[Interview] Teen Top’s Niel Talks Being Called ‘Andy’s Group,’ Making Solo Debut and More
Teen Top’s Niel will be releasing his first solo album oNIELy on February 16, marking his solo debut. Having debuted in 2010, Niel will be promoting as a soloist in the sixth year since his debut. The fact that Niel is the first member to go solo from Teen Top has been gathering more interest.
Then why is Niel the first member from Teen Top to make his solo debut?
During a recent interview with Newsen, Niel humbly said, “Because I’m the most free one?” before adding, “I think the company saw a lot of potential in me. They sent me to a lot of singing programs, such as KBS 2TV’s Immortal Song and saw my potential on the programs.”
About the other members′ reaction on his solo debut, Niel shared, “We lived together in a dorm for a very long time so we’re really like a family. Like how brothers are not so affection with one another, we’re also like that. We can’t cheer each other up by saying things like, ‘You will do well’ or ‘I’m worried about you.’ Instead, we pretend like we don’t care as we take care of each other. Even when they simply say, ‘Do well,’ in passing, I know what they mean.”
Niel explained, “When we’re together, we’re like any other ordinary high school or college students in this world. We joke around and fight a lot and even have had a physical fight before. But instead of keeping it in after fighting, we tend to make up with each other right away. We’re all close to each other to the point where we cannot say who is closer to whom.”
As the group that Shinhwa’s Andy planned and produced, Teen Top was always called ‘Andy’s idol group’ since the beginning of its debut. Even now, Teen Top is tagged the idol group that Andy made. Wouldn’t the members want to get rid of that title?
“Andy hyung is a senior artist whom we respect and are grateful for so I’ve never disliked that title. Actually, Andy hyung is really like a brother instead of a CEO. Even though he is a great senior, he tries hard to treat us like an older brother and gives us advice. Since he is also introverted, he is similar to the members when we meet. We don’t hold deep conversations but I can feel that he is taking care of us.”
Having turned 22 years old, Niel has already entered the sixth year since his debut. About what has changed the most since his debut, Andy said, “I lacked in so many ways when I debuted but I’m at the stage of working hard to fill what I lack in. I didn’t know anything when I debuted so I just did everything the company told me to do. Now we look for the things that we’d like to do. We know which path to take, which allows us to walk on that path. I ask that you continue to anticipate our growth.”
Meanwhile, Niel’s first solo album oNIELy has a total of seven tracks, including the title song Lovekiller as well as Only you, Affogato, Lady, Call Me, Epilogue and Song of an Angel. Niel will be presenting his first solo performance on February 13 on KBS 2TV’s Music Bank.
Photo credit: Newsen