25 October 2011

[TRANS] UP2U Interview: Nichkhun, Life From All Angles

Nichkhun, Life from All Angles

“Angle” means perspective, simply stating...people will always be more interested in every angle of a famous celebrity’s life. What do you think it will be like if we got the chance to speak with one of the biggest superstars in Asia about the different angles of his life? We will learn about many angle of his life - angles that no one has ever asked him about, angles that he has never revealed, and angles that people are waiting to learn about – Nichkhun Horvejkul.

His most recent trip to Thailand was as the role as the presenter for Samsung Multiview camera. Nichkhun has an exclusive schedule with many levels, and he had less than 48 hours to be in Bangkok before leaving to promote 2PM’s newest album in many different countries. UP2U was very privileged to be able to work with this well-mannered superstar. Before the interview started, Nichkhun stopped by to give a smile. He told the staff, “I’m very excited because I haven’t had a long sit down interview with a Thai media in a very long time. I really miss answering questions in Thai.” I figured that when Nichkhun talks to others, he calls himself by “Khun” (which in Thai also means “you,” so it can be very confusing for other people to hear initially) and it wasn’t long as I saw him go back and forth greeting people that this young man was very well-mannered and truly cared about the staff members that he works with. The “aura” of this 23 year old shined brightly throughout the room. Have you ever felt…when you sit in front of someone like spotlight just shines on that person? Twenty minutes later, he wasn’t going to come and sing and dance for us, but he was going to sit down and answer the questions that I have prepared…questions that allow us to see the angles that people want to know about this Asian superstar…questions to the answers that you have never heard before.
Okay, here we go…get ready to focus multiple times in order to “capture” the different angles of Nichkhun, and if Nichkhun were in front of you now, he would probably say “Put Your Hands Up.”

Up: You are now the presenter for a camera. In your real life, do you like to take pictures?
Nichkhun: I do like to take pictures, I like to capture memories. Like they say, the only things left are the images we capture.
Up: I want to know what kinds of pictures you like to take.
Nichkhun: I always have a camera with me. I like to take pictures at angles that other people don’t like to take. (laughs) Because taking pictures is pretty independent, I try to be creative. Sometimes I hold the camera up high and take a picture, sometimes I take a picture that isn’t in a normal line of sight (he imitates the gesture), and sometimes I take a picture from the level of the ground. When I show it to my friends, they wonder how I got that kind of picture (smiles). They ask me if I lay on the ground to take the picture or climb up stairs because it’s hard to tell. Like you can see from the CF that just aired, I had fun taking pictures from weird angles. The Samsung Multiview really matches with my picture taking style, others are more likely to be confused about which angle I take pictures from.
Up: Do you like to take pictures of yourself, because on the internet there are lots of your self-portraits?
Nichkhun: I call that Fan Service. If I see something I like I will take a picture and upload it. Sometimes I like to take pictures of myself and post it, so that’s why there are a lot of funny self-portraits. When I took pictures with this camera there was a function to edit the pictures, so sometimes I edited them; it was really convenient. It made taking pictures a lot easier and more fun, and made me want to go out and take more pictures.
Up: You have had your picture taken a lot. Do you have any techniques when others take your picture to make yourself look cool?
Nichkhun: If I know where the camera is, I try not to look. The cameraman will know how to get a good picture himself.
Up: Your mom just told me that before coming here you went to Siriraj hospital. What did you do there?
Nichkhun: Last week, my mom called me and told me that there was going to be a breast cancer event because Thailand is one of the countries with the highest rates of women with breast cancer. When I heard this, I was really surprised and worried, so my mom suggested that I come support this program. So when I got to Thailand, I went to Siriraj hospital; I talked a bit and did some interviews with my mom. It was very fun.
Up: When you come to Thailand, there are media from Seoul who come too. The pictures of you in Thailand seem to be of you with your family and you seem very relaxed.
Nichkhun: When I come to Thailand, for almost every trip, it’s not for vacation. I come often, but I come to work. On some days I am lucky and work ends early and so I am very happy. (laughs) I use that very short amount of time to go be with my family. At those times I am very happy; it’s like getting to recharge myself. When I come to Thailand, I usually stay at a hotel that they prepare for me; I don’t usually get to sleep at home at all. My mom or family members will come hang out with me and I am very happy then.
Up: There is something that people are very happy about. You always wear the wristband “I love the King.”
Nichkhun: My mom bought that wristband for me and she told me “Wear it, honey.” My mom told me the origins of it and I was very touched. From that moment on, I wore it all the time. I feel very proud to be Thai. I am just like everybody else and really love the King. Whenever I go on a show, I will wear it, and I will wear a shirt and tell others to love the King too. To me, the wristband also means “I love Thailand.” When I am over there, I try really hard to keep up with news in Thailand.
Up: Your mom told me that on your family trip to Hua Hin, you told the car to stop suddenly. Everybody in the car was confused. What happened?
Nichkhun: Yes, yes. (smiles) We were driving over a very big bridge. Those who have been to Hua Hin should remember that on the bridge there is a sign that says “We heart the King.” It’s a very cute bridge. When we went past the bridge, I told the driver to stop, and everybody was confused. I ran pretty far back in order to take this picture. I wanted a lot of people to see this picture. I was running til I was out of breath. I took a picture and uploaded it onto Twitter.
Up: Today you are an idol for teenagers across Asia. I want to know how idols give themselves strength.
Nichkhun: I will think of my family: my dad, my mom, think of the people who love me. I believe that no matter who you are – rich or poor, talented or not – no matter who are you, there will be someone who loves and supports you. As for me, I know who those people are, and I will think of them.
Up: Have you had this feeling for a long time?
Nichkhun: Pretty long time. This was a turning point for me when I was started as a trainee at JYP 3 years ago. I knew it was going to hard, rough, and a new starting point, and I was constantly thinking about quitting. If I were to quit, I would have been fine…but there would be others who would be sad. Working in this field for a decent amount of time has taught me that if I fall or am distraught, that I don't fall by myself because those who love me will also fall, physically and emotionally. But if I can run, I can jump, and I am strong, the people who are here (he makes his hand into a fist and pounds it onto his chest), will also have strength with me.
Up: Because of belief.
Nichkhun: Because others believe in me. For the many years that I traveled to Korea and met lots of different people, I learned that those who are idols, those who are superstars, are not doing it for themselves. They live for others, they live for making others happy, they live for the people who love them, live for those who are going to give more than receive. Their work is done for success, for the happiness of the audience, so they have to put in their all into practicing. Before, I didn’t know this. I know where I came from, and I knew I had to find it and build it up because I am a performer that has to convey a message, and it was then that I started to believe.
Up: What has the founder of JYP, Park Jin Young, told you?
Nichkhun: He has told me a lot of things. I learned a lot from him. He tells everyone in the company not to waste your free time sleeping, eating, playing with friends, or having fun. The purpose of being human is to use your time purposefully as much as possible.
Up: What else did he tell you?
Nichkhun: Since the beginning, he said when being a celebrity, don’t try to be a good person.
Up: Why?
Nichkhun: Because trying to be a good person isn’t good. Being a celebrity, honestly, is about creating the image “I’m a good person” like this and that. But if one day, it turns out that we’re not really that type of person, and our true personality is exposed in a picture or video, what are we left with? Don’t be someone like that. But be a good person who is not fake and nothing will be able to bring us down. Thinking like a good person and acting like a good person is like a thief who becomes a monk and pretends to be a good person. One day someone will find out that he is a thief who is pretending to be a monk; it’s even more devastating.
Up: That follows your concept: Nichkhun who has a goodness as a foundation.
Nichkhun: I have to thank my mom and dad for that.
Up: Today, how much do you have to practice as 2PM?
Nichkhun: There’s an easy way to think about it: one show, one month of practice.
Up: What work are you focusing on now?
Nichkhun: Right now I am abroad more than I am in Korea. We are currently on our Asian Tour traveling to many different countries. We have work in Japan and China, we are performing at different places in order to promote our new album Hands Up.
Up: Many fans want to know when you go on tour, what is your life like?
Nichkhun: We lack sleep. (laughs) We have to manage our time both for traveling, preparing to perform for each show, and meeting our fans. Before each piece of work is released, we practice very hard. We practice until it’s in our blood. When the time comes, everything will fall into place. You can say that we practice until it becomes natural instinct. On our schedule, we practice until 2AM, and then after that we go record in the studio until 6AM, and then meet at 9AM, and get our hair and makeup done and go to our next schedule. We really get about 3 hours of sleep each day; we would do that for weeks.
Up: Did you ever think for a second, “Why am I doing this?”
Nichkhun: For those who are waiting for us, for our work.
Up: You had said once in an interview that when you’re not working you like to be relaxed, and just be in sandals and going to various places. When you are in Seoul or Bangkok, do you get to do that?
Nichkhun: (Laughs loudly) I do. I do have time, but it’s hard to believe. (smiles) On days when I have more free time, I will go work out or go practice, and go fix the areas of myself that I am not yet pleased with. I think if I have time, I shouldn’t waste it with no purpose. I think I've become a workaholic. I say this because my experiences have taught me that I am a performer and so I have to be ready both physically and emotionally, so when I have time I prepare myself.
Up: You have talked about being a performer twice now. You don’t call yourself a superstar?
Nichkhun: Superstar is what others call me. But for me, I and 2PM are a performance group.
Up: Have you ever talked with Chansung Taecyeon Wooyoung Junho Junsu about where you want to stick your flag on the ground?
Nichkhun: We want to go all over the world. We want to perform for people in Europe, Africa, America - we want to go everywhere. The thing I am most proud of when we go perform elsewhere is when my fans hold light signs of my name in Thai. And they’re not even Thai, they’re of other nationality who went to practice to read and write Thai in order to come tell me in Thai “Hello Nichkhun. I love you. I love Thailand.” When I see this, I am truly touched beyond words.
[T/N: For those who want to know, it’s สวัสดีค่ะ นิชคุณ ฉันรักคุณ ฉันรักเมืองไทย = Sa-wat-dee-ka Ni-cha-khun Chun-Ruk-Khun Chun-Ruk-Mueng-Thai……just in case you ever meet him :P]
Up: When you went to Japan, one TV company did a scoop that you caused South Korea to have “Thai Fever.” Please explain this to me.
Nichkhun: This is something that I am very proud of. It is really an honor that Korean fans have an interest in wanting to learn about Thai culture, learn how to cook Thai food, and learn the Thai language A,B,C in order to come greet me. Sometimes they cook Thai food for me as well. I want to say that deep inside I know that if other Thai celebrities were given the same opportunity as me, they would be able to do a much better job than me for sure. I really believe that. I know where I came from; I truly came from zero, I really didn’t have anything. For example, the group Bodyslam (a rock group in Thailand), if they had the opportunity to represent Thailand and to be able to go on an international stage or Korean stage, P’Thoon (one of the members of Bodyslam) would be great for sure. He’s very talented. I’ve followed P’Thoon since his first album. Or even P’ Ben Chalatit, he’s such a great singer. The members of this group have it all. Korean people love Thai people, so these people would be able to go far.
Up: On the flip side, there have been a lot of Thai people who have learned Korean and devoted themselves because they love K-pop. Do you want to tell them anything?
Nichkhun: Going to learn Korean or having an interest in another culture isn’t wrong at all. It helps to open our perspective of the viewpoints of those in other countries. Sometimes Thai people think in one way and those in other countries think differently from us. If we know this, it will benefit us. We will be able to advance ourselves and be able to come advance our Thailand too. In today’s world, we have to be open-minded; we have to know others in order to know ourselves more. I think it’s good that they are learning Korean, it’s better than them going to do something that burdens others. But the most important thing is that they should not forget about being Thai. We were born Thai. We can go learn about other countries, but we should be able to go boast to others about being Thai. I am often asked when I came from and I proudly say “I’m Thai. I come from Thailand.”
Up: On twitter, you follow one novelist named Paul Coelho (@paulcoelho). Do you like to read his books?
Nichkhun: I like one of his books, “The Alchemist.” It’s about chasing after your dreams. I highly recommend you to read it. The sooner you can read it, the better. He teaches you how to live a life with meaning. I really like one thing he said about someone who fears death is someone who is stupid. Death is already on its way, but instead of fearing it, we should fear living a stupid life before death comes.
Up: What religion do you uphold?
Nichkhun: Buddhism. But unfortunately, I haven’t had time to go to the temple recently. When I was a kid, I was ordained as a young monk (called a “nane”). When I was a kid I liked to play around with my friends, but when I was ordained, I understood what it was like to be calm and be peaceful.
Up: I really can’t help but ask if one day you were no longer part of 2PM, what would you do?
Nichkhun: I want to learn cooking. (smiles) I want to be a chef. Cooking is one form of art; you can eat it, decorate it, and make people happy with it. I think that if I had 2 years, I would go officially study cooking. I want to cook Thai food. I might even want to open a restaurant.
Up: Nichkhun Kitchen?
Nichkhun: Sounds good. I think I’ll use this name. (loudly laughs) It should be fun.
Up: What kinds of food have you made already?
Nichkhun: I can make various spaghetti, but I really want to learn to make Thai food, but living abroad, I can’t really make it because it’s hard to find the ingredients, like basil leaves and lemongrass.
Up: It seems like your youngest sister, Cherleen, is interested in the entertainment business. Have you told her anything?
Nichkhun: I have. I told her that if you’re going to work here, I told her truthfully that there are lots of things that are fake. There is nothing that is permanent. People can love us one day, and another day when we do something wrong, then there will be people who will stop loving us and just brush us aside. It’s something that we all have to be careful about. I tell Cherleen all the time that no matter what we do, we have to remember who we are, where we came from, and how hard we have to try and practice at each step.
Up: You have answered each of these questions very seriously. In reality are you a funny or serious person?
Nichkhun: I have both sides. From my background, I am not really a Mama’s boy. I have lived far from my parents since I was a kid, learning in different countries. At the age of 12, I was already living alone. Most of the time, I am living in a new culture. This has taught me responsibility and humility. So if it is a serious matter, I will be very serious and strict. Many people say that I am the most adult of the group. If it’s about work, I admit that I am very serious about it.
Up: Talk about the single Hands Up that is very popular now.
Nichkhun: This album shows a 2PM that is very relaxed. There is less choreographed dancing. We wanted to just perform. We’re not doing much acrobatics in this song. The concept is just to be an entertainer, play with the audience, and just have fun.
Up: In the entertainment industry, it seems like the trend is to have other artists featuring. If you got to choose, who would you want to feature with?
Nichkhun: There are lots. For example, the group ETC (a Thai group), I acted in a music video for them. They also invited me to sing with them, they said they would write and compose a song for me. Or maybe P’Boyd Kosiyapong (a famous Thai composer) is someone that I dream about working with. Another person is P’Tor Saksit (a Thai singer, the person who was in the Brand CF with Khun). We talk with each other all the time, and I’ve told P’Tor that we should jam together sometime, but currently we are both busy with our own work. I still have lots of projects over there. But if it would be possible, I would like to have some works in Thai. I definitely want to sing for Thai people; perhaps a song that is easy to listen to with maybe a piano in the background.
Up: You are someone that many people want to meet and take a picture with. What about you, who do you want to take a picture with?
Nichkhun: Many people. I am someone who listens to Thai music and follow a lot of Thai singers. I really like P’Palmy (a Thai singer who has a more hippy style to her songs), I’ve listened to her ever since I was a kid, ever since her first album. I want to meet her, to take a picture with her, and to ask her for her autograph as a keepsake.
Up: In 2012, is there a movie that you will act in?
Nichkhun: It’s in the works, there should be good news soon. I can’t reveal the details yet. It’s a Thai movie. There is a Japanese movie coming out soon, and I guest star in a small role.
Up: Have you had the chance to meet Rain, to speak with him, or hang out with him?
Nichkhun: I have. We have been bowling, it was fun. He is a senior who is very nice and is very disciplined. We have talked about work and various other things. 2 words that he has said to me and that I distinctly remember the most are “World Class.”
Up: You are good looking and are fit. Have you ever been embarrassed?
Nichkhun: Yes, I have. (whispers) There was one period where I had lots of pimples. This is a lot better. I was stressed, and look what happened (laughs)
Up: From zero, you were able to work up to this point. What other challenges would you like to tackle?
Nichkhun: (He sits still for a moment to think) Hollywood. It’s something that I am always thinking about. If I am able to get to that point, I would be very proud as an Asian person, and as a Thai person. If I were able to get to that point, people would know more about Thai people, more about Thailand.
Up: If you had to work harder than this, practice more than this, lose more sleep than this, you would do it.
Nichkhun: That would be okay. That would be okay for sure. To get to that point, there will be hundreds of opportunities waiting. If one opportunity opens, I will go. I know myself that I can do it hmmm….I think I can manage. I will keep going further.

More pictures here.

Source: http://www.ebooks.in.th/ebook/2561/UP2U_Ma...ne_issue_6_OCT/ (available for download)
Translated by whiterose @ wild2day.org

May be taken out with credits.http://wild2day.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=11451


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