[Interview] Heo Young Saeng Dreams Bigger Dreams
Popularity is a fickle thing and the honors enjoyed now can quickly become a thing of the past. For singer Heo Young Saeng, who is eight years into his career, now is the time he feels this the most. He debuted as a member of SS501 in 2005, and having swept through Korea and Asia, Heo Young Saeng has had a taste of what it′s like to be at the top.
The fame he enjoyed as a SS501 member, however, is now part of a beautiful page in his past. Now, all of the members have each gone their separate ways and found new homes. Heo Young Saeng himself embarked on a solo career last year with his first solo album Let It Go.
Now it′s 2012, and he′s up for another round. Heo Young Saeng recently released his second mini album SOLO and started to promote the first single Crying.
Your second solo album must feel very different.
I′m just thankful I was able to come out with a new album again. I was actually under a lot of pressure, since I had to be just Heo Young Saeng and not SS501′s Heo Young Saeng. I thought I would like to start as a rookie and take it step by step, and I′m happy that it′s already my second [try]. It was, of course, more stressful and required more hard work than the first album because I thought the second album should be better.
What kind of music did you want to release as a solo singer aside from your music as the member of a group?
I actually like rock. Not heavy rock, but feel good music that has a hint of rock in it. I′m sorry I didn′t get to show a lot of that in this album. The promotional single Crying is completely different from rock. Still, I chose it because I liked the song and I′m happy because the other tracks showed what I wanted well.
It seems like you thought a lot about whether you should continue working on music as you went solo.
I would be lying if I said I didn′t, but I′m a person who loves music and loves singing the most. That′s why I want to continue working on music. I want to be a person who sings and works on the music he can.
What does the title of ′idol′ mean to Heo Young Saeng?
I say I′m not an idol, but everyone else says I am. They say ′once an idol, always an idol.′ (Laugh) Idols are supposed to be the role models of teenagers, but I′m not that now. The fans who loved me are now almost all in their 20s. My dream when I was little was to becoming an idol, so I guess I did fulfill that dream. I wanted to be like H.O.T., Shinhwa and Sechs Kies in the past, and I fulfilled that dream.
You′ve fulfilled your childhood dream, but now you must have a new dream.
I′ve fulfilled my first dream by being the member of a group. People don′t remember you if you never make it to the top, though. I′m sorry I didn′t get to stand at the peak with SS501, but I want to try again alone. It won′t be easy, but I like having a life full of challenges.
Where would you place Heo Young Saeng now?
I used to be an elementary school student. Elementary school lasts the longest, and it′s the place where you first get to know society. I finished elementary school with SS501. Now, it feels like I′m in middle school. It means I′ll continue to grow.
I thought you would only work with music, but you started appearing in the sitcom ′We Need a Fairy′.
I actually wanted to try acting too. I just thought I should show myself singing first as a singer. That′s why I concentrated on singing more than acting when I was with SS501. I got a taste of what it′s like to act through the musical The Three Musketeers, and I′m learning more through the sitcom We Need a Fairy. I′m working hard with the thought that I′m learning.
Yu Jun Sang sunbae (senior) especially took care of me when we were in The Three Musketeers, and he was a great help thanks to his advice. I do feel the pressure, but I want to be good at this.
Lastly, do you have any hopes for the future?
K-Pop these days is full of idols. I feel that male idols are especially weak in that market. Baek Ji Yong sunbae is out there as a female solo singer, but I think male solo singers are particularly rare. I want to work hard to strengthen male solo artists, and be a help to juniors preparing solo ventures. I want to be a sunbae that shows his juniors how to push forward.
Photo credit: B2M Entertainment