EXO-M will attend Stars’ Love Concert in Nanjing Olympic Sports Center on 1st Nov, 7PM CST!
EXO-M will attend Stars’ Love Concert in Nanjing Olympic Sports Center on 1st Nov, 7PM CST!
EXO-M will attend Stars’ Love Concert in Nanjing Olympic Sports Center on 1st Nov, 7PM CST!
It seems as if there is a young boy living in the body of a young man. As soon as he came into the studio, he squealed while looking at the baby shoes and had fun while touching the baby clothes that were hung in the closet. Before the shooting started, during the brief resting time, he took Luhan into the room to talk as well. They say he grew a lot while training for a long time, it is not hard to imagine elementary Sehun’s face while eating spicy rice cakes while walking the streets. “To be honest, although there would be good things if I went back to the normal lifestyle, I don’t want to go back. Because I am EXO.” As if bashful, he softly smiled and even the expression he had when he said that seemed as if a young boy.
Sehun. I was born on April 12, 1994. I am always receiving love as EXO’s maknae. Although of course there are bad aspects to being the maknae, it is ambiguous to say. Uhm… wherever we go they ask “show us aegyo,” but is embarrassing. Most likely, all idol maknaes will understand me. Regularly, I am extremely close with the hyungs. I also the type that sneakily uses informal language a little bit. (laughter) I am now twenty and the feeling is really different from when I was a student. Aren’t there so many things you can’t do when you’re a minor? Even if I want to watch a gory movie, I ned an ID card. I am happy because I can now get a driver’s license. I think my mental attitude has become more adult-like. Although I am still young now I was casted in elementary school while eating spicy rice cakes on the side of the road. Although I didn’t really know what a celebrity was at that time because I was too young, it is fun that now I am an EXO member like this. There is a scene where I make the camera go panning in the ‘Growl’ music video. I think I came out really bad. As soon as the music video came out, I watched it all together with the members and as soon as they saw it, everyone laughed. My expression came out somewhat like an idiot. (Xiumin: Then it came out right? Haha!) I got caught. (laughter) But because the fans liked it and said it was dreamlike and there was feeling, I suddenly felt good. Although it was not something I planned. There was a one kick part in the ‘Growl’ atmosphere but it is hard to explain the know-how to do it cool. I think I can show the way to dance it yourself with feeling. Because my body is the skinny type, I get stressed out. Because I think I’ll lose more weight if I don’t eat, I make sure to eat. When I get hungry, I thought my stomach ‘growls’ but the members who see that kind of me go ‘chirp chirp.’ (laughter) Anyways, I think a person has to eat to gain strength and feel good. If I could migrate earthlings to EXO planet, I want to try being a actor or model.
In order to properly heard Luhan’s voice we had to tilt the surrounding area. It is because he is the type that doesn’t put himself out and quietly listens to the members’ stories and adds “that’s right, that’s right” while smiling brightly. However, even if he doesn’t talk a lot, Luhan’s affection for the other members is shown easily. Whilst talking about <Idol Star Athletics> episodes, when asked about Xiumin’s suicide goal, he was the first to say, “It wasn’t a suicide goal. That is the wrong information.” and he translated the questions with details in Chinese for Tao who is still lacking in Korean. Even when he was offered the seat with a cushion, he said “Ah, it’s okay. I’m alright.” and yielded it so another member can sit on it. Although it wasn’t a long interview, the reason why I think I can know what type of person Luhan is, is because of that incident.
Luhan. I was born on April 20th, 1990. Luhan means ‘dawn deer.’ I haven’t ever thought of wanting to change it to another animal. Because I was an only son, I grew up lonely. However, now I have eleven members and because I have a lot of dongsaengs (t/n: younger siblings), I am happy every day. There is no time to be bored. However, the fact that multiple people have to use thebathroom is a little uncomfortable. Before I didn’t like showering with someone else but now with no choice, because we end showering together, I am enjoying it a lot. It was better than I thought it would be. While showering, screaming and spraying with the members is fun. I really like beef. (Xiumin: You have a part that you really life.) What is it? (Xiumin: Not ribeye, not thin flank, chuck tail flap, striploin, something that has ‘kkot’ in it but I can’t remember.) Haha. If it’s beef, I like it all. I played the main role for theEXO music video drama episode. I did expression acting often but because it was the first time acting, I was a little stressed out. I received acting lessons for about one hour and because there was no time, the next day we filmed. At first it was so awkward. (laughter) However at the setting, my acting teacher showed me a few pointers on how to act as if I was really angry. My standards of a ‘strong man’ is someone who is strong and manly. I am the type that really cannot ride roller coasters. At the park, there is not a ride that I am not afraid of and can ride. Merry-go-round, Viking, roller coasters, Gyro drop, I’m scared of it all. If I can migrate earthlings to EXO planet, besides a singer I want to be a soccer player.
When Tao stares straight into the camera, he has a black leopard-like impression. However because even a leopard is in the end is in the cat family, Tao as well couldn’t hide his overflowing playfulness. While taking the group picture, he would secretly play jokes and because he got caught by Luhan also got slightly hit, and when Xiumin was in the midst of talking, he would stilly watch and then carefully press the mosquito bit mark about his eyebrow. When they were talking about his multiple personality acting games, the laughter sound that he would make, “UHAHAHAHAHA!” was very refreshing and cheerful. However, with a serious face when he said he wasn’t scared of the camera, he seemed more adult-like and brave than anyone else.
Tao. I was born May 2nd, 1993 in China, Qingdao. I am EXO-M’s maknae. Because I learned martial arts, I have a dream of wanting to be in an action movie. There is no role that I have thought of but if it is an action movie, I like it all. I like the feeling of whenyou fight in front of the camera. Because you are not really hitting the person in front of the camera, the angle is important. I focus a lot on if a camera is over here, whether you can hit from here or not. However I showed nunchaku and pole martial arts on MBC Every1 <Weekly Idol> and made a mistake. At that time I really only thought, ‘What do I do? I made a mistake! This is so embarrassing.’ Ah, and a lot of people misunderstood but I am not afraid of showering by myself. It’s just that after showering in a crowded place, showering by myself is boring. After promoting with the EXO-K members together, I carry around all the members’ photo cards. There is not a member I see more but I cherish all twelve of them the same. During ‘Growl,’ the part I first came out, I really liked it. During that part I have a lot of gestures, but it was fun to do it right in front of the camera. If you’re a celebrity, I don’t think you should feel the camera as uncomfortable. (Xiumin: Can I not be a celebrity? I find the camera extremely uncomfortable. / Luhan: I’m like that too?) Haha, you cannot be afraid of it. Ah, however when someone suddenly comes and takes a picture with their cellphone, it is uncomfortable. If we can migrate earthlings to EXO planet, the besides a singer, I want to become a store boss.
Possibly because he is EXO’s eldest hyung, Xiumin is active in everything. While Luhan, Sehun, and Tao were taking their photos, because the striped socks he was wearing were distracting, he lead the atmosphere the atmosphere by saying “I don’t think the socks are it. Everyone take (the socks) off, take it off.” Like when he was throwing a joke by saying “however, you are not cute. Only the way you act is cute” to Tao who was jealous of Luhan’s cute image, throughout the interview it was Xiumin’s share to do reactions for the rest of the members’ stories and making the conversation more ample. With his face that looks forever coy, this remotely different actions, wouldn’t the expression reversal charm match the best with him. Not only that but if you look at his cat like eyes that are hiding a bunch of mischievousness, it seems that here is a lot of faces of Xiumin that have yet to be discovered.
Xiumin. I was born in March 26, 1990 I was born in Gyeongi-do, Guri. Not only am I EXO’s eldest hyung, I am promoting through EXO-M. To be honest, I am still lacking in talking in Chinese. I think that Chinese food tastes the best in the world, but especially the spicy sensational Sichuan cuisine is my style. There is a food called hot pot and I like the spicy broth’s hot pot. My personality is neat. However, because I don’t like telling others what to do, if there is something that has to be put away, I am the type to clean it up myself. It is not because I am the eldest that I feel like I have to be a model, but it is thanks to learning since young that I should have manners towards others and not give any damage. When I have to step up as the eldest hyung, it is when someone does something that goes against manners. The information that I did a suicide goal during futsal game in MBC Idol Star Athletics is false. I only kicked it after the ball was already in the goal. I feel unfair. (laughter) It is amazing how Sehun’s height grew so much. When he first came in the company, he only came up to my shoulders, (while pointing above his head with his hand) but now he’s here. If we can migrate earthlings to EXO planet, I want to be a barista. I like coffee. But it is not like I know all the types of coffee. Although I normally enjoy drinking americanos, I like the cafe atmosphere more. I am the best of arm wrestling amongst the EXO members. The technique must be genes? Starting from my grandfather, everyone in my family is good at arm wrestling. And because I did kendo, taekwondo since young, I raised my arm strength.
We can only describe it as a surprising happening. The phenomenon that EXO recently showed was one that was unpredicted from a rookie who debuted just over one year ago. ‘Growl,’ which was released over a month ago is still in the top 5 on music charts and their first album <XOXO> and repackage album sales combined together surpassed way over 700 thousand albums. Debuting with ‘MAMA’ in April 2014, after having a hiatus of around one year, they passed ‘Wolf and Beauty’ and can now say they were a success by certainly stamping the name EXO with ‘Growl.’ And during the time of debut the 12 members that were split into EXO-K, Korean promotions team, and EXO-M, Chinese promotions team, have become one like their cheer, “WE ARE ONE” and showed a performance on the next level. In order to ask them how they were able to grow in such a fast time, <IZE> met EXO. Starting today, EXO interviews that will be revealed throughout four days, the first day is the story of how ‘Growl’ was prepared for and Xiumin, Luhan, Tao, and Sehun’s individual minor yet exciting stories.
‘Wolf and Beauty’ vs ‘Growl’
You guys received a lot of popularity with ‘Growl,’ do you guys realize it.
Suho: I went to the dermatologist and a male student recognized me in the elevator. I realized it a little bit then.
Chen: Also when we went to the Han River to exercise, grandmothers asked us if we were EXO. (laughter)
Baekhyun: And people who ride bicycles turn their music on and go around, but hearing our music it’s amazing.
Kris: I felt it when we went on Idol Star Athletics. A lot of fans came and even though we filmed till 2AM in the morning, they stayed till the end.
Xiumin: They all had vigor. Really, not lying, starting from the beginning to end, they stayed in the same spot and cheered for us. Even from far away they would see if they could see us. Even if there were hundred something celebrities all wearing the same thing, if we did a bit of a movement, from the fans there was a huge cheering sound going “Wah~.” Thanks to them, I gathered a lot of strength.
Kai: I think it’s because of the hair color. (laughter) They cheered for us really loud. I also conducted the fans myself and when I clap, they would clap along as well, and when I scream, they would all scream together.
Not long after ‘Wolf and Beauty’ ended, you guys came back with ‘Growl,’ but how long did you guys practice?
Chanyeol: We prepared for ‘Wolf and Beauty’ and ‘Growl’ together. At around the same time we received both songs’ choreography so we started practicing. The song last November, choreography, starting from this year February until comeback, we practiced for about three months.
Aren’t both ‘Wolf and Beauty’ and ‘Growl’ songs that express a wolf’s image. How did you guys feel that the the wolf’s feeling from the two songs were different?
Lay: In my opinion, ‘Wolf and Beauty’ is a charismatic wolf and ‘Growl’ wolf is a slightly joking feeling? It seems like a cool wolf. (laughter)
Baekhyun: Should I say it’s a wolf that you dislike but can’t dislike.
Chanyeol: If ‘Wolf and Beauty’ is a wolf that has a harsh feeling like a beast, I think that ‘Growl’ is a bit gentle and sophisticated wolf.
D.O: I think that the latter is somewhat close to the Wolf Boy.
The choreographies for these two songs are very different styles, thanks to it, it must have felt like you were fulfilling a quest while doing one after the other.
Kai: Since my trainee period, I usually danced to urban style. That is why seeing the choreography for ‘Growl’ I felt rather than it being hard, that “we could do this while really enjoying ourselves on stage.” We also did it fun while practicing. In ‘MAMA’ or ‘Wolf and Beauty,’ the songs were not only very strong but on stage not only dancing, we needed expressions more. In ‘MAMA’ earnestness, in ‘Wolf and Beauty’ because they said we needed to really express ourselves as wolves, we listened to the song a lot. I think we either decided ‘at this time we should do this expression’ or just listen to it as it came out.
Baekhyun: If in ‘Wolf and Beauty’ the point was group dance, ‘Growl’ is a funky and a dance with groove. And also because the music video was taken in one take, isn’t the angle a bit different. I was really happy that we were able to show our own music video that can differentiate us from different teams. I thought ‘will we be able to do well this time around?’ but because really a lot of people loved us, thank you.
How to express a wolf
For the music video there are two Korean versions, two Chinese version, and a total of four version. Wasn’t it confusing when doing the choreography.
Chanyeol: Even while practicing we compared those parts. We didn’t practice just one version constantly but we mixed up the one take version, Chinese version, performance version, etc. all together so we don’t get it confused. So that when someone says ‘this!’ the choreography for that version will come out right away.
How was the vocal recording? There is R&B vocal mixed in, but it is a song that is not soft instead it calls for a need to make rebellion feel alive.
Kai: If you look at the story of ‘Growl,’ it is a warning to the other person. That is why we sang or rapped as if we’re really warning someone. (showing the gestures he does on stage) Like the lyrics, “I’m warning you in cause you don’t know,” I think I sang it while imagining that I was telling the person in front of me to be careful.
Then I think practicing expression acting would also be important.
Baekhyun: Before we filmed ‘Wolf and Beauty,” we watched things like <Animal’s Kingdom.> We researched how a wolf lays and with what feeling it looks up to the sky and howls, etc. We watched a lot and even while copying, we tried to express ourselves as close as we could to a wolf. We tried to show things like a wolf’s charisma.
Sehun: I was the same but not all the members watched the video, only a few. (laughter)
Chanyeol: And we also saw each other’s expressions that we make on stage.
D.O: In Suho hyung’s case, he asks how he is shown a lot while we practice, and the rest would practice gestures, expressions, etc. on their own so they did well. That is why I don’t think we said anything about who does it better. We just expressed it as to how we wanted. Of course if there was a member with a weird expression, we would have told him, but there was nothing like that.
Do you also have a time when you monitor the performances together?
Kai: We always gather together and watch it again after the music broadcast finishes. To be honest, after we debuted, the first week, we were awkward and because we didn’t know the camera well, we talked about that aspect a lot but as time passed, everyone got used to it. These days we monitor regarding the lacking aspects and confirm the parts that each member did good by saying “Wow, you did that well!”
Performance and Acting
In the one take version, the camera passes by quickly only showing the twelve members very briefly but I’m curious as to how each member tried to appeal themselves during that time.
Luhan: I wanted to show a very sexy side but even if I tried to be sexy, the fans just said I was cute. I don’t think I can do anything about it.
Tao: (Luhan hyung) is a bit manly inside. However, he is not sexy. (laughter)
Luhan: I don’t really know what being sexy is. I think Kai is sexy.
Xiumin: I think that goes in hand in hand with your appearance. Appearance wise, rather than myself or Luhan, doesn’t Tao seem sexy.
Tao: I am jealous of Luhan hyung’s cute appearance.
Xiumin: However, you are not cute. Only the way you act is cute. (laughter)
Tao: I know. (laughter)
Xiumin: In my case, there is a bit of the choreography where I steal a hat so I wanted to give the feeling of a rascal. Because I look so much like a rascal, I think I did a good job. (laughter) Although it is different from my real personality.
Luhan: No, I think it’s similar.
Xiumin: I seem like a rascal?
Luhan: Yeah. You have a lot of joking feeling. You’re really funny.
Xiumin: I’m do that only to you. Because I cherish Luhan.
How was it for the other members?
Kris: In the first performance of ‘Wolf and Beauty,’ I did something like a wink but I gave up because it was hard. For ‘Growl,’ I confirmed where the camera would come in from and only stared hard at that. But I tried my best to be as different from the other members and I tried to show a different image than from ‘MAMA’ or ‘Wolf and Beauty.’ There were times I messed up but I think the thing that I have showed up till now were okay.
Baekhyun: In my case, I had the concept of a man who sees only one girl and is nervous but want to make her his. Because each member had their own image and range, the people who watched felt if and the members’ colors showed well.
In the end, acting is also included in expression during your performance.
Suho: Isn’t the choreography itself one that a complex feeling that has both the cute and sexy feeling. The lyrics are a feeling that is appealing its strength. That is why while doing a cute choreography, I would smile, and when there were lyrics like “you just stay like that while looking at me,” I thought a lot to try to be sexy. I tried to grab two rabbits but I don’t know if I did a good job.
Baekhyun: I think the acting that we say generally and the acting during a performance are the same context. When looking at Seo Inguk sunbae or Apink’s Jung Eunji sunbae, who acted in tvN <Reply 1997>, as much as they act a gesture and expression on stage, it was cool in the drama as well.
Is there a member by any chance that acts on stage without any burden?
Suho: I am the style to do it with a lot of burden but even though it’s a serious and fierce choreography, I am try my best to enjoy the fact that I am up on stage.
Baekhyun: There is a gesture that Kai and I do at the part of “it’s dark in front of my eyes.” I think it’s really fun how we change it each time to how we like without any burden. The fans also like it.
Can you guys attempt those things because you have gotten used to the stage since debut?
Baekhyun: When we did ‘MAMA,’ we were too nervous. That is why, if during debut times we did exactly what our teacher taught us to do, now we try to express gesture by adding how we feel on the stage on top of that. At the same time as we find ease, we are able to show our ease.