{INTERVIEW} Inkigayo Magazine August Edition – Dongwoo

Dongwoo – An Indifferent Face

#Scene_2: My memories and times that are deeply embedded in me… a time to reflect back on the trail left behind calmly

“Whenever an important moment passes by, I regularly write it in my journal and the members would ask me why I would write in a journal but during times of photo shoots or music video recordings, or even moments passing by my surroundings, I wrote those episodes in my journal; they’re a trail left behind by time and although it may be small, in storing important memories, I want to be able to look back on it with the same intention I had then.”

When thinking of Dongwoo, the first thing that comes up is the ‘unique smile and laughter.’ This opaque man who appears pure and caring when he smiles also holds a stern and cold facial expression, being both cute yet having charms overflowing with charisma. He’s not just a flat pretty boy, but masculine as well; however, his nicknames are ‘innocent dinosaur’ and ‘a gum-showing angel.’ “When I hear that nickname, I often think I lack in having nice gums, so I try to match up to that and try to smile more (laughter). From now on, I want to earn nicknames close to the image of ‘a strong guy’ and ‘a thick person.’ I like animals like Tyrannosauruses.” Dongwoo recognized his optimism and being able to make others feel at ease long ago. In liking people and through the people I met, I was able to achieve the state of maturity in terms of music. Dongwoo learned through this album that you need encounters (with others). “I think I was able to achieve maturity in music thanks to working with the help of the nation’s greatest composers and lyricists through this album. I learned through this opportunity that lyrics that fit in the guidelines of the melody, yet can appeal to others is needed. I listened a lot and tuning my rap lyrics with their advice helped a lot.” Of course before this, Dongwoo was the type of person to the other person’s advice fully but now, it’s more of myself putting forth my opinions and slowly matching it to the style needed. Now, Dongwoo’s not confused and is able to surely express how he feels, in a sense thinking that it could be him maturing into a confident man. Although he can’t always be neat and tidy, the place he’s at now and the area he’s surrounded inside is where he’s consistently changing and it’s another turning point in my life. “We all grew extremely through this album. From the refreshing boy image in ‘Nothing’s Over’ to appealing with a strong, masculine image – for me, I think I lack somewhat of the strong side, so I try to appeal more of it with each album. I’d think things like, ‘This week, I want to be more masculine and stronger. Not, “Will you be mine?” but strongly portraying it through “Be mine” instead. I want to have an image of a dependent oppa.’” In seeing the performance <Laser Show> from Usher in which a laser is incorporated with the choreography, Dongwoo shouted ‘Oh My God’ and aside from being synchronized in choreographies, he hopes to be able to showcase a performance like this which is out-of-the-box. The innocent pheromone that exudes infinitely is what completes my charm.

“The song ‘Crying’ allowed me to find another side to myself. I learned new skills as well as being able to grow in singing and rapping overall while working on this song. The song ‘Crying’ is a sad story as a man follows in death after the woman he loves dies. Although I never experienced such thing firsthand, through watching the movies <Sixth Sense> and <I Am Sam> helped me experience it secondhand. I was given an awakening that can’t be expressed in words when I was writing the lyrics myself.”

Dongwoo’s small attic room he dreams in. Suppose a difficult situation came up, I tend to not keep it to myself but just dive deeper into the situation, so I don’t think that way. Instead, I go up to the attic and lie down while looking at the ceiling. I realize that this helps with my mind control. I find funny videos to watch and watch animations with stories to flip my mood.

The important song which was a stepping stone to my growth. Mariah Carey’s “Touch My Body” was the song that helped me grow from elementary school to high school. I think listening to senior Epik High’s ‘1 Minute, 1 Second,’ ‘Fan,’ and ‘Paris’ helped me grow deeply and I normally like music styles from artists like Usher or West Life; I also like Asher Book’s comfortable R&B style, like in his song ‘Try.’

Exuding his double charms. In Japan, we have to showcase two songs which are ‘BTD’ & ‘Come Back Again.’ In Korea, we have to showcase our new song ‘Be Mine.’ It can be a little difficult, but learning another culture and through the form of expression, I think we’re getting to know our own charms and are having the ability to showcase them. I get the feeling that while promoting in both countries, we’re gaining more weapons to attack with. Usually if it gets too difficult, one would prepare to quit but the more it gets difficult for us, the members tend to raise the heat and just keep running. In seeing that, I’m proud of them.

Dongwoo, A True Story

“On stage, the moment I hear the melody and the beat, my emotions change.” Honestly, I wanted to attempt something different from what we’ve always done before. I would ask this or that while sitting close to a composer and I would learn things that I never even knew before. I think that the groove and flow in my rap changed a little; I was able to convey deeper emotions. I was proud that as much effort I put into composing, the results reflected that and although it was difficult learning this and that while spending sleepless nights, it was fun. “It’s endearing to see the results from the attempts for change you made.” I had the goal of ‘attempt and change’ for this album. I tried changing the rap in a unique form through various attempts and tests. In our track ‘Tic Toc,’ we even tried putting synthesizers and were able to put out a lot of style into it. To be honest, that part wasn’t supposed to be a rap part but while talking with the composers, we put a rap in the empty part. I think I have more attachment to it because I felt that the song was revived in a new form. I like all the songs in the tracklist, but I think the song ‘One Third’ itself has a comfortable melody to listen to and it’s easy to sing along to, and it suits me.

Dongwoo, The Moment He Loves

If I have a person I love… Before, I used to be indecisive so I never held back someone who left me and I didn’t block anyone from entering my life, especially if the other person acted first. Now, if I have someone I like, I think I’ll be the type to not hide my curiosity and be straight forward in asking them things. In working on the songs for this album, I think I changed a lot. I think the saying of a singer changing through their song is true.

‘Be Mine, okay?’ Out of everything, I look at personality the most. No matter how pretty they are, I realized that over time, looks aren’t everything. I heard that when questions like this are asked, the most fussy answer is ‘I look at personality’…(laughter). Doesn’t everything look beautiful to someone if you’re able to converse with the other person and that your personalities fit? Personality is important!

CREDITS: Jiwon @ infinite updates (Translations)

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