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05 June 2010

ZE:A’s Minwoo: “I Could Have Been a Member of 2PM”

It was two in the morning when Ha Minwoo (21) received a phone call from Child of Empire’s own leader, Moon Junyoung. After seeing an online video of Minwoo dancing, Junyoung was determined to reach the famous dancing machine.

After posting a dance video online, Minwoo quickly gained popularity amongst online trainee hopefuls and had even caught the eyes of big name companies.

“He called me out of the blue at two in the morning and told me to sing a song. At the time it was too late to sing a song over the phone. The next day I had an official audition [for Star Empire] and after passing I immediately started training as a trainee. For me, it was a real opportunity. To this day, I’m still thankful to Junyoung.”

Hearing that MinWoo had been practicing his singing and dancing , this reporter wondered if MinWoo had been going to other auditions besides the one he had with Star Empire.

“I went to a lot of auditions. The company that I thought fit my musical style the best was JYP. I really wanted to get in so I decided to go to all of their auditions until they would sign me. Every time they rejected me I would fall into despair but I never lost hope and worked even harder. Actually when JunYoung called I was waiting for a call from JYP. I had just had an audition for them and I thought it was finally going to be my big break.”

It was at this moment that Junyoung, who was sitting silently along with the other members, spoke up. “Back then it was a good thing I called him. I felt the need to call him even if it was after midnight. If I didn’t, our MinWoo could have been a member of 2PM instead of ZE:A.”

When asked about the JYP audition results, MinWoo laughed nervously, responding, “I wasn’t picked in the first open audition where 2PM’s Jang WooYoung was picked, but a person from JYP called me and expressed their interest so I went in for a closed audition where I received news of passing later.”

It was at this point that Minwoo had a difficult decision to make. After all the painful rejections from JYP, he had finally made it in to his dream company. Minwoo contemplated for days on end, trying decide whether or not to leave Star Empire for JYP.

“In actuality, I was really torn. JYP was a place where I really wanted to go. It wasn’t easy to give up on it. During that time, I had made bonds with the members, who would say to me, ‘Let’s work hard together’. I decided to stay loyal to them.”

Even though in the end Minwoo decided to reject his dream company, he says he doesn’t regret his decision one bit. During his trainee days, he was thrown into advanced lessons with the other members, anxiously counting the days until ZE:A would finally make their debut.

“During my trainee days, V.O.S. acknowledged that I had an understanding of dance and I was even one of their backup dancers. That was definitely a huge experience for me. At a young age I gained experience of being on stage and had a taste of happiness. I was so overwhelmed with happiness because I was one step closer to my dream at that point.”

“On top of that, the V.O.S. hyungs told me a lot of great things. I didn’t know at the time, but after debuting and finally having that kind of experience, I understood what they meant. The experience and their words were a great help to me.”

Through all his hard work, Ha Minwoo has finally reached his dreams. He can proudly say that giving everything his best efforts has paid off. But even though he has reached his dream, Minwoo is still hungry for more. “I want to become a great singer for my family and the members who have watched me become a member of ZE:A. I will work harder and harder to display all the hidden talents I have so that everyone in South Korea will know who I am when my name is mentioned.”

Source: Yoon TaeHee@asiae.co.kr
Translation: Julez@kpoplive.com

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