Are there any other people who have spent a year as intense and nerve wrecking as they have spent this year? It’s none other than YG Entertainment’s ‘New Card for 2014’, the 5-member group, WINNER. (Kang Seungyoon, Lee Seunghoon, Song Minho, Kim Jinwoo, Nam Taehyun)
They spent the last August to October in a YG debut program called ‘WIN: WHO IS NEXT’ in which they arose as Team A. They claimed the final victory and the name ‘WINNER’ after winning over their competitors, Team B. In order to be able to stand on stage, they passed over a hurdle and beat trainees from the same company through a tense battle program.
After going through this process which made them shed their tears, their official debut is coming up early next year. However, they are already on a different ‘level’ compared to average rookies. The contest songs they revealed on the program climbed up on over 5 countries’ iTunes charts. To add to that, their first fan meeting which was held in Japan gathered a crowd of around 8000 people which proves that they have already established a global fandom.
Through the foundation of SM Entertainment’s Global Producing System, EXO has advanced as ‘Superstars’ in the industry this year. In this way, many are paying sharp attention as to how YG will put out WINNER and what kind of outbreak they will cause in the music industry.
In an interview held in the YG Office located in Hapjeongdong, Mapogu, WINNER was asked and revealed what they thought about the past year.
“This is the year in which we established the first stepping stone for our dream. We don’t think we can ever forget the burning passion that we have right now.” – WINNER
Lee Seunghoon, Song Minho, and Kang Seungyoon said, “This year, the goal we ran towards to wasn’t to become stars but to be a part of YG’s debut team.” They added, “After achieving that first goal, it was very rewarding and felt as if we’ve received an award. We’re very happy especially since we’ve gained a family (members) that we can run with for a lifetime and because we can sing with our own name as artists now.”
WINNER’s mindset seems to have become stronger with their entry into the world of pros just around the corner.
Nam Taehyun said, “Ever since I was younger, I was impatient to quickly do something that would make my mother who has gone through hardships happier. When WIN ended, I felt at ease for the first time knowing that I made my mother proud. And for once, I was able to fully enjoy my passion of being on stage.”
Kang Seungyoon said, “Now, we have fans that come in front of our dorm and practice centres.” He laughed and added, “Back then, no one notices me when I walk around Hongdae but now even employees at a convenience store recognize me. It makes me be more cautious of how I act.”
As a warming-up level, WINNER adorns the opening stage at BIG BANG’s Japan Dome Tour. It was their first stage overseas. Even so, placards cheering for ‘WINNER’ lined the auditorium.
Kim Jinwoo and Lee Seunghoon said,“Our BIG BANG seniors who are at their peak and the experience they have with the audience, it was an entirely different performance from anything else.” They continued, “When we looked out and couldn’t see the end of the tens of thousands of audience members, I thought to myself and realized, ‘Yes, this is really my dream.’ The electricity and joy the stage gave me is still very vivid. We learned a lot from our BIG BANG seniors.”
The interviewee asked them the reason they had to become singers after enduring all that they had up until now.
Kang Seungyoon said, “In the past, during a singer’s performance, I once saw the audience crying as they laughed. They were tears of joy. If someone can feel the cure of life or feel hope because of me, then I think a career as a singer is really amazing.”
Nam Taehyun, “When you have a girlfriend and she disappears, you feel like you can’t live, right? Even when my throat condition isn’t good and I don’t feel like singing, I can’t imagine not being able to be a singer forever. So I think music is a girlfriend that I’m attached to.”
Meanwhile, YG is known for very distinct individuality through Big Bang, 2NE1, or Lee Hi. This is why many are becoming very curious as to what kind of team colour WINNER will possess. They are very well-defined with Kang Seungyoon, Nam Taehyun, and Kim Jinwoo as the vocals and Song Minho and Lee Seunghoon as the rappers. WINNER laughed and mentioned,“Yang Hyun Suk CEO has a drawing of our team inside his head.”
Even so, the members are personally working on their songs and choreography productions and are preparing fully.
The members introduced, “Kang Seungyoon, Nam Taehyun, and Song Minho all self-compose and make their own tracks. Minho is strong in hip-hop while Taehyun has a good sense in writing lyrics. Seungyoon is great at including hopeful philosophies into a song.”
Also, “Lee Seunghoon leads our performance with sensational choreography and when things can go into disorder, the eldest hyung, Kim Jinwoo, tightens discipline.”
They are currently broadcasting these same preparation process through their MNET reality show, WINNER TV. At the beginning of next year, near the end of the program, the definite time of their debut will be revealed.
From here on, it’s unavoidable to compete against EXO.
The members said, “If our EXO seniors’ stages or choreographies were uploaded, we definitely search them up. We admire their choreography that is always in order and we think that there are many things we can learn from them. On the other hand, it gets us motivated to work even harder.”
The name ‘WINNER’ is a name they will now have to run and carry forever.
Kang Seungyoon said, “WINNER isn’t just a team name, it will also represent the weight suitable for this group”.
Yang Hyun Suk CEO told us this, “Don’t make your music a WINNER. Make music that will make the people who listen to it a WINNER.”
Seungyoon emphasized, “I hope the people who listen to our music will gain the energy to stand and become the Winner of their lives.”
After going through a survival program, these strong ones will now go into a full-scale survival.
The members said, “Our goal for next year is a rookie award. Among our capabilities, we will produce music and show off those suitable capabilities one by one.”
Translation: JENI @onewomansubs
Source: NAVER via YG United