EXO’s youthful confessions
Every year in the Korean music industry, a huge bunch of new groups will emerge, in order to break out of the circle of competitors they must stabilise their positions, aside from needing a powerful and generous “back up”helping out behind the scenes, it’s also very important for the members to have their own strengths and unique characteristics too. Popular korean boy group EXO have the support of the huge company SM and have already won an award, furthermore EXO is made up of EXO-K and EXO-M combined; one concentrating in Korea, one concentrating in the Chinese market, with the ability to become the elements of Asian pop music, no wonder despite only having debuted for almost a year, they’ve already become the popular group of the Hallyu wave’s new era. Just before returning to their music industry, EXO will firstly share with us their funny stories from their school life, also telling us their feelings about their one year anniversary since debut in the middle.
Paying close attention even prior to debut
EXO are a boy group released by SM Entertainment company in 2012, the members include EXO-M’s Xiumin, Lu Han, Kris, Lay, Chen and Tao, the 6 members concentrate on activities in China, whereas EXO-K’s 6 members: Suho, Baekhyun, Chanyeol, D.O, Kai and Sehun concentrate on activities in Korea, in total the group has 12 members. Because of the number of members in EXO, their appearance and their style all have a few similarities to their seniors Super Junior, so even before they debuted they received a lot of attention, what’s more people even think that they are the successors of Super Junior. Last year, with the Korean version and the Mandarin version of “MAMA,” the two groups EXO-K and EXO-M debuted in Korea and China at the same time. After the song was released, EXO received a large amount of attention from fans. Although to this day, EXO have only debuted for just a year, but they have already participated in numerous large scale music awards worldwide as well as SMTOWN concerts and gained much popularity, becoming the new era’s boy group that girls support.
Sehun escaping from the casting agent.
Everyone knows that SM is Korea’s largest idol factory, creating a lot of popular groups, including TVXQ, Super Junior, SNSD, SHINee etc. SM have always known how to pick people well, yet even the process of uncovering EXO was particularly special!
Suho: “ever since I was young I’ve wanted to be a singer, in junior high when I participated in public activities, it just happened that a singing and dance competition was being held next door, when I was looking at the competition from the side, suddenly someone gave me a card and told me to audition, and that’s how I started my 7 years of training.”
Kai: “I am the only member who auditioned by myself, in year 2 I started learning jazz dance and ballet, even though I learnt two types of dance, but I never thought of becoming a singer. Until one time I saw singer seniors performing on television with a lot of charm, thus bringing about the idea of becoming a singer, after preparing for one and a half years I participated in a talent show.”
Sehun: “One day when I was in primary school year 6, I was eating ddeokbokki with my friends on the street, a representative noona gave me a card asking me if I wanted to audition, at the time I was very young and surprised, and my mum always told me that if I came across a weird person I should run away, so I didn’t think of it and left. That noona chased me for 30 minutes, after I understood what was going on, I went to audition.”
请大家不要忘记圣诞前夜进行的《新浪微访谈 with EXO-M》 2012. 12. 24 18:00~19:00(北京时间) http://t.cn/zjppbr6
Everybody, please don’t forget the《Sina Mini Chat with EXO-M》on Christmas Eve. 2012. 12. 24 18:00~19:00 (CST) http://t.cn/zjppbr6
This lord is shy and pure, silent as water; his voice is unique and his charisma is great; His internal strength is thick, a small man show; only the tip of the iceberg has been revealed, awaiting for it to be shown.
The Pain of Growth
During the preparation for our debut, comparing myself to the effort put out by the other members, I was always afraid I was not good enough. Therefore, I pushed myself to work even harder.
The Best in the Group
Although it hasn’t been long since debut, because of Chen’s exquisite character, he became acknowledged by the entire group as the member best at fanservice, and he was also recognized by the group as the member who could find the camera lens most easily. However, Chen says that this is all due to instincts and his sensitivity.
Chen with the unexpected winning voice thinks that Chinese is very difficult, the hardest being the articulation, every time he comes across the “Z, C, S” type of pronunciations in the song lyrics, he will subconsciously uses more effort, however, the more thought he puts into it, the easier it is for him to make a mistake, so he to this day, he is attempting to correct his pronunciation. The Chinese song he is currently learning is Show Luo senior’s <Love Does Not Travel Alone>, because of it’s a slow love song with a touching melody, which Chen really likes. In addition, Chen performed a collaboration stage with seniors Ryeowook and Eunhyuk, performing <Love Does Not Travel Alone> at SM family tour in Taipei, which received cheers from the entire audience.
The Method of Speech
When this lord smiles, the corner of his eyes will become like scissors and his laugh lines become huge, his eye lines also show off a unique impact; As a virgo whose personality is small anal-retentive chattering, “Chen’s technique with words is amazing” is not a groundless rumor. His MC skills at Tao’s birthday party is only the tip of the iceberg. In situations where each group member’s special characteristics are particularly outstanding, Chen’s sense of skill explodes under pressure, as if it were instinctive. Bystanders will always be able to see the situation even more thoroughly. Under the peaceful Chen is hidden the power of observation and control, the meaning in which fans must not miss.
This lord is sensitive, his appearance is mature, and his inner heart is child-like; Innocent and romantic, he loves to act cute; occasionally stubborn, he deserves the title to be the youngest.
The Pain of Growth
I spent even more time trying to catch up with everybody’s steps. Because I was born by practicing Kungfu, my bones needed to be coordinated; In order for my body to soften, I did a huge amount of yoga practice. Because I’m tall, when I finished started yoga, that period was simply unbearable to look back upon, it was too painful… Now that I think about it now, it hurts.”
The first time you see the group EXO-M, you will first notice Kris and Tao because of their tall heights. Tao with the tall height has a history of 11 years of Wushu practice, his kongfu skills are fantastic. In EXO’s MVs and dance stages to date, Tao’s swordsmanship and stick technique was able to be fully demonstrated. People involved in the martial arts pay particular attention to the word “diligence”, the young aged Tao is a child who continuously and diligently practices, for even when he injured his back, he continued to practice dancing.
The persisting dark eye circles gave Tao the nickname “panda”, although he insists they are just his wo tan. His “kongfu panda” designation, even though there’s a difference in figure, he doesn’t lose out in likeability. The care Tao has for all of his brothers is dependable. In this 12 member group, this type of dependence received everybody’s contentment, hence, the honourable situation of him crying because he was touched by his brothers will always be memorable.
Tao has a mature appearance, giving people a cold first impression, completely unlike the youngest, but the second he opens his mouth, this impression shatters. With a soft voice, polite and shy, curious towards things that he doesn’t know, what overflows is innocent stubbornness. He managed to maintain his innocent and softness in spite of the tough practice life, and it has become a precious trait today. We hope that he’d be able to maintain his innocence softness, because it’s extremely rare, if he was a bit more confident, then it’d be even better.
This lord is all-rounded, has a babyface, has exquisite features and he gives off a “cute virus”. He’s the reliable older brother that “you’ll have me no matter what”, and you definitely need him in this group.
Pains of growing up
“When being a trainee, the toughness and body’s self-adaptability has a huge relationship, however, no matter how tough or happy it was, it was a pushing force, I maintained the strength to work hard of always looking ahead.”
Every time, Xiumin hears a Chinese phrase that he doesn’t understand, you’d have to repeat it loudly. “Bling bling”ly looking at the person who spoke, he requests for the correct pronunciation. Xiumin’s the oldest member in EXO-M, but he has the face of a cute maknae, his nickname “bao zi (steamed bun)” is deserving. When he musters up the bao zi face he kills (t/n: kills as in to defeat, to strike down (females)) a lot, when he stupidly winks he kills even more. Then, when Xiumin doesn’t speak nor smile, he gives off stability, and when he steadily pats the members’ shoulder to comfort them, he is also very reliable. be it singing or dancing, Xiumin, who has very high standards for both of them, even when the twelve of them are on stage, he still holds an undeniable sense of presence.
“I’m really honoured that everyone gives us recognition and support on the front. Be it singing or dancing, I really like them both, in the future, together with the members, I will work even harder in order to present a more handsome stage to everyone.”
Xiumin didn’t continue to protectively walk down the road of “cute” with his “baozi” nickname. If you’re talking about the so-called “idol burden”, there is a segment that is called “controlling of expressings”, then for Xiumin, this segment is completely needs no hesitation. Even when “screaming” the high notes, his expression is overly fierce, yet has no feelings of euphemism. At the same time, even though he meets situations where it’d make him look bad, he can release the tension within only a second, Xiumin’s vitality overflows, a modest attitude, actually, he’s someone who advances and retreats with a degree, he’s a handsome kid who has the appearance of an adult.
A grand heavenly beauty, he has the responsibility, the degrees of advancing and retreating, a good brain, a clear line of thought. Appropriate styles of conversation, and a very fast reaction. With a mid-low voice, once he releases his voice a group becomes drunk.
The pains of growing up
Kris: “The trainee period was very long, especially perhaps to me it was even longer (2007-2012). If I say that there weren’t times when I was delirious, I’d be lying, there’d be often periods of time when I felt useless, you can say that overcoming the negative thoughts were the most difficult, because they kept reappearing at different times.”
During the entire process of the shoot, apart from the manager, Kris and Da Zui’s photographer conversed a lot. He was the first to change into this clothes and touch up on his make up, the first to stand in front of the lenses to verify everyone’s best shooting angle; never hesitating to point out the problems where problems arise; the segments that involve the other members are also taken care of well. Kris gives everyone the stability of a professional artist, which is rather rare as a rookie. When standing on this seat as a ‘leader’, he is the most suitable.
Kris: “The content of the rapping segments require the listeners’ resonance, and every language’s way of expression and the direction of feelings expression is different. I’m regretful that I didn’t have many chances to interact with Chinese rap previously. I listened to more English rap. When I was a trainee in Korea, I interacted more with the Korean style of rapping, but in the future I’ll have to trouble everyone to recommend me good songs, I will continue to work hard.”
To a normal person, because of his face Kris is already too proper, and it causes people to be unable to look at him directly. Scorpio men’s control of desire and manipulation of powers are also proportional, so the person is the invading style and leading style. His charisma causes normal people to be unable to withstand it. When he’s not smiling, he’s “a walking weapon of mass destruction”, the atmosphere is serious (when he smiles he brings out a laser), his long body causes the wind to sway along when he walks; Wherever he walks to, he’ll be the main focus of everyones’ eyes. However, when he gets happy while playing with the other members, he’ll also be smiling until you can’t see his eyes, just like a child.
Q. Today’s theme is an English-style, what is the impression of English-style that you have in your minds?
All: Gentlemanly, rich, polite, and slightly melancholic.
Q. Can everyone use a single phrase to describe yourself?
Q. Talking about England, the English-style, what is the first thought that comes to mind?
Kris: The Beatles
Tao: The image that appears in my mind, is a magazine that I’ve seen when I was young, like English-style traditional clothes, checkered skirts and the organ (T/N: The instrument), etc.
Luhan: English soccer, Manchester United
Lay: The cities of the past, London, streets that are very pretty and stylish
Xiumin: English gentlemen
Q. If EXO lived in a castle together, according to your personalities, what kind of role will each of the member play?
Kris: (Who wants to be the King?) Haha, I want to be the King or perhaps, the Prince!
Luhan: Maid? No, I’ve changed my mind, I want to be a little prince.
Lay: Bodyguard, a bodyguard who knows how to cook
Tao: Assassin, I want to silently protect the castle; When Lay can’t do his job, then I will come out
Chen: A commoner who lives in the city
Xiumin: Butler, the housekeeper who takes care of the house
Q. A necessity that you need to bring out?
Tao: Mask, MP3
Lay: Wallet, phone
Q. Tell each other about the following member’s good habits or personality?
Kris: Loves to read, calm and has a sense of responsibility
Tao: Persistent, hardworking
Lay: In the group, at times, he’s the moodmaker
Chen: I like to eat rice (He said this in Chinese), his appetite is good
Xiumin: He loves cleanliness, a cleanliness that is recognised by everyone.
The most handsome, the young deer. His singing and dancing skills are amazing, his vitality is so passionate, his enthusiasm is high, of superior quality yet without any excitement. Handsome Lu, his aura is forceful.
The pain of growing up
“When I was a trainee, I had times where I hit a dead end. The problem of how to improve my singing and dancing skills disturbed me for a long period of time. Now that I think about that time, it was really bitter, it was gloomy.”
C-Luo (T/N: It’s the Chinese short form for Cristiano Ronaldo.)
“Cute/Childlike” is a good phrase, but Lu Han is after all, a boy, so instead of “cute”, he would want others to describe him as “handsome”. Unfortunately though, “cute” is the most apt word to describe his movements and expressions. However you definitely can’t ignore the presence that he has on stage, with the military dance; “fresh”, “innocent” and “magnificent” are combined as one, and the charm is just endless. As an honest and active sun boy (T/N: It’s a phrase in Chinese, directly translated as “sun boy, but it actually means that he’s very bright and cheerful.), Luhan is obsessed with soccer. He can play both forward and wing, his ball skills are good and he especially likes Cristiano Ronaldo, because of Cristiano Ronaldo’s all-rounded skills. Luhan wishes to succeed in any role like Cristiano Ronaldo, in terms of soccer, and become an all-rounded player.
On the day of the shoot, Luhan caught a cold and he was coughing throughout but he didn’t say anything about being tired and he wouldn’t stop to rest. He’s so young yet so professional, his thumb was a single point that we could all remember. He was so helpless that in the end, he coughed until his entire face turned red and his eyes were watery. It was Da Zui’s cameraman, Ying Guan-gege, who said with an expression that he couldn’t bear with it anymore. “Hurry, wipe the kid’s tears, he’s coughing until everything is leaking out.” Little Lu was really embarrassed, and kept saying, “Teacher, I’m so sorry for interrupting the shoot,” he was lovely and sensible.
When the music for the break stopped, Luhan walked over to Big Mouth, with gentle steps, requesting that they play <MAMA>. After that, Big Mouth found out casually that the reason why he wanted to play <MAMA> was because he wanted to practice dancing and singing during the free time he had. Practising any time and anywhere with no further encouragement, it can be said that this is an idol’s natural instinct and it’s a hard-to-get diligent habit.
Lu Han reveals: In the fansigning in Korea, there were many fans who appeared. I felt very happy, but there was a fan who came on stage and when she opened the album for me to sign it, a fake cockroach appeared in it – it gave me a big shock. This type of event seems to be the trend these days, the fans are overjoyed. Even though it gave me a huge shock, it was really fun.
trans cr; xuan and hyerin @exom-trans
please take out with full credits.