You have been in a rush from your drama ‘You’re The Best, Lee Soon Shin’ to the release of your third full album ‘Modern Times’.
Time became orderly for me on the set of ‘You’re The Best, Lee Soon Shin’ as I ate and slept at regular times, so it’s come to the point where I tend to think of that as a resting period. I was really short on time to think during that time, as it was work where I had to endlessly think about this emotion and that emotion, so it feels like I lived an entirely different life during those six months.
Did you ever think that you would end up acting?
I attended acting classes before I prepared to be a singer. While I was in elementary school, I blindly only thought of becoming a celebrity, and during a time where I was taking a break from school, I had an audition to become a singer and came to start preparing for a genuine music career.
It’s only right that we ask you why you converted to a singer after receiving acting lessons.
During a festival in middle school, I had to go in front of people and sing as a penalty, and seeing those three-four people’s attention fixated on me was very cool. I realized that this was ‘it’.
It wasn’t until the first time you appeared on ‘Yoo Hee Yeol’s Sketchbook’ that the name ‘IU’ became etched in the minds of the public.
That was the first time I received attention. I was playing songs like ‘Marshmallow’ and ‘Hey’ on guitar while singing, and the reaction was very good, as my name was shooting up the real-time search terms, so it was a very great day.
Arranging the song with a guitar and singing must have been what separated your personality and yourself as an idol.
Honestly, there wasn’t any arranging done by me. I was just playing fast songs at a slower pace. The freshness of having these fast songs played slowly seemed to be received well by the general public. Since I received a huge response from this, it felt like I was swindling [the other artists].
While watching the teaser videos, you must have some doubt about attempting the variety inherent in this album.
I feel that way trying this and that. In this teaser, I attempted a new image and I had a blast filming it. I had no idea what the response would be, but I thought it would make others laugh.
It seems like your transition period has come.
The visuals displayed in the teaser are a trick. It was to create the most impact we could in a short video and to create anticipation. When I start my promotions, I’ll think along the lines that ‘Ah, the visuals didn’t change that much’. I changed more musically compared to visually in this album.
Your level of participation in your job has increased.
I participated in writing the lyrics for ‘Love of B’ and ‘Wait’ while ‘Voice Mail’ and ‘Bad Day’ are songs I wrote and composed myself.
As far as I know, when you were young, your distrust against yourself was affirmative.
I think the same way. When I think back upon those times, my anxiety back then was really like ‘anxiety not worth fretting over’.
Was your trainee life long?
It was about ten months, not even a year.
You must be an object of admiration to other trainees.
The only reason I was able to debut so early was because I was so young. People would say things like “No matter how many times she messes up, she has a lot of time, so let’s go ahead with it’. Since there wasn’t a lot of preparation for my debut album, it was inevitable that it would do poorly.
And after that?
I attempted to change my image through the song ‘Boo’, but it felt like I was wearing clothes that didn’t match me, so it was really burdensome. I was very dissatisfied, but then I had the thoughts that ‘one day I wouldn’t be able to do this, so what would I be able to do?’ After that, I calmed myself down and worked very hard on promoting, and I started to gain fans. So I resolved to just do the things I’m capable of doing now. I was doing what I was ordered to do, and the opportunities to do what I really wanted sprang up, so I thought “So this is what my social life is like’.
The song you did with singer Choi Baek Ho, ‘Walk with me, Girl’, was very impressionable.
My father is a fan of Choi Baek Ho, and I grew up listening to a lot of songs from my father’s generation since I was a little kid, so I grew to like these songs. There aren’t any ‘trendy’ nor ‘sophisticated’ aspects about me.
If you were to say that you were obstinately concerned about it, would you say it’s more of an analogue song?
I could say that, but it definitely doesn’t contain the sensitivity of an analogue song. All I can say is that I like what I like.
If you were to pile up all of the things you like now one by one, it would become something incredible ten years down the road.
I’m striving to study so that whenever I see or hear something, I’ll know the truth as to whether or not it’s a good thing. If I regard something that falls outside of my interests or think it’s nothing special, there’s a high probability that it could something that people sympathize with, so the reception towards me might go down.
No matter how I look at it, it seems like it is worth distrusting the tastes of a 21 year old.
First of all, the 21 years of my life have been unchanging. (Laughs) I have always worn ‘boxy’ clothes, enjoyed men’s clothing, didn’t fuss over what I ate, and enjoyed acoustic music.
You must have discovered your strengths.
By knowing that I’m a fool? My mistakes always repeat themselves. I’m awkward in every way, and within a minute, people will see me as ‘not cool’.
Aren’t the songs that you sing three to four minutes?
Even my appearance while singing is awkward to me. However, I think it’s admirable that I was able to get myself known as a fool. No matter which way I have to do it, I will change.
Do you like things that are recorded?
I have this anxiety that the situations or feelings from those times will end up disappearing if I don’t do anything so that they remain with me. What I’m saying now may be a lie, but I’m tied to my diary as I write in it.
Aren’t you anxious for receiving so many things at this time, given your young age?
When you set standards for popularity, I am anxious. I believe that I am able to receive a lot more love now compared to the days when I thought ‘what the heck do I have to do [to get noticed]?’ days because I ended up receiving a lot of love. However, if the standards do change, I believe that I will be able to become happy.
Do you have a sense of duty when it comes to work?
During the past five years, I haven’t even collapsed once, so my responsibility to keep going is the biggest. As long as I keep receiving, I feel like that I must keep doing this.
When you compared your fans to bubbles, isn’t now the time when they can no longer be named as ‘bubble bubble’?
Whenever the talk about bubbles came up, I told my fans that I will become ‘detergent’, so there’s no need to worry, but now seems like the time to end that. Isn’t it the time for them to give me their trust?
Have you had the thought that ‘The person who likes me would be great if there were like this?’
Isn’t everyone in the world like that? If one person were to become distorted, everything would have no choice but to change in sequential order. Even trivial things would collapse. So, even while people complain, as the earth is spinning well as it is right now, isn’t right now the ideal time?
Translation: The Real CZ @ Hallyu Interview