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A Kpopstarz Exclusive: Seo In Guk, on his Thoughts in Music, Love and Life.

Seo In Guk sits down with Kpopstarz and discusses his perspective in music, love and life Actor and singer, Seo In Guk revealed that being a Korean celebrity was not always that easy, especially in his case, being a contestant in the audition-themed program, "Super Star K.

Oct 30, 2013 10:33 AM GMT
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Seo In Guk

Actor and singer, Seo In Guk revealed that being a Korean celebrity was not always that easy, especially in his case, being a contestant in the audition-themed program, "Super Star K."

The 26-year old singer always wanted to be a singer ever since the age of 10. He discovered his talent by standing on stage at family gatherings and school events. He studied Applied Music at Daebul University, and eventually started to audition at some of the biggest entertainment agencies. However, he always got rejected.

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In 2009, he decided to join Mnet's "Superstar K, and with hardwork and determination, was proclaimed the first season winner.

In 2012, he surprisingly got popular when he was casted for the lead role in tVN's nostalgic drama, "Reply 1997."

And just this year, Seo In Guk signed with Irving, a Japanese agency, debuting in their music scene with the title track, "Fly Away." Now, he is again going to hit the Japanese music market with his new single, "We Can Dance Tonight."

Kpopstarz Japan Bureau, Kiyori Matsumoto sits down with Seo In Guk as he discusses his second Japanese single album:

Please talk a little about the 3 songs included in your 2nd Japanese single album this time.

Seo In Guk:  As you can guess by listening to "We Can Dance Tonight," it is an extremely fast-paced song with powerful beats. So as I was recording it, I thought it will make a a fun ive concert with fans once I sing this song on stage.  "My Voice" has  very distinct melodies. This medium-tempo song has melodies that I truly love. I am fond of songs with such feelings, which I wish can be conveyed to fans as well. "Best Friend" allows you to feel as if you are talking with your friend, so by singing it, you can receive strength

In several interviews, you said "I like songs with moderate beat better than upbeat songs. Why is that?

Seo In Guk: I like songs that, while having the capacity to communicate the emotions, also has uniqueness in the beat. 

In the lyrics of "My Voice," you sing "your eyes are still telling a lie," as if you can see through the lying eyes in a girlfriend. Are you the type of person who can recognize when someone lies?

Seo In Guk: Hahaha, I cannot tell at all! (Laughter)

"My Voice" and "Best Friend" have in common the main character as a type of person who can support others. How about yourself, are you a strong person who can support your partner? Or do you rather depend on her?

Sek In Guk: As for me, I am the type who would say, "같이 가자(Let's go together)!" (Laughter)

The single title song "We Can Dance Tonight" has more English than Japanese lyrics. Do you have some stories behind the recording scenes?

Seo In Guk: This song has really fast beats, and some fast parts of the song gave me hard time catching up with the speed. Even though it's my own song, I myself struggled to catch the song, so that was tough.

You mean, where you go "Pa Pa Pa"?

Seo In Guk: (In Japanese) Hai (Yes)! (In fast speed) It goes Pa Pa Pa Pa! (Laughter)

In the music video, (MV) there is a scene at around 1:38 where you whisper something at a woman's ear. 

Seo In Guk: (In Japenese) It's a secret (Laughter). Those who watch the MV can freely imagine what it was. 

Please talk about the dance in "We Can Dance Tonight".

Seo In Guk: This song is just so addictive. Actually the choreography in the music video is different from what I dance on stage. The choreography of the dance I perform on stage is probably something we can dance together with fans.

We look forward to seeing you on the live stage!

Seo In Guk: (In Japaense) Ha-i, arigato gozaimasu! (Yes, thank you!)

"We Can Dance Tonight" shows a party night. Was there any party night that is memorable in your life?

Seo In Guk: Last year's birthday party / fan meeting. It was a very fun party in my memory. Fans sang a birthday song for me, and I sang songs for them. The atmosphere was very joyful. 

Now we will ask you about the roots of your music. When did you first feel "oh this is what music is!"

Seo In Guk: In 1997, I watched Kim Jong-Min singing on TV, and I thought, "wow that's so cool, I want to be able to sing just like that!" and it naturally became my dream to be a singer.

Before, what was your dream for the future?

Seo In Guk: Before then, I was just like all other kids ... dreaming to be a president, and things like that (Laughter). I think I had those lofty dreams.

How your grades in music classes in elementary and middle schools?

Seo In Guk: Hmm.. I don't remember so well, but I think it was ok. I did so-so on assignments on recorder (the instrument).

Do you play any instrument right now?

Seo In Guk: I am not so good at them, but I play the piano as well as guitar. In high school, when I did singing lessons, I desired to play an instrument while I sing, so that's how I began to practice piano. I began to play guitar a little later, so guitar is more difficult for me. Right now I have one guitar at home.

What was the stage where you felt most pressures so far?

Seo In Guk: When I first debuted in Korea and sang "사랑 해U" (I love you). It was the first stage since my debut, and the song also had dance, so I was really nervous. There was no mistake, but it is very memorable because it was the first time.

How about the best stage you have ever had?

Seo In Guk: When I sang "Shake It Up" at Zepp Divercity. Even though my body was tired, I was filled with energy! It was just really fun without any specific reason. (Laughter)

Do you have songs from movies or TV dramas that impressed you?

Seo In Guk: It's OST from a drama, but in "Sorry, I love you" (2004), Park Hyoshin sang Miki Nakajima's "Yuki no Hana" (Snowdrop) - this song is very impressive to me. I thought music is very important in movies and dramas.  

By the way, if someone invites you to Karaoke right now, what is the first song you want to sing? 

Seo In Guk: Hmm... right now? Well, "Hee Jae" by my senior Sung Sikeung. This is the theme title for the movie 『菊花の香り~世界で一番愛された人~』 ("The Scent Of Love") (2003). When I watched this movie as a child, I thought it was very sad as I listened to the song. But I love it even now.

You have quite tough schedule in this time's promotion visit to Japan.

Seo In Guk: Yes, it is busy, but I can hold many events for fans, so I am truly satisfied and enjoying it! 

In an interview before, you said "if I can do a concert tour, I want to sing all across Japan! Because I remember, when I was young, I was very happy to have some artists come and sing for us." Please talk more about it. 

Seo In Guk: I used to live in Ulsan, and it was not easy to see singers in Ulsan. So when they came to our local areas and held performances, I was very thankful. It was fun to watch them on stage. Because I had such experiences in my childhood, I want to share the same joy with fans from now on.

What are your aspirations in your future music career in Japan? What message do you want to convey through music?

Seo In Guk: First of all, I want to perform on stage a lot! Because we feel good while listening to music. My hope is that when people listen to my music, they may feel happier.  

Do you care about rankings?

Seo In Guk: I haven't really concerned about those things yet. More than that, I just want many more people hear my songs right now.

Lastly, please promote the soon-to-be released Korean movie "No Breathing" where you star.

Seo In Guk: (In Japanese) Arigato gomzaimashita. Otsukaresama deshita. (Thank you. Good job.)

Photo: Akiya Uchida

Translator to English: Hannah W

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