Part 2 of KpopStarz Japan's Q&A with BEAST member Son Dongwoon. For Part 1, click HERE.
◆Did you have trouble deciding to go to a college or follow your music career?
Because I debuted when I was a third grade student in high school, I didn't have trouble deciding about college. Going to college wasn't important for me.
◆When did you start thinking about becoming a professional musician?
In junior high school. I was a JYP trainee and enjoyed singing.
◆When did you start dancing?
When I became a trainee I learned dancing for the first time, but I didn't get along with my dance teacher and I didn't like dance lessons. I'm still not a good dancer. (laugh)
◆When was the time of your life you enjoyed most romantic attention?
It is now. (smile) My junior high school was an only boys school, so I didn't meet any girls and I wasn't popular in high school either. (laugh)
◆Why? You are a great looking guy!
I don't know why? I'm kind too... maybe because I was always hanging out with my three friends and I was quiet in my class.
◆Are there any moments from your love life that made you grow?
Yes, I learned how to express my feelings and how to love others by being "in love." (He speaks slowly while choosing words.) By being in love, I can understand lyrics of love songs. I think it changed my singing style too.
◆Have you ever had any part time jobs?
No, I haven't because I became a trainee when I was a junior high school student.
◆If you had a chance, what kind of part time job would you want to try?
Handing out flyers to people.
◆Handing out flyers? (laugh)
Yes, I was good at inline skating, so I think I can hand flyers quickly while I'm inline skating. I want to try it once.
◆When did you start trying out for entertainment offices?
Before I became a trainee for JYP Entertainment, I started trying out as first grade student in junior high school. I tried out about four times. After I gave up being a trainee, I started auditioning again when I was a third grade student in high school. My parents were always very supportive of me.
◆You said on a TV show that when you were a JYP trainee, you almost had the chance to debut with the current members of 2PM?
It wasn't a made decision, but they changed many members and tried different things, so I think I had a chance. However, I wasn't too excited about it because there were many trainees.
◆You have an objective view toward yourself.
Yes, I do. After I debuted as a member of BEAST, when I meet people I used to train with on music shows, we talk about our old times. I still have many pictures that I took when we were trainees.
◆How did you feel when BEAST debuted?
When I debuted, I was only a high school student so I felt like I could do anything! But I realized there was another barrier. (laugh)
◆So a new barrier came up between you and your dream, what was the barrier?
I used to practice by watching successful singers and I believed as soon as I debut, I can be like them. However, when I actually debuted, it wasn't that easy.
◆Could you describe the other BEAST members in short phrases?
Hyun-seung is very passionate person. He tries his best for every practice and everything. Yo-seob is very kind person. He is like a lemon soda.
◆A lemon soda?
Yes, (laugh) he is just like it. He is cheerful and energetic and he can make me feel good.
◆How about Jun-hyung?
...TSUNDERE (a person who is normally cold, but can suddenly become lovestruck) - I mean in a good way! He is also a very kind person. And Gi-kwang is like a "cute high school student." He is older than me, but has pure and cute personality.
◆What is the good side and bad side to being the youngest?
We often talk with the president of our company, but I don't have to say anything directly to him because my "older brothers" take care everything for me. It is good to know that I can be just quiet. I can't think of anything bad.
◆You have close friends from a different group, the 91LINE (Korean entertainers born in the year 1991). How important is it for you to have friends from the 91LINE？
My three high school friends are not professional musicians so I think it is hard for them to fully understand my job, but I can talk about the worries of my job with members of the 91LINE.
◆By the way, do you like your voice?
Yes, I like it very much! I like that listeners of my songs can easily recognize my voice.
◆Have you ever had any breakdowns because of music or have you ever thought about quitting music?
Yes, I have. When I was a junior high school student, it wasn't because of music, but I was too busy to be a trainee and I couldn't join school events and I was so lonely not having school friends so I gave up being a trainee.
◆After feeling like that, what changed you to think about being a professional musician again?
People who I used to practice with debuted and when I went to see their shows, I started to think that I wanted to do it again!
◆In a previous interview, you said "I like to listen rock music such as Maroon 5." Why do you like rock music?
I like "live sounds." I'm also interested in band music. I want to try it if I have a chance.
◆Why do you always introduce yourself as "SONNAMUSHIN" (Man Among Men) at live BEAST performances?
My Korean fans started calling me "Sonnamushin." Then I thought it was fun to introduce myself like that in Japan and my funs liked it so I started always doing it.
◆What made you study Japanese so hard?
When I was doing promotions for "SAD MOVIE," I wasn't happy that I couldn't understand Japanese and I couldn't express what I really wanted to say. It was a little late start, but I started studying Japanese soon after promotions for "SAD MOVIE."
◆Now you can speak Japanese most fluently among your group.
Sure. Sometime I translate Japanese for other members.
◆When do you feel BEAST became popular?
I don't go outside very often, so I'm not very sure, but when I suddenly hear from not very close friends and they talk about our popularity, I sometimes feel we are getting popular.
◆Now, you have a solo debut in Japan. How do you feel?
It is my first time, so I am feeling some pressure. I will try my best not to cause any trouble for my BEAST brothers.
◆Please tell me about the songs.
There is Ayaka's "Tsuyoku Omou" (ツヨク想う) and her new song. I think she wrote her strong feelings in these songs. Also there are songs that Jun-hyung made for me, "Kimishika" (キミしか) and "Amasugiru" (アマスギルYOU). He knows the most about my voice and what I want to do so he made great songs for me. And also there are songs that I sang at my live performance, "Hoshi Ni Natte" (星になって) and "Preludio."
◆I have listened to "Preludio!"
What do you think?
◆It was great! You performed nine vocal parts all by yourself!
Yes, I did a cappella by myself. It was also my idea. In BEAST's song, all six of us put what we have together, but in my song I had to do all by myself to make it better, so it was very hard.
◆Do you dance this time?
There is no dance part. (laughs)
◆Please tell us about your ideal artist style.
I always think that it is important to get somewhere higher than now but it is more important to create a new music world for people who are waiting for my music.
◆Today's interview theme was "What kind of person is Dongwoon?" Finally, what kind of person are you?
I'm an interesting person. I want to be an artist who has my own world in my music.
Click HERE to see the full photo shoot.
Interviewer: Kiyori Matsumoto
Translator: Yukari Yamamoto
Special Thanks: BEAST MUSIC
This interview was conducted in Japanese.