‘Instinctively attracts with his excessive honesty’
Elle Girl, December 2010 issue was Kang Seungyoon’s first solo magazine feature and photoshoot as a 17 year old (Korean age) fresh off the success from Superstar K2 and Instinctively back in December 2010. It was such a lovely call back when Elle Korea featured him again 10 years later in 2020 as returned to his solo ventures: ‘Back to me’
Here’s his video interview-and-bts & full-length published interview with English subs/trans now – special thanks to @4winnr for her invaluable help translating!
Instinctively attracted by his excessive honesty
Kang Seungyoon, the idol of ‘Superstar K2’. His unbelievable confidence and excessive honesty is Instinctively attractive. Our score is…
1 Earring. White Shirt. From Stylist’s own collection. Leather gloves. Neil Barrett. Belt. System homme. Black pants. Blank5 space
EG You are a freshman at Busan Arts High School, you probably don’t get to go to school much right?
The school is in Busan, how would I go? Right now, I’m staying with Huh Gak, John Park, and Eunbi at a dorm in Gangnam. We sent an official letter so they don’t mark us absent too much.
EG Aren’t you worried about your grades?
I’m not worried. I’m not good at studying anyway. Since it’s an art speciality course, practical skills have a large weightage, so it’s okay because my practical skills are at the top.
EG What did you mean when you said you hung out with bad kids when you were in the second year of middle school?
Back then, I really didn’t even try to study at all. I played at school, and played after school.
EG How did you fool around?
I was betrayed by the friends I hung out with, and if there wasn’t betrayal there were bad things that happened between us that drove us apart. At the time, I didn’t go to school for quite a few months and avoided human contact. It was to the point where I got dandruff because I was a loser who didn’t bother to shower.
EG Your mother must have been worried.
Around the time I entered 3rd grade of middle school, my mum said I should at least graduate so she let me quit cram school. Thanks to that, I came out of the house, but I met bad people wherever I went. And the same thing happened again. Fortunately, I’m on the smart side, so I passed the GED easily. After taking classes for about a month, I took the test and was able to pass it right away.
EG How smart are you?
My IQ is over 140. There are a lot of smart people around so I’m a little embarrassed to say this.
EG You’ve been really busy after Superstar K2 ended right ?
I’m not as busy as John Park, but I do have quite a number of schedules. I just try my best to do them comfortably without getting too stressed out.
EG Are you the type to not get stressed out?
I’m no longer like this, but I used to be really introverted and under confident. After passing my GED and before entering high school, I changed a lot while learning the guitar and billiards. I started both as a hobby, but I was able to learn them both at a rapid pace. Thanks to which I was able to enter an Arts high school as a guitar major, and could play billiards as an athlete for about a year when I was 16.
EG Did you play professionally ?
It’s a bit hard to explain, but in billiards you can either play individually or in a group for recreation. You can play recreationally at the billiards association, which I did for a while, before I moved on to the professional billiards federation after playing more in the community. I became the Busan representative after winning in the nationwide Billiards Open athlete selections, although I didn’t do so well in the actual nationwide competition after that.
EG Did you dream of becoming a musician when you were learning to play the guitar?
Around the time I was in elementary school, I vaguely wanted to appear on TV, but I was able to fully materialize it once I entered high school.
2 T-shirt. Neil Barrett. Baggy pants. Dior Homme. Shoes. Repetto. Earing. Glasses. Stylist’s own collection.
EG Did you think that you would do this well in ‘Superstar K2’?
I didn’t know of course. Though I wrote “I was born to be a star on my application”, it was just a front. I tried to put forth a confident image right from the preliminary rounds.
EG You’re saying that was all for image making?
That’s the concept we decided to go with. I was at the bottom of the food chain among my friends in middle school. It was a vague position where we would get along well, but I felt left out at the same time. I gradually gained some confidence while doing music and playing billiards, and with that I tried to push myself to become a bolder and more confident person. Interestingly enough my personality changed along with it as well.
EG That’s pretty unexpected.
It’s true. I worried my mother a lot when I was younger. She’s the type to get hurt a lot because she has so much affection.
EG Most of the comments you received said that you were an arrogant guy who didn’t care about anything.
It’s okay if I see mean comments on the internet because you can just swear about them after. Feedback or even harsh criticism from experts are fine with me because they are things I have to hear. But it hurts my heart when my family tells me about the bad rumours they hear about me
EG Still, your family must be happy since things seem to be going well.
They nag a lot too. They worry more over the very few criticisms/curses I get rather than the good stories. Just yesterday I argued with my mum about this and hung up on her.
EG If you’re an only child you should treat her better.
I’m really sorry, mum.
EG Even a tweet from you is hitting the news. Isn’t it tough to receive everyone’s scrutiny like that ?
I love getting attention. Before Superstar K2, I was really passionate about my PR (with people). I tried to become a famous ulzzang by uploading photoshopped photos on cyworld and so on.
EG Are you getting good income from your activities these days?
I don’t really know about that.
EG Do you think you have an aptitude for doing variety?
I’m not really witty and I don’t think I’m a fun speaker, but I’m trying my best. I don’t think it’s a bad thing to be able to give people enjoyment through variety shows. But I don’t want to lean towards that end too much, and I don’t want to be more of an entertainer than a musician. I’m a person who does music.
EG I heard that you said you wanted to act ?
I’d give about 80% of my heart towards being a musician and would invest about the remaining 20% in variety, acting and fashion.
EG The clothes you wore today were cool again too, do you have interest in fashion?
Yes. Loose and vintage-like clothes, the hippy look etc are the kind of fashion I like.
EG Where do you usually shop?
When I am in Busan I go to Nampo-dong a lot. After coming to Seoul I’ve been to all the places that are famous for fashion. Apgujeong rodeo, Myeongdong, Dongdaenum, Garosu-gil… I’ve been to them all.
EG How did you manage to go to all these places when you are so busy ?
I had a bit of break after being eliminated on Superstar K2. Also, when I lived in Busan I came up to Seoul from time to time.
EG Did you encounter any difficulties while on the show?
The fact that people passed judgement on me based only on what they saw reported in mass media. The loss of privacy was tough too.
3 Earrings. Stylist’s collection. Jacket. Dior Homme.
EG A picture of you with your girlfriend popped up on the internet a little while ago.
I was really flustered. It was a photo that we took a day before I went in for camp at Superstar K2, so I don’t understand how it spread. We couldn’t contact each other while I was in camp so our relationship became a vague one – it was neither dating nor were we broken up. Since we were both just giving each other a hard time we just decided to be friends.
EG Are you still in touch with each other ?
Nope. We’re sorting stuff out. People might nitpick on me saying this again but I’ll say it since I’m an honest person. Honestly, I didn’t want to break up with her. It was a decision I made thinking about her and my own future. We both dream of being singers – if we dated and broke up publicly we might be branded by the public. It was a decision I made after worrying a lot and struggling with it.
EG What kind of boyfriend do you think you are ?
I’m the type to give my all to my girlfriend but I feel like it’s very one sided most of the time. I’ve had a lot of experiences where they often don’t reciprocate my affection.
EG What kind of love do you want to try?
I dream about dating secretly. When the day comes when I have someone I truly love, I’d like to date secretly and then ‘come out’ about it proudly.
EG What’s your ideal type?
I’d like someone who doesn’t play around a lot. Kind of like someone who I could have a drink together with. Ah, I’m not an adult yet so I can’t drink. I’d like a woman who tries to better themselves, works hard at what they do, and who is also kind and wise.
EG You must be hearing from a lot of agencies these days right?
I haven’t heard anything from them directly. As of now I have a contract with Mnet till March next year, so I’ll probably make a decision around then.
EG What kind of style would you like to debut with as a singer?
I’d like to do a wide variety of music and not just rock alone. Like Yoon Jongshin seonsaengnim who does ballads, rock and dance music, and also a singer songwriter like Lee Juck senior who uses rock as a base to compose ballads and R&B songs.
EG Do you also compose ?
Everyone thinks I only sing. I’m not an expert like Jae-in noona but I’m working hard at composing. I’ve made about 5 songs.
EG What is your dream?
My dream has just begun. How I continue on from here will be important. As a singer, my goal is to be like Yoon Dohyun and Kang San-ae seniors – even as they get older they’re still passionately doing youthful music. My ultimate dream is to set up a scholarship/aid foundation for people who want to do music but can’t because of their family circumstances.
Source: Elle Girl