(T/N: This is a different part of the interview than the fan Q&A!)
Youngmin: As someone who has the dream of becoming a singer, I’m very thankful for having had the chance to let people know of me through ‘Produce 101’. I’m very proud because it feels like I’ve reached my goal of debuting through this program. Although I’m worried that a lot of my lacking areas will be seen since I received this love so suddenly, I am in the middle of working hard in order to show my growing self.
Donghyun: I’m happy and thankful to have gotten a chance of debuting. If I received love for my overflowing charms during ‘Produce 101’, then I believe that I gained the opportunity to show my musical side through MXM, so I’m very content.
MXM’s pre-release title song, ‘GOOD DAY’, is a refreshing and bright song that is fitting of the first idol group to come out of their company, Brand New Music. It garnered interest once it was known to have been composed by WANNA ONE’s Lee Daehwi.
Youngmin: A lot of people predicted that a song would come out with Brand New Music’s hip-hop style. However, it’s formed with songs that are bright and strong with energy. ‘GOOD DAY’ is a song that we practiced we Daehwi, but it fit well with the concept, so we included it.
Donghyun: There’s a Busan dialect killing part by Youngmin hyung, but looking for that is one of the fun elements of this. I personally think it’s stronger than ‘I’m a bit intoxicated’ (T/N: Youngmin’s line from ‘Boys and Girls’). Since both of the pre-release songs are self-composed, I think you’ll be able to see MXM’s refreshing charms more.
MXM’s promotions are at the same time as WANNA ONE’s promotion period. As much as Lee Daehwi and Park Woojin from Brand New Music are under WANNA ONE, I feel like the meaning must feel different.
Youngmin: We haven’t been able to contact Daehwi and Woojin due to being too busy. However, what I believe to be meaningful is how the four of us practiced together, but will now be standing on the same stage. Them as WANNA ONE and we as MXM.
Donghyun: Even though our teams are different right now, since they are people who will be in the same team as us, I am thinking of it positively and we are supporting each other from our own spots. Although it’s different and fascinating to meet as a different team, I think we’ll still support each other a lot. It will be really fun if we meet. That also goes for WANNA ONE as well as other trainees from ‘Produce 101’ Season 2.
As expected of a duo, these two showed how they perfectly match. They especially showed showed off their friendship by saying that they have always picked each other for the trainee they are closest with. So to these two, what does the other’s existence mean?
Youngmin: I have always picked Donghyun as the trainee I am closest to. We lived together during ‘Produce 101’ as well and had a lot of instances of being on the same time. And our personalities normally match really well too. Although our tendencies are very different, they strangely fit well. So one of the meanings of our team name is ‘MIX & MATCH’, but I believe it’s because we think of each other a bit more and give into each other that we can match even better in the future.
Donghyun: I haven’t been a trainee for a long period of time, but the hyung I relied on the most while doing it was Youngmin hyung. We don’t express it well to each other. However, since he’s the hyung I relied on the most, I’m thankful and happy with the fact that I’m able promote as a unit under the same team.
When I asked to sum it up in just one phrase, Im Youngmin replied, “A real younger brother who seems like a friend” while Kim Donghyun answered “a needle and thread”. These two who are always together answered that the only people they contact even on breaks are each other. Kim Donghyun quickly added, “I’ll be the thread. Hyung, you be the needle,” and brought out laughter.
We asked what they wanted to say to fans since the two of them did not forget to express their thanks towards fans’ love during the entirety of the interview.
Youngmin: Although we were trainees, we were able to come out with an album due to the large amount of love we received. We heard that there were a lot of people who waited for a long time even after ‘Produce 101’ ended, so we worked hard to prepare this. Although we’re still lacking, we will work hard in order to show the best side we can, so I ask for a lot of love. We will show our continuously growing selves.
Donghyun: In order to give back to the large amount of love we have received, we are working hard in preparations. We will work harder on the album and show a better side, so I think I will be thankful if you could give a lot of support.
He is now 23 years old. What could have been the reason behind Im Youngmin creating his dream of becoming an idol?
Youngmin: I really liked dancing since I was in my 2nd or 3rd year of middle school, so I started it then. While dancing a hip-hop style, I naturally fell into hip-hop. I think I started my dream of being an idol ever since then.
However, he said that while being a trainee, his thoughts strengthened in wanting to be an artist who just does music rather than become an idol. It was also connected to the reason why Im Youngmin chose Brand New Music and not another place.
“Since I normally did hip-hop and rap, there were a lot of seniors that I liked in Brand New Music. While thinking it was a company I really wanted to go to, I heard that they were starting an idol project, so I applied and made it through the auditions. At that time, there was an offer from another company as well, but my ‘favorite’ was Brand New, so I ended up picking this. I believed that even if Brand New Music were to make an idol group, they would still help my artist tendencies grow.
To Im Youngmin who respects all artists in Brand New Music and sets them as his role models, we asked him who his role model outside of the company would be.
Youngmin: I really like Block B seniors. Of course I like their music style, and I think the color of a team that can harmonize well despite each of their colors having a variety is charming. On my recent guesting of tvN’s ‘Problematic Men’, Park Kyung senior was there, so I told him I was a fan, but because I was so nervous, I wasn’t able to express it enough, so that was regrettable. I also wanted to take a picture, but because I was so nervous and tense, I wasn’t able to ask. I want to go there next time and tell him for sure. Also, ever since I was younger, the person I set the most as my role model is Park Jaebum senior. It’s really cool to see how he can do everything including dancing, singing, and even producing. It’s also really cool to see him take good care of the singers in his company as the CEO of AOMG. I also thought a lot about ‘It would be nice if I were like that’. In the future, I hope to become that kind of artist.
Im Youngmin was a trainee whose fandom power was amazing even within ‘Produce 101’ Season 2. Including the subway support advertisements, they sold-out in a hoodie that he wore and showed that he has rose as a ‘trend’.
Youngmin: When we first did the broadcast, I didn’t know what was going on outside. However, from just seeing the support I received during the concert, I was receiving so much love. I’m really thankful for the advertisements as well and a lot of people sent in letters, but while reading one-by-one, I gain strength from their efforts. There were difficult times while preparing for this album, but I gained a lot of comfort from letters full of love’s sincerity that I haven’t received before.
When I told him that someone I know had Im Youngmin as their ‘ultimate bias’, Im Youngmin showed a happy smile and said, “Whenever I hear things like that, I feel really happy and good.”
To his subway advertisement, he stated, “Whether it be idols or someone who has dreamed of becoming a singer, there is an ideal image about things like birthday advertisements. I had the thought of ‘I want to be there too’, but I didn’t know I would receive it so quickly. I was deeply moved. Chinese fans also gave a lot of advertisements, but I hope an opportunity comes where I am able to visit their country and meet them.”
‘Produce 101’ Season 2, which has allowed Im Youngmin to rise as a star. What could his most memorable moment have been?
Youngmin: When we did our first recordings for ‘M! Countdown’, it was really difficult. It was a scene where 101 trainees danced to ‘나야 나’, but we matched the choreography for the entire day and set the formations through the night. Our recordings were the next day, but it was tiring to the point where I wondered whether or not be drained out if this continued. After we finished, I felt a big sense of freedom in thoughts that I successfully did it. Since I successfully did this, I felt that we could endure through almost any difficult situation that may appear.
Finally, the last live broadcast day. While the credits were rolling, Youngmin’s sobbing was captured on screen and made many fans feel sad.
Youngmin: I didn’t even imagine that would get captured (on camera). After it was over, I talked it with a lot of trainees, but Kim Taemin trainee was among one them. Since he was someone who had to leave due to being sick, I wasn’t able to contact him often, but he came to me and asked ‘You had hard time, right?’, but that one phrase made me explode in tears. Since there were a lot of trainees, I thought I wouldn’t be seen. I’m not the type to cry often, but once it exploded, I just refreshingly cried. I even heard ‘You cried prettily’ later on.
Im Youngmin, who went through many complications and is now debuting. It was recently known that he is appearing on tvN’s ‘Problematic Men’, and he is now officially starting promotions. What could his thoughts on his first variety show guesting be like?
Youngmin: The day before the schedule, I really almost threw up. I’m more on the side of liking math and science as well as logics. That’s why I was happy to the point of jumping when I heard about the guesting. A desire to do better formed, so I prepared this and prepared that, and before I knew it, I was so nervous that I was only able to sleep for around an hour the day before. During the recordings, they made the atmosphere very comfortable, so I was able to become less tense from the middle on. Although it’s regrettable that I wasn’t able to talk well, I think it was still fun. I asked the PD-nim to call me another time again. Saying that I can do even better.
Kim Donghyun, who is in charge of MXM’s vocals, revealed that he started his dream of becoming an idol ever since he was in his 3rd year of middle school.
Donghyun: I was in a band for my school club activity, but while performing during festival stages, I naturally formed my dream of becoming a singer. My parents’ strongly opposed at first, but I pleaded to them for a really long time. And my parents’ hearts weakened a lot from that. Now they really like it. They even say ‘Work even harder’.
When asked about how he joined his company, Brand New Music, Kim Donghyun brought up Hanhae’s name. He said that while listening to his songs a lot, he was able to gain a fantasy towards Brand New Music
Donghyun: The teacher who taught my singing had ties with the rookie development head of Brand New Music, so she introduced me to an audition. Since it was a company I really liked, I told her I would definitely do it. Because I had the thought of Brand New is a ‘company that’s good at music’ embedded in my mind. I auditioned with the thought that I would have much to learn and through that tie, I was able to become part of the company like this.
We asked who the role model of Kim Donghyun, who respects all of Brand New Music’s artists including Hanhae, would be besides someone from their company.
Donghyun: There are two people, but for music, it would be Park Hyoshin senior. Ever since I first started music, I wanted to learn from him and I practiced my singing a lot while always watching him. He improves on himself, changes his vocal styles, and even does musicals. Seeing how he works hard in various ways, I thought that I should always learn from him. Also, another person is ZE:A’s Im Siwan senior. He does his role as a member of his team and also receives a lot of acknowledgement as an actor as well. Because I think he’s a really cool person, I want to learn from him. If given the opportunity, I would also like to try out acting.
Kim Donghyun, who received a lot of love during Mnet ‘Produce 101’ Season 2, confirmed his high popularity through subway ads from fans even after being eliminated. To someone like that, when does he feel his popularity the most?
Donghyun: It’s really fascinating when I walk on the streets and they recognize who I am. When we were doing filmings, no one recognized me, but since many are recognizing me now, I feel that I’m receiving an even bigger love. We were given a break after the ‘Produce Finale Concert’ ended, but I was able to slightly feel (my popularity) upon having people from my hometown of Daejeon recognize who I am.
When asked about his most memorable moment during ‘Produce 101’ Season 2 filmings, Kim Donghyun answered, “Everything is memorable.”
Donghyun: But if I had to pick something that was most memorable, there was a time in the middle of filmings where I had to move to the interviewing area. There was a time where the PD-nim rode a golf cart, put me on, and dropped me off at the interviewing area, but during those short 3 minutes, I felt a big sense of freedom. The wind was refreshing and relieving. I remember talking endlessly with the PD-nim.
If you search up the name ‘Kim Donghyun’ on portal sites, there are almost 80 people with the same name. So does he have any thoughts on making a stage name?
Donghyun: I don’t think I’ll use a stage name during MXM promotions. However, won’t I use one later when we become complete and come out as a group? But if I am to use one, I want to use a Korean name rather than a name of a different language. There are many names that are pretty with just using Korean. I especially like pretty names like EXO’s Baekhyun senior, so since my name also has ‘Hyun’, I would like to similarly have a pretty name.
Where does Kim Donghyun, whose self-composing skills are amazing to the point where he participated in the composing of MXM’s new song, ‘I Just Do’, get his inspiration from?
Donghyun: I try to write songs whenever I have a chance. Because I normally enjoy watching movies, I’m the type that gains a lot of inspiration while watching a movie. I also read a lot of books, but I’m also receiving inspiration from Ha Sangwook’s collection of poems. The book I read recently is a book gifted by a friend called ‘The Temperature of Language’. Because my heart feels warm from it and I’m receiving a lot of influence musically, I’m currently trying to read a lot.
TRANS. CR: BRANDNEWBOYS.WORDPRESS.COM (@WOOJINPRK)