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- Concert sold out in 2 minutes, Shin Hye Sung’s reaction is? (Interview)
I met with the lead vocal of group “Shinhwa”, that is becoming the ‘Shinhwa (legend)’ of Korean pop, Shin Hye Sung. It happened to be on the day his 5th solo album “Shin Hye Sung Winter Album Winter Poetry” was released, and perhaps it’s because of the weather that suddenly turned cold, he didn’t look to be in a good condition. I heard that he’ll be appearing on music programs a few days later, and carefully asked if he needed to take care of his voice, but he said, while smiling lightly, that he’ll be fine once he goes back to rest. Next to me sat a polite young man who was quiet next to me but whose eyes shone brightly while persistently explaining his music and songs.
◆ As time passed, I became able to sing honestly and frankly
Q: When was it that you started singing well?
Shin Hye Sung: Me? To say that myself. (laughs) When I was young, I generally sang well when my mother and father asked me to sing. But, when going on picnics with friends of your parents, as they asked you to try singing, they’d tell you they’d give you allowance isn’t it. I couldn’t sing well during times like that. Because I was shy. I’ll cry if they continue asking. Unexpectedly, my younger brother had more talent for that kind of stuff. He danced and sang well in front of people. Anyway, I didn’t have that kind of talent and singing, just a little… My father sings well. He sings trot well and I think I’m like my father in that aspect. Karaoke started appearing during my middle school days. If I went along with my friends and sang, it wasn’t to the extent of “Wow~!” but “He sort of can sing?”. It wasn’t like I sang extremely well.
Q: When songs did you generally sing when you went to the karaoke?
Shin Hye Sung: My friends liked it when I sang Lee Seung Hwan’s songs. That was when my voice was changing so the feeling was sort of a little similar. (laughs)
Q: Something commonly talked about is the characteristic of SM vocals. You probably didn’t sing like that then?
Shin Hye Sung: I often hear that. Why does all the tones of the vocalists from SM sound the same. Whether it’s me, or Kangta, or Fly to the Sky’s Hwan Hee, it was like that, and also Junsu. There was once talk on whether only people who sang like that were picked. During our time, we sang songs by Yoo Young Jin sunbae-nim so we learnt from him, and we were young then weren’t we. Obviously we were influenced. But I think, should I say it’s a misunderstanding or that it’s a prejudice… . I felt it was a pity because I thought “My voice and that person’s voice is different, and the way we sing is different too, why do they say it looks similar?”. So of course I thought “In that case, I should change completely.” on purpose. Ah, it wasn’t 100% on purpose. There was also a part of it that changed naturally as I grew older. If, in the past, I sang with more technique and also with more vibration for a R&B feel, from a certain point in time, I went with singing more honestly and frankly.
Q: Roughly when was that?
Shin Hye Sung: Starting from my solo album isn’t it? Not from the 1st album, but probably around my 2nd or 3rd album. I started thinking that singing honestly, naturally and a little more emotionally seemed better than over-doing ad-libs in songs. I think I gradually started thinking that, as compared to appearing cool, I should be as faithful to the song as possible.