The raining season has started. Clouds were in the sky in the morning, and it started raining. Tiredness and rain came at same time, and gave a “depressing aura”, and we worried that it would affect the photo-shoot too. But a sun rose in the studio. With bright greetings and smiling face, just his entrance made the depressing aura bright and clear, and the space was filled with bright energy. Worries from the morning was a thing of past, and Henry, in front of our eyes, was lovely. The studio was filled with Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky”. He started to stretch, and our eyes followed Henry, who partook in the photo-shoot like he was dancing.
(Ceci) The reactions to “Trap” is amazing these days! Can you brag about your solo album, “Trap”?
It is a mini album with 6 songs, including a song I wrote. Title song “Trap” is a pop dance song that starts with piano sound. I prepared hard to show many charms like singing, dancing, and piano performance.
(Ceci) You made this album with friends?
Yes. They are friends I met when I went to USA to study music. Team name is Noizebank! I thought it’d be nice to prepare albums with them, so I called them here. At first, our opinions differed, so it was hard. But after writing 20 songs, we found our own know-hows. Now, we discuss beforehand what style song we should make.
(Ceci) Where do you get inspirations for songs or lyrics?
Sometimes, when I watch movies or listen to other singers’ songs, I want to write/compose. Right now, I don’t have a girlfriend, so I use imaginations for love songs. Especially the song ‘143 (I Love You)’; it has my love experience. Foreigner that cannot speak Korean well, falling in love with a Korean girl! My words are still awkward, your texts are still hard~
(Ceci) Wow, you are singing live for us?
The lyrics are funny so I hope many listen to it
(Ceci) We heard you did not know much about Kpop when you auditioned in Canada.
I wanted to do “music” itself, more than “I must become a singer”. Originally, I was playing classical violin, and around the time I was to enter college, I got into SM audition. I had many worries. But I don’t have regrets for my decision.
If I have chosen classical violin, I wouldn’t have been able to sing or dance. But if you are a singer, you can still play violin.
(Ceci) You don’t have regrets for classical violin? Idol songs and classical music are two totally different genres.
I don’t think there are “divisions” in music. When I was in school, I participated in both pop dance and violin club, and while doing both, I had this thought: Would it be possible to dance while playing violin? And to be honest, girls won’t like you just because you play violin. (Laugh) I wanted to look cooler
(Ceci) In “Trap”, there is a performance where you step on top of the piano and dance. That is same?
Yes. Title song this time has piano as the main instrument, and I thought together with many people about how to show it uniquely. I don’t like being the same as others. There are many people who play piano on stage, but I think it’s rare to find someone who would start dancing while playing piano. I mixed the two well.
(Ceci) How does it feel to stand on the stage alone, away from Super Junior M hyungs?
When I was doing group activities, I just had to do my best for my parts. Now, I have to perform alone from start to finish, so I felt very pressured. But I am happy I can do the music I want, now that I am alone.
(Ceci) Which hyung you can rely on the most in Super Junior?
Before I came in, Kyuhyun-ee hyung was the maknae. So he takes care of me more. He did featuring for this album, and on my birthday, I was home alone, and he came with a cake to congratulate me. I was really thankful.
(Ceci) It must have been hard to adjust to Korea when you came here as a trainee.
At first, I wasn’t able to speak Korean at all. It took me time to understand sun/hoobae culture too. First words I said to Lee SooMan teacher was “A-yo, How are you Doing?”. Through living with hyungs, I learned respective speech, and manners (unique to Korean culture).
(Ceci) We heard that when you were doing activities in China, you went to 4-5 cities per week. Are you adjusted to Korean idol system that doesn’t let you rest?
Now, airplanes are just cars. Shanghai in the morning, Beijing at night for interview. Situations like that happen, but I’m enjoying it. I can go to many cities and meet many fans, encounter new environments, and eat the food there! (laugh) I find them as fun jobs.
(Ceci) Going to USA to study music must have been another funny moment in your life.
Every time I went on stage during Super Junior (M)’s activities, my heart felt heavy. I wasn’t satisfied with having to sing along to someone else’s songs. So I thought I should learn more about music. In college, I studied how to compose songs.
(Ceci) It must have taken a lot of courage to tell the company in the middle of activities that you want to go study.
How did you convince them?
I told them I will make good music, just give me some time. I said I will return as a cooler person. At first, they kept saying no, and I kept persuading them. It was 4 short months, but I found my real self. Without the time I spent there, “Trap” wouldn’t exist.
(Ceci) Recently, your appearance on “Happy Together”, made you cutie pie between noonas. You also made a direct comment, to Sistar’s Dasom that she’s pretty. You must be the type that’s honest to opposite gender?
I’m not necessarily honest just to those of opposite gender. I’m the type to talk honest even in normal life; I told her she’s pretty, because she is pretty.
(Ceci) But in Korea, if you say what you think right away, you may encounter troubling situations!
I don’t think of bad thoughts, so it’s okay. (Laugh)
(Ceci) Is there another variety show you want to try?
Anything, all. PD-nim, call me at any time!
(Ceci) Recently, you finished recording for the movie “Final Recipe”. Please give hints about the movie.
It’s a story about a poor young man, who has a dream of going on a cooking competition. We recorded it in Thailand, China, and Korea. I studied myself a lot to prepare for the movie. I thought that to get into a role, you have to know who you are first. And the crying scene was very bad, but now, I can cry within 10 seconds. (Laugh)
(Ceci) Now, last question. What is Henry’s goal?
Through this album, many people to learn about Henry. And I hope in future, Henry’s music becomes someone’s “OST of their life”. Music that you can listen to while reading at home, driving, or going out!