I do not do good as their son. That’s why I am quiet most of the time. I tend to listen rather than do the talking.
By this, Key said to us, “If he is loud…. he is toooo loud,” which aroused laughter in the room and having Minho chuckled, looking slightly blushed.
The interview session went about for another 30 minutes. Bu this time, he looked very comfortable, and was able to talk more freely.
Q: What’s the name of SHINee’s fan club? What do your fans mean to you?
A: [smiled widely before continuing] It’s SHINee World or SHAWOL in short. Where I am today, where we are today… It would be impossible without the love and support by our fans, we went to see SM Youtube page sometimes and were very, very surprised to see the warm, encouraging comments left by the fans on our videos. I hope I’ll be able to understand English more. I want to be able to understand what they were saying. We worked on this new album for 9 months… having sleepless nights of choosing songs.. writing lyrics.. singing rehearsals… recording songs… dancing training.. discussing the concept etc.. all for our fans. We are glad that we finally get to do what we love most which is to entertain.
Q: Any last words to your fans?
A: Thousand of apologies on my bended knees to our beloved fans because I cannot perform on the stage with other members. We just finished recording our MV and just waited for the comeback stage when that accident happened. My ruptured muscle would take a very long time to recuperate but as for now I am taking the medicine which enables me to resume my stage performance in the near future. I am still in pain but will endure it for the fans. Please forgive me for my recklessness. SHINee World is our world. Our world revolves around them. We appreciate your love very much. If I could bow to each and very one of you, I would. ‘Thank you very much’ would not be sufficient enough but please know in your heart that we really appreciate all of you. And for that, I THANK YOU. WE THANK YOU.
As the session wrapped up, we came to realize that these shining boys are very special. Minho is such a good conversationalist. We would never expect that from him. He is very humble and down-to-earth.. when he went out of the room, the rest of the 4 boys waited restlessly for him to come back.
Taemin selected food from each tray and put them on a plate. “This is for Minho hyung,” he said. Key kept bothering him at the side, “Minho doesn’t eat this one. Let’s take more Kimbap rolls for him. He loves that.”
SHINee won’t be SHINee without Choi Min Ho. SHINee won’t be SHINee without Key, Onew, Jonghyun and Taemin. They complete each other up.
Before the day ended, I realized that I am proud of these young men who work very hard in accomplishing what they have today. Surviving in Kpop is tough and I hope they will stay humble and stay the way they are, to keep their feet on the ground always and not forgetting their roots.
That day I realized I wanted to become a SHAWOL too. That I day I realized, Kpop is not such a bad wave after all. Thanks to Minho & SHINee, I have more faith in Kpop nowadays.”