Onew Talks About SHINee’s Influence On His Solo Music, Compares “DICE” To His Debut Album “VOICE,” And More Soompi


Marie Claire released her new photo shoot and interview with Onew from SHINee!

Comparing the differences between his latest solo album “DICE” and his debut album “VOICE,” Onew shared, “I prepared this [new album] hoping that other people would also feel this [difference]. Thinking of Onew, people would probably predict a lyrical ballad or a slow tempo song. This time I tried to find the middle ground between Onew and SHINee.

He continued, “SHINee is a team with definitive performance and character. How should I say this? If SHINee is a totally luminous color, I tried to find a slightly pastel color. Before that, I think my color was a bit blurry. I think this album is the moment where I take my first step to find my own color. As this is my first time promoting a solo album, I wanted to broaden my spectrum.

Ever since SHINee’s debut in 2008, Onew has been asked if he sees his fans differently now that they’ve been in the industry for so long. He replied, “The fundamentals haven’t changed, but I think the emotions I feel have changed a bit. I’m the type to understand and immerse myself deeply in the emotions of others. For example, if someone looks at me very happy, I feel happy too. [My b-side] “In the Whale” captures that desire. This feeling of ‘we can overcome this together, I want us to become happy like this’.

Onew explained how he constantly strives to do better, saying, “I want to do incredibly well. However, by my standards, I’m still not doing so well. Singing, I don’t think I’ve ever been fully satisfied [with my own performance]. That’s why I want to keep filling it.

He shared, “In the past, I even thought that was the extent of my talent and that I couldn’t improve from here. But after a while, I realized that I started as SHINee to sing, and singing was what I liked the most. Since I made what I love the most a career, it’s such a happy thing. I must be happy that I was able to do this.

Onew continued, “With the idea that I will definitely become happier if I get better and more satisfied with my singing, I always practice my voice now. Also, I want to make music that has a positive influence. These days a lot of people are said to be going through the COVID-19 blues. We need to meet people and share our pain, loneliness and sadness, but because of COVID-19, I’m sure a lot of people are enduring this alone. I want my music to be a hope for these people too. To love others more and treat them with a kinder heart. That’s also why I’m trying to change a lot too.

Onew attributed this desire to be a positive influence to his parents, sharing, “Although it’s the people I share everything with who laugh and cry with me through the hard times and the happy times, I’m still shy to say that I love them.”

He continued, “But I can’t hesitate and I just have to act. My parents got older and from a certain point I started to think that I couldn’t live forever with my parents. At first, I also said to myself, “I should go home often. Then it became, “I should go home and eat with my parents,” and after that, “I should make them a meal myself, we should go to karaoke after we eat.” That way, I gradually ended up doing more things.

Although 14 years into his career, Onew described his album “DICE” as a start and only 50% of what he wants to accomplish. Since he’s already accomplished so much, the interviewer reassured Onew that he doesn’t always have to try something new. Onew replied, “But there is this constraint. I think maybe it’s because I’m SHINee. I started ‘VOICE’ with the thought that I wanted to let go of this compulsion for new things. Then, when I was preparing my second album, I thought that I would be able to do more things in the future if I did something different from last time. As long as I can, I want to do everything I can. I will try to find what I like every moment.

When asked about SHINee’s influence on his solo music, Onew shared, “It’s the driving force that makes me think. Because I had my limbs, I can be here now, and because I had my limbs, we can be together as SHINee. If I didn’t have SHINee, I couldn’t make the music I wanted to make. Over time, the image of my performance can change a lot. However, I want to protect the scene for a very long time.

In Onew’s last interview with Marie Claire, he talked about being “SHINee-like”. For this interview, he elaborated on being ‘Onew-like’ by commenting, “I think being ‘Onew-like’ shows a good image, even if the pace is a bit slow. I have a period of active promotion and a non-active period. In my non-active period, I want to show a lot but I tend to be a slow-paced perfectionist. Instead, I assure you that I will never show you less than me.

At the end, Onew talked about the need to really feel an emotion for it to be properly conveyed to others. He explained, “You have to subconsciously give off a happy energy to make listeners feel it’s real and smile. Just because you smile doesn’t mean you’re happy.

He confessed, “In the past, I thought I had to smile intentionally in every situation. Now I’ve learned that other good things happen when I express my own thoughts more and end up smiling as a result. Right now, I don’t like it when bad energy enters me. I try to honestly express what I don’t like and what I find uncomfortable moving forward while taking responsibility.

Onew’s full interview and photo shoot will be available in the May issue of Marie Claire Korea!

Start watching Onew in “Descendants of the Sun” here:

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