INTERVIEW – Singles Magazine 2019 March Issue



“I wish the shooting could have been a little longer,” after the last cut was taken, that was what Park Jihoon said. On a day when it was still harshly cold outside though the onset of spring has passed a long time ago, different from all the staffs that grew exhausted after having to move everywhere for the photoshoot, he was still lively as always. He was only wearing thin clothes and still jumped up and down from time to time [due to the cold], but once he stood in front of the camera, Park Jihoon oozed out a fresh energy with his smile that is even more beautiful than the flowers, as if the Park Jihoon that jumped from the cold never existed. Looking at him from close, he was even firmer and brighter than what I expected. From Wanna One to Park Jihoon, starting a whole new chapter with only his name, we could not feel any nervousness or fear from the 21-year-old boy who will be making his first step. Only the energy from his fortune and passion full of confidence shines through.


Your first fanmeeting has been a success. It made to the headlines for selling out all the tickets in just 1 minute. It is an honor to me. Since it was the first stage as a solo after group promotions, I looked forward to it. I was kind of nervous but as there were only people who gave me love and support, I felt more confident. It was a lot of fun. Fans said that they wanted to see me performing a full ballad song and a dance performance so I prepared a lot. I think the stage where I covered Taemin sunbaenim’s ‘Press Your Number’ received the best response.


You are preparing to stand alone as an artist with the name Park Jihoon. What kind of resolution do you have? Whatever it is, I think the start is very important. I want to save up experience and grow step by step calmly.

[T/N: Jihoon used the phrase ‘단추를 꿰다’ here, which means ‘threading the buttons’ literally.]


We are looking forward to seeing what kind of image you will show us in the future. As a singer, I want to be able to do well with any genre. I plan to break away from the old Park Jihoon that the public are used to and show a new image of myself.


I think you will do well without any problem. To be honest, rather than fear or nervousness, your face radiates a positive energy. My life motto is actually ‘practice instead of using your time to worry.’


That is wise. Maybe it is because you are the winner of a survival show, you seem to be very seasoned and experienced. You have the strength which does not resemble that of a rookie. Thank you for your words. I see fans leaving comments on the Internet saying I’m not like a rookie from time to time, I think of those as encouragement for me to do even better in the future.


Before you are a trending idol, you are still a normal 21-year-old boy. What are you like in your daily life? There is nothing special about me. When I do not have any schedule, I spend the whole day with my pet Max. I would try to give him a walk even for a little while or I would work out and then eat some tasty snacks.


You are famous with your love for Max. Is there anything different after you got Max? Maybe it is because Max is quite a mischievous boy, but after having him, there is no quiet day for me. My house got noisier. It feels like I have a younger brother now.


If you had a resting day like today photoshoot’s concept, what do you want to do? I want to go on a vacation with my family and eat delicious food. I actually planned to go to the East Sea and watch the sunrise on Lunar New Year with my family, but I was busy preparing for the fanmeeting and woke up late so I could not go. Even though we live in the same house, since I am busy, it is hard to spend some relaxing time with my parents and brother. If I had time to rest, I would use that time to be with my family first.


You became the nation’s idol after 1 year, aren’t your family amazed about that? My parents did not say anything. My brother does not say that I am his brother to anyone else. My family do not really pay much attention it.


If there was a chance to retry for Wanna One, would you still take it? Of course. When can 11 members with different charms gather together like that again? If there was a 10th, 20th chance, I would still take it.


If you were to do Wanna One again? I showed a too cute image at the beginning (laughs), if I were to do everything again, I would show a more dignified and mature image.


Being cute is Park Jihoon’s charm (laughs). Seeing you today makes me think that you are comfortable with the camera. Is it because you were a child actor? I think so. Being on the stage or in front of the camera is the most fun for me. When it all ends, I feel somewhat pity and empty.


It seems like you were born for the stage. What do you feel when returning to your own time after the performance? After doing a performance or holding a concert in front of a lot of people, I feel a bit empty. Many fans come to see me but when I come home, there are times when things suddenly turn quiet. It makes the previous moment I had seem like a dream, I just could not believe it happened. But I try my best to maintain my unchanging mind both on stage and off stage.


What do you think is the part that became more mature during your activities? Back then, I was greedy and only wanted to pursue the image or style that I liked. But now, fans’ opinion is the most essential to me. Me working hard to show fans the image that they wanted to see is the part of me that changed the most I think. It is thanks to the fans that give me a lot of love that I got to grow and mature.


What is the music Park Jihoon wants to pursue? I want to do a variety of genre. Ballad, hip-hop, rap, I want to challenge myself in different genres. Since I only showed my cute self before, I kind of think it is now the time to show my sexy side too (laughs). My goal for this year is to show various charms in music.


Music that you listen on repeat recently? I listen to a lot of future bass EDM these days. I usually search for upbeat songs but the song I’m addicted to recently has been Marlin’s ‘54321.’ I have it on loop.


You are currently in Chungang University, Department of Theater and Film. Do you have any plans to pick up acting? No matter what work it might be, if there is a role for me, I want to try. I want to pick up acting, but I am also careful about it. I am thankful that there are suggestions from different projects, I am still looking into it.


If you were to pick a role model that you want to become? It is normal to look up to a senior and dream of being like him, but for me, I want to work harder and create my own color, my own style. Making a new genre called Park Jihoon. I want to become an artist that makes people say “I want to be like Park Jihoon.”


The age of 21 is the age when you have so many things you want to do. What is the thing you really want to do these days? I want to go on a vacation just by myself. In January, I went on trip to Vladivostok with my mom and fell in love with Russia. The weather was cold but my mind felt refreshed. It was a long time since I last walked around on the streets like that, and I felt that going on a trip was really a good thing. Next time, I want to go to Moscow alone.


What would Park Jihoon be like after 10 years? After 10 years I will be 31 years old. I am also curious about what I will be like then. If I start off everything right, I think I will be able to continue with an upright attitude. I will work and save up my experience slowly so I won’t stray off. I hope I can become a cool man who does not look sideways and silently walks on his own path.


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