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Henry KKBOXHK Interview – Part 1 – Music and performance
Title: The Multi-talented Super Junior-M Henry
[Intro not interesting, so not translating]
Q: This is your first solo album and you’re also the first SM Entertainment artist to have a solo debut in 13 years. How do you feel?
A: I wasn’t under a lot of pressure at first, but after hearing you describe me in that way, I do feel that I’m carrying a tremendous burden. That’s why I’ve spent a lot of time preparing for this album. I want to bring the best music and stages to the audience. At the moment, I feel that I haven’t done too badly. I’m not only speaking of the title song, ‘Trap’, but also other songs on the album which I composed. Most of my time was spent on the composition process. Although there are only 6 songs on the album, we actually recorded 17/18 songs from which we chose the best 6. A lot of time was also spent on deciding what concepts would best match with the musical style.
Q: Of the 6 songs, which is your favorite?
A: I don’t have a favorite because each song has its own unique style. When I feel like having fun, I listen to ‘Ready 2 Love’ because it reminds me of club music. When I feel a bit down, I listen to ‘I Would’. If I’m out having fun with friends, I listen to ‘Holiday’.
Q: You’re able to sing, dance, compose music and lyrics. That’s very multi-talented. How would you describe your musical style?
A: I’d say that I’m not tied down by one particular style as I enjoy a variety of styles. What has influenced me the most is American pop music, hip hop and R&B etc. Because my personality is pretty outgoing, I prefer music that is rhythmically strong. Recently, I’ve been listening to Justin Timberlake’s new album. He’s really cool. As for Hong Kong artists, I’ve enjoyed Jackie Cheung’s music since I was a child. He is just superb and my favorite song of his is ‘A Goodbye Kiss’.
Q: Where do you derive your inspiration when writing songs?
A: A lot of times, I get it from listening to other people’s music. When I hear something that I like, I’d think, “I have to rush back to the studio and compose a new song!” Often, I get inspired when I’m overseas, just like arriving in HK today and looking at the ocean view immediately made me want to return to the studio and compose a song about HK.
Q: When did you begin taking an interest in music?
A: I started violin lessons when I was 5, piano lessons when I was 6. At that time, I wasn’t totally immersed because it was my mom who made me take lessons. It wasn’t until when I was 10 and won an award at a competition that I truly began developing an interest in music. As for composing, I only started learning after I arrived in Korea. I didn’t particularly have a huge interest in popular music (nor was I really exposed to it) before arriving in Korea. After that, I began producing pop music. It must have been 5 or 6 years since I began composing. At that point, I had debuted for 2-3 years and craved a breakthrough, and also really wanted to create my own music.
Q: How do you prepare yourself before a performance?
A: It’s very important for me to fully prepare for every aspect of my performance. In the past when I performed with Super Junior-M, I only needed to do my own part well. This time, I perform on my own from beginning to end. Since I have to sing and dance at the same time, I often ran out of breath in the middle when I first started practising. That was why since a year ago, I began training myself by singing as I jogged. Right now, I can manage but still need to continue to practise.