Saturday, January 15, 2011

[NEWS] Onew, “Korean Gayos that Gently Embrace My Heart”

Idol group SHINee made a remarkable growth. On the stage of “SM Town Live Concert” held in the Staples Center, L.A., SHINee grabbed attention with their hot and charismatic performance that went way over the limit of sweet teen pop music. Especially with his velvety singing voice, dynamic performance, and great leadership, Onew was a main index to SHINee’s growth.

Leader Onew said, “I feel a sense of pride and satisfaction for SHINee’s growth into what it is now. We are working hard to continue to make new and better performances.” He added that he’s preparing something for SHINee’s first solo concert to surprise fans with a totally new side of him. (emphasis mine)

While SHINee’s main focus is on trendy music based on pop dance, Onew expanded his musical area by transforming into a rocker in the musical “Rock of the Ages.” This must be what made him more confident in his music.

“We may look like doing only pop dance, but I can proudly say we are making attempts to try all kinds of different genres, strong and tender, R&B and Soul. I’m thankful for having such an opportunity. So I look forward to singing a variety of songs.”

He has also gained more self-confidence in his stage performance. Onew said, “After experiencing lots of broadcasting incidents and performing on different kinds of stage, I’ve learned how to adjust myself to a new environment and cope with unexpected mistakes.” He added he can move on stage as he wants these days.

Onew chose to become a singer through persuasion and pressure (?) from his friends and acquaintance. When he sang at a school talent show, his friends told him to pursue singing. During a career counseling time, his middle school music teacher encouraged him saying he’d like to see him perform on stage. Learning piano codes in high school, he dreamed of becoming a singer-song-writer and started to write and sing songs aiming at the “Yoo Jaeha Music Contest.”

It was by chance that he took and passed an audition held by the SM Entertainment. It was almost a shock at that time that someone like him, who didn’t dance well nor was “pretty,” was picked as a member for an idol group. However, SME bought his “promising charms.”

“I see music in a long term perspective. In the beginning, I didn’t know how to dance but became self-confident as I learned. And I’m making small steps toward my childhood dream of becoming a singer-song-writer. In 10 years from now, I hope I’ll grow more to be a mature musician.”
Recently when a debate on “5 second singers” heated the Internet, its targets were idol groups with lots of members. “I think one can be called a singer proper if he can express himself well even when singing only for a few seconds,” said Onew. “There are singers who are very good even when singing for a few seconds. Brown-Eyed Soul express everything within the limits of their self-expressive ability. I think the question is not the length, but the expressive ability.”

It is a separate question whether SHINee are included in the targeted objects of the debate. What is certain is that SHINee have “changed.” “The concept of main vocal has disappeared in our group. Everyone is a main vocal if he can sing best in his vocal area. In addition, we discuss and adjust our ideas and thoughts when we record an album or perform for a concert. We are doing music in a way true to the definition of group.”

Onew says he wants to try something new to the extent many people will evaluate it as “fresh.” He looked quite serious while saying it. The language of an idol, who went through the passage rite of growth pain, was different.

Source: Naver Musician’s Choice
Written by: Park Pyeong (pop music critic)
Translated by: jujugal

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