ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY DISCLAIMER – I have no idea why there’s so little on MinSyung in this article… Nevertheless, I thought this article still makes for a pretty interesting read. 🙂
“Looking at them standing together, I’m somehow moved beyond words.”
These are the words of MC Park Kyung Lim, who hosted Shinhwa’s 14th anniversary comeback press conference at Seoul’s CGV Cheongdam on 5 March. Shinhwa, whose members have all returned from military service and gathered together to continue with their group activities, has already been in existence for 14 years. The press conference was attended by many reporters and broadcast live online to fans in 200 countries around the world. The online viewership ratings exceeded 60%, a clear testament to Shinhwa’s unwaning popularity.
With the members all completing their military service and standing together on stage after 4 years, one feels a sense of depth from Shinhwa. Each member’s charm has become different, and their witty eloquence even more evident.
# Eric-sshi, did you attend some interview academy during your break?
As the CEO of Shinhwa Company, Eric fully demonstrates his sense of responsibility. “Being around for a long time doesn’t necessarily mean we’re old. Masterpieces become more valuable as time passes. We will prove that.” Eric won much praise for confidently sharing Shinhwa’s aspirations and plans.
Eric’s eloquent replies drew admiration from MC Park Kyung Lim and reporters alike. Park Kyung Lim went on to ask in jest, “Eric-sshi, did you attend some interview academy during your break? You’re a really good speaker”, giving Eric the thumbs-up.
# Junjin, the glibest tongue of the day
Junjin showed that he has the best gift of the gab in Shinhwa. Junjin handled Park Kyung Lim’s playful questions with witty and street smart answers, drawing laughter from the audience. Envying the compliments that Andy received for his deep voice, Junjin dropped his tone a notch lower, before going on to imitate Eric’s eloquent answers to the media, further enlivening the atmosphere during the event.
When introducing Shinhwa’s 10th album, MC Park Kyung Lim requested, “Junjin-sshi, please sing a short verse for us”. A flustered Junjin tried to weasel his way out but even the members joined forces against him. Junjin eventually hummed a few notes of the melody. He then amused everyone when he made random comments like “It’s raining outside”, “There’s really a lot of people today”.
# Andy, is this the Andy with the heart dance?
The heart-dancing Andy with the eye smile has disappeared. At the press conference, Andy captured female hearts with his deep voice. Hearing Andy’s baritone voice, Park Kyung Lim joked, “I was really surprised when I heard Andy-sshi’s voice. Did your voice change when you were in the army?
Andy the adorable maknae was nowhere in sight, instead we saw Andy as the serious and mature producer of Teen Top. Andy exuded a new charm with the way he maintained composure in the face of the other members’ playful antics.
# Dongwan-sshi, how about switching jobs and becoming the manager?
Kim Dongwan was the master of random and unexpected comments during the event. Kim Dongwan’s replies to Park Kyung Lim and the press were all very unexpected. When asked about Shinhwa’s secret weapon in the face of competition from newer groups, Kim Dongwan replied “Our secret weapon is Junjin.” (*note: Dongwan actually said it’s Minwoo). He also later said, “I don’t think Eric is suited to be the music director. Next time, it will be good if Minwoo does it”, his candid comments leaving his fellow members bemused at times.
MC Park Kyung Lim who is a good friend of Kim Dongwan’s, had joked that “Kim Dongwan-sshi is more suited to be a manager.” Catching on to that, Junjin added, “Shinhwa needs a manager, and Kim Dongwan-sshi knows us well enough so I hope he can be our manager”, to which Kim Dongwan could only smile bitterly. Kim Dongwan’s irreverent charm was on full display during the press conference.
# Lee Minwoo-Shin Hyesung, their passion towards music
Lee Minwoo and Shin Hyesung often threw in words of agreement amidst their teammates’ witty banter and showed their unwavering passion towards music. In particular, Lee Minwoo has taken charge of lyric-writing duties for this album, putting his heart and soul into Shinhwa’s group activities.
Known for his sweet voice, Shin Hyesung had a completely different look in his eyes when he was introducing the album and the significance of the title track, as opposed to the times when he was joking around with the members. One can truly feel his sincerity.
Shinhwa put a hold on their music activities after ‘Run’ from their 9th album released in 2008, with the members concentrating on solo projects. 4 years on, Shinhwa is working with CJ E&M on the distribution of their 10th album. The title track is of a genre that Shinhwa has yet to attempt – electronica – and will be complemented by a unique and fresh dance choreography.
Shinhwa will be holding their 14th anniversary concert ‘The Return’ on 24 March in Seoul. After their Seoul concert, Shinhwa will go on to their Asia concert tour from April onwards, traveling to cities such as Shanghai, Taiwan, Guangzhou, Tokyo, Kobe and Beijing.
Credits: Osen + Absolut Shinhwa