Taemin plays a variety of roles in the K-Pop industry as both a solo artist and a member of SHINee and SuperM.
He met with W Korea magazine for an interview and photo shoot that discussed his career and where he sees himself in the future.
It’s shocking to hear that it has been 13 years since your debut.
Yes. There are a lot of things I understand and see now but some things are still the same. Can I say something funny? Earlier this year, I dressed up to look like my 16-year old self from when I debuted and posted it online. Fans who saw it thought it was an old photo. After seeing this I thought to myself, ‘At least my face still hasn’t aged too much yet (laughs).
You have continued to grow since your debut with SHINee. You branched away from the maknae image and became a solo musician and also became a part of SuperM, a group that is known all over the world. Your story sounds just like something from a coming-of-age storybook.
When I look back on my life, I think it’s a little interesting. I joined the company at 13 and this year marks my 28th year. I’ve lived almost half of my life as a singer and when I think ‘I’ve done this for quite a while,’ I can feel that time has really flown by. I think I was a greedy person. Because of my greed and desire I was able to debut as SHINee and earn the opportunity to become a solo artist. One time, Lee Soo Man asked me to record any pop song and bring it to him. I thought to myself, ‘What’s going on?’ but did as I was told. After he heard it my solo album was able to come out. I guess that was a sort of test. I feel a sense of accomplishment with things like this. Of course I think I had a lot of luck too.
Are you the type to stay after even after everyone leaves to practice?
I was always at the practice room after our schedules. I would practice until the sun would come up and go to the dorms to prepare for the next schedule. I continued this routine for a long time.
We’re excited for your new album because we heard that a lot of your input was used to create the album. Is there something that you did different for this album?
First off, I searched and found the music video director myself. It was important to the director on the same page as me. We went through a series of meetings discussing the outfits, hair, and makeup. Two more albums will be coming out after 2 KIDS and we are in the process of finding ways to connect them together through a prologue.
The things that stood out the most for the “2 KIDS” music video was the dancing. It seemed like you didn’t just follow the rhythm but rather moved your body based on emotion?
Honestly, we weren’t going to put in a lot of choreography scenes for this. Just in case, I prepared a little bit the night before flying to Paris. I wanted more dramatized style choreography while the director was thinking more contemporary dance. In the end I think I was able to find a good balance between both our suggestions.
Is there something that you think is yours that no one else can follow or copy?
I have no idea what that is. I am still looking for it. However, I am very critical of myself and this is what has allowed me to get this far.
What kind of person is 28-year old Taemin?
I kind of want to set it on fire. I want to end my first chapter in a good way.
What kind of musician do you want to be remembered as?
A great person. I know it sounds grand, but I have a mission. I can feel it. The greater you become, the greater your impact is on society. I want to be that kind of person. I want many people to hear the message that I want to convey.
Stay tuned for Taemin’s third album Never Gonna Dance Again: Act 1 which will release on September 7!