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Debuting under SM Entertainment, one of the country’s best entertainment management companies, is known to be a difficult task. They went through, from one to seven years of preparation before debuting. They can’t ignore the amount of harsh training they went through but the competition between the company’s trainees was, of course, really intense. This is the reason why rookie groups debuting under SM always gather the interest of many. EXO-K’s six members D.O, Kai, Suho, Chanyeol, Sehun and Baekhyun who recently debuted with “MAMA” all already passed these tests once. SM’s rookies of 2012, EXO-K, all personally went through this survival.
Firstly, the leader, Suho had been a trainee in SM Entertainment for 7 years before debuting. He has seen some of his juniors debut before him and he was deeply hurt every time it happened.
“Honestly, I’ve wanted to give up a lot of times. But I worked hard. That’s the truth. Working on my mind control also helped me a lot. I think the reason why I managed to endure it during 7 years is because I believed I would succeed if I worked hard. I can’t ignore the help of my seniors in this company either.”
Chanyeol, who was cast when he was a freshman in high school, went through four years of training and decided to push ahead with his forte.
“Since I was going to debut as a part of a team, I wanted to show I could be better than anyone else. When I was young, I used to play the drums so I thought my sense of rhythm was a little bit better than the others’. Compared to my other friends, my strong point is rapping and I showed I was able to do better than the others. I told myself if there was something I was the best at, then this part would belong to me.”
Sehun, who went through four years of training after being cast for the first time in 6th grade, picked a similar strategy. However, Sehun’s weapon was dance.
“When I was young, I just loved dancing. I believed I was better than the others at it. But dancing isn’t just something you can do just by following what the others do. Just like the choreographers and dancers who are recognized worldwide who continuously find and work on new dances, I realized I had to make efforts to be able to do better than the others.”
Joining the team after being a trainee for just a year, Baekhyun, who is the member who had the shortest training time, was very lucky. “I of course think I had good luck. (Laughs) When I first entered the company, I thought all the other trainees were more talented than me. There were lots of friends who were good looking, good dancers and good at singing. I think this is because of this first experience I managed to debut with EXO-K. It inculcated a will to surpass them in me. If I didn’t work harder than the others then it wouldn’t have worked.”
Kai has been mastering dance by started to learn ballet and jazz dance since primary school. He entered SM as a trainee in eight grade and debuted after five years of training.
“Dancing was of course what I was the best at. However instead of working diligently, I was enjoying myself. After having danced ballet only, I had fun learning other dances and mastering them. I think being able to enjoy what I was doing instead of just working hard is the reason I managed to debut with EXO-K”
As expected from D.O who belongs to the vocal line, his biggest advantage was his singing abilities. Because he likes to sing, D.O entered all sorts of singing competitions and ultimately went through two years of training before debuting.
“I needed to show my own vocal color. To be honest, I have a lot of friends who are good at singing. To be able to show my vocal abilities fully, I needed to practice our country’s ballads’ perfectly, and find a way to express the sensibility found in R&B and soul songs. The thing I was concerned the most about was the way to make my voice tone sound different than the other singers’.”
Each of the six members sure experienced the survival law. The standard in the company was to give one’s 120%. Their willpower had to be greater than the others. However, the most important thing was to realize who they were. And aside from that, it was about the efforts they were showing.
cr: source Star Today; trans by saphira @ exok-trans
please take out with full credits.
EXO-K and EXO-M are in the 12 member male idol group that SM Entertainment, who raised Shinhwa, DBSK, Super Junior, etc, ambitiously prepared. Prior to their debut, SM had an online promotion for 100 days since the beginning of the year, so they’re receiving particular affection. The producer Lee Sooman gave them their name himself showing his support “Let’s open a new world in the K-Pop industry”.
EXO stands for EXOPLANET, a planet out of the solar system, meaning that they’re new stars coming from an unknown planet. EXO-K has 6 members, the K is Korea’s K so they’re promoting in Korea while EXO-M, which also has 6 members promotes in China as the M stands for Mandarin. Early this month they both released their first mini-album ‘MAMA’ and had a splendid debut.
EXO-K (composed of Suho, Chanyeol, Baekhyun, D.O, Kai, Sehun) said confidently “Right now, this year’s goal is getting the newcomer award. There are a lot of outstanding rookie groups but we believe that if we work hard our wish will come true”.
When we asked them what made them different from the other groups, they revealed “First, I think that debuting at the same time in Korea and China is something new. Both teams are quite competitive but we’re also monitoring and supporting each other a lot. We’d like to think that our biggest good point is our strong performance”.
Suho, the oldest of the team, said “I think that compared to other idol groups, our performance that has dance, expression acting and vocals is strong. We will work even harder to not damage the reputation of seniors such as Shinhwa and DBSK”.
D.O, who’s leading the main vocals with Baekhyun and Suho, said with a smile “The fact that our title song ‘MAMA’ was made by Yoo Youngjin senior makes EXO-K’s performances even greater. While practicing during the two last months, we didn’t get tired of it at all”.
EXO-K’s debut process was also long and difficult. Most of the members were selected by the staff of SM’s rookie development office between 6th grade of elementary school and middle school, or they’ve been casted through an audition. Chanyeol and Sehun joined SM in 2008 by street casting, Kai is from the 2007 SM Youth Best Contest. Suho who was cast in 2006 is currently a sophomore majoring in acting at Korea National University of Arts, his dream is to be aknowledged as a singer but also as an all-rounded entertainer that can act, MC, etc.
After becoming a SM trainee, they have to go through harsh training. During their training period, they had to go to school during week days and then they went to take courses for subjects such as dancing, vocals, acting, language, character, etc., until 9~10PM. They could only rest a day, on Saturday or Sunday. During school vacations, they had an even tighter schedule of intensive training. They got selected to be EXO-K’s members among a great number of trainees and were informed about their debut project a year ago. They started to live together in dorms starting from then.
“Not being able to go home and missing our parents was the most difficult thing about living at the dorm. Aside from that there was no dissatisfying point at all. We could only be happy about practicing a dance performance and vocals we liked, while waiting for the day we’ll debut. Of course we’d feel an electrifying joy when we slowly became synchronized.”
Kai got his dream of being a singer when he saw the group Shinhwa in 6th grade of elementary school, Shinhwa was coming back just in time for EXO-K’s debut on the cable channel Mnet ‘M!Countdown’, he expressed about the moment he got to stand on the same stage as them “I was incredibly moved!”.
The members don’t have personal cellphones. It’s because of the company’s guidelines to focus on the dance and singing practices.
EXO-K said “It’s not uncomfortable at all. It’s a good thing since we throw away all distractions to focus only on the trainings and the promotions. We will show you an even greater image. The newcomer award is a one in a lifetime chance for a singer, so of course we have to get it” and shouted a powerful fighting. “We are one! For the newcomer award~.”
To: All the fans who love us in this world
Hi~ This kungfu panda that only knows how to sing, dance and rap is here again.
It was my birthday yesterday, it is the most memorable, most important and most special birthday in the 19 years of my life.
I have been celebrating my birthday with my family for 18 years, this year I have grown up and I met 11 most precious EXO members in this journey of my life.
I never thought that I would be able to be here today, even though the road is still far, it has always been my own will and belief and also my dream that has supported me till now.
I came to SM, they gave me a chance to debut, and allow me to have 11 brothers that would walk this journey with me, I love them forever!
I was really happy at yesterday’s birthday party, can say that I have never been this happy before.
I am really lucky to have them and you guys, hope that everyone will continue to give EXO attention, I love you all! 사랑해용!! (saying I love you in an aegyo manner)
cr: trans by exo-plosion.tumblr.com