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[INTERVIEW] Super Junior’s Kyuhyun set to juggle multiple balls

  • Published : May 21, 2019 - 16:40
  • Updated : May 21, 2019 - 16:40

Back from military duty, singer-turned-TV personality talks his hiatus, new album, hoping to become a multitalented act


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Fresh off his mandatory military service in May, Cho Kyu-hyun, one of Super Junior’s main vocalists, seemed rather shy and awkward in front of reporters as he sat down to discuss his latest single EP.

Before kicking off the interview that was recently held in Seoul, he murmured, “I ask for your understanding, as this is my first interview in a long time.”

Such concerns, however, were needless, as the outspoken and voluble singer soon got back on track and candidly talked about various topics ranging from his time in the military and his new album to how he is planning his career.

“Right after being discharged, I was busy with shooting variety shows and recording new songs. In the army, I experienced the joys and sorrows of a working man, waking up at 8 a.m. and getting off at 6 p.m. every day. Like others, I’ve always waited for the weekend,” said Cho.


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Having served as a commuting public service worker due to physical injuries from a car accident in 2007, the singer was lucky enough to invest his free time in self-improvement during his service term.

He not only had time to receive skin care, but also took vocal Japanese and piano lessons in order to maintain his musical prowess. He also kept communicating with fellow artists and bandmates by attending their concerts and discussing music with them.

“By the time I got discharged, my vocals improved a lot. Up until enlistment, I barely had time to rest, working every day. The key to bettering my vocals was to give it rest,” said the singer.

Whilst keeping himself busy, the versatile singer’s most fruitful military moment came as he vacationed on Jeju Island during his leave, where he crafted “Aewol-ri,” a poignant ballad track that leads his new solo EP “The Day We Meet Again.” Named after the island’s scenic region called Aewol, the song depicts a heartbreak that comes from one-sided love and consequently giving up on one’s romance.

The born-to-be balladeer said that he is highly satisfied with the emotion-filled album, which also features another ballad track “The Day We Meet Again,” as he filled it with his favorite sonic style.

“Serving in the army, I thought that I should create music that I’m fond of rather than the one that suits the public. That way, I think I can reciprocate to people who love my music. I can happily sing regardless of my songs’ ranking on charts,” said Cho.


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Cho admitted that he is fortunate to resume his career both as a musician and TV personality right upon being discharged from the army. The multitalented act has already confirmed to feature in the second season of tvN’s popular variety show “Kang’s Kitchen,” as well as multiple other shows, while leaving his position as a long-time host of MBC’s talk show “Radio Star.”

Asked why he decided to quit the role, Cho confessed that he’s long been distressed by malicious comments he’s received while serving as the program’s host.

“In the past six years, I realized that I’ve got so many naysayers. Due to the nature of ‘Radio Star,’ I had to act somewhat nasty and rough at the show’s guests, and a lot of people actually mistook me as a rude and mean person,” he said.

“It has been really stressful. I recorded the show right until enlistment, and I couldn’t sleep that last night. So I decided to tell the show’s staff that I willquit. While I’m very grateful for the show for making me famous, I couldn’t enjoy it anymore.”


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The highly-acclaimed vocalist also shared that he’d tried to cut back on featuring on TV shows as he worries that they would overshadow his efforts as a serious musician.

“But I just couldn’t resist offers, as I’m the kind of person who does anything that comes my way. I hope to have a balance between my role as a musician and TV personality,” he said, while emphasizing that he plans to focus more on his activity as Super Junior member and his solo work this year.

Wrapping up the conversation, Cho looked back on his almost decadelong career, reminiscing how he’d failed to receive the spotlight at its early phase and expressing gratitude for being able to stay active.

“For about five years since my debut, I used to stay in our dorm while other members were out actively promoting themselves. Since then, I decided to do my best on everything. I hope the public appreciates my new songs, or listens to it at least once, as it would be too sad if they get forgotten,” he said.

“The Day We Meet Again” was released on local streaming sites Monday evening.

By Hong Dam-young (lotus@heraldcorp.com)