Oricon Style Magazine: Interview #05, 2PM

Weekly 2PM #05
Let's have a 2PM lesson

2PM's Honest Thoughts: The Secret Reports
We'll find out their true nature!!

2PM will debut in Japan on 18 May. Starting from the 3rd round of interviews, we're going to do a close up on each member to further source out their true nature. For the 5th round, we're zooming in on Wooyoung and Junsu. Please check out what the other members have to say about them too.

The moodmaker
who cheers up everyone around him!

"Instead of hiding it, I want to show everyone what I'm really like as a boy of my age!"

---What made you interested in the entertainment world?
WOO: I auditioned when I was 15, but I started dancing at a much younger age. By performing self-choreographed dances at school assemblies and such, I always had dancing and music by my side no matter what I did.

---You're a vocalist in 2PM as well. Do you take any particular steps for singing?
WOO: I love black music and R&B, so that has made some influence on me. I try to bring out that taste in my vocals when I sing. I also take great care of my throat by not speaking for 2 hours in the morning, and doing throat stretches for about 30 ~ 40 minutes everyday. I avoid sour and salty food, too.

---How very stoic! But with your cheery disposition, you have the presence of a moodmaker within the group, don't you?
WOO: Do I? I don't consciously try to make people laugh, but I do enjoy an atmosphere where everyone is laughing and having a good time, so maybe I naturally become more cheerful too. I'm actually shy and bad at expressing myself, though. (laughs)

WOO: I'm bad at conveying my real emotions, so even if I, say, gave my family a call, I wouldn't be able to tell them I was happy to hear their voices, even though I really was. I don't think that's a good thing, so now I do my best to put on a bright expression and convey my true feelings to others.

---From now on, how would you like to express yourselves as a member of 2PM?
WOO: I think we have a manly image as "beastly idols" in Japan, but I hope people can see more of our true nature in the future. Instead of hiding it, I want to show everyone what I'm really like as a boy of my age.

The members talk: what kind of person is Wooyoung?
CHAN: His amazing sense of humor is addictive to everyone around him!
JUNSU: Adorable and cute!
JUNHO: Basically a funny person!
KHUN: A mother.
TAEC: Funny.

2PM's lead vocalist
A genius who can even arrange songs!

"I announced to my family, 'I want to be a singer!' when I was in the 3rd grade of elementary school (laughs)"

---You listened to Stevie Wonder's songs when you were a child. Was that the reason why you aimed to be a singer?
JUNSU: That's right. I was really moved by the song "Lately" when I heard it for the first time in the 3rd grade of elementary school, so I chose music as my career path. That's probably when I announced to my family, "I want to be a singer!" (laughs) After that, I listened to a lot of Teddy Pendergrass and female vocalists like Whitney Houston.

---What was the first song you ever composed?
JUNSU: I was a 1st year in high school. The medium tempo ballad I composed for music class was my first.

---You're the lead vocalist in 2PM, but what do you consider important when expressing your vocals as a member of the group?
JUNSU: First, you have to think of it as a performance. It's not just dancing and acrobatics, but also singing, with a combination of harmonization and rap. I think this is a performance that can't be done without all 6 members. Moreover, when we perform together, it feels like we can exchange a great amount of energy with each other. We have to do a lot of intense things, but I can get my energy from them.

---In that case, what value do you place in your solo activities?
JUNSU: The value in doing music that's of a different taste from 2PM's, I think. I'm also writing my own songs, after all. There's probably the importance of balancing group and solo activities as well.

---Could you tell us the good and bad aspects of your personality?
JUNSU: My good points are that I'm positive and optimistic. My bad point is that I tend to forget things. (laughs)

The members talk: what kind of person is Junsu?
CHAN: In one phrase: "A funny person who loves music" (laughs)
JUNHO: Great at singing!
WOO: He can read the mood in the air and make things fun.
KHUN: An uncle in the family. (laughs)
TAEC: Prankster.

The sensational six have finally debuted in Japan!
After 5 weeks of analyzing 2PM's true nature, they have finally made their debut with "Take Off" on 18 May. Now we'll ask all the members about how they watched dramas and studied the language for their first Japanese lyrics, as well as how they feel about their Japan debut! Please check out the interview as they share their thoughts befitting the last of this series.

"We'd like to showcase not just our images as stars, but also our more ordinary and natural side."

---On 18 May, you will debut in Japan with a Japanese song. What kind of impression do you have of the music scene here?
TAEC: Japan basically has a diverse range of music genres. There's idol-ish pop songs, hip hop songs, dance songs, ballads, rock, R&B...... there's all kinds. That's why we also have to adapt to that sort of diversity by showing various sides of ourselves, not just the one we've always focused on. I'm looking forward to that.
JUNHO: I get the feeling that Japan's music market is quite matured. Even though there's so many genres, it's amazing that each and every kind of music has its own loving fans.
CHAN: It seems like all the artistes have their own unique personalities and they use that original individuality to appeal to people.

---Since you're on a new playing field, are there any challenges you'd like to take on?
TAEC: Rather than consider new challenges for ourselves, we should focus on how to infiltrate Japan's music scene. For example, our Korean debut single, "10 out of 10 (10/10)" has relatively simple harmonization and choreography. We started from a catchy performance, before gradually widening our range to show people that we're capable of other things too. That's why I think it might be a good idea to kick off with something that's easy to imitate.
JUNHO: Also, each of the members are modeling and appearing in dramas in Korea, so it'd be great if we could take part in different activities in Japan as well.

---For the recording of "Take Off", was the language the hardest part?
TAEC: It was. The Japanese pronunciation was difficult. It was especially so for me, because I do the rap, and the progression of words in rap is fast.
JUNSU: Right, that must've been tough.
TAEC: Yeah. I suffered the most 'cause I had to speedily pronounce a language I wasn't familiar with. (wry smile)
CHAN: I had a problem with pronunciation too, but singing is all about expressing emotion that matches the melody, so balancing that expression of emotions with the pronunciation was what I found difficult. That's why I practised with the lyrics written in Korean on the side.

---Did you find the Japanese language interesting while you were singing?
TAEC: I did. It was definitely hard to rap in Japanese, but that didn't discourage me into thinking I was bad at the language. It just fueled my desire to become much better.
CHAN: Take for instance, me using Japanese with a Japanese person. The Japanese person then understands my Japanese and responds in Japanese. When we have that kind of exchange, we'd think, "Ah, we're communicating!" and find the language fun.
JUNSU: Chansung is studying Japanese very seriously.

---What are your favorite phrases in the new song "Take Off"?
TAEC: Junho's part, where he goes, (sings) "Kore wo unmei to~" (This is fate~) It's not my part (laughs) but I love it.
CHAN: For me, it's (sings) "Mahou no kotoba" (magic words). That's my part. (laughs)
JUNSU: I like Chansung's part. The one that goes, (sings) "I'll be" (after a breath) "with you".
ALL: (crack up)
KHUN: I like (sings) "Senaka oshite yo" (Give my back a push). That's my part.
JUNHO: In that case, I'll go for one of the focal points in this song, (sings) "Buddy".
WOO: I like the phrase "Take off". The reason is because no one else has said that. (laughs) Kidding, kidding! I like the melody and chords there.

---What was your first impression of this song?
JUNSU: My first impression was, honestly, that the song needed a more intense impact to it. But as I sang it, I began to get the feeling of exhilaration. That's when I decided it was a good song.

---Could each of you tell us whose singing voice you like, other than your own?
KHUN: I like Junho's voice. I think it's charming.
JUNHO: Thank you. (laughs)
JUNSU: I like Wooyoung's voice. It has a great brazen quality to it. (laughs)
TAEC: I like Nichkhun's voice.
CHAN: It's Junsu's voice for me. Amongst the 6 of us, his voice leaves the strongest impression. He can also hold a note all the way to the end.
WOO: For me, I like all the members' voices. Junsu said my voice sounds brazen just now; is that supposed to be a compliment? (laughs)

---Isn't it good to have a brazen voice? That means it has power to it, right?
JUNSU: (laughs) Sorry, I didn't express myself properly just now. I was trying to say that his voice is husky and wild. It's a compliment, of course. (laughs)

---Can we see a lot of you in your natural state for the DVD?
JUNHO: I think the fans are also curious, so we intend to showcase much more of ourselves. Not just our images as stars, but also our more ordinary and natural side, with the hopes that people can relate to us.
CHAN: Our image as "beastly idols" pertains to our performances. Our casual nature off stage and our strong image on stage - I'd like people to enjoy both sides of us.

Source: Oricon Style Magazine
Scans from hiyoko45
Translated by fantaisie @ Wild2Day.org