Thursday, March 27, 2014

[TRANS] Toheart's interview in Esquire Magazine (April Issue) featuring Key

Trust Between Friends

How many things are possible purely through friendship? Members from two popular idol groups, SHINees Key and Infinites Woohyun, have joined forces and revealed their project group ToHeart to the public. The common yet untested saying, "A man is loyalty", has been realized through these two 24-year-olds.

Friends doing something together is easier said than done.
Key: We're not just close. Even our favorite styles are similar, so we imagined that it'd be fun to do a photoshoot or release an album together. Our companies merged at that time however (SHINee is currently under SM Entertainment and Infinite is under Woollim Entertainment which is under SM C&C) and it naturally became a reality.

You must have been happy that your companies merged.
Key: The way I see it, the representative in Infinite's company was waiting quite a while.
Woohyun: I told the CEO several times and he told me to wait. Then he actually went to SM.

The company seems to respect its artists quite a lot. You both have members from your teams. Didn't you have to be wary (of their reactions)?
Woohyun: Everyone thought it was good since it's a project we're doing as friends.

Key: It may not have happened if we were girl groups.
Woohyun: That's true, it may not have.
Key: Male groups have a lot of fun together, even at broadcast stations. Infinite and SHINee are especially close.
Woohyun: SHINee plays games and hangs out with us in our waiting room. In SHINee's Jonghyun's case, he spends almost all his time in our waiting room at music programs. We've shared a waiting room before because we had an end-of-year performance together. It was so loud, I was going to die.
Key: My members are very casually supporting us.

I was curious about your team name. It's ToHeart.
Woohyun: It signifies two hearts. We thought a lot about it.
Key: I actually said we should just go with our names, be it WoohyunKey or KeyWoohyun.

So do you like it?
Key: It sounds kind of like the name of a drama.
Wooyhun: Haha, that's true. It was really awkward at first. It was the same with me for Infinite, though. After (a while of) introducing myself with the name, I grew used to it. I'm waiting for that day to come (with Toheart).
Key: But the response to our name is pretty good.

What kind of music do you do?
Woohyun: Our title track Delicious is a very funky and rhythmical song.
Key: In other words, it is music that we haven't done in our respective groups. I think it's just something we are dabbling in outside of our teams. All the songs in our album are well made, however. We tried hard to maximize the completeness of the musicality. We even went around buying our own stage outfits and paid a lot of attention to our visual appearances. It will definitely surprise people.

Should I say the album jacket has a retro style? It looks nice, anyway.
Key: We believe there will be sincere responses as we've worked hard on it.

What is the response like from your respective fans?
Woohyun: I haven't been able to hear much of it, but I think they find it strange. There are fans of Infinite and fans of SHINee, but now that they have to support both teams, a lot of reactions have surfaced. If we're not just a one-time unit, though, and do music together long-term as ToHeart, I think new fans of ToHeart would be born.
Key: There are fans who actually like both of us though.

Is that so?
Key: When I went to concerts overseas, I saw a lot of placards with "Key, Woohyun" written on them.
Woohyun: That's right, there were some.

There is a saying that you shouldn't work with friends.
Key: I was worried too. Working together might be different than being friends, but because we're so close, we don't fight. I think since we're just so engrossed in doing our own thing, we don't have any clashes in opinion.

There must be newfound pros and cons of working together.
Woohyun: I don't think there are any cons.... I think the song and concept of this album suits Kibum more.
Key: Hahaha.
Woohyun: The voice and style for our title track suits Kibum well.

What are your expectations for ToHeart's promotions?
Woohyun: Mine is probably the same as Kibum's. I want to show a different side of me than when I'm with Infinite. I want to show people styles and genres I haven't been able to do, and show that there's a different charm to me.
Key: Through this unit, I hope many more fun projects will be created in the future. I hope people will take this well-produced music and look to me like they're enjoying it with me.

You have many members in both SHINee and Infinite. How does it feel being just the two of you?
Woohyun: There are pros and cons. Since there are many members in Infinite, (fans') reactions are bigger, but here it's a bit quieter. It's nice that the waiting time was short when filming our music video, but it's just the two of us doing everything. When we were filming our music video, we stayed up shooting for two straight days, so it was hard. There's no time to rest in between.
Key: It's not like neither of us can't talk, but we don't speak very well during interviews. Maybe it's because there are less chances to say something short (and let the other members talk instead).

SHINee are seniors, but both (SHINee and Infinite) are top idol groups. Isn't it lucky that friends can promote together like this?
Key: That's why we have no complaints when doing this.
Woohyun: Should I say it's a beautiful atmosphere? Since we're friends, everything works out well.
Key: It's to the point that we still can't believe it.

24 years old is not that young. As celebrities, you must have deep thoughts about each of your fields.
Key: For us, this is probably the year where we have to accomplish the biggest things. I have many things in store. My goal is to produce better results than what I've done so far. I hope many good things will happen not just for SHINee, but for myself as well.

SHINee hit the jackpot last year. You even won a gayo daesang.
Key: That's true. In my case, I did musicals on top of singing. I'm learning music these days. Instead of thinking that I have to write a song, I'm at a level where I should know more about how things go around.

What about you, Woohyun?
Woohyun: Putting out an album with Kibum is a new project in itself. I hope there are good results. I think I'll be active in different fields and not just this one. I'm still composing and I believe there will be opportunities for me to communicate closely with more fans through dramas or variety programs.

You have a lot less solo promotions than I expected for you to have when you debuted.
Woohyun: The CEO doesn't push for me. Haha. I think of it like he is saving me (for the right time).

As men, what does the age 24 entail, in terms of non-work-related situations?
Key: I'm trying to be apart from my parents these days. It's not a bad thing. It's just that I want to create a foundation where I'm able to be independent.
Woohyun: I'm similar. We've been working for a company since a young age. If we try to go on vacations alone, we'd have trouble because our social skills are so weak. That's why I'm trying to take it step by step on my own.

How long do you think your friendship will last? What is a friend?
Woohyun: I think being happy when we're together is friendship. Where we can confess anything and say whatever....

Are you really friends without secrets?
Woohyun: That's right.
Key: I don't think deciding things like "let's be friends for a long time" and "let's not fight" is friendship. Just going where your heart takes you and being comfortable is good, and having that last for a long time is even better.

What is one thing you definitely want to happen through ToHeart?
Woohyun: I haven't said this before, but I want us to do a concert in a small theater or any place we can have sincere conversations. I also have a tiny wish that we can release at least 20 albums.
Key: Letting the world know about this project is my goal. I want to confidently show people our results.

The people around you must be jealous.
Woohyun: I think it's really fun. Doing work of this sort with a friend.... I'm content with that....

Credits: iMagazine, @sfinee
Translations: kimchi hana

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