“Changmin has become able to say what he want to say properly. He looks more biddable than ever”
“The amazing part of Yunho is the strong sense of responsibility I cannot imitate. He never fails to accomplish even very tough goals.“
TVXQ came back with a single CD “Why? Keep your head down!” released last January. This CD sold 231,000 copies only in one week and won No.1 at every Oricon chart. 1,500,000 fans applied for their release memorial event which has a capacity of only 15000. This proved the high popularity of TVXQ. Also, tickets for SMTown Paris were sold out within a day and a protest for an additional date took place. In response to the demand, a concert date was added. Thus their popularity has spread beyond Asia to Europe.
The superstar TVXQ came to Japan for the recording of their new single, which will be released on July 20, 2011. I got a chance to have an interview wit them while they are in Japan. My mission was to analyze a question “Why is TVXQ that popular?” as a sociologist. This is more complicated than it sounds, because each fan has their own reason why they love TVXQ. However, I found out that there are some common perceptions among their fans. Firstly, they are fascinated by Yunho’s amazing dance and fall in love with Changmin’s outstanding high note. Secondly, they are impressed by their “close relationship”. I will search for the answer to the question by focusing on these points.
The TVXQ members, dressed in active-looking costumes, were giving off an undeniable superstar aura, but somehow looked like pure young boys. When I introduced myself as a professor teaching at a university, Changmin said with a wicked look “I envy you” and Yunho said with a big smile “I was a university student until recently”. At the beginning of the interview, I was knocked out by the miraculous coexistence of superstar aura and friendliness, which actually every and all interviewers praise them for.
High professionalism to provide only the highest quality products
First topic was music. Various composers and songwriters have offered them songs, but they compose and write songs by themselves too. “Checkmate” Yunho composed is very popular dance tune. “Confession” Changmin recently wrote attracted public attention with the rich poetry.
Q: Yunho, you compose and write songs, right? Do you have a stock of songs?
Yunho: Yes, I have some songs in stock. They include various genres such as rock and dance tune. Some songs contain a chorus of 2 or more voices. But I’m not satisfied with any of them yet, and want to work on them more before introducing to fans. I’m looking for the right time, for example, soon or at the next tour.
Q: You have a high goal, don’t you?
Yunho: Yes, because I think it is important to create a song that will be remembered forever.
Q: Changmin, you write songs. Where do the ideas come from?
Changmin: Sometimes I write in my diary. I want to keep it on a daily basis, but I can’t because I’m too busy. I read it to write a lyric poem based on my past experiences.
Q: Which diary entry did you read recently?
Changmin: An entry from about 2 years ago. I won’t tell you what kind of the day it was (laugh).
They always keep a stock of new songs and try to refine them before bringing them out. Now we know the persistent efforts they are making behind the great works.
Strong tie of mutual trust and respect
Let’s explore their “close relationship”.
What do they think about each other?
Q: Changmin, have you thought Yunho is great recently? If yes, what is it about?
Changmin: A very strong sense of responsibility I cannot imitate. He has always been very responsible, but recently he became even more responsible.
Yunho: I’m listening while eating (catering sweets) (laugh)
Changmin: When I see him try a new job and accomplish it to the end, I’m so proud of him. Of course, I always believe he can make it, but worry at the same time because I know how much difficulty he is having. The difficulty and pressure he faces must be far greater than others can imagine. It must be very tough. But he never fails to accomplish them. That is an amazing part of Yunho.
How serious look Changmin shows when he talks about Yunho! You can feel that Changmin respects Yunho with all his heart. On the other hand, Yunho kept a gentle big-brotherly eye on Changmin, nibbling potato chips. Again, you can feel Yunho has an inordinate level of affection for Changmin.
I asked Yunho some questions while Changmin is shooting solo pictures.
Q: Changmin has been showing significant growth recently. Are there moments when you think he is still a child?
Yunho: When he makes a mistake, he really wants to apologize. But sometimes he can’t because he cares about what others think (laugh). When I see such a moment, I think he is still a cute child. But he has been grown up. He tended to hold back, just saying “I’m OK, I’m fine” before. But now he says what he wants to say properly. Personally I think this change is good for him because he must feel less stressed. Now Changmin looks more biddable than ever.
As the leader, Yunho keeps a close eye on Changmin’s growth. I believe Changmin could concentrate on his job with peace of mind because someone who really understands and cares about him is always there.
What Yunho think makes an ideal man?
Yunho is the dance king. His powerful but lithe movement touches the souls of all who see it. In fact, many people are attracted by Yunho and start dance. I asked Yunho, one of the greatest dancers in history, about how to dance well.
Yunho: I think the most important thing for dancers as well as singers is to know themselves. There are angles that make dancers look beautiful, and they vary person to person. There is a “line” that suits your figure. You need to find the line by checking yourself in front of a mirror. Check which line makes you look best. The ability to find the line a “feel”. If you have a real feel for dance, you can improve yourself quickly even if you can do only easy dance at the beginning.
Yunho’s splendid dance skill is based on his dance philosophy developed through the experiences. “To know yourself” well said. He analyzes not only Changmin but also himself. I asked one more question related to a mirror.
Q: When you look in a mirror, do you sometime think yourself good-looking?
Yunho: hahaha (laugh). Good appearance doesn’t make a real man. The important thing is to do your best to keep your promises. A real man should show his faith in action than words.
Changmin’ secret dream
It is the accepted view in the publishing industry that magazines featuring Changmin sell well. His outlook tends to draw attention, but he is good at smart talk too. He gives a clear and clever conclusion to each question with the rich vocabulary and sense of humor. He wants to try a radio DJ some day.
Q: What kind of program do you want to have?
Changmin: I’d like to have a late-night radio program. The listeners are people who have completed what they have to do for the day and are having a time of rest and relaxation . I will talk in a relaxed atmosphere. If it is a long program, I want to talk without restraint.
Q: Will you play your favorite guitarist Raul Midón’s songs on the program?
Changmin: Yes, I will. Like Stevie Wonder, Raul Midón’s is a blind artist. His guitar performance is extraordinary in a positive way. Of course, his vocal is also great. He is an artist loved by anyone who is interested in music.
Q: Are you practicing guitar now?
Changmin: I want to, but I don’t have time. I want to improve my skill, so will restart the practice some day.
What strikes me is the phase “people who have completed what they have to do”. People who properly accomplish what they have to do are Changmin himself and Yunho. From his concept of an ideal radio program, I can read his desire to support people who continue to make efforts like them.
Activities in Japan
Everyone wants to know about their plan of Japanese activities. What kind of TVXQ will they show us? First of all, I asked about their new single they have just recorded.
Yunho: The title is Superstar. It has a positive message “I want to be your superstar”.
Q: Will you sing the song at the a-nation concerts?
Yunho & Changmin (synchronized): I think we will.
Changmin: This song is just perfect for summer. Fans can chant to the song and we can have a blast together. I’m looking forward to it.
Q: You will be participating in a-nation in Ehime, Fukuoka, Aichi, Osaka and Tokyo. You can meet a lot of fans who have waited so long.
Changmin: The a-nation is a meaningful stage for us because it a kind of history of TVXQ’s Japanese activities and a testament to our past efforts. We will work on extra hard because we participate after a two-year absence.
Yunho: The advantage of an open-air concert is easy to communicate with fans. I hope we can enjoy the summer festival together with them. For that, we are preparing our performance.
Q: What are you planning to do in Japan from now on?
Changmin: The details are still being worked out in discussion with staff members. In any case, we hope to release an album as soon as possible because a considerable time has passed since we released the previous album. We are now proceeding with the plan little by little, for example, recording songs.
Yunho: We’re going to try out new genres and show you different aspects of TVXQ. I hope we can offer you a high quality product. We will do our best to deliver a nice new album as soon as possible!
Changmin emphasized “In any case,” and Yunho showed his enthusiasm saying “We’ll do our best!” Once an album is released, they will have a solo tour……. TVXQ fans have a lot to look forward to.
Let’s get back to the mission. Why is TVXQ that popular? I reached a conclusion through the interview. It’s because they continue to work hard behind the scenes, respect and love their partner, know themselves very well and try to support people who work hard. It may be an ordinary answer. Yes, these are ordinal things when you see on a paper. However, if you try to do these, you will immediately know how difficult it is. TVXQ is a superstar because they can do “ordinary things” that look easy, but are actually very hard to do at an above-average level.
Far exceeding our expectations, TVXQ came back gorgeously and gracefully. They will continue to fascinate us forever.
Source: ELLE JAPON August 2011 Issue
Translated by: Lisalio @ ContinueTVQ.com
Distributed by: Lisalio @ ContinueTVQ.com
Translated by: Lisalio @ ContinueTVQ.com
Distributed by: Lisalio @ ContinueTVQ.com