> You’ve always been daring?


> When you suggested completely taking off your lingerie while filming…

Oh, that was because I agreed it would look much better if I took my lingerie off. I’ve always been a very daring person. I even took topless photos when I was working on solo activities as HA:TFELT. I think I’ve become more daring since going to the US.

> Do you like the daring side of yourself?

Yes. But sometimes, I think I’m ‘too much’. It’s sometimes difficult to find where to draw the line. How should I put it, when I sing, I’m very loud and when I dance, I’m very energetic. I think just putting out only half of what I want to would be enough.

> It reminds me of when the five members of Wonder Girls did an interview together in 2008. While everyone was getting changed, you sang at the top of your lungs in an empty studio.

Really? I must have been crazy. Why did I do that? (laughter) I used to do that a lot when I was younger. Once I start singing, it’s hard for me to stop. The other members know exactly when I’m on my way home. It’s because I start singing in the elevator. But I don’t realize I’m doing it…

> In that moment, you seemed very decisive.

But I’m rethinking putting all my efforts into whatever I do… In our company, the atmosphere is that you can take it a little easy. I’ve only started to learn that you shouldn’t make it too obvious that you’ve put in a lot of effort into something.

> Have you changed?

Before, I used to have more greed and was out of touch with reality. People around me have been giving me realistic advices since I was young, but I had completely shut my ears to their words. I used to just tell myself that I didn’t need to listen to them because I would succeed. But we’ve had a lot of ups and downs. Good things have happened and so have bad things. I try to think more realistically now.

> How do you feel when you hear phrases like ‘twists and turns’ or ‘through hell and high water’?

That we’ve lived a very splendid life. Right when we were making a comeback, there was a post going around on Facebook called ‘The best Wonder Girls drama ever’. I read through it and we really did go through hell and high water, with a life full of ups and downs…

> Did you see the comments?

Someone said that they couldn’t write a story like ours even if they tried.

> Is there anyone who makes you mad when you think about it?

These days, I have a hard time remembering people’s faces. It’s so bad that I worry that I have dementia… (laughter)

> This might sound awkward, but are there times when you feel like you’ve gotten old and out of touch?

I do. I’ve been doing a lot of magazine shoots these days, and nowadays, they film videos instead of just taking photos. Before, I would eat whatever I wanted during the magazine shoot because I’d just be taking photos and I assumed they would retouch the photos anyway. But these days, they film videos! Oh, I’m in a lot of trouble. Haha.

> Are you always worried about gaining weight?

To be honest, I make myself lose weight whenever we make a comeback. Although I do think to myself, if only I maintained my weight consistently, I wouldn’t have to lose weight… I told myself, I won’t let myself go, I’m going to be mentally strong and not ruin my body, but I’ve already gained 2 kilograms. I felt bad, so I worked out very hard this morning before coming here.

> Oh… You’ve posted a lot of photos on Instagram of foods like naengmyun (cold noodles) and donkatsu (pork cutlet).

I really like to eat. My entire family is on the chubby side. Ever since I was young, we ate lots of pizza, chicken and burgers. My family especially eats a lot of pork belly. So when I’m on a diet, I don’t go home to see my family very often. Because I get fed meat and fish, and everything else too.

> Were there any concerns you had as a girl group….

But when I was younger, I didn’t put in a lot of effort to look pretty and I’ve never been good at watching my figure. I wasn’t very good at taking care of my fans or acting cute like other girl groups. When I used to see other girl groups, I’d just say, ‘Wow, those guys are really good at that.’

> Wonder Girls has always been different from other girl groups. Yeeun is deeply involved in the composition and lyric-writing process. You guys even play in a band now.

When I first started composing and writing lyrics, people used to say, “Have you guys ever done anything by yourselves? You just put your name on someone else’s work.” It’s because people can’t see what goes on behind the scenes. But, how should I put this, I think I have a lot of aspirations in composing and writing lyrics? I think what I fundamentally want out of this experience is a little different from other idol groups. I’ve been writing my own songs since 2008, and those songs have been consistently included in our albums. Am I upset that people don’t recognize my work? I think I’m actually more surprised that there are people who do recognize and respect my work. For our first album, all we had to do was sing the songs our company put together for us, so it didn’t take that long to make an album. But for our second album <Wonder World>, we all got together and chose the songs we wanted. For this album, we teamed up with composers from the very beginning and talked about what kind of songs we wanted to make.

> When Wonder Girls has to come to a consensus regarding your music, which member takes the lead?

In terms of who has the loudest voice, that would be me. (laughter) The other members always come to me to tell me their opinions. They tell me what they like and what they don’t like, and I pass that along to our company. So I get all the backlash. Some people in our company advise me to not take the responsibility for everything.

> The ‘freestyle’ genre was a suggestion made by the company. What kind of music was Yeeun thinking about ahead of Wonder Girls’ comeback?

I wanted to do more rap-based songs because Yubin and Hyerim are both rappers, and I also wanted to do more dance pop songs that incorporated hip-hop music, but Park Jin Young PD-nim didn’t like those ideas. In <Wonder Party>, I wrote a song called ‘Real’ and I even wrote all the rap verses. Everyone has to agree for a decision to be made regarding Wonder Girls, so I can’t always go in the direction that I want to. But all the things I wanted to do kept building inside of me, which is why I feel like I needed a separate outlet for those ideas as a solo artist. The only thought in my head was that I wanted to do whatever I wanted and everything into it. In some ways, I think I can be a bit self absorbed at times.

> When I was working on ‘Ain’t Nobody’ as a solo performer, I felt like I could push as hard as I needed to for what I wanted.

I had control over what the music videos and stage performances should look like, and I wanted to do something that hadn’t been done before. But I didn’t want to be different just for the sake of being different. I wanted there to be a reason for what I was doing. Instead of doing something for the sake of being pretty or cool, I wanted a song that conveyed a message I wanted to say and a video that connected well with that song.

> You’ve talked a lot about ‘sincerity’. Your new stage name ‘HA:TFELT’ is also derived from ‘heartfelt’. What do you think is the best way to show sincerity?

I think it’s all in the details. Even if I put in 100 percent, the masses only see about 30 percent of that work, so I could just focus on preparing that 30 percent. But wouldn’t true sincerity be working with the mindset that people are going to see the full 100 percent? Most of the time, our voices are tuned when we record songs. Our voices are tuned to perfectly match the song. But that sounds too fake to me. Because a person can’t achieve the same results naturally. Although having our voices tuned might be nicer to listen to because it’s consistent,  I don’t like the idea of it ruining my unique vocal character, so I always get involved in the tuning process. I tend to obsess a little over those details.

> Your lyrics were great because they didn’t feel too polished and refined.

I really enjoy writing lyrics. I’ll start with a small idea, and the more I write, the more ideas I get. I really enjoy that process.

> This is something we’ve noticed, but you talk like a class president would. You would do well in a job interview.

Isn’t that a bad thing for interviews? I try not to do it… I really dislike going off topic or rambling. I try to give logical answers that are always relevant to the question.

> What do guys think of Yeeun?

They’re scared of me. I always keep direct eye contact and I have small pupils. I also hear about what people think of me through others. “Hey, Yeeun is really scary.” Even though I haven’t done anything! Because I’m not the kind of person who just says, “Okay,” and goes along with what other people say, there are people who tell me, “I don’t like girls who are too smart.” Well, good, because I don’t need a guy who thinks like that!

> Some people are just mean… Which part of your face do you like most? My forehead. But when I take photos, it comes out looking too big. So I don’t take a lot of selfies. And I really like the strange-looking dimple that appears when I smile. Because it feels like it’s something that only I have.

**Please take out translations with full credit to Yeeun-Impact.net**

Translations by: Yeeun-Impact.net

Original source + Photo credits: GQ Korea







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