Earlier this month, K-pop singer and BEAST member Son Dongwoon made his official debut in Japan as a soloist.
The album, Kimishika, was released on July 1 and the music video for the title track of the same name was revealed on YouTube two days prior, on June 29.
Dongwoon, who is the youngest member of CUBE Entertainment boy band BEAST and speaks Japanese the most fluently of all the members, sat down with KpopStarz Japan recently to discuss his latest solo project and to answer some of our more personal questions.
Check out the Q&A below and the photo shoot HERE.
◆Today's theme is "What kind of person is Dongwoon?" I'm going to ask you everything from the date of your birth to today.
Sure, very nice to meet you!
◆Where were you born, Dongwoon?
I was born in Busan. Do you know the city?
◆Yes, I haven't been there but I know that the Korean popular movie, "See You at the International Market" was filmed in Busan.
Yes, I was born there and lived there for about a year after I was born, but my family had to move for my father's job so I don't remember anything about Busan.
◆Do you know what kind of baby you were?
I heard that I was a very loud baby when I cried.
◆Is Dongwoon your real name？
Yes, Woon means 'galaxy' and Dong means 'Asia' so I am not 100% sure, but I think my parents named me because they want me to be a "galaxy of Asia." (laughs) Thanks to this name, now I'm successful in Asia.
◆I know you have a brother. What do you usually call each other?
I call him "Annie" and my brother calls me "Donnie."
◆How is your relationship with your brother?
It's very good recently. He owns a café so I give him some advice.
◆Was there a time you didn't have a good relationship with him?
No, not at all. He is 29 years old this year and there is an age gap between us so we didn't fight.
◆How about when you were in kindergarten?
I went to Cheongju kindergarten in the Korean city, Cheongju. I was better looking than I am now. I had the best look in my life when I was in kindergarten!
◆So you were very popular in kindergarten?
Yes, I think I was. I was a very energetic child.
◆What was your favorite thing to do?
◆So you said you were energetic but you liked to play inside? (laugh)
(Laughs) Yes, I'm an indoor person.
◆Have you ever had a big injury？
I don't think I have because I take care of my body.
◆What was your childhood dream?
When I was little, I wanted to be a "respectable person" so my dream was to become a lawyer, but there was a barrier.
◆"The barrier" was your academic skills?
Yes, it was hard. I realized there is a barrier to becoming a lawyer when I was a junior high school student. (laugh)
◆What kind of child were you in elementary school?
When I was an elementary school student, I was a little more of an outdoor person than I am now. I was an inline skater. I went to nationals as a representative of Cheongju and I took second place.
◆That's amazing! You can do so many tricks, can't you?
Sure, I can. I can still do many tricks.
◆Please show your skills during a live performance! I think it will be very fun if you came out a stage wearing inline skates!
Hahaha! Really? (laugh)
◆How about your studies?
I was actually good at studying.
◆How about your role in your class? Were you a leader of the class?
No, I wasn't a leader. I didn't want to be a leader because I didn't want to be called on by teachers all the time. I think I was an "outsider" (laugh), but I had many friends.
◆Were your parents strict?
There were not very strict. They were always supportive of whatever I wanted to do.
◆Have you ever been yelled by your father?
Yes, I have. When I gave up being JYP's trainee, I was in third grade in junior high school. He ask me, "what are you going to do after you quit being a trainee?"
◆When your father said that, what did you say?
I didn't say anything.
◆Did you do any after school activities?
I took violin classes for about 6 years after kindergarten.
◆Did you want to learn violin?
No, my parents decided. I was good at playing the violin, but studying was more important for me. (laugh)
◆So you didn't have enough time to learn violin?
No, I had enough time. Actually, I didn't want to practice the violin. (laugh)
◆What other after school activities did you do?
Inline skating and English. In Korea, we start studying English in elementary school, but I already forgot it all. (laugh)
◆How about piano？
I have a piano at home, which my grandfather bought for me. I taught myself since elementary school so I can play piano.
◆What kind of a kid were you in junior high school?
When I was in junior high school, from first grade to third grade, I was JYP Entertainment trainee. I didn't have time to play with friends, so I didn't have many friends. However, I was famous at my school because I was a trainee.
◆Liberal arts or science, which subject were you good at?
I liked language classes, so liberal art. I was good at English.
◆How about school club activities?
There were not many school club activities in Korea.
◆Were you a leader of the class at your junior high school?
◆Was your high school a co-ed school?
Yes, it was a school for both boys and girls, but there were only boys in my class. I made three friends in high school. The four of us were always together and we are still good friends.
◆How did you meet your friends?
One of them was in the same class when I was in the first grade of high school and we became friends while we were talking about hip-hop. The other friend was in a different class, but he was a friend of my friend who liked hip-hop, so we became friends. The other friend was also in a different class, but he was also a friend of my hip-hop friend, (laugh) so the four of us became friends.
◆I see the hip-hop friend was a key person
Yes. (laugh) All of them except myself attended the same junior high school, but they were not very close friends then. When my hip-hop friend and I were hanging out, we all became friends. I liked hip-hop at that time and when I first met the hip-hop friend, we were arguing about who is the better rapper and ended up becoming friends.
Interviewer: Kiyori Matsumoto
Translator: Yukari Yamamoto
Photographer: Ryosuke Oshiki
Special Thanks: BEAST MUSIC
This interview was conducted in Japanese.