June 2018 HIM JiU interview
What dream did you dream today
JiU, goddess of sweet dreams
A pale beauty was apparent every time the innocent flaps of her skirt rustled. And yet, an alluring see-through look suited her particularly well. Her two eyes, seemingly filled with stars, shone through her hair, as dark as the night. JiU, the leader of Dreamcatcher, a girl group armed with an unusual metal rock style. As she cleared away your nightmares with her sweet voice, she smiled mystically.
Written by Jo Sang-mok Photography by Park Geun-wan Stylist Lee Yoon-jeong Hair & Makeup Lee Jeong Wardrobe courtesy of Combat Military Shop
#Recent News TALK
It’s been a while since we’ve met in the last September issue.
Being on world tour, preparing for the concert in Korea, preparing for the comeback, I spent more time with the members than I spent alone. We’ve been pretty busy between shows and practice.
What has happened to Dreamcatcher since then?
Hm, the domestic (Korean) concert sticks out the most in my memory. It’s been just over a year since we’ve debutted, so it was unbelievable that we were already doing concerts and that goods made just for us were being released.
How have you been spending your time alone?
I honestly don’t have much alone time. We’re preparing for shows, so group life comes first for now. Like me, the other members are also focused on team activities.
Today was the photoshoot for your solo cover appearance. Was there anything difficult?
It’s the first time I’ve been in a photoshoot alone, so it was a bit flustering. When the members are doing the shoot with me, I get some rest or get changed while the others are getting fixed up. Being alone, getting changed, getting fixed up, it was busy.
What did you think of the military concept outfit?
It was the first time I’ve worn military style since our debut. It was cool and gave off a sense of strength, so it was good.
What kind of clothes do you usually like to wear?
I usually like shirts and jackets. I like to wear formal wear style clothes.
Please introduce us to your new track.
The title of our comeback track is ‘You and I’. It utilizes orchestration sounds, making it a more imposing, rich metal number. The lyrics are charming, as they contain the message that no matter what the circumstances are, we’ll always be on your side.
Last week, your music show performance attracted enough interest to make it high in the search rankings of portal sites. What’s the concept behind this promotion?
Our albums have continued to tell a story about nightmares, but this is the last story about nightmares. It’s heavier than before and… how should I put this. The concept is more serious. We’ve prepared two kinds of stage costumes, and they both are heavy and feel fiercer.
What are you focusing on for this promotion?
We’ve focused on our on-stage performance and our lives. Personally, I’ve been thinking a lot about my facial expressions, like what to do to make my facial expressions in the beginning and end feel fresh and not stale.
Your name, JiU, also has a special meaning.
My real name, Kim Minji means ‘the more you share, the more good fortune you’ll bring’, and the name, ‘JiU’, is one that my mom received from a naming place herself as my stage name. It means ‘the more you respect your elders, the more good fortune you’ll bring’.
Generally, idols seem to receive names from their agencies. It’s surprising that your mother gave it to you.
Yeah. Maybe it’s because of this, but I don’t even get called Minji at home these days. Even my mom and dad call me JiU.
You are the group’s leader. Do the members do as you say? You also probably feel responsible as the leader as well.
Yes, they’ve been amazingly compliant. They each have clear goals, so they practice hard to avoid making mistakes on stage, and they only need to be told everything once. As the leader, I haven’t really run into hardships or problems.
Is there a JiU way to reconcile the members?
For better teamwork, I avoid being high-handed and speak gently and nicely. I try to speak in a friendly way. We can all understand and know what’s being said.
Do you have arguments with the members?
Yes, of course we’ve had arguments. Living in the same dormitory, arguments happen over small matters when we’re sensitive. But the members are so easy-going that we forget our anger make up soon after arguing.
How do you want to be remembered by fans?
I want to be remembered as a reliable person. I want to hear people to say ‘I always have faith in JiU! JiU is always reliable’. Someone who you want to see more of, and to see more often. I think that kind of person is the real deal. I want to be someone who fans can trust and have faith in.
What was the most touching moment that you had with fans?
The fans singing along to our songs was very memorable. Ah, the rice wreath as well. I was told that the rice gets donated. Not only were they congratulating us, they were also making a donation at the same time. I thought they were all so sweet.
Is there something that you’d like to say to the members through our magazine that you haven’t had the chance to?
After doing a photo shoot alone for the first time, I miss the members a lot. Thanks for being so compliant. It’s going really well right now, so let’s keep being like family, being comfortable with each other and getting along well. I love you all! (Laugh)
#What interests JiU
If you had to pick between singing and dancing?
Wow, this is hard. At first, I wanted to become a singer because I liked singing. But after working hard on my basics, I can’t do without dancing, either. It’d be best if I could dance while singing, right? I think it lets me express myself better.
Last year, you did well on ‘Mix Nine’. It was sad to see you leave mid-program.
I heard that I was to leave the program in Brazil. At first, I was told that I wasn’t leaving, that I’d be back in the program, so it was sad to leave. There were good songs for the competition outside of Dreamcatcher songs. I wanted to express more and to show more to the viewers, so it was a shame. It felt like suddenly having to say goodbye to friends.
We got to see you acting, as well as in variety shows.
I was in a web drama called ‘Hororong Story’ a while back. It was a lot of fun.
Does acting suit you well?
I’m not sure yet, since I haven’t tried acting in a orthodox drama piece. It was a sitcom web drama. Acting is a new challenge for me. I think it’d be a bit frightening if I seriously tried acting. Still, I want to try doing it!
Is there a variety show that you’d like to be in?
Um, I’d like to be in Beauty shows or programs like <Tasty Road>. I really enjoy my food. People say that I make whatever I’m eating seem delicious. (Laugh) I’m confident that I can enjoy my food and express how good it is better than anyone else.
Is there some other field that you’d like to try or are interested in?
I’m actually interested in cooking and dream of opening a brunch cafe. When I’m in restaurants, I always want to eat small portions of delicious foods so that I’m not too full and feel like I’ve had a neat meal. I enjoy looking at photos of brunch cafes while thinking of what to put in the menu.
Do you cook often?
No, I don’t cook often. (Laugh) But in high school, I made my own lunch boxes. So I think I have the talent!
Have you cooked for the members?
Sadly, no. (Laugh)
We’re already halfway through the year. Have you been meeting your goals so far?
Dreamcatcher is the most important thing right now, so my goal was to gain recognition domestically. We haven’t gotten definite results yet, but more and more people are interested in seeing us and we’ve been received well, so I think we’re halfway there.
#On a Starry Night
The topic for the special section of our June issue is ‘On a Starry Night’. Is there a starry night that you find memorable?
When I was attending high school in Daejeon, I rented bicycles with friends, packed waffles and went to the Expo bridge to look at the night view. The night views are really pretty there. That night, making small talk with friends, being so carefree, was a beautiful time for me.
What do you do on nights when you are filled with sentimentality?
I really enjoy lower-body bathing. I like playing a song on repeat, putting a bunch of bath bombs in, and then taking a bath. So when I get washed, it takes somewhere between an hour and an hour and a half. Haha.
Is there something that you do better at night?
I do a lot of monitoring during the night. I often think ‘I didn’t realize at the time, but that’s how it looked back then’. Even though I have trouble watching movies and TV shows to the end, I’ll frequently monitor videos of us for over an hour with careful attention. Other than that, I also write down my thoughts of the day on my phone.
Can you recommend good songs to listen to at night?
Songs that you can quietly listen to alone. I like that Piano song, ‘Mondo Grosso 1974 way home’. At first, only the piano plays until the drumbeat starts. It starts quietly and becomes grand, so it makes your mind jolt and rings your heart.
Is there something else that you want to try that can only be enjoyed at night?
I like walking, so I want to take walks at night while listening to music. When I go on holidays, I often take night walks.
If there was a restaurant that operates at night like in the drama, ‘Midnight Diner’, what would you order?
Hm. Galbitang (Korean short ribs soup)! It has meat and it’s delicious! I like Korean dishes a lot, too.
Is there a recent dream that you found memorable?
Before the release of the album, I had a dream where I was bleeding. I wasn’t hurt, just bleeding. Apparently, that’s a lucky dream. Maybe that’s why the album was received so well.
Do you have a dream, not the type that you have at night, but a dream or goal for your life?
My dream is for Dreamcatcher to do well. Our agency president being able to buy a new company building, things like that. (Laugh) I want to buy a house and present it to my parents as well. After Dreamcatcher, I want to open that cafe that I talked about earlier. A brunch cafe or a dessert cafe! I’d like to develop new foods myself.
#How JiU views servicepersons
We’ve heard that your younger brother is serving in the military.
My younger brother is 23 years old. He’s gotten through boot camp recently and is serving as a public service agent right now. He sent a letter to dad, and it was so cute. He asked dad ‘how did mother wait for father (to get through military service).’ He must have gone through a lot emotionally during that month. I realized that he’d become a lot more mature during those few days. My brother wasn’t really into sweet foods, so it was interesting to see him say he wanted to eat something sweet like Choco-pie.
We’ve heard that people with pretty girl group members as sisters will brag about it or that it’ll help them have an easier time in the military.
My brother actually doesn’t tell people that he has an entertainer as a sister. He’s worried that he might make mistakes and cause trouble for his sister. I’ve been to the unit that he’d be training in for a show. My brother was accepted into the boot camp of that unit later, and I heard that the soldiers there were happy when they heard that his sister had been there.
How does it feel to do shows for the military?
It’s great because service people are so enthusiastic. They love even the smaller gestures, and it’s very cute. (laugh) I’m worried that the two years or so they serve in the military may be hard. I think that they’re amazing.
Seeing you now, you’re filled with aegyo and laugh a lot. Don’t you want to try a more lovely concept?
I like our concept. It doesn’t appeal to everyone and is a bit minor, but it’s a unique charm. I’ve also come to like rock and metal more since becoming a Dreamcatcher member.
Lastly, is there a message that you’d like to send to fans in the military and other male fans?
We can’t smile a lot or show you lots of aegyo on stage because of our dark concept, but it’d be great it you could get powerfully energized through our dances, performances, and music.