110625 SNSD @ GQ Japan Magazine Interview - Translated
As the power of K-pop continues to steadily spread globally, the world is turning their attention to the nine talented entertainers with world-class appearances, vocals and dancing skills, whom we grew to know and love as Girls’ Generation or SNSD.
GQ Japan became the first magazine for men to conduct an interview and photo shoot with SNSD, who represents not only Korea but the entire Asia. Through the interview, we get a closer look at the real SNSD and we want to stop talking only about their “beautiful legs”, which is a problem not only in Japan but the whole world as they regarded SNSD as “Idols with pretty legs”.
Along with other K-pop representatives, SNSD is steadily rising in their position as pop stars to capture the attention of not only Asia, but the whole world. Their agency, SM Entertainment, held two successful sessions of an all-star concert SM Town Live in the continent of Europe and the tickets were sold out within 10 minutes!
As far as the opposite side of the Earth in Brazil, there is a fanclub for them and the girls also made it as a representative and main focus in BBC and France’s 2nd TV’s broadcast about the globalization of K-pop, as they are regarded as the best representative of K-pop as a whole.
Along with their popularity, SNSD’s value to market products has also greatly increased as proven from the ‘Chocolate Love’ PV for LG to working with famed director James Cameron for the promotion of Samsung’s 3D TV. Later, they worked with one of the biggest computer processor producer in the world Intel for their Asian Campaign and provided another PV, namely ‘Visual Dreams’ because they have attractive appearances and are also believed to be capable of raising the sales rate of the already well-known product.
However, what we are trying to say here is that these amazing results did not come out of nowhere. In order to get started in K-pop, you are usually required to spend around five to eight years as trainees, besides aiming for the global market primarily. Thus, having Jessica and Tiffany, who have lived in the US, is an advantage and a great weapon for SNSD.
Besides that, the staff working closely with the group and supporting them are also top-class composers, song writers and choreographers. They have all the necessities for productions aiming for worldwide promotion.
For a top group like SNSD, it was a pleasant surprise to find out that they are not arrogant at all when you actually get to meet them in person. Rather, they are sweet and straightforward girls, so sometimes it feels as if they are not defending themselves. They have extremely good relationships with each other even when each member is unique and different from the others.
One of the main strengths of SNSD is that every member is an all-round player that can switch to any positions of the group and yet keep their charms and uniqueness. Each member is great in terms of vocals and dancing, and some are exceptionally talented in either one.
Furthermore, each member had the chance to expand her talents in individual commercials, dramas or variety shows so all nine members have their own territories to shine in and they do not have fixed positions such as leader or “centre”.
In 2009, wearing identical performance uniforms, they performed ‘Gee’ and ‘Genie’, showing how SNSD is a group of all-round players. To get to know more of SNSD’s true selves, it is recommended for readers to search on YouTube for their charismatic dance steps, great vocals singing famous western music and as well as their playful sides in talk shows.
When asked about their strength to help them stand out from other groups around the world, Jessica replied, “We have nine colors, just like how the colors of the rainbow vary. Furthermore, the energy and teamwork shines brighter when all nine of us are together.”
Like what Jessica said, fans around the world focus mainly on their uniqueness as well as teamwork. Not only that, the fact that they are very hardworking is also their weapon to success. Each member has gone through 10 hours of harsh training every day during their teenage years. This story itself has become a unique and valuable part of SNSD and this “uniqueness” has motivated each member to work even harder.
Taeyeon talked about their latest single ‘Mr. Taxi’ and stated, “The dance moves were hard. However, since we have been singing and dancing to a wide range of songs, this song wasn’t exceptionally hard.”
On the other hand, when asked about the song which can best represent SNSD, Sooyoung answered, “’Run Devil Run’ because it is the coolest and most artistic song. Also, we enjoyed performing this song the most.”
The girls do not allow themselves to feel proud or satisfied by only having the cute image as stars.
Maxime Paque, who runs Korean Connection, a French K-pop fansite, stated, “They are all hardworkers compared to some European stars. Korean stars are just like athletes.”
These girls do not only have to care about their health, have daily training, but also listen to Corinne Bailey Rae or Bruno Mars, and watch online video sites to try out new dance steps.
SNSD, who works hard day and night, can proudly state that they know their own values and the expectations of fans.
So, we cannot help but wonder, why is the world attracted to them?
Their agency, SM Entertainment, have used worldwide platforms such as YouTube in order to expand their stage globally. Because they have “shared” the growth of SNSD as a group, they have also successfully created fans worldwide. You can even think that when SNSD is releasing a Japanese PV, there are more international fans waiting than Japanese fans. Through these global modes of communications, SNSD has improved their attractiveness and more fans look forward to their next albums.
K-pop and Bollywood are the two best examples of successfully integrating YouTube into a business strategy. Because American pop music has already been known worldwide, YouTube was used only to slightly expand on their popularity.
However, it is a completely different story for K-pop. There are not much ways that Europe and South America can get to know K-pop. Thus, they have to find out about K-pop themselves through YouTube and Internet.
Luca, an administrator of a Brazilian SNSD fan site stated, “While I was searching for pretty computer wallpapers, I came across the nine beautiful girls and started to search about them. 2 years ago, it was extremely difficult to find information about them. However, due to the internet, there are more and more fans. Our site has around 3,000 to 4,000 visits daily now.”
Maxime Paquet stated, “I think that the French listeners are slowly getting sick of western pop culture. K-pop is extremely similar to American pop culture. However, they have something that American pop culture is lacking in. Furthermore, K-pop entertainers have shown their high quality as all-round entertainers. They all sing and dance very well. Maybe the fact that their hardwork is shown clearly during their performances is fresh to the French listeners. K-pop listeners are still increasing in number and I assume that there’s around a hundred thousand listeners in France.”
People compared K-pop artists with American pop artists and chose to listen to K-pop, a genre of music from a far eastern country and the same thing is happening in Japan. It is also said that the teenagers react most to SNSD.
Even though no one tells them who sings and dances better, Japanese teenagers will naturally know by comparing SNSD to other Japanese idols. They will then accept SNSD as well as the fact that their success is the product of their hardwork.
K-pop is trying to replace what was called as western music. We can’t say for sure why the new global stars are cute Asians. It might be the result of great business strategies, or it might be because the world has been desiring something Asian for a long time.
We won’t answer why it has to be these 9 girls for this phenomenon to happen. What we can tell you is that if the 21st century were to be the age for Asians, then the success of SNSD is the sign for the start of that age.
Meanwhile, here is the interview we conducted with each of the nine girls of SNSD, where ten questions were asked. The ten questions asked to SNSD are as follows:
1. How would you describe your personality in one word?
2. When was the moment you were glad to be a member of SNSD?
3. What strength do you think you have that you can be proud of internationally?
4. Please tell us which member you respect and why you respect her.
5. Which song and artist are you into right now?
6. What do you want to develop more on as an artist?
7. Which Korean celebrity do you admire? What’s the reason?
8. What made you happy recently?
9. What compliment makes you happy?
10. What’s your ideal dating course?
Dancing is her specialty.
Her powerful performance exceeds female level.
“I want to learn various hip hop dances.”
2. When I stand on stage
4. Seohyun because she’s optimistic
5. Jessica J’s ‘Do It Like a Dude’
6. I think it is necessary for us to keep trying hard. I want to try hip hop dance from old school to newest styles.
7. I was motivated while recently watching a Japanese dancer on YouTube. I don’t remember the name though.
8. When I succeeded in shopping! When people saw me with my new clothes, they said that I’m very stylish!
9. When they say that I am charismatic on stage.
10. Looking at flowers in spring. I like tulips.
Youngest in the group.
The bookworm of the group and is a fan of the Korean author Lee JiSung.
“I enjoy reading because there are a lot of encouraging books.”
1. Positive! Cautious.
2. When a lot of people tell us that they get encouraged while listening or watching our music.
3. The fact that the nine of us can provide bright energies to make global fans smile. We can also speak English, Chinese, and Japanese!
4. Hyoyeon’s caring personality.
5. Hot Potato’s ‘Confession’ and Taylor Swift’s ‘Speak Now’
6. I want to try composing and song writing.
8. When my parents compliment my actions.
9. Had a good family education, professional and is good at self-control.
10. Parks or rivers where we can feel the nature.
Her friend told her, “Your debut story is like a movie scenario.”
2. When I perform in front of large audiences on stage
3. Teamwork, stage performance
4. Taeyeon because she is good with rhythm and she’s really cool while dancing.
5. Katy Perry, P!nk
7. Lee HyoRi, because she has always been passionate on stage since her idol years. I admire how she always tries her best.
8. When the filming for ‘Mr.Taxi’ PV ended.
9. I’m happy when people who watched our performances tell us that we are good.
10. I want to have a date that won’t get off my mind the whole day.
Has written the lyrics for one of their songs.
“When you put in your feelings to the lyrics, you can express your feelings better while singing.”
2. All the time. I am thankful to the fact that I can always share the music I like as well as creating memories and learning new things.
4. Tiffany because she is always passionate on things that she likes and is eager to learn.
5. P!nk’s performances.
6. I was very motivated while watching foreign artists’ concert videos recently. Having your own style of music is an amazing thing so I’m working hard to become those kinds of artists.
8. When I hear my manager saying that he gets motivated by my passion and hardwork.
10. Taking a walk.
Her specialty is Japanese.
“I wish to become a type of person who can make others feel comfortable, at work or in daily life.”
1. Enthusiastic and lively, but shy.
2. Always because I am able to achieve things that I couldn’t have done alone.
3. Each of the member’s charms and the energy we have onstage.
4. Seohyun because even though she’s the youngest of the group, she can take care of herself well.
5. P!nk’s ‘Dear My President’, ‘Perfect’, Bruno Mars and James Morrison
6. I want to have one thing that I can proudly say that I am confident in.
8. When my pet got better from being sick, I was really happy.
9. When I hear that I make others feel comfortable, I feel happy.
10. A date where we eat, drink coffee and talk?
Talks well and is the mood maker of the group.
“When I participated in shows alone, I felt thankful to the members.”
2. When we go on stage. Because the members have a good relationship with each other, we have never been bored even in other countries.
4. Tiffany because she gets along well with others.
5. Tamia’s ‘Officially Missing You’.
6. Because I still have a lot more to improve in every perspective, I think I have to work harder.
7. WheeSung. I admired him since he was our vocal trainer, but I really like how he is always trying his best.
8. When my 2-year old niece smiled while looking at me. I was really happy and glad.
9. “You are improving” and “You seemed to have gotten prettier”.
10. Amusement parks
1989/Blood type O
Outstanding singing skills acknowledged by fellow members.
Finds that her ‘ability to immerse people into the music by her voice’ is her strong suit.
1. The Universe
2. When I wake up and wash my face.
3. The fact that some concepts can only be used well on SNSD.
4. Yuri. I respect her for being able to do something with perseverance.
5. Recently I’m into Frankie J’s ‘Don’t Wanna Try’.
6. I want to study more on music, because I want to become a singer who can present any kind of song well.
8. I feel really happy when I watch DVD movies on my own in the room.
9. From the opposite gender, it will be “Your song is great” or “You sing well”. From the same gender, it will be “Your skin looks great”.
10. I wish to go to an amusement park.
1989/Blood type B
Born in the US.
Took the leading role in the musical ‘Legally Blonde’,
“I started to have a positive mind, and started to like pink too!”
1. Cool (Smiles)
2. The fact that I have friends and colleagues for life.
3. We have nine colors, just like how the colors of the rainbow vary. Furthermore, the energy and teamwork shines brighter when all nine of us are together.
4. All our members’ endurance!
5. Corrine Bailey Rae’s ‘Paris Nights/New York Morning’ and ‘My love’
7. It’s BoA sunbae. She gives me a lot of advices and I like how she always put efforts into her work.
8. A birthday party for myself, with many precious people around. ❤
9. When they say “your voice is beautiful”.
10. Amusement park, ice skating and shopping
1990/ Blood Type B
Active as an individual actress and model, “I enjoy presenting so many styles to the people, while gaining experiences.”
2. When I was pursuing my individual career, I felt lonely. (smiles) I like it very much when I’m with the members, because they become my energy.
4. Seohyun. She always studies hard. Although she has a tender heart, she is really worth the respect.
5. Boys II Men’s ‘End of the road’, Bruno Mars’ ‘Just, the way you are’ (This song is nice!)
6. It’s important to always build my character and constantly try to upgrade myself.
8. When I got my driving license.
9. If they add an “I knew that you are…” before their compliments, it gives me the feeling that they trust me.
10. Drive on a beautiful road.
Translated by: Taengfan@firstname.lastname@example.org