It’s your first time being the main character in a drama (KBS ‘You’re the Best, Lee Soon Shin’, but it made it to the #1 weekend drama.
“The higher ratings mean it’s more demanding for us, but I’m grateful and happy. The atmosphere at the filming site has become more friendly. Even with our tight filming schedule, thanks to the close teamwork between our experienced actors and production crew, it doesn’t feel tiring and I’m having fun filming.”
(On working with IU)
I felt almost shocked. Such… great vocal abilities, emotions and feelings. (IU) herself often says this phrase too… such a cool personality. When she’s singing, she has a really acute sense… how should I put this, she realises straight away what we’re trying to say? She’s a hardworking person, isn’t she? She’ll keep doing it over and over again until she’s satisfied, but even so, there’s a side of her that’s like a 19-year-old. I remember her looking adorable while eating her roll cake.
(On working with Jam and Lewis)
They are producers I really like, so it felt almost like a dream. The style of the bass of the songs I compose… are just like that of Jam and Lewis, so be it the their melody or structure, I felt they were very much influenced by Jam and Lewis. So when I received the demo song from them initially, from that point in time onwards, I was in a really good mood. However, the contents of the demo song was just ‘lalala’… the melody was sang in just ‘lalala’. I arranged it my way and just plopped it onto the song like that, so I received a reply from them and they seemed really glad with what I did, so I felt that I did a good job. I think people who have the willpower to take action are really attractive. It’s alright even if you make mistakes, but you have to sincerely believe (that you can achieve). We wanted to make that the theme, so I watched the PV and it was pretty much what I imagined it to be like, so I was really touched. The first time I watched it, I almost felt like crying. The video was really well done, so I was deeply moved by it. The theme was about being different from others, so I wondered what it would be like to write about the troubles of people (who felt that way) and it was really reflected well in the PV… I thought, ‘Ah you can convey it without even saying it’ and that really touched me.
Translated by squishy with love
Kor subs by 도라삐
[INTERVIEW] 130320 Oricon IU Special Interview - Part 1
Popular singer IU, who reaches out to a wide audience of all ages with her outstanding vocals, has released her first original Japanese mini-album “Can You Hear Me?” A girl whose Japanese seems to improve ‘meki meki’ (meaning ‘quick progress’) everytime I meet her. This time round, more than half the time, she managed to express her own thoughts solidly with fluent Japanese.
Sitting on my bed in my pyjamas to write songs…
Your first mini-album is made up entirely of original Japanese songs. My overall impression is (the sensual charm of) an adult woman. You’ve betrayed the angelic image of your releases thus far (Laughter).
IU: Certainly what I was expecting (Laughter). Even so, there were lots of challenging parts. In particular, my title song “Beautiful Dancer” was sang in a R&B style. It’s the first time I’m singing R&B, so I wasn’t sure how to express myself. I was initially at a loss. Besides, the chorus really appears a lot (I know right… and it looks deceptively similar each time but like the last line would be different so it was really confusing to tl). The chorus was all in my voice and it was like never-ending, it was the first time in my life that I felt tired from singing (Laughter). Halfway through, I felt like asking someone else to help me out (Laughter), but when I listened to the completed song, I truly felt that it was a good thing I sang through it all by myself.
Even a singer like IU with a natural voice talent thought it was difficult?!
IU: There are many times I encounter difficulties. The other songs, “Truth”, “New World” and “Fairytale” were all difficult to sing (Laughter). Each of them was in a style I had never tried before, so I was full of anxiety all the way until I did recording. However, actually once I go into recording, although it’s something major, in the end I have a good time no matter what song I’m singing.
Indeed that’s the power of IU’s vocal abilities, to have a colourful expressiveness to freely change your singing style with each song. Besides, Michael Jackson (isn’t it Janet Jackson?? loll)’s American producers, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis composed the songs “Beautiful Dancer” and “Truth”, it’s a star-studded team of composers!
IU: That’s right. I was shocked too (Laughter). Also, I was taken aback by the different styles of the 2 songs. Indeed, that moment when I received the songs from Terry Lewis, I was so touched!
Also, this album includes your own composition, ‘Voice-mail’ too.
IU: Yes. So far when I compose my own songs, I’ve mostly gone for a sort of acoustic style, but for this song has a comfortable piano sound with a sophisticated rhythm.
Oh you play the guitar during your live performances, but the piano is the highlight for this song.
IU: Yes, but I composed the song with an acoustic guitar.
Usually what is it like when you compose your songs?
IU: I often compose songs on my bed. Wearing my pyjamas and sitting cross-legged… (Laughter)
You mentioned that it’s easier to compose songs when you’re taking a break.
IU: Yes. For me, I usually write the lyrics first and after that, most of the time I compose the melody for it while playing on my guitar.
So how long did it take for you to compose this song?
IU: There were too many phrases that I wanted to use as lyrics (Laughter), so I managed to complete it in about 2 to 3 hours!
What did you want to convey the most through the song lyrics?
IU: Using the Korean lyrics that I wrote as a basis, a Japanese lyricist wrote the Japanese lyrics for me. The lyrics are about a girl confessing her feelings for a boy she likes through voicemail, but because she’s shy about it, she deleted the whole voicemail recording and eventually ended with her not conveying her feelings towards him… it’s a sad story.
You use the voicemail function on the automatic answering machine too, so are there cases whereby you recorded something and decided to just delete it?
IU: Many times. When I call my friend and I get the answering machine instead, I’ll record my message first, but because I hadn’t sorted out my thoughts properly yet, I’m like, “ah I’ll just tell the person in person” and decide to just delete the message.
You have to leave your message on the answering machine within a time limit, so you just anxiously deleted it?
IU: Ah~ perhaps. It’s good to not care about anything and just say what you want, but when you hear it repeated, strangely you become nervous. For some reason the answering machine makes me really nervous.
Ah~ I see! (Laughter). Also, I noticed that all the other 4 songs are similar in that they end off with a start of a new future.
IU: It wasn’t done on purpose, but I think it matches the change of seasons, and entering a new environment like graduation and enrolment.
Translated by squishy with love
[VIDEO] 120304 You’re the Best, Lee Soon Shin BTS Interview - IU & Jo Jongsuk Poster Photoshoot
Click here for all HQ images
Background: IU will be guest performing at Choi Baekho’s concert on Jan 20th. She sang “About Romance” at her Real Fantasy concert in 2012 (listen to audio recording here) as it’s her dad’s favourite song. IU and Choi Baekho are at least 40 years apart, but they have something in common, which is that music isn’t everything to them.
[IU Real Fantasy Encore Concert DVD Interview]
[IU ♥ 50 Questions] - Part 3
31. Three things to bring with you to a deserted island?
- As long as I have my phone with me, I think it’ll turn out fine. (Laughs)
32. Something you always bring around with you in your bag?
- There’s nothing in particular I always bring around with me, but probably my wallet and mobile phone. The rest depends I guess.
33. What’s the meaning behind your twitter username ‘lily199iu’?
- ‘Lily’ because I like the flower and ‘199’ is a number my dad often used here and there. Since I was young, whenever I hear the number 199, I think of my dad whom I love. So I combined these two elements I like together.
34. What food do you like? What food do you not like?
- I like katsu don, ramen, sushi and cake. There’s nothing in particular that I don’t like to eat.
35. Have you tried dieting so far?
- Yes. Before I debuted, I went on a diet, but I like eating, so I quickly gave up. It’s not good for health either, so it’s better to eat properly.
36. What if you get a 1 year break?
- I prefer not to take a break. If I do, I won’t get to meet my fans and I’ll be lonely. I don’t need such a long break.
37. What do you do on the plane?
- I sleep or eat. I reach Japan in the blink of an eye, so most of the time I eat first and then have a good rest.
38. Your first love?
- A kid from my kindergarten when I was 6 years old. We really liked one another, so when we were playing together, we were shy around one another.
39. What’s your ideal type?
- Someone who is loyal and doesn’t turn to look at others but only has eyes for me. I like someone who’s considerate.
40. Where would you like to go on a date?
- Just doing something normal like taking a bus, just taking it easy and slow. Even if in real life such a date is not possible, I still yearn for a normal date like that.
41. Do you want to get married?
- Not as of now. It would be good if I can work some more until I’m about 30, then find someone cool and get married.
42. What’s your secret to dressing up?
- I’m still in the process of learning. I learnt a few things from my Japanese stylist and recently I’m enjoying it more. Something that gives me a good feeling when I wear it is always good though.
43. Do you think over it a lot before buying something?
- Well it depends. If I have the time to spare, I’ll keep mulling over it
(By the way, when IU went shopping at 109, she went into all the shops from the top floor to the bottom and kept thinking about what to get, before finally going back to the first floor to buy something.)
If I don’t have time, I’ll decide on the spot.
44. What’s the secret to your beautiful skin?
- A secret is a secret. (Laughs) If I just share one tip, I recently started going for regular massages and other treatment.
45. A hairstyle you want to try in future?
- If I say blue hair, I think the staff will give me scary looks, so it’s probably not going to come true.
46. A hairstyle that you like so far?
- My current hairstyle. I like hair with a bit of red in it.
47. Something you want to do in the future?
- Radio DJ. Actually, I listen to the radio a lot on the go. I like talking by myself, inviting guests seems fun too.
48. When will your next live performance in Japan be? We want to meet you again soon.
- I want to have another next year, so please look forward to it.
49. What’s your goal next in Japan?
- It’s been about a year since I debuted in Japan, so I would like to do more things. Of course, I want to release new songs too, do more live performances and have more opportunities to meet all my fans, so please continue to give me your support.
50. What’s your goal next as an artist?
- I would like to put more of my original compositions in my next album. Next, I would like to compose my own songs for other artists and be involved in more activities in the future.
Translated by squishyblob using santi’s Korean tls
[IU ♥ 50 Questions] -Part 2
12. How are Japanese fans different from Korean fans?
- Japanese fans give me the impression that they are calm and watch closely. Lots of girls. Korean fans are aggressive. Lots of guys.
13. What do your fans do for you?
- Always waiting for me at the airport, singing together with me, Japanese fans wrote letters to me in Korean too, that made me really glad. All their handwriting are better than mine so I was surprised.(Laughs)
14. What about things that your fans don’t do for you?
- Basically nothing. I’m happy with everything my fans do for me. When I said I liked Natsume Yuujinchou’s nyanko-sensei, I received a lot of nyanko-sensei merch, I’ll probably have to move to a larger house (laughs) well it’s alright. (laughs)
15. What do you do on your off-days?
- Cooking. I’ve recently taken an interest in cooking. I cook for my brother, cousin or mum to eat.
16. What do you think you would be doing if you didn’t become a singer?
- Since I like studying, I’d probably have gone to university. As for my occupation, I’m not sure about that. (Laughs)
17. What type of girls do you like to make friends with?
- Someone I can eat yummy food with. I like eating so it would be nice to have someone to join me. (Laughs)
18. A place you like in Japan?
- Omotesan-do: The streets are pretty and there’s lots to buy, Nagoya: The food is good and the fans treat me warmly.
19. What’s something you have to do whenever you come to Japan?
- Eat katsu don, katsu don is really delicious in Japan. After that, I enjoy shopping leisurely in Japan.
20. What about a place you like in Korea?
- Hongdae, because there are many cafes and cute stores there.
21. How do you relieve your stress?
- Nothing in particular. I’m the type that lets nature takes its course, have a good rest and your stress will go away I guess.
22. Any methods to relax then?
- I mentioned how I spend my off-days… but actually I can’t say cooking has really been my interest unitl now. It’s a hobby I picked up only recently. I make dishes like stew, fried rice, egg roll, spicy rice cakes, and so on.
23. What’s your weakness?
- I have a soft spot for mice. But I really like minnie mouse. (Laughs)
24. Any habits?
- Humming to myself, I hum to myself as I walk around or inside the dressing room. (Laughs)
25. Something you do when you’re free?
- Check my phone, I personally check all the tweets from my fans and replies on my fancafe. So please leave lots of messages.
26. Something you can’t do without when you sleep?
- My ponyo soft toy, whenever I go overseas, I’ll be sure to bring it with me. It’s like a lucky charm, I sleep with it all the time.
27. What’s an anime you’ve recently gotten into?
- A dragon anime entitled “You are Delicious!” The dialogue is really interesting so I fell in love with it.
28. Any sports you like?
- None. (Laughs) I don’t exercise much. I like watching sports though, like baseball and soccer.
29. Your favourite season?
- Autumn and winter. Winter in Korea is really cold, but I feel really sluggish when it’s hot, so I prefer cold weather.
30. The most important object to you?
- My diary. Since a long time back, I’ve been writing down the events in my life everyday. I use some of it for writing lyrics, so it’s unique and precious to me.
Translated by squishyblob using santi’s Korean tls
[IU ♥ 50 Questions - Part 1]
1. What is singing to IU?
- Something happy. To me, singing really makes me feel the happiest.
2. What does live performance mean to IU?
- Students do their best to prepare for exams, right? I do my best for my live performances. I get nervous singing in front of the audience… how should I put it… it feels like I’m taking an exam every time. Even so, I get a lot of strength from it and it’s a happy exam.
3. Something that has made you feel really touched?
- When I was in Fukuoka! There were so many fans waiting outside, I was so touched. I never expected so many fans to be waiting for me in Japan and was rather taken aback.
4. Something you want to do now?
- Sleep. I’ve been busy recently so I haven’t had much rest.(Laughs) I really enjoy the time spent sleeping.
5. Where do you get motivation from?
- Responsibility. I always get lots of support from my fans and staff, so shouldn’t I give them something in return? So I’ll continue to work harder and feel responsible to live up to everyone’s expectations.
6. A Japanese song that you’d like to sing?
- Tamaki Koji’s Shokora, Friend, Matsuda Seiko’s Sweet Memories
7. Out of your own songs, which is your favourite?
- Raindrop. I think the lyrics are really beautiful. So when I sing the song, my soul gets purified too.
8. How do you write your own songs?
- I write in my diary and in my mobile phone. When I’m free, I write down a phrase that comes to mind. It’s convenient to write down my thoughts in my phone.
9. How much do you practise dancing?
- A lot, everyday! Like when I was learning new dance moves for my concert, a month prior to the concert, I practised at least 3hrs a day.
10. Share with us how you can sing so well
- It’s practice. I keep listening to the song I want to sing until I can capture the emotions and remember that. Then I keep singing it until I’m satisfied.
11. How do you study Japanese?
- Since I’m busy and can’t really find time, I kakaotalk with my Japanese teacher and learn as we joke with one another. I also ask my interpreter and learn from watching anime.
Translated by squishyblob using santi’s Korean tls
[ 10 Questions for IU (CanCam 2013 Feb. P.180) ]
Q. 01 Would you want to be reborn as a girl? Or a boy?
A. A girl. Because I can enjoy trends such as makeup and fashion, so I want to be reborn as a girl.
Q. 02 What fashion item do you like?
A. Big silhouette items. I like matching an oversized top with a mini bottom (Note: I guess she means something like a miniskirt?).
Q. 03 What is fashion to IU?
A. Interesting stuff. I like being able to express myself in all kinds of ways through the way I coordinate my clothes. After appearing in Cancam, I started to like fashion more and recently, I’ve been reading magazines and learning more about it.
Q. 04 What colour do you like?
A. Yellow. It’s the trend this spring, so I’m into it! I want to try wearing a light yellow one-piece.
Q. 05 What’s your impression of Cancam?
A. Really good. The staff are all friendly, recently I’ve become more familiar with the place and it really feels like home now.
Q. 06 What’s the most important part of your makeup?
A. Making my eyes look naturally big. I put a little eyeshadow, but really use a lot of eyeliner. The most important thing is to emphasise the eyes.
Q. 07 What gives you energy?
A. Responsibility. All my fans, staff and family, are my driving force!
Q. 08 What do you do when you’re free?
A. Cooking. My first hobby. I make stew or ddeokbokki (rice cake) for my family.
Q. 09 Where do you shop?
A. Omotesando, Harajuku, Shibuya, Shinjuku. Basically, I shop in Japan. Laforet and 109. I often go to the Shinjuku Lumine Est store too.
Q. 10 A message to Cancam readers?
A. I am always thankful for your letters and messages. I’ll continue to be with Cancam as IU and as an artist. Please give me your support.
Translated by squishyblob, taken from katsu33’s blog