News / Interviews

Cross Gene's Shin Discusses His Early Life And Career During Exclusive Interview With KpopStarz Japan (Part 1)

By KpopStarz Japan | August 31, 2015 01:01 PM EDT

Cross Gene is about as diverse as K-pop boy bands come, with members hailing from South Korea, Japan, and China to bring a unique sound to audiences around the world.

As leader of the group, Shin (Shin Won Ho) has expressed his talents in a variety of ways, first and foremost as a singer, but also as a dancer and actor.

On August 16, Shin appeared on TV Asahi's popular children's program "Shuriken Sentai Ninninger" as a Dracula-like character from abroad named Silver. Before his surprising television appearance, the singer sat down with KpopStarz Japan for an exclusive interview to give fans a bit more insight into his personal life and career beginnings.

Since he recently passed the second level Japanese language proficiency exam, the interview was conducted completely in Japanese without the help of an interpreter.

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◆Where were you born? Do you know what kind of baby you were?

SHIN:I was born in Seoul. I was a good baby and weighed 3200 grams (7lbs. 1oz.)! I was a pretty tall baby too.  

◆What is your real name? Please tell us about the origin of your name.

SHIN:Shin Won-ho. My grandma asked a famous person to name me. "Won-ho" means "the sky of the wilderness." They told me to be like a summer sky. 

◆Do you remember anything from time you were at the kindergarten? 

SHIN:Since I was a naughty child, I often had accidents and I was hurt all the time. At one point, I broke both my arms and I had to wear plaster cast on them.

◆You had pretty big injuries. 

SHIN:Yes, I did. I almost died couple times in my life. Once I fell down the stairs. I don't really remember the other time, but I think it happened when I was riding a bicycle.

◆How was kindergarten?

SHIN:As a kindergartener, I used to commute a long distance every day. I had to take a bus for about 15 minutes. 

◆SHIN, I know you don't have any bothers or sisters. What is the good side and the bad side of being an only child? 

SHIN:Good side of being an only child was I could have a lot of time for myself. The bad side was I was lonely. 

◆If you could have brother or sister, which would you chose? 

SHIN:A dog (laugh).

◆A dog?

SHIN:I don't need a brother or sister. I have my dog! My dog is like a little sister to me. We use the same family name. 

◆What was your childhood dream?

SHIN:To be a professional Go player.  Between the first grade and the six grade, I played Go. Go was very popular when I was an elementary school student and there were many great professional players.

◆Were you good at playing Go? 

SHIN:I wasn't very good at it but I practiced very hard! I probably made the best effort to play Go in my life. 

◆Go is a brain game, right?

SHIN:Yes, it was fun to think about strategies. Now I sometimes play Go with strangers on a mobile app in my spare time. 

◆What kind of child when you were a elementary school student? 

SHIN:I was a mischievous child and I had many female friends. A little while ago, I visited my parent's house and I found an old picture. Everybody else in the picture was a girl except me (Laugh). I don't know why because I had male friends too. 

◆Where your parents strict?

SHIN:They were very strict. I grew up in the Gangnam district of Seoul and every one is very serious about education there so my mom was always worried about me. Between when I was in the elementary school to the middle school, I went to 12 different cramming schools. 

◆Twelve?What did you learn there?

SHIN:English, Math, Social studies, History, Business and lot more. I went to 12 schools at the same time including Modern Korean language, piano, Taekwondo. I went to many after school activities every day! 

◆Which cramming school did you actually want to go to? 

SHIN:Math I was terrible at Math!(Laugh)I had good grades for other subjects but I always had trouble with Math, so I used to go to three different  cramming schools for just Math. 

◆Have you ever gotten yelled by your father? 

SHIN:When I was a teenager, I got yelled by my dad but he is usually very kind. I think he is the best father! He is not an angel, but he loves me so much. 

◆How about your mother? 

SHIN:Too many times! (Laugh)

◆What kind of a child were you when you were in a junior high school? 

SHIN:I grew taller and gained weight. I grew in every direction (Laugh). My junior high school was mixed-sex school and we had uniforms. It was a gray jacket. 

◆What kind of person were you in your class? 

SHIN:I think I was a mood maker for my class. 

◆Did you have any duties in the class? 

SHIN:Yes, I was in charge of cleaning. I liked my role but actually I wanted to be a class chairperson. I didn't want to give a speech in front of everyone so I didn't run for the position. 

◆What was your favorite school subject?

SHIN:I did ok for most subjects except Chinese character class. I was an average student up until junior high school. I was a B+ student. 

◆ What kind of a student were you when you were in a high school?

SHIN:It was a boy's school. I was randomly chosen. It wasn't the school I wanted to go to, so I wasn't very happy about it, but I just went to the school. 

◆Which school did you want to go? 

SHIN:It was a coeducation school, which was closer to my house. I wanted to go to this school because Changmin from TVXQ went there, but it is a boys' school now. 

◆What did you like about the boys school?

SHIN:Since we have to spend three years with only boys, whenever we saw a girl, we were so excited (Laugh).  When a woman walked in front of our classroom, we got so excited like "WOW!" Now I think about it that was little crazy and fun. 

◆What was your favorite high school subject? 

SHIN:I liked social sciences and I was good at social studies and modern Korean. I used to play soccer too. 

◆Did you have a hard time deciding your career? 

SHIN:Yes, it was very hard for me. When I was in the second grade of the high school, I passed an audition to be a trainee so I had a hard time deciding whether to continue studying or not. I had to decide between studying and training because usually Korean trainees practice very hard. I talked with my parents but they said, "You are already a high school student. You have your opinion and you can do what you decide." But they also said, "You should still read books because you have to have some knowledge to be successful." I couldn't continue going to cramming schools but I decided to study as much as I could.

Click HERE for Part 2 of Shin's interview with KpopStarz Japan!

Tagged :  Cross Gene, Shin Won Ho

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