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Friday, May 18, 2012

EXO-K Interview for Donga

“Actually we have superpowers.” (All)
They’re quite serious. Their eyes are full of sincerity. They gave a gesture that seemed to say ‘did you still not know it?’. It’s not a story coming from a science fiction manhwa.

It’s like they’re the heroes of ‘Marvel Comics’, they said casually “Kai (18) has teleportation, D.O (19) has a beast’s strength, Baekhyun (20) has the light, Chanyeol (20) has the fire, Sehun (18) has the wind, leader Suho (21) has the ability to control water”.

In April, they released their first mini-album ‘MAMA’ and SM’s new group EXO-K entered the music industry’s ring.

The team’s name EXO is from the word EXOPLANET that means a planet outside of the solar system. Suho explained “It means that we’re new stars coming from an unknown planet”.
EXO is composed of 12 trainees who trained in SM from 1 year to 5 years. They’re divided into EXO-K and EXO-M; they’re promoting in Korea and China at the same time.

Their title song ‘MAMA’ is composed by the hit maker Yoo Youngjin, it’s receiving good reviews as it’s reviving the SM Music Performance (SMP).
“It’s the SMP that hasn’t been shown for a while. The SMP genre blossomed during the H.O.T era, now we can even hear people say it’s out of season but instead I think it’s original to the younger generation these days. With a more imposing sound, the Gregorian chants’ medieval melody and the splendid dance, it gives us our color.” (Suho, Kai, Baekhyun)
Even though EXO are rookies, only a month after their debut, they recorded over 100,000 CD sales, and the idol group’s popularity got them cast for a uniform advertisement.

▶ EXO, from the start tasting the ‘mental breakdown’… now the ‘soar’
Ever since they appeared, EXO was different. Even when you’re from one of the Korean top 3 entertainment management company, it’s difficult to release an album, so they caught the attention only by being singers debuting under SM.

Even before debuting, EXO released 23 teasers last year, starting from December 23rd, and 100 days after the release after their first teaser, they started as singers with their showcase on March 31st.

SM, with an idol history as far as H.O.T at first to closer, DBSK and SNSD, is releasing their first boygroup, EXO-K, 4 years after SHINee. Wouldn’t they be pressured?

“On March, during the showcase, we were so nervous we could have a mental breakdown. When we had to introduce ourselves, we even forgot our names and talking was difficult. Even when thinking about it now, it’s really… What if we can’t do as well as our seniors? It’s worrying but we will work hard.” (All)

What does debuting as a singer under SM mean for EXO-K? They said while remembering about their training period, “You could think it took us a lot of time but it was an investment for our dream. To be a singer, you don’t have to be good at one thing only, efforts are needed to be all-rounded” (Suho, Baekhyun) and “For SM, you of course need to be talented but your personality is more important than anything else. We often receive personality education too” (Sehun, Chanyeol).

Before their debut, they did voluntary service for 6 months at the hall for the elderly near their dorm with their manager. They also went to deaf-mute school to learn sign language, and spent some time with children at a nursery.

EXO-K are currently living together in a dorm. They explained “When we have schedules, we also go to the company to practice and monitor, but if we don’t have schedules, we stay at the dorm to rest”(Chanyeol) and that most of the time “Bok Bul Bok, Yut Noli? Gomoku, etc, (T/N: Refer to this post if you don’t know what are Bok Bul Bok and Yut Noli, as for the Gomoku, Google is your friend) we have fun playing games betting on the cleaning or late-night snacks” (Baekhyun, Suho). They said that leader Suho was the weakest at betting. They also told us that they generally enjoy late-night snacks suck as chicken, pork hocks, pizza, etc.
EXO-K explained that they’re a group where the maknae member is comfortable. Suho and Baekhyun said proudly “We treasure maknae Sehunie so we don’t order him around” and “We don’t let him do all the dirty work because he’s the maknae, instead we share the tasks and change turns every week” (Kai). Sehun just smiled and didn’t say anything.

▶ Prepared rookies EXO aiming to be ‘Global-dols’!
Even aside from music, EXO-K are talented. When asked to count each of the members charms, Kai said he was sexy, and he was perfect at dancing and performing while having an intense stare.

D.O, as an almighty chef that can make spaghetti and fried rice in the blink of an eye, has the ‘mom”s role in the team. He has a lot of interest in cooking and has a sentimental personality.

Mischievious Chanyeol is the happy virus. Because he has a positive and outgoing personality, he said he had the ability to get close easily even to people he sees for the first time.

The team’s vitality, maknae Sehun, makes his hyungs laugh with his endless aegyo. The gestures or voices that men don’t accept easily, he naturally accepts, and as soon as we asked him to show it once, he showed it to us with an embarrassed expression.

Leader Suho, who attends Korea National University Of Arts, is ranked in the top 50 of the 400 students in the school at Seoul Kangnam; he likes to act in the role of model child. Even in his daily life, he acts all the time and is absorbed in practicing.

Baekhyun is a ‘well-prepared person for variety’ with his always entertaining talking. He said he was preparing various repertories. He imitated perfectly Kwon Sangwoo in ‘The Cruel History of Maljuk Street’
EXO-K are already called ‘2nd DBSK’ by the music representatives.

EXO said they wanted to be like their singer seniors SHINee and have their stylish image while adding their own color, Super Junior’s variety skills and sense, and DBSK’s splendid performance on stage and charisma.
Super Junior’s Leeteuk took care of EXO’s showcase process, while SNSD’s Sooyoung and f(x)’s Sulli attended it, leading the support for EXO.
The members thanked “Even if he was busy with his Japanese promotions, DBSK U-Know Yunho senior watched our first broadcast and gave a video call to all of us and then discussed 1:1 with each of us to give us advices (Suho, Baekhyun, Sehun)”.
What’s the goal of EXO who are now realizing their dream? EXO also didn’t forget to greet the fans at the end.
“Our goal is making our music known to the whole world like SM seniors who are leading the Hallyu. But before that we have to get the rookie award of course. To all our fans, thanks for loving us who just did our debut. We will always work hard to show you better stages, performances, and songs. Keep watching out for us please.”

source: donga

translation cr; emilie @ exok-trans

Baek Hyun
Su Ho
Su Ho
Se Hun
Se Hun


  1. ExoK!! <3!!!! plz follow me...

  2. Wow, mommy suho ranked top 50? Student model, kekeke..
    I like this interview..
    Hey Oktawia, when video happy camp upload in youtube? Its aired on 12th may, why it not exist in youtube yet? Eerrrgghhh, dying when waiting!!

    1. if i'm not wrong,happy camp still not air yet..
      It'll be air on 19th..

    2. no,it maybe air on 26th,because on 19th it will air the other artist which has same day of recording with exo m :)

    3. Lol i wrote about happy camp on the right at "streaming for exo" ... + i wrote it 8 hours ago

  3. LOL baek hyun-ah the variety idol, the good singer and the awesome performer on stage that what an SM trainee should be....

    oh! oh ! i'm so proud of him and appreciate a lot his hard working to prepare the interviews to show his talents,skills and charm every where (that's remember me of LEETEUK who always impress with his talking way, manners ,his knowledges and especially his capacity to prepare every detail... really a gifted entertainer...)

    i wanna talk also about kai-ssi and his expression on stage i think it's the best at least among the rookie groups wow! wow! wow! and aaaah! his speaking way like an older in his 20's and that impress me especially in radio interviews where he's answers were so so good...

    chanyeol-ah too has a very confident speech and know how to make every one around him happy and positive and that's a very diffucult task. so chanyeol-ah fightiiing keep this bright smile forever :)))))))

    suho-ssi really a n ideal student but usually people like more the bad boys so hope to see this side on him hahahahha...but i still loves him the way he is ;)))

    D.o UMMA he's so charming this week with a lot of this stare O.O he melts every fan heart hahaha. he's the kind of caring and kind person with an angelic voice :))))

    URI maknae sehun fightiiing he has alot to learn from his seniors and i'm sure he'll be something great in the futur :)))
    love you EXO wherever and whenever xD
    LET'S LOVE <3<3