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CeCi: Compared to other members, you don’t have many individual activities. I hope this ‘CeCi’ cover photoshoot is considered a good item you’ve obtained by fans.
TaeYeon: This is my first time as a solo cover model, so it’s really interesting. Each Girls’ Generation member has done their own versions of cover shoots, and we really didn’t know anything at the time. Since there have been many cases where members were cover models for separate magazines, I can tell how great this is.
CeCi: You haven’t done as many photoshoots as I thought.
TaeYeon: To be honest, there has been a time where getting my photo taken felt rather difficult. There have been a lot of times where I’ve declined photoshoot schedules because I didn’t have any self-confideence for some reason. However, I thought about when else I would be able to leave [a trace] of myself in my 20s if not now. I also thought about when else I would show myself to mediums and fans when they want. In the past, I only wanted to sing songs I like teh most. However, now, if it’s something that others can all take in and willingly enjoy, I think I can do it too, and feel that’s my job.
CeCi: At what point did you start accepting these jobs?
TaeYeon: The biggest reason I always do something is because of the fans. Under any circumstance, fans move me. At some point, I thought I had to show myself when they wanted. I thought of it as repayment for the love, and as necessary work. I wasn’t able to think like that at first. It slowly became deeper while promoting. Like while seeing our fans waiting for us at dawn to cheer us on, even in cold weather.
CeCi: The response for your OSTs, featurings, and other individual songs has always been hot. Fans probably really look forward to news about your solo activities.
TaeYeon: Of course, if given the opportunity, I want to! But, that’s still a personal hope. A good opportunity should eventually come.
CeCi: If you were to do solo activities, what might be a good method or appearance?
TaeYeon: I’ve wanted to do a show in a small theater for a long time. Not too long ago, I went to sing a duet with at Kim Bumsoo’s small theater concert, and the small venue was nice. When the room is small, the person singing is in a much more comfortable position. To be honest, we can’t hear the audience’s shouting very well when we have concerts in large venues like gymnasiums because we have to use in-ear monitors. Because everyone can hear you singing even without a mic in a small theater, I want to sing while seeing fans from up close. Since the number of audience members will be limited, let’s have more concerts. Two or three concerts in a week even seems okay.
CeCi: I’m always curious when I see idol groups. You usually can’t receive a song you want 100% of the time, and it seemed like it would feel like getting a big assignment whenever you receive a new song.
TaeYeon: It is kind of like that. I guess it’s like a feeling of wanting to put forth the best solution to the problem in front of our eyes. It’s just working hard with the voice and feelings that I have. It’s a group with many people, and because everyone’s individual colors are clear, it’s not a problem that can be controlled with one’s personal preference. I tend to sing songs I want to my heart’s content at concerts. The energy a singer gets at concerts is really great!
CeCi: You always look like you’re thirsty for singing on stage.
TaeYeon: I like singing the most, and there isn’t anything I’m just as good at. (laughs) It’s just me wanting to show something I’m good at.
CeCi: There are a lot of hit songs, like ‘Gee’, ‘Tell Me You Wish’, ‘Hoot’, amongst others. Of them, is there a song that was like ‘a gift from God’ for Girls’ Generation?
TaeYeon: The one that appealed strongly to the general public was ‘Gee’, and the one that we felt a change between members was ‘Tell Me Your Wish’. From ‘Kissing You’ to ‘Gee’, they were all cute, girl-like songs. On the other hand, ‘Tell Me Your Wish’ was a lot more stylish and feminine, and the choreography itself had a sexy feel. Before this, there was a strong feel, but an upgraded maturity came about with ‘Tell Me Your Wish’. The choreography style put a distinction on our body line in a modest way, so I think it made it feel like that more.
CeCi: Through one interview, I saw you say, “In the past, I didn’t know you look prettier with a natural look, so I even paid attention to even a strand of hair.” Do you almost not have any obsessions when it comes to looks now?
TaeYeon: Compared to the past, yes. Of course, it would be good to look pretty in any photo. But, having thousands of photos of me being taken by fans in a day, I can’t look beautiful in all of them. How many photos of me with my eyes half closed, or with an ugly facial expression might there be? Because you can’t look perfect just because you’re greedy, I’ve been wanting to become a more honest and humane person lately.
CeCi: You’ve suddenly been using the photo sharing SNS a lot. Is this also your way of expressing your wanting to show yourself honestly?
TaeYeon: I’ve been updating Instagram everyday like school attendance. (laughs) It’s just me wanting to share things I saw and liked. I started using SNS first out of my members last spring. (CeCi: You started really late.) The members made a promise ‘to not use them’. With the many slip of the tongue and mistakes made by public figures on SNS, we decided not to use it early on to be careful. After i started, other members started using Instagram and Twitter, amongst other things.
CeCi: You all promised not to do it, but was there something that caused that unwritten rule to break?
TaeYeon: To be completely honest, I started for the fans. I’m futile and empty when there aren’t activities, so I thought of how stifling it must be for fans who are forever waiting. I think it would be like walking without a destination. Our album always comes out later than the scheduled time, so I was sorry that the waiting draws out. Of course, I also had an uneasy heart that [fans] would turn their eyes to girl and boy groups that have been pouring out. (laughs) Thinking of the fans, I couldn’t not use SNS.
CeCi: Now, there must be more things to pay attention to, other than taking care of fans in Korea.
TaeYeon: That’s also a big reason I started SNS. There are ways to meet overseas fans, but I felt sorry not trying. Because the cultures are different, I also thought about, ‘How happy do I have to look for them to feel it well?’ I also become careful like, if approaching someone first for a handshake expresses my friendliness, or if that is a rude gesture. But it all looks the same from the stage. The way they memorize and do Korean cheers, regardless of where we go in the world, is really fun and I’m grateful.
CeCi: You also wrote words for your fans on SNS. That you feel affection from photos your fans take, and you said thanks.
TaeYeon: I really want to avoid having my disheveled appearance exposed on camera early in the morning at the airport. However, the sincerity from fans can be felt in them only trying to take pretty pictures. I’m quite thankful for those intentions. I leave comments when I feel sorry getting on the plane after avoiding cameras like I don’t like them in front of fans.
CeCi: ‘Taeyeon’s nails’ are pretty famous amongst fans. You posted self-nail photos on Instagram, and you seemed like a ‘homebody’.
TaeYeon: That’s right. I’m a ‘homebody’! (laughs) Fans who saw a photo of me after I got care from a nail shop mistook it as self-nail, so I was gifted instruments. As I did it, there were times where it was completed prettily to the point where it seemed like I had some talent. I posted photos of proof through SNS on those days. It’s really fun!
CeCi: You normally have a lot of interest in skin care and makeup?
TaeYeon: I have a lot of products, and I tend to be quick with buying new products. Technically, I like makeup more than clothes! (CeCi: Is there an item you’re a ‘-holic’ for these days?) CC cream. It’s lighter than BB cream, and it gives my face a beautiful feel, more than having nothing on, so it’s really nice. It makes my skin look nice and moist.
CeCi: Girls’ Generation’s glue-like teamwork doesn’t seem exaggerated for some reason. Why do you think it is?
TaeYeon: First of all, you can’t ignore the power of time. When it comes to Jessica, Sooyoung, Hyoyeon, and Yuri, they’ve been trainees together since elementary school, so they’ve been friends for over 12 years. Because of this, the feeling of being like sisters is stronger than colleagues. We know each other really well, so we don’t do things we don’t like. Oh, there are times when we nitpick actions we don’t like on purpose as a joke. (laughs) Us not being as feminine as you think also plays a role. When we’re gathered together, we’re really like mischievous neighborhood kids.
CeCi: Who is the most playful?
TaeYeon: The one who is boyish, unlike how she looks, is Sunny, and I’m not that girly either. Yoona is totally the ‘biggest kid’. Everyone’s really number 1 when it comes to being cheerful. (CeCi: Is the most feminine member, as expected, Seohyun?) Seohyun and Jessica!
CeCi: You said you all don’t do actions you don’t like. What would be one ‘this is strictly forbidden for this member’ rule that you’d reveal?
TaeYeon: Tiffany can never look at a fish’s eye. Once, Sooyoung covered a fish’s eye with her chopsticks and went ‘ta-da’ and showed it to her, and there was really an uproar in the restaurant.
CeCi: Recently, what was the issue in Girls’ Generation’s Kakotalk room?
TaeYeon: As always, dog photos! Me, Yuri, Sooyoung, Tiffany, and Seohyun have dogs, and if they make a cute facial expression or odd pose, we always take a picture and blindly post them. Oh, and I recently asked, “Does anyone know any good makgeolli places?” (CeCi: Girls’ Generation and makgeolli…) I think it was because it was raining? (laughs)
CeCi: Do you have a lot of romantic hopes for the nearing 30s, and do you have a lot of romantic hopes for your passed 20s?
TaeYeon: I keep on wanting to feel something new. So I’m really, really curious about my 30s. The feelings of a 24-year old, the feelings of a 25-year old, and the things you feel in autumn and winter are all different. So, rather than time that’s passed, I all the time that’s drawing near are all precious. Moving forward is more important.
CeCi: 2014, you’ve become 26-years old. What kind of time is Kim Taeyeon passing by?
TaeYeon: Um… I think it’s a really important time. 23, 24, 25 was all important, but I don’t really feel myself getting older. Oh! Recently, because stylists and staff have all been younger than me, something that’s changed is me naturally talking to them like an unnie (older sister). Not too long ago, I called someone ‘Baby~’ without realizing it. (laughs) Oof, I was really surprised after saying it!
CeCi: 8 years since your debut. You’ve run a certain speed, so should we think about what position you think you’re at?
TaeYeon: While we did run well, we’re still far away. When considering my entire life. I think we still don’t know anything, and are at a stage of just starting. As a singer and Girls’ Generation, there are a lot of things I still have to do. I don’t have any thoughts of slowing down. But that doesn’t mean I want to speed up either. I’m just going to go at this speed. I really like unaffected things. I just want to go with the flow. (CeCi: Are you a fatalist?) To an extent.
CeCi: ‘Easy-going’, ‘smart’, ‘easily feels lonely’, ‘audacious’… These are the modifiers that come to mind when thinking of Taeyeon. What kind of modifier do you want to give yourself?
TaeYeon: A person ‘with a twist’. People think I have a cute and bright personality, but I’m actually not really ‘hyperactive’. Unless it’s a really fun occasion, there aren’t really any reasons for me to get in an ‘hyper’ mood. While I like doing my own nails or doodling with colored pencils by myself in my room, there’s a twist in me liking sports cars ‘too much’. I also like the smell of androgynous, men’s cologne more than women’s floral perfumes.
CeCi: You must like a little speedy drives.
TaeYeon: I like driving quite a bit. But I’m bad with directions. Isn’t this a twist as well? (laughs) so I like driving down the freeway when I go home to Jeonju the most. Because I just need to go straight. I go often when I have time. I went not too long ago.
CeCi: There are so many surveys that you were number one in from ‘celebrity I want to have as a junior at school’, to ‘celebrity I want as a girlfriend’, and ‘celebrity I want as a friend’, amongst others! What kind of survey would you create to be number one in?
TaeYeon: ‘A celebrity I want to have in my favorites on Kakaotalk’. I wish I would become someone that people want to look for that often, and become close with.
CeCi: From your trainee days, you probably got all the way here by either complimenting and patting yourself one the back, or by scolding yourself. Has Taeyeon changed during that long time?
TaeYeon: Of course! When it comes to work, I’ve become really naive. I feel like I’ve become simple to the point where I can feel it myself. In the past, I was really on the sensitive side when the singing sound or monitoring didn’t work well on stage. So I got mad easily, but I’ve been understanding of the site’s limits and acknowledge them. While it is like textbook talk, I’ve gotten a relaxed mind thinking, ‘I can do better next time’.
CeCi: Isn’t that what years of experience is? Not work, but how are you characteristically?
TaeYeon: I’ve gotten a lot more thoughts. But I think the way I face people has changed a lot. In the past, it was a bit burdensome meeting with people. It was difficult trying to keep a constant conversation while sitting in front of one another, so there were times where I would say I had plans when I didn’t, and was alone. I don’t do that anymore. Chatting is fun and natural.
CeCi: According to you, what kind of person is a real adult?
TaeYeon: A considerate person. I think there are a lot of things int he word ‘considerate’. In a way, sensible actions and thoughts are like being considerate to the other person. I’ve been feeling like becoming an adult-like adult a lot lately. I will become a person who thinks deeply, is sensible, and considerate.
CeCi: Lastly, a word to 2014 Taeyeon!
TaeYeon: Become more simple. Also, to gain the happy virus a bit more and put out energy!
Credits: Korean | Ceci | Press | chosshi | Girls‘ Generation Universe