Elle: Would you like to be more comprehensive and well rounded?
Lay: While keeping the things I’m good at in check, I would also like to expand on other aspects as well. For example, even though I debuted with dance, I have been working hard on piano, guitar, composing, arranging, singing, etc.
Elle: Do you think this kind of understandable, clear image is a good thing or a bad thing?
Lay: As for artists, “Art does not pressure the body” is a proverb I have always really believed in. In addition, since I’m a Libra, I tend to seek and chase after perfection and harmony, so I encourage myself a lot. I work hard to make every aspect of what I do right.
Elle: From an artist’s perspective, a comprehensive, well-roudned personality is an advantage, right?
Lay: Yes yes yes!! The mature type can, like me, showcase more things.
Elle: Is your own personality the slow type?
Lay: I don’t have the best personality. Usually I am really calm, but sometimes I can have outbursts after accumulating feelings over a long period of time, it can shock people.
Elle: If there were a good opportunity within the film industry, would you take it?
Lay: Of course, because a good acting opportunity can also help me to write music. I can also learn a lot in the film industry and make new friends, and maybe the friends I make also like music, that would be even better!
Elle: What if you were asked to write the title song?
Lay: Wow… If they accepted a song I wrote as the title song, then I wouldn’t ask for any appearence fees!
Elle: What are your goals and aspirations in music?
Lay: In terms of music, our sunbaes are already a great aspiration. I had never thought to bring Chinese music to different places, but I have thought of this: I am part of a Chinese group, but I am also from a Korean entertainment company who trained me to be an Asian star, so our promotions are around the globe. I hope that through this type of channel and bridge, there will be some sort of unity. I am giving myself 10 years of time, no, maybe 5, to lead the Chinese music industry myself. This is my biggest aspiration.
Elle: Pretend that you have returned to the Chinese music environment, and you find that it does not live up to your expectations. What do you do then?
Lay: I am very willing to accept failures, very happy to accept failures. In music, there is no right answer, there is only an approach. When the music you make: your beat, your melody, your lyrics, has two out of the three that captivates the audience, then this song is pretty much complete. You cannot possibly expect everyone to like your music, but if people can cry with you and feel your emotions after they hear the song, then it is good.
Elle: What kind of music do you usually like to listen to?
Lay: I really like to listen to the songs I compose myself. Do you want to listen? Recently, I’ve written a rap, a demo, which has a lot of ties with Chinese popular music (When the interviewer was listening to the song, Lay was there explaining the meaning of the song and also accompanied the music with his own dance moves…….)
Elle: Then, do you watch television dramas for inspiration?
Lay: I really do not have time to watch! Wasn’t ‘My Love From Another Star’ really popular? I never had time to watch that. I always thought that it was about a girl who came over from another planet, and then there was a series of events that happened.
Elle: What do you think you will be like in 5 or 10 years time?
Lay: Besides my career, it would probably be the time to find a girlfriend, right? Or marry? Hahahaha!
Elle: Then what about in terms of career?
Lay: Of course I cannot give up my career. My dream is pretty enormous, so the preparation I have to do is a lot as well. I am always accumulating and building up, because I hope to lead the Chinese music industry well.
Elle: How did you acquire and excel in your meticulous and courteous qualities?
Lay: I was raised by my grandpa and grandma since my youth, they were both teachers, so they influenced me a lot. Also, I am a person who respects my elders. When I first arrived at the company, there was a lot of etiquette. When cultures collide, it really makes one’s head hurt. In Korea, people respect and emphasize status: you have to greet and bow to people who are above you, and you can use informal language to people in a status below you. But, I have been educated in manners since I was small, so I thought that anyone and everyone who helped me, everyone who works on my behalf behind the scenes, they are all people I am grateful to, they are all people who are above me in status.
To fans, this is even more pertinent. We do not have a very direct way of communicating with them, and I have never said, “You guys are my girlfriends”, or things like that, but everyone knows that it is a feeling that wholly exists. All we really do is put on some makeup, wait in an airconditioned room, and then go on stage to perform and sweat a lot. But the fans, they probably wait from early in the morning, the day before yesterday, buy tickets more than a month before, and sometimes they even visit us at the airports, so I think that the love that our fans (who are also our friends) is worthy of respect and love. If my bow can represent thanks and respect, I hope you all don’t think I bow too much; the things you all do for us, I could bow a hundred or a thousand times and it wouldn’t be enough.
Elle: Can you tell us about your childhood?
Lay: Since young, my mother loved showing me videos of Michael Jackson; at the time the Moon Walk was really popular, and I wanted to learn it, but I couldn’t learn it no matter how hard I tried. In high school, I started to show interest in Popping, and now I am our group’s lead dancer. I think in the road I took, the most important aspect is that you have to work hard and perservere to train. I also tell my friends, no matter what field the company they’re entering is in, they have a good chance of doing well there. When I was still a trainee, I would practice over 10 hours per day, and I could also spend nights where I would not return home to sleep. My motivation was drawn from the multiple instructors who who did not approve of me for my poor results, so I had to make some good results. People who look at you with contempt can drive you to work especially harder.
Elle: What is your favorite motto in life?
Lay: Work hard, work hard, and then work harder1
Elle: Please state 3 good points about yourself
Lay: So far, I have only listed one: Gratefulness. This is absolutely truthful, but I have to think about the other ones…. I think I am a person who has talent, hahaha, and also perserverance!
Elle: Lastly, please say something for ELLE MEN’s one year anniversary!
Lay: Firstly, to be able to represent EXO and attend ELLE MEN’s photoshoot, to be able to interact with Hong Kong friends and interact with them face to face, I feel very blessed and happy. During the Hong Kong concert I really wanted to say something: Thank you so much to everyone who came to watch our concert! Thank you everyone! So I also hope that EXO will have better and more promotions, and show everyone a better side of us. I hope everyone will continue to love ELLE MEN, and continue to love EXO!2
Credit: translation: dailyexo.tumblr.com, Source: Elle Magazine. (1Note: this phrase is used in the profile of Lay’s weibo account, 2Note: said in Cantonese)
Elle: The members are saying that you are growing up very fast. Do you feel it yourself?
Sehun: Yes, everyone who sees me says that. I am very tall, my shoulders are getting broader, and it looks like it is going to continue. Thinking about it, I have changed a lot since when I first debuted….but I hope I will stop growing, as I have grown too much (smile).
Elle: With you being cold on the outside and warm on the inside, do you get mistaken as unfriendly due to your appearance?
Sehun: (Acting awkward) based on expressions, especially when I have no expression, I tend to look like I am very aloof and arrogant. But my character is not like that, fans know it. But in the beginning, people who don’t know me well could be mistaken. The truth is; I am not a bad child, but a kind hearted child (said with a smile)
Elle: When being mistaken, do you feel disappointed?
Sehun: Yes, at the start I felt hurt, but now i know where my problem is, so to clear up everyone’s misunderstandings, I have been making some cheerful expressions.
Elle: When conversing with someone, do you take the initiative or do you wait for someone to start the conversation?
Sehun: I don’t take the initiative.
Elle: Can you tell us about your childhood?
Sehun: How did I grow up? (Suddenly turning towards Lay “Hyung, how did you answer?”, Lay: “I said I worked very hard to grow up”) I worked very hard to grow up (tape recorder replaying)…
Hahahaha! (After laughing alot) Alright, there is this very interesting thing, when I was studying in Primary 6, I was eating tteokbokki at my neighbourhood nearby when I was scouted by SM Entertainment, if I didn’t eat that at that time, I wouldn’t have become a member of EXO (everyone laughing)
Elle: Being a dance addict, what is the biggest charm of dance in your opinion?
Sehun: Showing a different side of one’s self. Very difficult isn’t it? I find it tough too.
Elle: Do you care more about the technique or feel of dance?
Sehun: Both are equally important, and very difficult. But I think I am the feel kind. (peeks at Lay who is opposite, “Hyung, what should I say for this, hahaha!”, this time round Lay stuffed rice into his mouth while saying : “I dont want to be here anymore, you don’t even answer properly”)
Elle: Is it because of your interest in dancing that you’re good friends with Donghae sunbae?
Sehun: Nope, it has no relation with dancing at all. When I first entered the company as a trainee, Donghae hyung was the first person that talked to me. From then on, from practising to debut, he has always taken care of me, so we have this fate.
Elle: What is the compliment that Donghae hyung has given you that makes you happiest?
Sehun: He has never given me a compliment…..
Elle: Did he say anything that has hurt you?
Sehun: That’s also a no, hahaha. In my memory, the most memorable thing he had said to me —— [sharpen your equipements]
Elle: Please state 3 good points about yourself.
Sehun: Hmm… (half a minute has passed)…
Sehun: No no! If there is a good thing, I really have no idea. Noona, please tell me. (Turn towards coordi noona who acts busy)
I feel that I am a very interesting child, number 2 would be that I am a very warm person, unlike my aloof appearance. Yes yes yes(national language) if you want me to compliment myself, I will say that I can look stylish in anything I wear (said shyly in a soft voice)
Elle: What is your favourite motto in life?
Sehun: You only live once, do the things that makes me happy, live life happily.
Elle: What do you worry about the most?
Sehun: For me, I am constantly worried about our members.
Elle: Which member do you worry about the most?
Sehun: All! I worry about all the members. We, EXO, have a long way to go - so I have to worry about each and every member.
Elle: Because you are the maknae, do the members not take notice of you?
Sehun: Of course not, they couldn’t1 (Laughs)
Elle: Lastly, please say something for ELLE MEN one year anniversary!
Sehun: Firstly, congratulations! (clapping) I hope that this magazine will reach its 10th anniversary, and even its 100th anniversary. That we, EXO, can celebrate such a meaningful event with you, I feel very honoured and happy, the photoshoot today was also very interesting. I hope we can have a photoshoot of EXO as a whole the next time, thank you!
Credit: translation: dailyexo.tumblr.com, Source: Elle Magazine. (1Note: Meaning that it’s impossible for the members to disregard him)