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[Interview] Kim Jeong Hoon Says He′s Never Left His Music Behind

Rating Rating more Three Stars

2012.11.04 19:00 Mwave Park, HyunMin Translation Credit : Erika Kim

Kim Jeong Hoon is back not as an actor, but as a singer, just like when he made his debut as a member of the group UN. The one difference now is that he′s not with his fellow duet member, but alone. His album is also his first in seven years, with his last being the UN best compilation album released in 2006.

He′s served his duties and been released from the army, but he′s still the flower boy everyone knows him to be. The years he lived through instead showed more in his experience than his looks.

Kim Jeong Hoon said in an interview with enews held after the release of his remake album on October 9, "I′ve been realizing I′ve really made my comeback while getting through my press interviews."

[Interview] Kim Jeong Hoon Says He′s Never Left His Music Behind

It′s been a long time since you′ve come back as a singer. When did you decide to release a new album?

"I′ve been thinking about it ever since I was released from the army early last year. I′ve been acting in Korea, and singing in Japan. Then suddenly I started to think I want to sing in Korea too, so I released an album. I can′t follow the trend, and I can′t rap either, so I just chose to release a remake album full of songs I′ve always liked."

A lot of old songs have been newly dug up through programs such as ′I Am a Singer′, ′Immortal Song′ and ′Superstar K′. Is the album a part of that effort?

"I′ve wanted to release a remake album since a long time ago. The timing just happened to fit; I didn′t aim to ride on the trend. My rearranger recommended I sing When You Are, and the other four tracks I chose myself. The three songs A Heart for One Person by 2.5.Gong.Gam, White Winter by Mr.2 and While You Were Not Here by Kim Won Jun went through a lot of changes, while A Thorn Tree mostly stayed the same."

A Poet and Chief′s ′A Thorn Tree′ was remade many times. Jo Sung Mo released a remake, and Jaurim recently brought attention to the song again by singing it on ′I Am a Singer′.... Do you think you′ll be compared to those examples?

"I saw Jaurim perform this song too. It was new and it was great. I′ve never really thought of comparing myself to anyone else. I went to see the original composer before I sang my remake of A Thorn Tree, and he loved the lyrics like they were a poem. I feel the same. The lyrics contain sharpness, strength, pain, anger, self-reflection and religion. It′s good to make a song more fancy in technique, but I concentrated more on trying to revive the original and deliver the profound lyrics."

Your career as an actor was going well. Why did you want to sing again?

"I started off as a singer and then became an actor. After releasing my last album I left my agency, and then after much consideration I came to act in the drama Princess Hours. Thanks to that, I was able to launch a career in acting as soon as my group disbanded, but it never felt like I had left music entirely. It was more like a change in lanes."

[Interview] Kim Jeong Hoon Says He′s Never Left His Music Behind

Has anything changed from when you were active as UN 10 years ago?

"There are more idol juniors now. I think it′ll be pressuring to be treated like a senior. I want to stay young forever.... (Laugh) I′m not used to standing onstage alone in Korea. I haven′t done so yet."

You′ve always been called the ′smart boy′ since a long time ago. The way you gave up your status as a student at the dental school in Seoul University also made issues. A long time has passed; do you ever regret the decision?

"Of course I don′t. I feel I′ll be more stable now than in my future as a dentist."

Financially, or psychologically?

"The two aren′t that far apart. If I wanted only psychological stability, I would′ve chosen to work in the pure sciences and research the stars. I feel I′m stable when I lie down watching movies while snacking, when my airplane touches down in Korea, when I open my front door back home or when I play World of Warcraft during the weekends. (Laugh)"

The interview is over now. Can you feel you′re really back? What are your plans for the future?

"Because my remake album is my first recorded in Korean in a long time, I feel more attached to it. I worked hard like a rookie, so I hope a lot of people listen to it and relate to it. I′m planning to go on an Asia tour that goes through Korea, Japan and China from the end of this year to the beginning of the next, and I′ll be holding my first solo concert in Korea on December 8 at the Seoul Kyunghee University Great Peace Palace. I′m looking forward to it and I′m nervous, but I′ll do my best."

Photo credit: Kim Byung Kwan

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