Kim Junsu Says, “I Had A Hard Time Breathing Because Of The High Altitude In South America”

Singer Kim Junsu (26) has had quite the year in 2012. His first solo album ‘Tarantallegra’ sold over 120,000 copies, and he dominated overseas charts such as the Billboard World Charts, the Japanese iTunes Charts and the German Asian Music Charts. What makes his achievements so special is that he was able to do this without a single TV appearance.

“Because I knew that I would be releasing an album without a single TV appearance on music programs, I wanted to make a music video that was a work of art. I received full support from the company. To be honest, the amount of money that went into the music video was a bit too much (300 million Won). But I firmly believe that if you truly love music, you can’t lie to yourself; you have to do what you feel is right and what you want to do. And they must have agreed to that.”

His voice was flushed with excitement as he spoke. We recently met with him and he seemed proud of his ‘report card’ last year. What he was most proud of was his world tour that took him through Asia and the Americas. Starting in Seoul, he travelled all over the world from Thailand to Taiwan, USA, Mexico, Brazil and Chile to perform for over 50,000 people.

“In the US, the fans get in the groove of the songs and cheer as if they’re having fun at a club. In South America, they’re very passionate and the response you get from the crowd is explosive. They keep jumping and running with you, and there were a lot of people who cried. In the past, there were some fans in Chile who threw undergarments on stage.”

He said that each performance felt new and refreshing because each country’s fandom had a different reaction at concert. There were also some aspects that tired him out. During his Mexico performance, his stage was placed at an altitude that was higher than that of Mt. Halla, making it difficult for him to control his breathing during the concert.

“A base hasn’t properly been expanded yet in Europe or South America, and because we’re only in the beginning stages, there are some hardware things that are lacking. But the supportive passion of the fans is as amazing as anywhere else. I will never forget the look in the fans’ eyes. I could see the emotions behind the fact that they were seeing me for the first time, and that they might never see me again, and I found myself feeling more energetic than before.”

It’s quite rare for someone to have such a strong fandom base in South America, as opposed to in Asia where many Korean singers have entered the market.

“The people of South America have a lot of passion, so they like singers with intense performances and I think that’s why they loved my title song and dance tracks. Incidentally, they say that a person with round eyes and a cute face is considered handsome there, but since that’s a subjective topic, I can’t say with confidence that I fit under those standards.” (laughter)

He plans to continue his string of activities this year. Last year marked the end of JYJ’s three-year-long lawsuit with SM Entertainment. The two sides came to an agreement to terminate their contract.

“It’s not that we were oppressed or persecuted from the moment our legal battle with SM began. Though there was a lawsuit, the Courts sided with us when they stated that our independent activities were not to be hindered and that our contract was unlawful, so we’ve been free since three years ago. But there were some in the concerned parties that brought up the lawsuits when talking about external pressures, so I’m glad that was cleared up. I believe that justice has won in this case.”

A JYJ album will be released this year. He is also in the process of screening potential musicals and concerts. Does he have any plans to date this year? “To be honest, I’ve been dating now and then. Because I don’t have that much time, girls break up with me since I end up being a bad boy. (laughter) Right now, I enjoy my work. If I do find someone I’m interested in, I’ll be sure to tell you about her.”

Source: [mk]
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