Check out SNSD's fun interview from W Korea's August issue

10 awesome years! It's definitely a decade to remember with Girls' Generation!

Sharing their thoughts, you can now read their interview from W Korea below~

“A Decade to Remember”

It was a distinct generation. Girls’ Generation’s past 10 years that shook the world, changed standards and wrote history, and the future.


Drama [The King In Love] will air soon. It was pre-filmed so even though the shoot has ended, you meet often with your co-stars.

YoonA: The attendance rate is very so good we say to each other that it feels like we are in university. The writers incorporated my personality when creating the character, and when we went on location, they didn’t give specific direction but said to go and play as we were. You’ll be able to see a comfortable appearance.

Of the members, you have been acting most steadily. There must have been preconceived notions as an idol turned actress, when did you experience this and how did you overcome it?

YoonA: A month or two before Soshi’s debut, I debuted in a drama first. As expected, I must have been lacking a lot but most people looked at me favorably for trying hard. While filming, the album came out and the title of Girls’ Generation became attached, and assessments after that felt a bit more harsh. Since I showed myself on stage more often, they recognized that image first so my acting self might have been viewed awkwardly. Acting is still difficult. Not because I’m an idol but because there are so many people these days who are good. Rather than to take off a label, I have greed to want to become even better at acting. There are many exceptional idols turned actors now so I think there are less preconceived notions than before.

Director Kim Sunghoon who directed your first movie [Confidential Assignment] said ‘Smart actors have innate sensibilities, like how a water flows’. As an actress, what do you think an actor’s strengths are?

YoonA: Talking about an actor’s strengths sounds too grandiose, but I like emotional appeal. I’m impacted by the weather a lot, and I tend to think that the mood and atmosphere is important. Of course, what an actor feels and expressing those feelings is a different issue. Sometimes aspects that I thought I could do well doesn’t come across as well on screen. I’m not sure if it’s emotion, but one of the individual aspects that I like about myself is voice. A lot of people who predict my voice will be bright are surprised because my voice is low-to-medium tone when they hear it, but I like this tone a lot. Of other actors, I like those who have low tones and recently, actor Kim Jiwon is like that.

How does it feel to celebrate SNSD’s 10th anniversary?

YoonA: It feels like it has been about 7 years but it makes me wonder when time passed by so quickly like this. Other sunbaenims who celebrated their 10 year anniversary since debut looked cool and accomplished, but to me, the thing that I feel the most is that time has passed by quickly. I do feel proud too.

In the last 10 years, what kind of change has happened to the members?

YoonA: As we built up our experience, everyone’s skills expanded and we grew. Aspects that made us nervous or awkward have become comfortable. Personality-wise, the person who changed the most is maknae Seohyun. She was introverted but now she’s a bit more lively and has a personality that allows her to approach others first. That’s a result of both her own efforts, and the influence of the members. Tiffany unnie’s Korean skills have improved a lot so for most interviews, she chooses appropriate words and does well.

If you could meet yourself at debut, what do you want to say to yourself?

YoonA: One of the things to keep in mind when working, I would tell myself to work hard so that I won’t have regrets when I see the results of my work later. Since it will make you sad if you feel like you didn’t do your best and could have done better. When I was young, if the situation was difficult, I would compromise and say ‘I’ll do better next time’ and go on to the next thing, but I would like to tell myself to have a heart that puts my best into every moment.

When was the most difficult moment of the last 10 years?

YoonA: More than difficult, there were many moments that were burdensome. Every time we made a new album, we had worries and anxieties of what if we don’t meet the anticipation level, or if they don’t like this appearance of ours, which was always accompanied by anticipation. But for SNSD activities, we have many members so we give each other strength. Even when I don’t have energy, I receive energy from the members so I can withstand for longer. Before I did a drama called [The K2], I had about a 2 year absence period, and I think my thoughts changed a lot then. Toward SNSD, toward acting, I let go of the burdens of how the public would view it, and became a bit more comfortable. Should I say I’m more relaxed?

Did anything cause the change?

YoonA: I think I needed to give myself time. Because I had been so busy, I didn’t know how to enjoy periods of rest, and once a week passed, I felt like I’d been rested. But the approach of waiting for work that I can do even better at, or suits me even more changed me a lot, rather than anxiously choosing work that will allow the public to see my face quickly. When preparing for this album, our goal was to be able to give a feeling of ‘SNSD is SNSD’ rather than getting even better results, or some kind of an award.

Have you learned how to spend time off well?

YoonA: I think it’s important to travel a lot, learn this and that, and have time to to expand your own horizons. You need to spend time off well because it allows you to have an outlook different from when you’re working.

What does the SNSD name mean to you?

YoonA: It’s a name that is a source of pride and strength. Every now and then, we say that ‘to us, there’s only members’ and we become that much of a source of strength for one another. And now, even if it’s not the members, the team itself plays that role. Even if I go do something somewhere alone, I’m stepping out with all of the work I’ve done as SNSD.


How does it feel to celebrate SNSD’s 10th anniversary?

Sunny: My personality is one that tires easily of things, so there aren’t a lot of things that I’ve done continuously, so the only thing I’ve been doing for more than 10 years is work. As you go through life, there are times when it feels futile. Whenever that happens, the fact that I’ve been in SNSD for 10 years becomes a support system. If I was alone for 10 years, I could have been lonely but I have people to share experiences with. Members, fans, family, staff who we’ve worked together with for a long time. The times that have passed are proof of my existence. Even though it has been 10 years, the fact that we can show something new again is also lucky.

Recently at your birthday fan meeting, we were surprised by you personally picking and wrapping presents for fans by hand.

Sunny: On my birthday, I invited and prepared for 515 people, but after I gave the presents, it felt too small compared what I’d been receiving all these years, so I felt sorry. I immensely felt how fans must have prepared each and every time. I was able to walk in their shoes.

In the last 10 years, what kind of change has happened to the members?

Sunny: As expected, they are friends who distinguished themselves from the beginning, but when we debuted, we were young and it was our first time, so if back then we were passive girls, now we’ve become dominant and we have stability coming from our experience. Everyone knows what they are good at, and we still work hard toward that. Nowadays, when any member goes somewhere and does something, I don’t feel anxious at all.

When was the most difficult time while you were promoting?

Sunny: Even during times when it was physically and mentally difficult, there were trivial enjoyments within them, and as time passes, I feel like they were helpful. Each individual had puberty-like personal slumps, and we experienced the team’s difficulties together. Every time, what ultimately helped was each other. There is comfort in the relationships with those who went through and go through the same experiences together.

There are a lot of idol and trainee hoobaes now. What would you like to say to them?

Sunny: If there’s something they want to do that is age appropriate and can be responsible for, I would want them to attempt it all. If they do that, they’ll be able to know what they’re really good at, and what they’ve really wanted to do. Not through fantasy, but through reality, you will be able to figure out your own chemistry with specific type of work. You need to embrace both successes and failures, so you can’t take it too lightly. Another practical advice is that in this day and age, everything remains behind as a record (laughs).

Is there something you gave up on while being in SNSD?

Sunny: Rather than give up, there may be a few things that I let go of. Since it’s a career where I received love, and receive people’s hearts, I learned that I can’t do everything according to my own greed. Should I say that, as a pro, I learned how to take given situations well? If there’s a regret, if I were a bit more mature, I would have known how to comfort myself, but I didn’t know how to do that and I pushed myself. You can only see these things in retrospect.

What contribution have you made to the team and what role did you play to create the SNSD that it is today?

Sunny: When you say “That person is doing that…”, I wonder if I was in charge of being ‘that person’ (Laughs). Before, I had weak stamina and I was really shy, so for me, being an entertainer, especially an idol, was a genre in which I needed to try hard. Normally, I would be sickly like an ill chicken, and I tended not to have a lot of reactions, and even members knew that well. But to show a SNSD-like appearance, I worked hard. For example, even things like aegyo.

Your personality seems cheerful and bright normally, is that not that case?

Sunny: When I was a student, I was typical, quiet and shy. When you go through experiences, what you possess becomes developed. The personality and character of each individual that is well-known now were created by us with a lot of effort, and these images were created to reflect the appearance that the public wants from us. Of course, the side of me from when I was young is still in my real self but a different side from the real me exists too. To make my current self known, I think I need to continuously work hard again.

You’re a passionate cat owner, to the point that you went to a cat industry exhibition. What has your cat changed in you?

Sunny: I can’t remember the time before I had a cat. The biggest change is that I don’t think only of myself. It’s fascinating that there’s a life that greets me when I go home, and to have someone that I can communicate with every day has turned me into a bright person. It’s my first time having a responsibility and maintaining a long-term relationship, and the experiences that emerge from that is refreshing too. Of course, I don’t know if Sogeumie also thinks that we’re communicating emotionally. Even if it’s a one-sided relationship, the fact that I’m experiencing rich emotions is fascinating and I’m thankful for it. Not only happiness, but feeling sorry, and even being worried.

What are your interests these days?

Sunny: TV, animation, movies, and I like various games. Role-playing, action, PC, console, mobile – I’m not picky, I play and erase various types of games. When I’m not promoting, I consider my bed to be a paradise and spend my days there. I tried to conserve my energy as much as possible.

There aren’t too many days left until your comeback, where is your heart at?

Sunny: Saying ‘we prepared hard’, ‘please look at us prettily’ are words that everyone says every time. This time, I hope that a different heart gets communicated. There are times when we do various activities when we’re separate, but to each of our members, SNSD is #1 and to SNSD, our #1 are fans who have been with us. Now the word ‘fan’ feels a bit awkward and they feel more like comrades, or peers. I hope they know that.


How was today’s shoot?

Tiffany: The person most enthusiastic about this W cover was probably me. I wanted to leave behind a project that commemorates SNSD’s 10th anniversary and is also meaningful fashion-wise. I’ve had editorial shoots alone from time to time but it has been a while since we had one with all eight of us, so leaving behind a pretty record together is fun and makes me happy. When we’re together, a very impressive picture comes out.

Your personality doesn’t hide your affection toward other members.

Tiffany: As a trainee, my preparation period was short. There are members who trained for 7 years and I did it for about 3 years. Our members are my role models, and we continuously confirmed that we were the best. I always imagine and dream of the members’ maximum (potential).

Others have said that maintaining sufficient distance between one another is the secret to good relationships, but your approach is different.

Tiffany: The start itself was different for me. I had already left my home and family to come here when I was in the 3rd year of middle school. I think I loved the members from the beginning (laughs). For 10 years, I was always the hopeless romantic. Whatever I look at, I thought of them, and they know everything about me so I don’t need to explain anything, so they are a family-like existence. So even in public, I want to do well by them, without any shame.

What does SNSD mean to you?

Tiffany: SNSD is a space where I can learn only good things. It’s an honour and fate that may or may not come around once in a lifetime. Even if I was born again, I love this space so much that I would want to be a member of SNSD. While preparing for this comeback, I re-watched the first videos from our debut. 10th anniversary is a significant milestone, for relationships, for friendships and as a team. They are my colleagues but what’s impressive is that when we don’t have a song we’re promoting, we restlessly did something, whether it’s acting or variety. We all have a lot of content.

As you said, since you are a romanticist, you must be deeply moved by the 10th anniversary of debut.

Tiffany: Similar to how when you think of the 90s, you think of Britney Spears or the movie [Clueless], when you think back to 2007, I hope we come to mind naturally. And I hope the W cover that we shot today becomes a part of that larger picture. As time passes, there are people who doubt the word ‘girl’, but we continue to exist and we’re not going anywhere (laughs)? There are a lot of things that we can individually do and when we want to come together, we come together. Separately and together, that is Girls’ Generation.

Which member has a personality that’s the opposite of yours?

Tiffany: Taeyeon. Completely different from me, she can’t stand when things tickle and she has a cool and chic personality. But both of us left our hometowns and as roommates, we lived together the longest for 13 years, so we have a special relationship. Since a person like me is beside her, she wears pink well (laughs).

For 10 years, in what areas do you feel you’ve changed or grown in?

Tiffany: After making a mistake last year, there’s a lot that I realized. From one aspect, I felt like I needed an update in many areas that were paused after graduating from high school, and to do that, I spent time putting in efforts. Since I’ll be in my 30s soon, I also thought that I need to study culture and history to suit my age. I saw various performances, went to museums and rode the KTX to go on a trip to Busan. I wanted to know more about the person that I am and where my feet are standing, the vast world outside of Cheongdam-dong.

Did you see the video of Ehwa Women’s University students singing ‘Into the New World’?

Tiffany: As SNSD, it was a proud moment. Right now is the generation for feminists, and it’s an era where messages of women empowering other women are important. I feel like our song played that role, so my heart was happy.

What have you gained and lost with SNSD?

Tiffany: In any area of work, there is always something you gain and lose. So it’s best to do something that I love. This experience itself is like a gift to me. Nothing is forever, but every moment I’m given, living in the moment and living devotedly is how you create a meaningful life.

Is there something you’d like to say to hoobae idols?

Tiffany: When hoobaes who’ve just debuted come find us in waiting rooms with their albums, the sparkle in their eyes reminds me of my past. That album is that friend’s everything. I sincerely congratulate them and I shouting ‘Fighting’ with them, telling them that this is only the beginning. But the one important thing is that, beyond being pretty and flashy, you need to have a story. I think people who can do this work well are people who have stories and messages. Like how ‘Into the New World’ expresses girls’ belief that if you have strength and work hard, you change the world, or when we did ‘Twinkle’, how we honestly expressed the confidence of early 20s that shows off your charms. I also want to tell them to love yourself. Idol lifestyle itself makes it difficult to take care of your physical and mental health. I had times where I was a mess, but I gradually learned to rest and learned one by one while exercising. I would like them to continuously practice, have a long-term outlook and invest in themselves.

Recently, you went to the Coachella music festival. What was the experience like?

Tiffany: I waited in queues and amongst the audience, I watched Kendrick Lamar’s performance and as a fan of music, my heart fluttered. It made me understand ‘our fans must feel like this when they come see our performance’ and I thought we should create even better content on stage.

Are you thinking of your individual career after SNSD?

Tiffany: I want to act with English dialogue, and I think I could also bring my interest in fashion to life to do something. When I met Victoria Beckham, this is what she told me. ‘You come from a girl group background, so you’ll do well in anything. You can’t be in a girl group without a sense of responsibility’. However, it must not be an easy thing to meet such an awesome husband!

There aren’t too many days left until your comeback. What kind of thoughts do you have?

Tiffany: SNSD’s 10th anniversary is not a 10th anniversary that only we should be excitedly applauded for. It’s a time for us to all feel nostalgic together and I hope it’s an opportunity for us to share memories. Reflecting back on yourself during that era, with that SNSD song. Because I also encountered and loved music. It’s everything for people who listen to music.


At a previous interview, you’ve said ‘there is a lot of expectation with the SNSD name, so it’s burdensome’. Is that still the case? To you, what kind of a name is the title of Soshi?

Yuri: With the name of Girls’ Generation, I felt that we’ve always received a lot of love and anticipation. So I am both thankful and careful. Because I thought that we cannot be troublesome here. I enjoy it a lot and I’m happy but conversely, it is burdensome and worrisome. Going forward, whatever I attempt, the SNSD name will give me a lot of strength and at the same time, it will be a weight on my shoulders.

How does it feel to celebrate SNSD’s 10th anniversary?

Yuri: Daily life of one year after another have collected to become 10 years. As it’s our comeback in 2 years, we’re preparing diligently, but similar to greeting a birthday calmly, it wasn’t extraordinarily special. I’m thankful for each moment, but the reason why we don’t attach a lot of meaning is because we’ve never once thought about this as the end.

When you compare to when you debuted, what has changed?

Yuri: For me personally, I didn’t start Soshi with ambitious dreams. I met friends who like doing what I really like doing, which was singing and dancing. It was as if we were going on field trips and I really enjoyed it. There were many fierce moments, but since I enjoyed what I was doing, I think I was able to come to this point right now.

For 10 years, how have you been able to maintain a good relationship as a team?

Yuri: It’s still hard and we are careful. From certain aspects, even more so than 10 years ago. For me personally, as much as I feel preciousness toward the members and to the SNSD group, I try to maintain distance. In a group lifestyle of several people, in a situation where you can be compared even if you don’t want to be, that was the method to maintaining an easy-going relationship for a long time. Now they’re like family, we’re past the point of being troubled by one another, and we’re at an era where we view one another in a cute way.

What kind of sentiments did you feel while watching other girl groups who promoted around the same time officially disband one by one?

Yuri: I was able to understand their choices and decisions and thought that we should respect it. The one and only thing that doesn’t change in this world is the truth that everything changes. I was thankful that they worked diligently and that they leave behind good songs.

Of your activities to date, what was your favourite song or performance?

Yuri: I feel most alive and happiest when I do something that gives me a sense of accomplishment. Separate from the public reaction, stages that gave me a sense of accomplishment are the most exciting for me. For example, ‘Catch Me If You Can’, which was a challenge that had a difficult choreography and it was not easy from a physical stamina aspect, is special in my heart. I personally like ‘Kissing You’, and it feels like a song we won’t be able to do again. It reminds me of the time when we were promoting that song and our vibe and energy of that time comes to mind, so to me, it’s a song that is pure and monumental.

Your debut song ‘Into the New World’ was sung widely in public squares last year and it became the ‘morning dew’ of the young generation. Have you seen the video of Ewha Women’s University students singing it at a candlelight rally?

Yuri: I saw the video several times, and I even cried because my heart was overcome with emotion. It was a moment when I felt a huge sense of pride as a singer. It was a message that I wanted to deliver through my work, and the inspiration that we wanted to deliver through music and performance was being realized, so it was unlike anything else. At the time when we debuted, I didn’t fully understand the lyrics so I might have been imitating it with bright eyes. But as time passes and I listen to the song, the lyrics touch me even more.

Recently, the drama [The Defendant] wrapped up.

Yuri: It was a piece that was difficult to decide on easily because it’s a heavy story and it’s a character that I feel distance to, but there wasn’t a lot of time to think about it. It was unfamiliar and each and every moment was a challenge. I cried several times.

Does your personality go after tough challenges?

Yuri: Normally, my personality is incredibly reckless. I don’t make measurements of the beginning and end or think rationally, but now that I know there’s a lot that I’m responsible for, I’ve become careful. I immediately think that what’s easy, light and what I can do well is right, but after an hour, I end up choosing the more difficult side.

What do you want to say to idol or trainee hoobaes?

Yuri: There will be many times where you feel ‘should I give up?’. Right now, someone must be thinking that, and I experienced countless strife. Whenever that happened, working hard to placate that has hardened the person that I am today. I would like it if they did not give up.

When was the most difficult time of the past 10 years?

Yuri: Every day was fun and every day was difficult.

Is there a role or a genre that you want to attempt going forward? If we think of your energy and drive when it comes to dancing on stage, action movie would suit you.

Yuri: I’m actually receiving action lessons. I don’t have a movie or a drama planned but because I want to try it, I’m learning with a sword. If there’s a [Charlie’s Angel]-like piece, I would enjoy attempting it. Casting of the remaining two people? I would like one of them to be Ha Jiwon unnie.


Late last year, when we met you for the K-Pop World Special that we did with US W, you said that you feel restless now that you’re in your late 20s. How is it these days?

SooYoung: Up to the first half of this year, I was still on the restless side. When there was still a bit of time left until we seriously started preparing the album, I was asked to be in a weekend drama that would air starting in September, and I decided to do it even without looking at the script. I had rested enough so I wanted to focus on work again. I also filmed a web drama called [A Person You Could Know]. While working on this piece, I had a lot of thoughts. That I could work in a good mood if it’s something I really want to do, regardless of viewership ratings, guarantee, airtime and broadcasting station? Work itself was fun, when you work with good people and share the process.

What kind of sentiments do you get when we say ‘SNSD’s 10th anniversary’?

SooYoung: First of all, I think ‘Has it already been 10 years?’. It’s a bit burdensome because it might feel like we’ve gotten old. But SNSD was my life itself, so I don’t think it has been that long. Recently, we watched the stages we did when we were young together with members and our appearance of pretending to be cute was hopeless (laughs). The young members who tried so hard to look pretty looked pitiful at times but we also looked really pretty so I wanted to pat each person on the head.

While working on the album, what aspect did you concern yourselves with the most?

SooYoung: Since it’s our 10th anniversary, the anticipation and gaze on what side we’ll show will be big, but truthfully, we tried not to be conscious of that anticipation. I had a lot of concerns prior to picking the music, but as soon as I heard the music, it felt like ‘Yes, this is Girls’ Generation’. Outcome-wise, I think it will be exactly the appearance that the public wants for us, as we have reached our 10th anniversary.

In precarious moments for the team, what kind of role or position did Sooyoung take? And in times when you were able to overcome difficulties well, what was the main reason behind it?

SooYoung: Sometimes I was quiet and sometimes I took action and resolved it. Whatever happens, we’ve all experienced the same situations, so whenever issues arise, we tend to think ‘I was like this too’, rather than ‘Why are you like this?’. Even if we don’t talk, we understand one another. Out of the blue, if someone just says ‘Ah!’, we are able to know what emotion caused that reaction. The most important things when it comes to group lifestyle are sacrifice and patience, aren’t they? If there’s a time when I make a sacrifice, and when I’m doing something according to my own will, there is a member behind me who is making a sacrifice.

From your debut to now, in what area do you feel like you’ve grown in?

SooYoung: As I said, I’ve learned to be patient. For example, out of us, someone starts getting ready at 6 am and needs to wait until the remaining members finish their preparations. In a situation where everyone finishes work in the early morning, someone can only go home after other members have been dropped off by car. One could say that these are reasonable experiences for group activities, but to us who have lived like this for 10 years, there are many aspects that didn’t seem so reasonable. Of course, not just amongst us, but I tend to be patient when dealing with other people and puzzling situations.

What is one thing you gained and one thing you lost with SNSD?

SooYoung: I’ve gained experience and memories, but if there’s something I’ve lost, it’s time. To refer to memories and time differently seems contradictory, but truly, I’ve gained memories, but I’ve lost time. But as there’s so much more that I’ve gained, I have no regrets.

Those experiences and memories must come in handy when you plan your individual career going forward.

SooYoung: You can’t help but use it. As SNSD, we had to be good at everything. Singing and dancing are a given, how to greet people and manner of speaking, acting, dubbing, makeup, self-maintenance, and even how to make expressions to show your appeal in 3 seconds within a 15 second commercial! Even when I see it, it makes me wonder how our members are so good at everything. At a drama filming location, staff shared these stories. They wanted to ask what Sooyoungie ate and what needles she got and to get some information. When you work through the night, you need to show at least a bit of tiredness but they were fascinated because I wasn’t like that at all. I took care of it with just one phrase. “I’m SNSD”.

Do you have your own rules and standards to wisely have parallel work and love lives?

SooYoung: If I were to name something, I don’t upload my personal feelings or personal photos on SNS. At the very least, I tend to try to be careful to not gain attention for dating topics while we’re promoting as a team.

If you were to work at a girl group vocational school as a teacher, what subject do you want to be responsible for and teach?

SooYoung: How to speak to avoid misunderstanding. There was a time when I had suspicions that the majority of the unspecified public had created an example manual for entertainers and thought ‘If you don’t do exactly like this, I will dislike that person’. Each person has different thoughts and tone of speaking and according to emotions of every moment, their responses can change, but it felt like it wasn’t possible (for the public) to contemplate that. Especially as a girl group, it’s true that a smiling face, gentleness and kindness are important. The image of the entire group can be determined by the behavior of one person. I learned a bit after trial and error, as there have been times when I’ve said or done things that brought misunderstandings.

Like the movie [Actresses], if a movie called [Songstresses] was created, what kind of content would you want to put in it?

SooYoung: More than [Songstresses], I think we should film [Extreme Occupations] with our manager unnies and oppas at least once… (Laughs). Like in the movie [Radio Star], I think it would be entertaining to capture the emotions and daily lives of people work behind girl groups to turn them into the best, and the communication style between them and the members.

When we met you last year, you shared a cool thought saying it’s ‘not a bad thing to have greed and that a person always needs to have something they want’. Is there anything you’re greedy about these days?

SooYoung: I’m greedy about good work. Before, I always thought ‘I’ll be able to do it one day’, but now I’m changing to have enterprising thoughts like ‘what can I do to be able to do a piece like that’. It’s the same as a singer. Seeing BTS, friends who are doing so well, go to American award shows, it makes us become engrossed in what kind of music and performance we need to show in order to hear “As expected, it’s SNSD”.

You also said you only used to do breathing exercise but didn’t you say you started to swim at the second half of last year? Why do we get this overwhelming feeling that you only did it a few times and stopped?

SooYoung: How did you know! I really occasionally go swimming. There’s a new exercise that I’m doing continuously. I’m having fun golfing and I’ve fallen scarily into it. It’s an exercise I can do when I’m older too, so it feels like I’m investing in it and I like it.


Recently, you released a solo song called ‘Wannabe’. It’s not easy for cuteness and coolness to co-exist, but we could see both of these aspects in you.

HyoYeon: When I did my first solo activities with a song called ‘Mystery’, I wanted to appear pretty. Looking back, I think it meant that I lost my own colour. This time, I wanted to bring a cool performance to life. Recently, I keep reaching for Janet Jackson and Madonna’s videos. After seeing Janet Jackson dance in a group and do popping and locking, my interest in choreography like that came to life again.

What is Hyoyeon’s favourite compliment that she likes to hear most?

HyoYeon: I tend to be thirsty for compliments, so I like all kinds of compliments (laughs). Honestly, I liked hearing I was pretty, or that I got prettier. Now, I like hearing that I have charms. It means I have my own colours.

In the days when you wanted to look pretty, what kind of efforts did you put in?

HyoYeon: I diligently monitored myself. I especially monitored the members to find their good aspects and tried to accept what I should accept.

Normally when someone monitors, they only look at themselves. To monitor your members more instead of yourself, this is not a common statement (laughs).

HyoYeon: At that time, I didn’t know how to tell the difference between myself reflected in the practice room mirror and myself reflected on screen. It felt like whenever I saw myself reflected on screen, I wasn’t able to express myself properly. Was I lacking in effort? Do I not know how to express myself? I had many thoughts, but just because you work hard doesn’t mean you’re pretty. The reason why I monitored the members is because I knew there was a reason why our members often heard that they were pretty. When the public has a unified voice, it feel like their words are right.

Hearing you tell stories like that, it must mean that now a different mind has already taken place. If Hyoyeon is this honest, at that time, you must not have hidden your heart to the members?

HyoYeon: When we did ‘Tell Me Your Wish’, Yuri’s tanned skin that showed under the shorts and all of her style looked pretty to my eyes. So I’ve told Yuri, ‘This song is meant for you’. When I said that, Yuri was embarrassed to hear it.

While promoting domestically, SNSD had a cute female dongsaeng image whereas in Japan, SNSD carved out an alpha girl-like image. Due to the slightly different strategy in the two countries, is there a perspective you changed about the team or about yourself?

HyoYeon: When we were promoting in Japan, our music was a bit stronger and it had a different feeling from the songs that we promoted with domestically. But when I first heard the songs that we promoted with in Japan, my body reacted first right away. I was able to immediately think of how I should express it. This is not a matter of perspective, but it was a fascinating occurrence.

When women gather, a lot of people think that a lot of jealousy and envy. What would you say to those people?

HyoYeon: I think having a mentality of someone else looking prettier than you or having nicer things than you can exist within anyone, if they are human. But that can also become a source of power. You should not lose your confidence while comparing yourself to others, but through positive envy, if you try even harder yourself, you can have good results.

Like the movie [Actresses], if a movie called [Songstresses] was created, what kind of content would you want to put in it?

HyoYeon: What would it be like if we created a story from the viewpoints of the staff who surround female singers? For example, if a makeup artist makes someone pretty, a different member can be looking at that and come later to ask, ‘What’s the lipstick she wore before?’. Sometimes, staff make comments to us spoken to suit each member, I find things like that entertaining.

While working on this album, what thoughts did you have the most?

HyoYeon: ‘We are impressive’. Time passed by too quickly. Most of the members spent a long time as trainees so we spent about 17 years together. Of course, we are involved from a business relationship perspective. But we are friends who’ve run to this point together with one heart, and I’m thankful for that fact itself.

Are you planning an individual career that you want to pursue going forward?

HyoYeon: I want to show my voice and performance in even cooler ways one by one. I still have a lot that I want to show. I’m dreaming of becoming a cool female dance singer, who has charisma rather than sexiness. I think I need to think of a global stage, and not just Korea. And when I look at a specific outfit, I often think or imagine how I can modify it with my ideas and create something that is a bit more different. One day, I want to attempt creating creative items.

Do you have a lot of interest in fashion?

HyoYeon: I definitely have styles that I like. I really like trying this and that. Of course I’ve seen comments saying that my airport fashion is weird, even though I thought it was cool. But that’s my style, so what should I do? But as time passes, more people know my colour and acknowledge it. Thanks to that, I have more confidence.

If you were to go back to SNSD’s early days, what words would you say to young Hyoyeon?

HyoYeon: I want to say just work hard like that, and keep doing what you’ve been doing. Looking back now, times that pass, even if there were difficult moments, were something that we were meant to experience.


What came to mind the most while working on this album?

TaeYeon: First of all, it felt difficult to express a point within a short part. It may be because I’ve had solo activities. Until recently, I did this and that alone and carried an entire song.

Aren’t you a veteran when it comes to showing your charms in a short part divided among many?

TaeYeon: I don’t think I have a unique tone. So expressing a short part with impact is still not easy. While recording, I worried a lot about how to match the flow of the members.

Of the members, you were the first to start your solo activities. Your first solo song ‘I’ was good, and every time you released a song, the reaction was hot. What did you gain through your solo activities?

TaeYeon: I learned that I need to be more detailed. Since everyone is looking just at me. When I’m with SNSD, even if we don’t set it ahead of time, there is a role and charm that each person is naturally responsible for, but I needed to show all of that alone.

If you’d had any desire for leadership musically, it must have be settled a bit by now.

TaeYeon: I actually let go of leadership, and tend to match and comply to the best of my ability. When I’m solo, I can express myself best when I’m comfortable. Within the team, I can’t be the only comfortable person, so I try to match as much as possible. But as a basis, rather than giving big opinions, when various experts in their field provide help, listening to their thoughts well is comfortable for me and I like it. This time, it was good to listen to what they thought of SNSD’s 10th anniversary.

What kind of opinions did you share about SNSD’s 10th anniversary with the staff who participated in the album?

TaeYeon: Rather than giving strength, we wanted to head toward a mood where we’re celebrating and enjoying the long time that we’ve spent with fans, and to commemorate the special day.

You’ve said that it’s difficult to express your inner heart so you don’t write songs. As your time as an artist lengthens, it’s typical to have desire to show yourself more, but you’re unexpected.

TaeYeon: I thought about why I’m like that. Especially when it comes to lyrics, the reason why I think that way must be because I’ve developed a self defensive side due to being concerned about people’s misunderstandings. With the same words, many people have their own interpretations. Even if I imagined something and wrote a story, someone can argue that it really happened to me. To be honest, that situation makes me a bit afraid.

Then how will Taeyeon show her artist-like appearance?

TaeYeon: Mmm, I think that for everything, there is a time. Truthfully, if I say something like this, it might be interpreted as ‘Taeyeon Will Never Write Songs’ so I’m careful again. I’m only saying that right now, the timing is not right for me to proactively write lyrics, but going forward, who knows if there will be a day when something will happen or I’ll be inspired to write a lot.

If you were to choose one thing you gained and one thing you lost with SNSD?

TaeYeon: I gained my life. I found ‘me’. What I’ve lost, let me think, I feel like there are a lot of little thing… (Laughs) Private life, and the Taeyeon before she met SNSD. I want to meet that kid but I can’t bring her to mind that well.

You can write a diary in preparation for these situations.

TaeYeon: When it comes to things like diaries, my style is to destroy them through a paper shredder (Laughs). I get cold sweats when I look at diaries, and I can’t stand it.

What’s the reason? You can’t stand how cheesy it is?

TaeYeon: I don’t even precisely know what that feeling is, but I can’t even look at a schedule that I wrote a year ago. I don’t really like the past, and it might be because I want to live without concerning myself about that? To me, today and right now is most important. When it comes to tomorrow, I want to think about it then. So these days, I’m using Post-Its. I wrote it whenever I need to, put it up and I can easily throw it away. Post-Its are stuck in various places like my room, dining table, mirror and entryway. Things like what I need to buy from the mart, what I need to say to the manager, areas I need to modify in the album, whatever content that to my mind suddenly, I write it down.

When women gather, a lot of people think that a lot of jealousy and envy. What would you say to those people?

TaeYeon: “Of course there is, why wouldn’t there be?” (Laughs) There were so many people who were curious about that. But the personality of our members tend to be that we are comparatively honest with each other in our words, since we were young. If we have a complaint or a different thought, it’s better to say something instead of biting your mouth. But nuance is important. Instead of ‘Why are you like this?’, if you say ‘I think this would be better, what do you think?’ it’s totally different.

From your debut to now, what are areas that you feel you’ve grown in?

TaeYeon: I think I understand a bit more on how to deal with people. I know that you can change a person’s mood by a difference of how you end your words. Should I say I became more proficient on how to communicate? And I also learned how to protect myself.

What are your tips on protecting yourself? There are a lot of people who may not be able to protect the country, but want to protect themselves.

TaeYeon: Paradoxically, you need sacrifice. In the past, I didn’t even know how to relieve stress. When I was interviewed and asked about how stress relief methods, I would respond that there isn’t anything that special that I do. I mostly lived as a homebody, so I think it was a bit detrimental. But these days, I’ve found a new path… I’m a ‘cosmetics otaku’. As I live as someone obsessed with cosmetics, I recently found a way to relief stress related to this, and it’s to buy a lot of cosmetics products. Before, I wasn’t good at going outside of the house to go shopping but now, I go out wearing a hat. To buy colour products, I need to confirm the shades in person.

When you look at the vanities of beauty YouTubers, they have specially made storage drawers, are you at that level?

TaeYeon: Similar to that. I ordered a mirror with pretty lights and lighting and it will arrive soon. When I think about that, I get excited. Recently, I purchased a lot of blush and colour mascara. Even if I used it for my whole life, I don’t think I will be able to use it all up?

Lastly, what can you simply say about the 10th anniversary album?

TaeYeon: While we were recording it, we often thought ‘That’s right, we were like this during the early days of our debut’. I think it will be an album that will make you think of SNSD of that era. I think fans will be able to reminisce back to that time.


You’re starring in the MBC weekend drama [Thief, Mr. Thief] with Ji Hyunwoo and Kim Jihoon. It’s a long series with 50 episodes, how is it working out?

SeoHyun: It’s more fun than I thought it would be. When we first started, I thought 50 episodes were long but it makes me think I can’t believe we’re already up to this point. I always did two or three things simultaneously, so I’m trained to handle the schedule. I don’t have time to exercise so I’m trying to take vitamins and eat well. Choreography practice will become exercise soon, I suppose?

But in the drama, you’re set up as the ‘model of a regular woman’ and ‘not particularly pretty and doesn’t possess special talents’. What is this nonsense, when you’re SNSD Seohyun?

SeoHyun: Haha. If you saw the drama at least once, those words won’t sound that strange? I like that I’m similar to my character. Honestly, there have been times where it was frustrating because preconceived notions of me continue to exist. As I act, I think I can shatter some of those biases a bit, so it eases my heart.

Are you referring to the preconceived notion that you’re like a ‘good and nice girl’?

SeoHyun: There are a lot of people who predicted ahead of time that I will be like a textbook, and that I would be no fun. But if I say hello first with a brave tone and in a down-to-earth way, it’s not a big deal, but people are really surprised by it. ‘Twenty three?’ ‘No, I’m twenty seven’ and they’re surprised again by my age.

When you say Seohyun, the righteous lifestyle image does take up prominent space. There was a time when we thought, ‘A friend who’s strait-laced is doing entertainment activities’.

SeoHyun: The reason why I thought having a righteous lifestyle was important was because I felt like if I didn’t live like that, my life would flow in the wrong direction with slight provocation. Each and every day was so busy. As I was living and not being able to remember what I did yesterday, I felt like ‘Wow, if I do this wrong, I will be whisked away by time’. Leaving my home at a young age to live as a trainee was a choice that I made. It felt like if I lived healthily out of my own will, 10 years later, my life would remain whole.

You realized that early on, so now that 10 years have passed, you’ve grown up so well. How does it feel to reflect back on times when you were strict on yourself? Since you lived in a strait-laced way, aren’t you able to let yourself loose a bit now if you wanted?

SeoHyun: Of course, I do think that I should’ve been a bit easier on myself. I always set rules for myself like ‘I will go home before this time’ and ‘I won’t meet with that person’. But I still think living like that was good, so I don’t have regrets.

While promoting domestically, SNSD had a cute female dongsaeng image whereas in Japan, SNSD carved out an alpha girl-like image. Due to the slightly different strategy in the two countries, is there a perspective you changed about the team or about yourself?

SeoHyun: Rather than changing perspective, after we were accepted in Japan, it felt like acknowledgement that we don’t just have one side of ourselves, so we had more confidence. When we promote in Japan, we weren’t trying to artificially show the appearance of confident and mature women. We started in Japan around the time of ‘Tell Me Your Wish’, so in a more matured state, we were able to show a side of ourselves that we could do best in at that time.

In moments that were precarious for the team, how did Seohyun act or what attitude did you take?

SeoHyun: My personality is not one that steps up but when it comes to indignant situations, I stepped up first. When it’s an issue with the team on the line, my emotions flare out. I put out my opinions first in our group chat room. At first, I was a young child who followed what the unnies did, but I’ve gained a backbone over time.

Early this year, you did your first solo activities with an R&B pop dance song. It must have been your opportunity to exhibit initiative when it comes to music work.

SeoHyun: My opinions were reflected 98%. I participated proactively in song choice and lyrics, all of the concepts and I even created a proposal draft of the music video. For anyone, when they’re promoting, they’re not just doing it but everyone has an intention. I didn’t want to be #1 or to have an image transformation. I just wanted to show ‘Artist Seohyun with 10 years of experience is like this’. I heard a lot of reactions from people saying my appearance is surprising and new, but that it wasn’t awkward. From that aspect, I’m very satisfied with the results of my solo activities.

Going forward, we feel as though Seohyun has very clear cut thoughts on her future individual career.

SeoHyun: As a singer, I have a 10-year career, but as an actress, I’m at the beginning stage. So it feels different, but I like that feeling. SNSD needs to stand in front of the public with a pretty and well-taken care of appearance. But as Seo Juhyun, it’s good to show a bit of a different appearance. For example, there’s no need to plan I need to do this or that during [Thief, Mr. Thief], which I’m doing now. There’s an unruliness inside of me, so if I’m given a situation, I’m exploding with adlibs! I still have a maknae image, but a lot of time has passed compared to before and there are sides of me that have changed. If I can show many sides of me through acting, I’m looking forward to the future.

If you became a teacher at a girl group vocational school, what subject would you want to teach?

SeoHyun: I want to provide psychological treatments. The most important thing to an entertainer is their mental health. When I see especially young friends debut, I pity them and there are times when I feel uneasy. Not only entertainers, but if everyone who lives in society are having a hard time, it would be nice if they could go somewhere to speak frankly and receive treatment.

If you were to choose one thing you gained and one thing you lost with SNSD?

SeoHyun: What I gained are the unnies who I like a lot. It’s not an easy thing to meet people in life who are this close to you, outside of family. Conversely, the luxury of being able to think deeply about my life was a bit lacking? After debut, there has been no time spent doing nothing, so it feels like I’ve run too much. Not as SNSD Seohyun but as human Seo Juhyun, what if I lived alone overseas? I’m curious what my natural self who is not constantly working would think, or how she would have lived.

W Korea magazine

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