GQ Korea - September Issue
GQ: We discovered a lot of unfamiliar expressions on HueningKai today.
HUENINGKAI: It was new to me as well. It’s a contrasting vibe from what I had before.
GQ: We think you’ve added a new vibe as you moved past your second full album.
HUENINGKAI: It was a time for me to solely immerse myself in emotions. I find emotions to be most important when I’m singing. Most of our songs have a strong story so we’re paying special attention to how we deliver the lyrics.
GQ: What did you think about while you were trying out the concept of the title song, <0X1 LOVESONG (I Know I Love You) feat. Seori>? It must be the first time that you tried to express this deep, sorrowful expression.
HUENINGKAI: It was actually easier for me to immerse myself in it because the theme was so clear. There’s an English drama called <The End of the F***ing World> that I referred to (while preparing). It’s a story about the main character going on a journey to escape from the world and finding true love. It’s a similar flow of a story so I automatically was able to immerse myself in those emotions.
GQ: Do you particularly like stories in the romance genre?
HUENINGKAI: To be honest, when I was young, I wasn’t able to understand it well. I was curious as to why people cried while watching these. I used to like fantasy or action genres more than romance.
GQ: Do you understand it now?
HUENINGKAI: Yes, it’s fun. The longingly sad emotions were better than I thought.
GQ: Can you recommend us a movie that was particularly memorable?
HUENINGKAI: Have you watched <Be with you>? I watched both the original Japanese version and the Korean remake version, but they left a lasting impact on me. I also enjoyed watching <My tomorrow, your yesterday> as well.
GQ: That’s unexpected. For music, you like the rock genre the best.
HUENINGKAI: That’s right. I really love band music.
GQ: Did you watch the <Super Band 2> that’s airing right now?
HUENINGKAI: I only watched season 1, but I should watch that as well. While I was a radio DJ for a bit at EBS, the band LUCY came as a guest once. They were really good at singing.
GQ: HueningKai also started as a frontman, right? You were the vocalist position in the band group that you created in middle school.
HUENINGKAI: I had a friend who was good at playing the guitar. We suddenly came up with the idea of creating a band one day so the five of us started that. To be honest, I thought I would be in charge of drums.
GQ: What was the name of the band?
HUENINGKAI: “Yongmun-Middle School” Band. That’s our school name. Come to think of it, we didn’t really come up with a special band name.
GQ: Anyways, you must’ve learned a lot of things while playing music with your friends.
HUENINGKAI: That’s right. Communication is very important in a band. You have to collaborate well with each other. One time, we just left behind a song we were in the midst of practicing and suddenly changed songs. We were like, “what should we do” but we cheered each other up like “we can do this!” and concentrated together, and we were able to play it through in a few days.
GQ: That must’ve been the foundation for your group activities now.
HUENINGKAI: That’s when I fully learned the concept of teamwork. While practicing, even if our teamwork slightly gets out of step, if we get it right once, we start to progress through it really fast. As we figure out our teamwork, I also feel like I’m gradually growing as well. In one sense, that must be the benefit of being in a team. We share thoughts with our members, and since we do share our thoughts, we learn how to be considerate with one another. We start to slowly grow as we think of and rely on each other. There are times when you don’t know your own shortcomings.
GQ: We’re curious about HueningKai’s own image that you didn’t even know about.
HUENINGKAI: I didn’t know I had this much aegyo. Hehe. I’m joking. To be honest, while we were trainees, we weren’t able to reveal our true feelings. I still find this hard now so I’m still working hard to think about how to talk about my true feelings well. Still, I think I’m able to somewhat talk about it now. Also, I’m working hard to throw away negative emotions and try to think about things in the most positive way possible.
GQ: You were in charge of being the energizer position in the team, so you must be giving out energy more than receiving it. Do you remember writing “don’t get swept away by emotions” as your motto in life?
HUENINGKAI: When was that? I did say that before. I’m the type of person to reflect on it by myself and swallow my emotions. Of course, this can backfire on me, but I don’t really let it build up emotions either. I don’t think I’ve exploded big either.
GQ: You’re mature. To be honest, if you’re twenty, it seems fine for you to just be truthful.
HUENINGKAI: I think this style fits me best. I used to be so moody that people told me they could just read my expressions, but ever since my debut, a lot of things have changed. Our members were surprised as well.