I’m done! (Let’s see what the Unnies are up to) (She’s here) Sit here. Have a seat, Jinyoung. Please sit here, Queen of Trot. This at the end… You were adorable. – I was good up there? / – Yeah! It was great. You guys being here really gave me a lot of strength. – Really? / – Yeah, I really think so. You know how much we cheered for you here? I kept typing your name in the search engine. Really? I was so happy. I got to spend time with the Unnies while I was working a different gig. (Red from her fever) I was singing on stage and I kept thinking of your faces. “I bet they’re watching me.” That was in my mind. – You saw us during the rehearsal? / – Of course. – She mentioned us. / – And said hello. She’s so good at singing trot. But I saw in the episode that aired you said you really didn’t want to do trot. Yeah. The girl group I was in flopped after our album was out in 3 months. I didn’t know what to do. So I tried to audition at a different agency and met with people. Then my current CEO suggested that I sing trot. I was in a girl group for 3 months. And I’m still young. That’s like a different world. And I’m suddenly told to sing trot. My CEO said the song was great. So I thought, “How good could a trot song be?” Then he said he’d send me the lyrics first. So I opened the email in my room and the title said “Love Battery.” It made me cry… What kind of corny title is that? I cried thinking I couldn’t sing that song. But what was hardest for me was when I went to do my first music show for “Love Battery.” All the other singers are idols. I was the only rookie trot singer then. Competing against idol groups. And I’m just a solo trot singer. I felt like I was left out. – A different musical genre. / – Yeah. So what did you do when you were all in the green room? In the green room? What’s wrong? Old memories came flooding back. Gosh… Do we have tissues? What’s wrong? I’ve never seen Jinyoung like this. Do we have tissues? Gosh… It was so hard for me when I was a rookie. We didn’t know… – Jinyoung. / – Thank you, Jinkyung. Gosh… It must’ve been really tough then. You’re always so cheerful on TV… I’ve never seen her cry. Yeah. What’s wrong with me? I wasn’t going to cry. Bringing up the past like this… When I think back to when I was a rookie, it was really tough then. I felt like nobody was on my side. Doing music shows was so hard. And I perform for older audiences too… – So I feel left out there too. / – Right. You don’t feel like you belong anywhere. It was so hard to belong somewhere. So what did you do in the green room all alone? I just stayed in my car. I couldn’t stay in the green room. I couldn’t fit in. Why didn’t you try talking to the other idol singers? Because back then… I don’t know. I think I lacked a lot of confidence then. Back then they used to say… Because there was this headline saying how I’m from the girl group Swan and I debuted again with “Love Battery.” And then I saw a comment posted saying I’m singing trot because I couldn’t make it otherwise. Why… I thought, is trot not music? Things like that. That’s why… – I didn’t know. / – Gosh… (The ending where all the singers step on stage) (Stares at the floor out of awkwardness) (Who won 1st?) (She stands awkwardly on tip-toes) (She couldn’t wait to run off stage) Nobody knew who I was. I was unknown so I didn’t want to be edited out on TV. I had to stand out. – So whenever I went on TV… / – To survive… – I talked more aggressively. / – Right… I tried to be meaner. I tried my best to stand out. I remember a lot of people didn’t like you for being so flashy. You stood out too much. And that was so hard for me. I’d go home and cry after shoots. – All the time. / – I never imagined. – You’re always so cheerful. / – Yeah. I wondered what vitamins you took. I never imagined that you went home and cried. So did you have to do all that stuff you didn’t want to? Couldn’t you say you want to do something different? I’ve always wanted to be a singer since I was a kid. I loved being on stage and singing in front of people. So I didn’t want to give up on being a singer. – Although the genre is different. / – Right. Seeing her sing on stage today, I saw she doesn’t do this for work… – She enjoys it. / – She was born for it. I feel like she’d die if she couldn’t do this. Yeah. (A born singer that sings with her entire body) How did you start? How did you debut? I’d sing at school or call radio programs. I’d call in and sing. And… I photograph well. I was good with Haduri. What’s Haduri? The photos. – The camera. / – You know, that camera. – We didn’t have… / – You take them in LAN centers. What was your ID back then? Bongseon Flower. What? Bongseon Skewer? – Is Bongseon in Gwangju? / – Yes. So you were the Bongseon Flower? (Such a funny flower) So did your photos get a lot of views? Back then I’d get… 2,000 to 3,000 views a day. Then what? I got a lot of messages from agencies then asking if I wanted to audition. Living in Gwangju… As you know, Minzy… – Seoul feels really far away. / – Right. I wondered if I could even make it to Seoul. So even those messages were like a dream. I didn’t have the courage to go through with it. Then one CEO said he’d come to Gwangju himself. – To cast you? / – Yes. So he came and he even convinced my parents. “I’ll take care of Jinyoung and make her a star. Just trust me.” So I got permission and I moved to Seoul. To be a singer or an actress? I went to become a singer but I did theater for a year. Huh? It was a theater agency that was trying to get into managing singers. They only started so they had no set system. So I did theater for a year. – Where? Daehak-ro? / – Yes. And I put up posters. Put up posters early in the morning and then put them up again when they’re taken down. – You did that? / – Yes. I’d put them up and run away. What plays did you do? “Go Alone Like Musso’s Horn,” “Beautiful Cause of Death.” You did all those famous plays? And the children’s musical, “Robin Hood and Friends.” “Robin!” I did that. – I bet you were good. / – I did all sorts of stuff. Your dream was to be a singer… Did you get paid for that? – How much? / – I wasn’t paid. – At all? / – They paid you nothing for a year? You weren’t paid for doing plays? Because I was part of the theater troupe. But how about a salary? I didn’t get anything as the youngest. I bet your parents really worried. And I couldn’t tell my parents I was struggling because they worry. Because they worry. I did that too. I came up from Busan. I didn’t make much. Sometimes I made $300 in a year. I know because I did theater in Daehak-ro too. You can’t tell your family about that stuff. Parents are always like… I always talk to my mom on the phone before bed. “Did you eat? What did you have?” Gosh, that makes you so sad. – You get it, right, Sook? / – Of course. So even with all that… – You had to lie… / – Swallow your tears. I couldn’t tell my mom I was struggling. She’d stay up worrying. Back then the situation was so ridiculously hard but if you think back now, it helped nourish you. Right. Those expressions you make up on stage… That’s where it all comes from. So you did theater and put up posters. Then what happened? Making me do theater when they said they’d make me a singer… – Was a clear breach of contract. / – Right. So I told them I wanted to sing and I left that agency. Then I prepared for Club Jean. It was a 4 member girl group. And it wasn’t that easy back then either. How long did you prepare? For another year. – Pay? / – None. That’s rough. When fledgling agencies try to debut groups, not all of them end up debuting. There must be so many. – So that didn’t work out in the end. / – Right. That could happen. So I went to a different agency. I prepared to be in Pink Spicy. – For another year? / – For how long? A year. – Pay? / – None. There was that but this too. People… There were so many mangers that were mean to me. It was so hard… What did the mean manager say? I told you before. She made me get on all fours and wouldn’t let me sleep. I had to hold myself up with my fists. And I’m a girl. How flat could my fists really be? My knuckles pop out here. They got all red and I’d fall over. Then the female manager would kick me. She wouldn’t let me sleep. Then what did you do? Make me practice singing… – You need to sleep to sing. / – Or memorize lyrics… Or write a book report. – Why? / – A book report for what? I don’t even remember the book. So one day I wanted to rebel and didn’t write my book report. So I turned in an empty sheet and she said, “Where’s your book report?” I said I didn’t do it. “Is that how your parents taught you? Why don’t you just quit then? Just go home. Why are you wasting your time here?” That’s what she said. There are a lot of great people in this world… But there are quite a few terrible people in the shadows as well. It was really tough on the other members when we were getting ready. I didn’t think we were going to make it. So I caused a big commotion when I quit that agency. I tore up my contract! “Where’s the CEO?” I was pushed that far. Gosh! Is she insane? I was so angry. Everyone’s someone’s precious daughter. So I made a big commotion at my agency. – You did? / – Yes. That’s why my girl group disbanded. So I was super determined. Determined to succeed no matter what in this industry. Jinyoung endured so many hardships… That was rough for you. You really had it hard. But Jinyoung… Of course it would be better if it didn’t happen… But that’s nourished you to become stronger. Don’t you think? Jinkyung, you sure like to say nourish. I’m running out of words. You said nourish again. So I figured you really like nourishment. I don’t know that many fancy words. I came to Seoul when I was 20 and I’ve faced failure, I’ve left agencies… All that became a foundation so to me, it’s always a harsh reminder. Now I’m very busy and I get tired sometimes but because I had that past, I was able to keep striving for my dream to be a singer… So this time now is precious, I feel like I should try my absolute best I feel like I should improve. That’s why doing 6 to 7 performances a day doesn’t tire me out. You love what you do. Because of my painful past, just being on stage is so much fun for me. And if the audience cheers a lot I do a few more songs. The current you exists now because of your past. Sook, we’ve never heard this before but I knew about it. – Because… / – Why? You knew something nourishing was behind her? Nourish… Because… She doesn’t suit her age. How she acts? – How she acts. / – Yeah. She’s an elder. – The way she thinks… / – Very mature. I could tell she’s been through struggles. – Those you have are different. / – True. Strong. For your age, you’re so different and mature.