06 January 2012

[Interview] Nickhun from Dichan (Thai magazine) - Part 1

Nichkhun Horvejkul : The superstar to fall for

Thai-English : Offogato @2pmalways

[T/N: In the beginning, the writer talks about how K-wave hits Asia with Korean dramas, music, beauty products and how 2PM is popular in Thailand with 6 beastly members including Nichkhun who is from Thailand. Nichkhun is also famous in Thailand with many local CF under his belt. He even has his own wax figure in Thailand etc.]

“My life in Korea is quite chaotic, unconscious (laugh.) There are things to do all the time, if there is no work on schedule, I need to go workout or practice.

…My schedule each day is completely varied, depending on when it’s done, sometimes my work ends in the morning, late morning or before midnight. I then go to the gym before 1 am in the morning.”

It’s not surprising how Nichkhun keeps his body fit and healthy even though he does not have much time to rest. He does not look too exhausted either. His face without make-up is clean and looks healthy. He has dark eyebrows and beautiful eyes. His eyes are believed to be samples to many aesthetic surgery clinics. He even said in an interview once that he thought his “eyes” are the best things on him.

Nichkhun looks very much like Korean that it is hard to believe he is Thai. He also speaks Korean fluently.

“Korean language is hard to learn. I started it from zero, from not knowing anything, anyone. At first they put me to a school but I am a person who hates going to those cramp schools. It is kind of boring to me so I asked for a teacher to teach me at the company for one on one studying instead. I began to improve my Korean when I started to work. I got to talk more with friends. The situations also forced me to speak.

…At first there was this friend in the band (Taecyeon) who can speak English so I barely talked in Korean and spoke in English only until I got punished (laugh.) If I spoke one English word, I would be fined for 100 Won. I paid the fines a lot (laugh.)

…I am not a picky person when it comes to living or eating. The cultures among Asian countries are not much different.

…I spent my life in abroad since I was young. When I went to overseas for the first time, I could not speak English at all and I went to school. Then it became my habits to learn things on my own, to live by myself. Therefore, it is not too hard for me to live in Korea”

[T/N] The writer talks about Khun’s life in the US, he was born in the US and went back to study in Grade 9. Khun was scouted in Los Angeles by JYP.

“They asked me to talk at Starbucks shop near my house. I told them I did not prepare so I would rather just have a talk with them.

…It ended up that I was deceived (laugh.) They set up camera in front of the shop and asked me to introduce myself, to dance and sing. I did not realize how I did those things. I was embarrassed but I did everything they told me to.

… After I was qualified, it took me 2-3 months to make a decision to go to Korea. They sent contracts to my parents since I was under 18 at the time. It also took further 2-3 months to rewrite contracts until I was signed to the company.

…The company told my mother that they saw something in me which I still have no clue what is that thing they saw (laugh.)”

The company might see some charisma in him as it is not easy for Korean people to accept foreign artists.

There was one person who encouraged Nichkhun to go to Korea. That person is his grandmother.

“I did not know anything about K-Pop but my grandmother is a big fan of Rain (laugh). She bought DVD of “Full House drama” and repeatedly watched it at home. I told her that the company that Rain was in came to have audition with me and wanted me to be in Korea. My grandmother told me to accept the offer right away (smile.)

… At the time Rain was very popular from the drama Full House which aired in Thailand and China. K-pop wave was also starting to take over. It was also a good opportunity for me not to push myself to hard in order to be known. When I was debut, K-pop was already a hit.

…I thought K-pop was known from dramas before its music.

…When people watch Korean dramas, they always talk how Korean actors are good at crying and girls love those kinds of warm images from the actors. Korean dramas are good at portraying those scenes so they became so popular. Then people started to check on Korean music as well.

…For music industry, the training and the concepts of album, make-up, and hairstyles are deliberately done professionally. You need to be trained and practiced for 2-3 years before releasing an album. They will not allow any failure at all cost. Good well-trained bands are to be popular no matter what because they invest a lot. They will not let their money wasted for nothing.

…For our band, it began from 15 trainees. They tried to match one person to another and tried on variety of concepts to see if it works. In the end, we became 2PM and 2AM.

…In this band, I am not a vocalist. I am more like a mascot of the band. I am not the main performer but my image makes our band standing out in one way.

...I also have to practice for singing and dancing but they concentrate on building image on me to go along with the band. The concepts for performances on stage, for TV shows or commercial ads are all different. For example there are members who are put to work on acting.

…We help one another. Among 6 members, some members are better in dancing or singing than the other. It is impossible for us all to be equally good at something. We all have each responsibility to do our best in what we are good at.”

Nichkhun admits that not too long after 2PM debut, his band was popular to its prime. The band is in the level of superstar and Nichkhun said he was surprised and shocked.

"I was shocked and surprised how I am standing where I am when the opportunity can happen to anybody.

...In the past, I never thought that I could perform anything in front of people. I was a shy boy and choked up when speaking in front of the classroom. I never expected to be able to stand in public singing and dancing in front of thousands of people. I was not confident."

...The most memorable moment for me is when we received Artist of the year award two years ago. It was such a meaningful award to any artists and we was chosen to get it that year. We was so delighted and ecstatic thinking that we made it."

Nichkhun refers to the Artist of the Year and Best Male Group awards from one of significant music awards of Korea, MAMA Award (Mnet Asian Music Award) in 2009.

Those awards were the best things that happen to him ever since he walked on this path. There are yet many challenges awaiting for him in the future.


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