[INTERVIEW] K-pop Idol, top star of the Korean Boom: “I felt trully burning passion in Chile”


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Junsu Xia caused furor when he came with his band JYJ, but now he debuts solitary on September 10th at the Teatro Caupolican. “Fans around the world love powerful, sexy performances with an unique style”, thinks the young man of 25 years old about k-pop, that took over the West.

Besides cellphones and TVs, everyday Korea exports a little more their culture: singers, soap operas and food conquer the West.
In Chile, korean restourants -mainly in the Patronato area- are huge. But the asian presence is what made urban tribes irrupt, adictted to K-pop or Korean pop.
In fact, “Santiago se paraliza por el Kpop” (Santiago paralizes because of K-pop) is the motto of the flashmob (urban intervention) with which fans of this genre have taken Santiago by surprise with a dance with the new CD of Junsu Xia (key artist of this moment) to give their message.

-parts not related to Junsu were omitted-

With an androgen look, part of a milimetrically calculated esthethic, and catchy music, the pop singer with an unpronounceable name of 25 years old, debuts in the country as a solo artist.
The also actor and ex-member of the legendary TVXQ, comes back after he visited as a part of JYJ in March last year, when fervent fans were awake for 2 days waiting for them.

Here, in his first interview, via e-mail, before he comes to Chile.

Junsu: “Korea has become a leader of global culture”

Junsu, the absolute king of pop in his country. And he remembers very well his last visit to Chile: “Chilean fans are very passionate and energetic”.

—How would you describe your new album  “Tarantallegra”? Your videos are very effective, How important is your look?
—The title motive was “Elisabeth” musical. When I interpreted the character of the “Death”, that is neither a human nor a God, but something in between, I imagined a character with a dreaming-like image. When I heard the word Tarantallegra, a spell that makes people dance, I picture the image of a wizard.
—The music has two aspects: listen and see. That’s why the video was released a day before the song. The concept of this album is “unequalled” and I tried to distinguish between music and fashion. I did the best I could to create a perfect performance by adding modernity to the choreography and using extreme hairstyle, make-up and clothes.
—The music is a mix of pop and big orchestra. In this English album, I tried to add an asian taste to it by adding the  kkwaenggwari (traditional korean gong) in the orchestra.

—Your music sounds really comercial, Which are the creative challenges?
— I’m inspired a lot by musicals. I try to find a motive in everything of my daily life. I’m very sensitive, that’s why songs and lyrics come to my mind frequently as I listen to music or travel. When I’m in a musical, I play a character. To become him, I feel a variety of feelings which I express. That affects my music.

—What surprised you about the chilean fans passion for you and your music?
—When I acted on March in Chile, I felt a really strong passion. Even though I’ve been in many stages, I’ll never forget that electrifying feeling. Chilean fans are passionate and energetic, and enjoy the performance itself. Because of this huge passion, I can give 200% of my energy during the presentation.

—What are you going to show in your next concert?
—Some of the strengths of the “XIA” stage are the perfect combination between songs and performances. I hope to use scenery and special effects that I use in big stages.

—My concert will be fun and exciting like the last one. You will hear various genres, such as dance, R&B, pop, ballad, musical numbers and more. There will be also a “Genie time” that my fans loved in the asian tour. In this part, I will talk to my fans and grant them three wishes.

—What do you think about our city?
—Santiago is a very cool and sofisticated city. My staff went to Los Andes and to the harbor and told me of really beautiful places, though I couldn’t go in order to prepare for my show.. As I love the sea, I would like to eat seafood near the beach this time. Everybody was really nice and the sunlight was gorgeous. Santiago gave me a very warm feeling.

—What do you think is fascinating about K-pop?
—It’s hard to say it in one word. It has become a world tendency through Youtube and there are many idols. Fans around the world love powerful and sexy presentations with their unique style.
—As in Latinamerican culture, in Korea people gather there’s music and dancing. That’s why we have great musicians. The genre is very diverse, not just dance, but also hip-hop, rock, R&B and traditional korean music. Though, if you limit the K-pop popularity in one word according to the artist performance, my answer would be “passion”. It’s a very sexy and energetic music.

—Some K-pop artist sound and look the same as American artist like Britney Spear and Justin Timberlake. How they affect you?
—It’s true that northamerican culture has a huge impact in the pop industry around the world. American pop leads the tendencies. When I record a video or think of an Album Cover, I try not to think too much of what the Americans do. I try to create a story and make a whole new concept that I want to perform.
—As the K-pop culture is getting more popular now, artists from other asian countries might be influenced by the Korean concept. However, I’d like to tell youngsters that they should know how to express their own ideas and feeling. In that way, they keep the motivation of their fans and trust themselves to create their own work instead of being shaped as singers.

—Why do you think Korea is so trendy nowadays?
—I think that the craziness for korean idols comes from their abilities. In Korea, singers make a great effort before appearing in stage. They have prepared themselves for it. That’s why they have so many things to show.
—Also, Korea is now called Dynamic Korea. This concept shows how fashionable is Korea and that is full of energy and ideas. That’s why Korea has become a leader in terms of global culture.

credit: Diario La Segunda
Eng Trans: Yukiko@Cassiopeia Chile
Shared by: XIAHpress
Re-up by: iXiahCassie

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