[TRANS] 2AM Special Interview on Oricon Style

Posted by Jannica on

2AM Have Finally Made Their Debut in Japan with Their Famous Korean Hit Song!
2AM have finally debuted in Japan with their single "Never let you go ~Shindemo Hanasanai~." This is the famous song that boasts of having the most downloads in the history of Korea's songs! Listening to the soulful voices of these 4 men in this chorus work is sure to titillate your mind and soul. However, they will fill you with laughter in this lighthearted interview. The 4 members of 2AM are gaining much interest due to the charming gap between their music and talks.

We brag about the wonderful music we've done

---You've finally released your Japan debut single "Never let you go ~Shindemo Hanasanai~."
[Jo Kwon] We've truly been waiting for this!

[All] Thank you.
[Jo Kwon] Since it was our first time singing in Japanese we worked really hard practicing as much as we could in order to perfect our pronunciations.
[Seulong] On the day of the recording the staff really helped direct us before we started singing.

---It's perfect! It's truly the work of practice.
[Jo Kwon] (smiling from ear to ear) Thank you. Truthfully, I was really nervous to hear my finished part of the song, but now I feel that we all tried our very best.
[Seulong] What contributes to that feeling is the people around us who have told us "it sounds natural to listen to." It greatly encouraged and relieved me.
[Jo Kwon] Even so, Japanese is still very difficult for us. I think we really need to formally study even more.
[Changmin] We're different from other Korean artists; instead of charming everyone with our songs and performances we want you to listen to our songs thoroughly, so since our appeal as a group is through our vocal strength, even a little bit of bad pronunciation in our songs would destroy our entire image, and so we concentrated on even the most trivial parts when we sang.

---Speaking of Japanese pronunciation, what were the most difficult things to say?
[Jinwoon] "Ta chi tsu te to" and "boku."
[Seulong] "Zutto."
[Jo Kwon] Ah~ You guys are so good. All of it was hard for me (bitter smile).

---You especially must have been worried over "zutto" during the last part of the songs where you sing "shindemo kimi wo zutto, hanashitakunai."
[Changmin] Since the whole thing would have been ruined if I couldn't express it correctly, I sang that part with utmost care.
[Jinwoon] However, it was more than just singing with perfect pronunciation since we also had to make sure our feelings would convey the message thoroughly, so we sang with both correct Japanese pronunciation + made sure that our feelings brought understanding to the lyrics. Therefore, since we had double the hardships, we can brag about how wonderful the completed song is.

---This song is the same hit track that 2AM received the most downloads for in the history of Korea.
[Jinwoon] Ah......yes (brilliant smile). Since a lot of people in Japan already know about it, we consciously tried to keep the image the same.

---After listening to the new recording I could sense even deeper emotions than from the original. Furthermore, the melody and Japanese seems to be even more exquisite.
[Jo Kwon] I'm very happy to hear that.
[Jinwoon] Actually the lyrics are almost exactly the same as the Korean lyrics.
[Changmin] The part about earnestly loving another person in such a way is exactly the same, but since it's a little more direct in the Korean version, there are some slight cultural differences which makes the Japanese version expressed more indirectly.

In commemoration of our Japan debut single we covered a Kubota Toshinobu song

---It's certainly modest and humble for Japan's standards. Nonetheless, it makes this work very much a straight on presentation of love. Reversely, it actually gives [the work] a fresh, feel-good feeling.
[Changmin] That's why the title is "Shindemo Hanasanai."

---Would you think saying something like that is inconsiderate? It doesn't seem like those words would be good for a proposal.
[Jo Kwon] Would Japanese girls be happy to hear those words?

---I don't think it would make them happy.
[Changmin] Japanese men should for sure say it to Japanese girls often (laugh). Ah, then what should men say to make them happy?

---Instead, what kind of girl would you all want to speak these words to?
[All] (laugh)
[Jo Kwon] Someone nice and cute.
[Jinwoon] For me, someone who is tall, nice, and pretty.
[Seulong] Someone who's like a cat.
[Changmin] Then, someone who is puppy-like for me (laugh). Rather than being pretty, I prefer someone who is cute and charming.

---Would you all be able to tell them straight out how you feel?
[All] Of course!
[Changmin] If I don't tell her exactly how I feel then we won't be able to understand each other (laugh). If I find that person and she reminds me of the song I would definitely want her to listen to it. I think our hearts could become even closer if that were to happen.

---You also covered Kubota Toshinobu-san's song "Missing." I heard that you, Changmin-san, were already a fan of Kubota-san since before.
[Changmin] Yes. I love him (laugh). It was unbelievable to me that I would be covering a song of Kubota-san's in commemoration of our Japan debut single, so I'm truly honored!

---Was there a kind of tension different from normal when you were recording it?
[Changmin] Since the song wasn't just for us, but a well-known and well-loved song of Kubota-san's fans and the Japanese listeners, we were even more mindful to do well in order to retain our image.

---Were you able to meet with him in person?
[Changmin] Not yet, but since we will soon start promoting in Japan, I definitely hope to see Kubota-san at a concert.
[Jo Kwon] I want to meet him soon~.

---What do you want to tell Kubota-san first when you meet him?
[Changmin] I think I'll be too nervous to even speak.

A story about Seulong's dogs......

---So, in relation to your title song, what is something you would "never let go (even if you died)"?
[Jinwoon] Food (laugh).
[Changmin] It's food for me; I'll never let you go, oyakodon~ (laugh).
[Jo Kwon] My dog. A miniature pincher.
[Seulong] For me it's also my toy poodles Doongie and Saebyuk.
[Jinwoon] He's not a toy, he's big (laugh).
[All] Ah~ah~ah~ (agreeing)
[Seulong] He was extremely small when I first got him but he became a giant toy poodle within six months (laugh).
[Jo Kwon] He's really big (laugh).
[Seulong] Later I received yet another toy poodle from an acquaintance of Jo Kwon, and that one has also become big-sized (laugh). Ah, this is the first time I've told this story. It's a great story!

---That's big news, indeed.
[Jo Kwon] The dogs are bigger news than we are (laugh).

---However, because of them both being a big size, do you give them big portions of delicious food?
[Seulong] In the beginning the vet told me to give them only 30 pieces of kibble, but they would completely eat it in 5 seconds, so since they would become hungry soon after, I ended up giving them a lot more food against my better judgement.
[Changmin] Umm~ Haven't we been talking about dogs for 5 minutes already?
[All] (roar of laughter)
[Jo Kwon] Umm~ Is this a dog magazine? (laugh) That's enough about Doongie, so please listen to our story.

My dream...is to be an active group who people all around the world will know

---I digress. Are you excited that you will be having your first Japanese tour starting January 24?
[Jo Kwon] I'm excited to even be able to do a tour; I'm happy. I hope you will listen to the harmony among us 4.
[Jinwoon] Since this will be our first solo performances in Japan we want to not only sing but show you our various sides through individual stages.
[Seulong] To add to that, I would be pleased if those who come to see us fall in love with us.
[Changmin] 2012 is precious to us since this year marks the start of our real Japan activities, so the 4 of us agreed that we want to show you all our best performances.
[Jo Kwon] I think a lot is being expected of us so we hope to exceed your expectations and hope you will enjoy yourselves!

---You're starting off the year 2012 in an amazing way by beginning your Japan debut, but for the last question, please share what your dreams were as a child and what your next dream for 2AM is.
[Jo Kwon] When I was young I wanted to become a singer. My next dream is for us to by all means grow even more as singers after our Japan debut, and for many people to love us not only as artists but as people.
[Jinwoon] When I was young I wanted to become a basketball player. For my next dream, I want us to become an active group who people all around the world will know.
[Seulong] I wanted to be a scientist and even went to a science and technology university for that reason. As for my goal for 2AM, since we have a lot of literary, dramatic lyrics, I want to make the best of my skills and show everyone scientific lyrics that I've written.
[Changmin] Scientific lyrics? What is that. I don't understand what that's supposed to mean (laugh).
[All] (roar of laughter)

---Lastly, Changmin-san.
[Changmin] I was an old policeman. I had a manly and cool image and it was my dream since childhood, but....... My dream for 2AM is the same as the others' in that I want the group to be universally loved, however since I like cooking I want to study it more, and therefore I hope to appear on a cooking program in Japan.

- "Shindemo hansanai" is extremely close in meaning to the original Korean title of the song. It roughly translates to "never let you go even if I die."
- "ta chi tsu te to" is the entirety of the "ta" column of the Japanese kana syllabary. These are especially difficult for some Koreans to pronounce because of the "t" sound.
- "boku" is a masculine term for "I/me"
- "zutto" roughly means "for a long time"
- "shindemo kimi wo zutto, hanashitakunai" = I don't want to ever let you go even if I die
- oyakodon = parent and child donburi/chicken and egg on rice

Source: Oricon Style
Translated by: dawnjelly @ Wild2Day.org


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