[Full Trans] SHINee's Taemin Interview for GQ Magazine 12/2014 Issue.
01. Do you like winter?
A: I love winter very much.
02. Why is that?
A: It seems I have a lot of memories of winter. In my life, all or most of the things left in my memory are in winter. They are very warm memories. ...But I can't say here what (memories) they are.
03: Uh...Is the Taemin in front of the camera very different from the real Taemin?
A: It's not really different. But it's difficult to say what (my) real image is. In front of the camera, I'm Taemin the performer. And it is really me. But in front of the camera there some things I have to say, and there are things I cannot say. Anyway, before facing the camera, I need to organize my thoughts and think of what I should say and how to say them.
04. Actually we chose up to 50 questions to ask. But we don't really want to do this the normal way. So from here on, please choose a question from 1 to 50.
A: Then, number 17.
05. The 17th question is, during your stage performances in Danger, how do you do that killer stare at the camera? Is it just because of the eye make up?
A: Haha. During the performances, the cameras are far away, so I need to exert more energy and make bigger moves. But during music programs, the cameras are closer, so I depend my movements based on their proximity to me. I think their distance are about the same as these ones during this interview? To think that I have such a side in me, even I find it strange. I really like this kind of feeling. It's kind of funny when I say it myself, but when I monitor myself (my recordings), it seems that I have a more profound feeling than before? I think I see myself becoming more mature.
06. What is inside Taemin?
A: I think that the general masses expect me to have a bright feeling because of my usual cute concept. However, the staff around me searches for and gathers up my real usual self and what's inside me. With the continuous performances, piling up my heart wants to let all these know-how and energy explode. And then as a performaer, I have to diligently express myself. My stomach won't be able to take it, right? But since the performance for "Danger" is intense, all those tress just go away. I think I've managed to diffuse them off me.
07. It feels like you've strongly prepared for this (solo activity) until you've felt poison.
(t/n: it means he worked really, super hard)
A: From the time I started to dream about being a singer, in my head, the image I've drawn is of myself standing alone on stage. Being in SHINee is really happy and fun, but simultaneously, at the back of my mind, I've always had the desire to try doing something myself just once. So I practiced untiringly until I've felt that it's the time when I've satisfied the qualifications for the company to give me a chance.
08. With regards to Taemin, from where does the company's faith and confidence in you come?
A: I talked a lot with our choreographers, Shim Jaewon-hyung and Greg Hwang-hyung, as well as with our directors. We talked about my worries and what direction I'm going to undertake from here on. The hyungs know all this time what I wish for. Even though I don't say it directly, I think there were subtle hints. They told me, "If you really want to work as a solo, the company is willing to give you a push." They also said, "If you can sing and dance like Michael Jackson, the company will be willing to do anything with you." It's like because they acted like a bridge (between the company and I), I was able to do this well.
09. This time, having this experience, were there some disappointing parts?
A: "Danger" is pretty temperate and is a refined song, but the singing register is quite narrow and low. On my first live, the sound I made was shaky and I wondered if it was really alright as a title song. Now, when I think about it, that kind of quality isn't that bad after all.
010. Even though there are teams for planning and setting the framework, the one who expresses himself on stage is Taemin alone. Taemin is the one who makes the stage special.
A: On the stage and during the performance, I want to present a more artistic approach. That is why immersing myself in the song is the most important. The question is how much should I immerse myself in the song and how much concentration people give me when they watch me. I'm not the type who can immerse himself while watching things like dramas. But during concerts and performances, I'm really able to immerse myself. There's a similar case, like when we (SHINee) are performing "Evil" on stage, and after we finish it I still need sometime to calm myself down. Somehow, I kind of become weird during those times.
011. Isn't it inborn talent?
A: I don't think that I have singing and dancing talents since I was born. However, each person has a unique "color", right? I think that may parents really gave me such "color".
012. Where/When do you consummate your musical ability? Is it also in the toilet?
A: Haha. No, no. SHINee's songs have really high registers, and in order to learn it all properly, I have to widen my singing range a bit. In the vocal practice room, while playing the piano, I follow the scale. One day, I was just able to reach the high notes. Just when I thought I was finally able to do it, the next day I couldn't do it again. It comes out, then it doesn't, then I do it over and over again until little by little, I widen my vocal range.
013. Honestly, when you're alone, have you ever thought, "This year it's me."?
A: Yeas, about the solo...LOL. The activity period is not long but I understood that during that short time, I was able to leave a good impression, so it was nice.
014. Are you indifferent when you hear unpleasant words about you?
A: Nope. I am very irrational. If I hear unpleasant things, I will continuously think about it from the day I heard it until I'm completely tired. Then I'll feel stressed out. Nevertheless, if that happens, I'll be able to correct myself and exert a lot of effort in changing myself.
015. It's really hard being 22 years old, right?
A: Yeah. "If you start exploring/inquiring that much, afterwards, how much are you able to talk about it, let's find out one time." It feels a bit sentimental like that, LOL.
016. Even so, you've done a lot more things than what you imagined you'd do as a 22-year old when you were younger.
A: Yes, that's true. When I was young, I only had an outlook about my strength in dancing and singing. I've never really imagined it before, seeing this present style and refinement. As time moves one, I want to present a more explosive energy.
017. Doesn't continuously proving yourself and what you can do make you tired?
A: I think that it is really worth doing. The joy I feel (in doing it) keeps me alive.
018. What do you think of the word "hardworker".
A: Ah, it's alright. At any rate, even if I tell other people about my troubles, it wouldn't alleviate my worries, right? I do not really make a big deal of purposefully wishing for something bigger. I don't want people to see me as hardworking, I want them to see another side of me. When they do and they tell me even a few words that overflowed from their hearts, I would appreciate those words.
019. What does Taemin do when he's not practising and has nothing at which to aim his efforts?
A: If everyone wants to know about it, it's better to leave them guessing. Actually if I start talking about it, it will be very disappointing. I don't really do anything special, really.
020. Do you have anything you suddenly come to like recently?
A: Billiards. I've learned it late but it's really interesting. I play it really lightly with my friends. It doesn't involve drinking and I can do a lot of exercise at the same time. I play it with immature enjoyment with same-age people.
021. What is something you like so much you even dream of it?
A: Nothing, really. I'm not very greedy. Somehow I've changed. Whatever I have or what I buy, I'm not really that much concerned about them.
022. Not even appetite for food?
A: Ah, I do have a little of that. Lately I've been liking seafood. Even though there was a time I love meat so much, I think that's changed. My father also liked seafood, so I think I took after him.
023. What is a word you use the most these days?
A: "Anyway, it's already..." I say this a lot. I'm really a bit at a loss for words. Because of that, it's become some sort of a pet phrase I use when I'm organizing my words.
024. What is a phrase/word you hear the most?
A: "Do things a little properly." A while ago, I lost the wallet Key-hyung bought for me but it reappeared. Ah, Minho-hyung says a lot, "Be a little better to me and the hyungs." Even though he cannot do it himself. LOL. I'm kidding.
025. If time can move quickly or if time can go backwards, at what age would you want to be?
A: One year old.
A: If it's the start, it means I can do well. It's a one-time thing, so I think I would want to do things even better.
027. You wouldn't want to change this person, right?
A: I love myself. I wouldn't want to change myself. But sometimes, within my friends, there is someone who would be happy about something. At times, that makes me a bit envious. LOL.
* korean to japanese translation: http://ameblo.jp/swjapan5/entry-11954980589.html
* as this is a retranslation from a japanese translation, there might be some changes in wording and nuances.
* please do not repost/screeencap/copy without permission/credit.
* please do not remove the translator's notes and credits
Photo credits as stated.
Translation credits: @keihissi