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25 July 2010

IU, 'She Heard the Word 'Sunbaenim' From Victoria and Seo Inkook, Who Are 5 Years Older Than Her'

[Star's Yozm] 17-year-old IU is a solo singer. If you consider her looks, the age she debuted or her active image, she surely is classified as an idol. It is very rare to find a solo idol in the world of singers. However, in addition to carrying out activities alone, IU differs from other idols in other ways. The 'analogue' feeling she conveys is a bit different from the norm.

While idol groups express digital feelings through their group performances, she uniquely stands alone on the stage. There are songs like 'Marshmallow' that are based on electronic sounds, but in comparison to other idol groups whose songs seem to rely on the effects of such sounds, IU's songs do not.

IU was able to reach the top with her recent song 'Nagging', and this song seemed to stand out among IU's other songs. Just dueting with Im Seulong is enough to gain victory, and it is a song that is similar to the traditional Korean pop songs of the previous idol generation.

After her debut, it took her 2 years to rise to the top with 'Nagging'. Even though the time she spent to reach the top as an idol was longer than other idols, it creates an analogue feeling because it is very 'human'. Despite her young age she is now an experienced solo artist, which can lead to some funny situations. This is when the word 'sunbaenim' becomes uncomfortable for her.

"When f(x)'s Victoria, Seo Inkook and I exchanged greetings, I was completely confused when they called me 'sunbaenim'. I think it was because I debuted before them, but I told them not to call me that again, and now we just have a good unni and oppa relationship."

Literary IU

IU-on-stage and celebrity IU aren't the only ones who are analogue. If you get to see the natural IU, the analogue feelings she gives off become stronger. IU's hobby is reading and writing (a diary). Although she said "My homeroom teacher is the literature teacher, and because I really like that teacher, I like literature the most", it is not just about that teacher. Her interest in writing is considerable.

"I recently read a webtoon [online comic] called 'Sound of the Heart', which was good. I also like Alain de Botton and Guillaume Musso. Botton's 'Essays in Love' had many lines that made you think. Musso's 'What Would I Be Without You?' was good too, and I liked the peculiarity of Musso's surrealistic literary style."

"Even with a busy schedule, I always write in my diary. I can't decorate my diary well like other girls, but no matter how busy my activities are, I don't forget about my diary. When I'm tired, I at least write 'Because I'm tired, I don't feel like writing' in my diary."
On the Day She Gets 1st Place, IU Goes Home Silently

Talking to her felt as if I was talking to a literary girl who lived in an analogue age when radio, novels, and essays were the only methods that created poetic feeling. IU seems thoughtful and honest. Thoughtfulness and honesty combined with adolescence can sometimes lead to eccentricities. When we asked her about her thoughts on winning first place, she gave an unexpected reply.

"The day I got first place, my manager and Seulong wanted to stand at the front of the stage because they thought we would win. But I didn't stand there. It was because our competitor, CNBLUE, looked to have a better chance of winning. So, having not even considered the possibility of getting first place, I walked up awkwardly as I didn't know what to say. Also, although it was a happy and thankful period, I believed I hadn't done enough to deserve first place. So, I thought 'Is it okay to take this?' to myself."

"I knew I just sang a good song, so I wondered if this award should have been given to the songwriter. I was also helped a lot by Seulong. So, I truthfully don't feel excited that I got first place, even now. After the broadcast, I didn't go to the wrap-up party. The staff members went though. I felt as if I wasn't the hero, and because it was embarrassing to be congratulated with this feeling, I just went home. I looked at news, blogs and comments online, and I fell asleep."
I Like Sunbaes

When it comes to other artists her own age, there seems to be a little distance. "I am close to the Luna from f(x). Luna is the only friend who is near my age. Also, Wheesung, Donggyun and Gummy are singers I'm close to who gave me lots of help before my debut; Lyn and Baek Jiyoung took care of me since I've been active; and Na Yoongwon, Sweet Sorrow, Kim Heechul, Park Kyunglim and Lee Sooyoung are people who I got close to through radio shows."

"The singers I respect the most are Corinne Bailey Rae and Harim. I especially like how Harim makes music with such freedom. When you listen to his songs, you don't feel forced to listen to them. If I were the same age as Harim and if I had his skills, I want to compose a song with my own story and I want to sing it too."

When we asked her which singer she wanted to do a duet with (like how she did a duet with Seulong), she didn't choose any idols near her age. Instead, she chose singers who were at least 10 years older than her. "I want to duet with Kim Taewoo, Sung Shikyung, and Epik High. R&B, pop, hip-hop, regardless of genre, I want a challenge." She chose "Yoon Gaesang, Kim Jaewook, Kang Jihwan and Gong Woo" as partners for 'We Got Married'.
Fan-like IU

The singer can resemble the fans. When we asked her about her biggest mistake, she explained a time she had with a fan. "My fans are very shy. So, there was a time when I made a big mistake. In one internet broadcast, there was a time when I laughed 'woohaha' as I was singing in front of the fans. I burst into laughter because it was cute seeing the image of my fans cheering me on even though they were shy."

(this is the laughing incident)

Even though IU and her fans are not polished well, there is warmth there. That is why her relationship with her fans is so close. She remembers every episode she had with her fans. A time when she knocked into a fan at a theater, a time when a fan held onto her on the street... She clearly remembers them, to the point of specifically explaining each one even now.

'Analogue' IU's Destination As a Musician

As much as 'analogue' IU has thoughts, she has many concerns too, all related to music. Being realistic, in order for the public to accept her music she thought, "I think I need to lose a few pounds," and she considered going on a diet. Now, after breaking into the entertainment side as a regular she thought she needed to work harder, saying "It may be difficult to sing with a cute image because I have no cuteness."

But she has much larger thoughts and concerns about music. "In the upcoming mini album, I am preparing hard to show a different image and different music." Before every album, she worries about her new concept and dreams about becoming her own determined musician, saying "I want to become an adult quickly. Then, I may be able to put my own thoughts into my music."

Although IU is young and is an idol, she is more closely aligned with the traditional and sincere side of a singer instead of a magnificent entertainer. Instead of wanting to become a star where her fans follow her every dance and fashion, IU dreams of becoming a singer that reaches the inner hearts of fans with her music. We'll have to watch her growth to see if she is able to accomplish her dream.

Source: Osen/Daum
Translated by: kiwiannabear @ WeheartIU.com
Spot translation: yuutsu
Edited by: TheFly @ WeheartIU.com

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