After the outdoor shoot has ended, D.O. who is sitting down docilely and quietly with his head down got attracted to the small insects on the ground. “The feet are so small?”, after seeing the baby shoes in the studio, his round round eyes became even bigger.
Although during times like this D.O. looks like a child, but in reality, he is a “real man”. Like how once the group photoshoot started, D.O. who was sitting in the center position said “Okay, let’s start”, while trying to get the members to focus at the same time .
Like a child, yet giving off an indifferent feeling with his eyes, this kind of reversal is D.O.’s real charm.
D.O.: I was born on January 12, 1993. I am EXO-K’s main singer. I played the role of being hit by Luhan during the EXO Music Video drama episode that was released not long ago, this role was decided by the director based on my image. But in reality this is not my real image… right? Do I really have that kind of image? The other members always tease me. I do not know why either. Because there isn’t really a way I can make myself look more authoritative, I still treat the members like I usually do. Sometimes I know that I should do some aegyo, but it’s really hard.
I am better at barbecuing meat than the other members so I am in charge of barbecuing meat. Although there isn’t really any special technique, I usually get a feel of it while barbecuing, and this feeling is hard to describe with words. Ah, it must be really interesting if I can go for Happy Together 3’s Late Night Market, but as of now I still do not have any special recipe that I can show. Everyone thinks that I am very good at cooking but this is actually a misunderstanding, I only cook because I enjoy the process. It’s probably because during interviews, the other members always say I take care of them like a mother, hence this kind of image was created.
Q: Isn’t it the case that you are forced to cook because the members always ask you to cook?
D.O: Actually if they request for me to cook, I will not cook for them. It’s when I feel like cooking, then I will cook and share it with the rest.
I really like to sing along while Chanyeol plays the guitar. Probably because we have been training together since our trainee times, we are very in tune with each other. Even if I change the beat, Chanyeol will change along with me, and if Chanyeol changes the tempo, I will catch up with him too. (Chanyeol: The number of songs that we have prepared for performing after we debut, amount up to almost 15.) Ah yes. “Nothin’ On You” which we sang on KBS 2FM Super Junior’s KTR is one of them. I have been listening to a lot of R&B music since young, hence I really like it.
In the future when we have a concert, during my solo stage I want to have just a standing microphone, and use just my voice to properly perform African American music.
I like Chris Brown and Justin Bieber, and listen to their songs often. Actually up until now I still haven’t been able to get over the trauma of “Superior Orchestra”. Although I can’t seem to find any special method, but first of all I think I need to gather much more experience in order to overcome myself.
English translation by rellasoo
Original Chinese translation by @idokyungsoo都暻秀吧 on weibo
“Oh! There’s a modern choreography that I saw and cried to recently!” Kai’s voice loudened. The charismatic Kai on stage excited talking about the dance he likes is actually closer to being a boy his age, Kim Jong In, rather than Kai. He’ll become a boy again when he’ll strike a pose very sternly and D.. blows bubbles next to him, leaving him with his eyes curved and bursting into laughter. The continuing change between Kai and Kim Jong In could easily be found, and it was an interesting discovery.
Kai. Born on January 14th 1994th. Studied ballet since young age. I’ll watch Mnet’s <Dancing 9> and contemplate what would have happened if I continued ballet. Probably studied abroad and went ‘all-in’?
I have no other things I want to improve in, other than dance and music. If I could become a ballerino now, I want to create a choreography that holds the meaning that I can’t give up a girl I love and express that feeling with my body. I’m a perfectionistregarding performance so I criticize myself when I make a mistake. At home, I’ll think ‘Ack, why did I get it wrong there’, like that. I really like the R&B genre. If I have a unit or solo debut opportunity, I want to show an awe-inspiring performance with a strong beat and mild music. Men likeMichael Jackson, Usher, Chris Brown are really sexy on stage.When I went to an Usher concert, I exclaimed ‘Wow! Really, how is that done?’ And I was applauding before I knew it. (Laughs) He really won over ladies’ hearts with simple gestures. The members danced recently on <Weekly Idol>. First off, I think Suho-hyung will be really good if he practiced a little more and Chen, like his nickname ‘Funky Funky Chen,’ has a unique rhythm sense and displayed the funky feel very well. I think he’ll do well in rocking as well. Oh, on <Weekly Idol>, Sehun kicked my butt and it’s not that my feelings were hurt, but I have a different reason as to why I was so shocked. Normally when people kick butts, you kick with the top of your foot. But Sehun kicked with his foot turned upwards. So… it went in between my cheeks. Hahaha. But I also kicked Sehun’s backside. I playfully kicked, thinking that I don’t get an opportunity to kick backsides so often, but I was flabbergasted since he kicked so hard. I’ve been watching EPL games since my first year of high school and I became a Chelsea fan. This season, I think Chelsea will probably place first or second? So if earthlings could migrate to EXO planet, I want to become either a ballerino or a soccer player. If I could compare myself to an animal, I am a jaguar. First off, I have dark skin, and jaguars are normally slow but when they are on a hunt, they change 180 degrees. I am usually lax but when I dance, I concentrate like no one else, so we are similar in a sense.
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. EXO interviews that will be revealed throughout four days, the last is stories about EXO’s time, trainee period, and goals. With this sorry heart, let’s run by looking at Kai and D.O, Kris and Chanyeol’s sesame-like story.
When you guys have free time, what do you usually do in the dorm.
Chanyeol: I shared a room with Tao in the past, and this friend does one man minor roles for fun. He acts like talking like this and then moving over a bit and then talking like that, and then he changes into a different character saying, “Ah, where is this place?”
Xiumin: He doesn’t do that when he’s by himself. When the members are just still or look bored he jokes around. It’s a type of aegyo but, I wish he didn’t do that. The person watching is uncomfortable. (laughter)
Tao: Hahahaha. Hyung does it with me too! We do it in the dorm together all the time? If I go, “Xiumin, let’s do it together,” you go “Uh, okay.”
Xiumin: Then I was bored too.
Tao: There is a fun act that we do together. Let’s show them. (laughter)
Xiumin: What is there to show. It’s always just shooting the gun and dying from a gunshot.
I also heard that you split into EXO-M and EXO-K team to play basketball.
Xiumin: Overall, EXO-M members are friends that liked to exercise since young. As predicted, we played basketball a lot and like it so our stamina is a bit higher. Even if you look objectively, our positions are split perfectly. The tallest Kris is center and fast Luhan is kind of like a guard feel. He’s really good at doing 3-pointer shots. Because Tao is strong, he is the power forward and Lay is also a forward feeling but he’s a bit different than Tao. Because I’m not good at basketball, I am the ball boy. (laughter)
Sehun: I want to first clap for EXO-M’s basketball skills. Kris hyung has skills of an athlete and the rest of the members are all good too. EXO-K members all really can’t play. (laughter) Because the level difference is so bad, we try not to play basketball. The fact that we played a game was when we were trainees.
Whether it be long or short, you guys all had a trainee period but what influence did that time give to you.
Suho: When you go through the trainee period during your adolescence, you become more cautious and you tend to save your words. Because you have to compete with other friends and in order to achieve the dream of a singer, you end up living a working lifestyle kind of life. Not that I had another job but doesn’t social life always make one tense and give the burden of having to complete something. Because I endured that since young, I think there is a part of me where I’m a little careful in everything I do.
Baekhyun: On the other hand, if you have a long trainee period, your mental strength because really strong. Compared to people who had short trainee periods, I don’t think they go through slumps because of small things. Earlier this year, I went through a slight slump because of singing. It was because I didn’t know how I was supposed to sing. Because I already debuted and I have to show right away, I fell into worries on ‘what should I do.’ However, Suho hyung is not like that and is always maintains his composure. I think because his will power is strong, he can endure not going through slumps. Of course there are bad points too. Hyung’s personality is the complete opposite from me, because we’re stuck in formality, I want to break that.
How are your two personalities different.
Baekhyun: Hyung is the type that seeks practical rules and I am the type that seeks expediency. For example, if there was a math problem and someone taught me how to solve it, I always found an expedience. (laughter) I am the type that thinks a lot about ‘what do I have to do in order to find a faster way to solve this, what can I do to memorize this faster.’ Once when we were showering together, Suho hyung told me that because of me he became softer. I as predicted looked at hyung and thought, ‘a person can be that serious.’ Originally, I was a person that was like a feather that could soar through the sky but thanks to hyung I think I changed a bit.
How were the other members’ trainee periods.
Sehun: I was casted in sixth grade and officially started my trainee period in my second year of middle school. Because it was when I was really young, at first I was a bit confused and starting from my first year of high school I thought ‘I can’t do it like this.’ Because the other people’s dreams are solid and stuff. Starting from then I did dance practice a bit more.
Xiumin: I followed a friend to the audition and luckily passed and joined the company. At that time I was a high school third year preparing for the college entrance exam and because I wouldn’t be debuting right away but would have to go through a trainee period, I thought a lot. But because the only place to trust was the company, I think I just constantly faithfully practiced.
How do you think it’d feel if you suddenly went to an ordinary young man from this situation.
Kris: Because I dreamed of being a basketball player before, to be honest I can be a basketball player again. However if I had to spend my life as a normal person, I don’t think I’d be able to accept that. Most likely everyone will be like that. Because in a foreign country, 4-5 years ago I came to Korea and tried really hard while practicing. If I suddenly lost this job, I think I’d be sad and taken aback.
Sehun: If I were to be honest, I think because there is freedom, there are some good aspects. However, I don’t want to go back. (bashfully laughs) Because I am EXO.
You debuted and now because you officially started gaining popularity, you guys started to get busy. For a while now you guys will be living a life like this, what are the things that you think everyone should keep no matter how hard they are.
Lay: It’s something we do even now but, it’s to not forget to say “thank you” when someone does something for another.
Chen: Proper man of his word. Because even if we really grow older and quit the job as an idol, if we were to show that we’re proper men of our word, we can leave a good image for people.
Baekhyun: I want to make a promise amongst the members. Even if we have a lot of free time, to only go home, to only meet male friends, or to only exercise. To be honest, I don’t think it’s a time for us to be having fun yet. That is my thought but… till thirty five? I wish that no one forgot the ‘person that they wanted to be’ when we debuted because we were so lost in pleasure. I hope no one forgets their own goals. Because of one thing like that, I can’t see EXO falling apart.
Suho: For me, it’s to love EXO members. Not excluding a single person.
Baekhyun: Suho hyung will guide us all towards a good direction. Because he’s always a proper person.
Then what is EXO’s goal overall.
Lay: Right now, rather than a member individually being popular or showing, I think EXO being more known is more urgent. Our Suho, leader said this once, “Fifty million people in Korea recognizing EXO is our goal.” I think we still have a long way to go.
How many people do you think recognize EXO now.
Suho: I think for teens it is nine out of then and for twenties it is six out of ten. (laughter)
Lastly, if you were to define EXO with one word.
Kris: For me, EXO is a pizza. Each member is a pizza slice because all twelve members must be there for us to be one.
D.O: If only one is missing, then it is not perfect.
With Baekhyun and Chen, who finished shooting first, we went out to the studio garden and started to talk while carefully looking through the LP that were prepared as props. Although we can see that Baekhyun is the center of EXO’s “beagle line” just by looking at his eyes filled with curiosity and mischievousness, his eyes that twinkle even more when he talks about his thoughts on singing and the future are a charm that I honestly didn’t know about. On top of that, I think it will be quite a fun time seeing how he who said “rather than being afraid of making mistakes, I think I will get better by going up against it at the actual fight,” will grow.
Baekhyun. I was born on May 6th, 1992. With same-aged Chanyeol, Chen, we are called the‘beagle line,’ but from my perspective I think those two are easier to control. (laughter) When we first debuted, because I was not used to looking at the camera while doing even a short ment, my face was shaking, but because we kept doing it for a couple of months, it is a bit natural now. When I feel like I am lacking something, I monitor people who are good at it and learn. That is why I wasn’t shaking while thinking ‘this is scary what should I do,’ but because instead I let out a war cry, ‘I will fight with this!’ while looking at the camera, I feel like I was able to overcome it faster. Because I enjoy watching MBC <Sunday Night> ‘Real Man,’ I even thought of what I would do if I went out. But because I have a fear of heights… I don’t think it’d be easy if I had to go through helicopter drop training or water repel training, but I will try to overcome it! I can say that I am in the ranking for game skills in EXO. I think because I played a variety of games since young, I am a little better than the other members. One of the computer game genres that I am most confident in is the FPS game. Sometimes I make fun of D.O but I don’t make fun of it so that we get offended but it’s only to the extent where I give him fun nicknames. I think D.O really like’s it when I call him ‘dyodoro’ from boxer Fedor. However when I call D.O like this, the most important part is that I do it ‘as provokingly as I can!’ (laughter) Whenever I get to have a color stage at our concert, I want to use one pin light and sing a ballad song with the topic of separating with the piano. If I can migrate earthlings to EXO planet, besides singer, a role I want to take is a college student.