I was always quiet and inactive, but after I became a singer, I earned the confidence in living my life. I realized that I could achieve anything I wanted ‘as long as I tried.’ It also proved to my parents that I was a kid who could ‘do anything I aspired to do.’ My fans and my parents were always there, no matter what I did. Without them, would I even have existed?
When I think about the cheering of the fans, I always get strength. It’s like I have a great support system. I recollected the bygone times of my life, as a little payback to them.
Jang Su Won
Chapter 1: A Popular Village Boy
"How come this boy looks so pretty?"
"He looks like a girl, the way his skin is so smooth."
When I look at myself in the pictures that were taken when I was little, I do look like a girl, how my skin was so white and my nose so sharp. When my mother wasn’t around, the neighbors all adored me and played with me… is what I hear.
Anyway, I, who had been loved by people all around me, was born on July 16th, 1980 in Boo Chun, between my father Jang Hye Sun and my mother Han Young Lim. I was the 2nd child of the two boys.
"A welcoming guest must be coming."
One day when it was raining so much that nothing could be seen, my mother went in her labor. But when I was actually born, the rain stopped and the sun came out, so all the adults wondered.
When I was little, our house wasn’t too rich but we were happy. Boo Chun back in those days wasn’t so industrialized as it is now. We lived in a place like a rural house. Due to that environment, I spent my childhood days experiencing the wonders of the nature by hanging out with my dad who worked at Korean Airline at the time, and my brother who was 2 years older. We went around catching frogs and dragonflies. We went on the back hill and listened to the chirps of cicadas, and lied on the grass and looked at the sky and dreamed of things. When I look back on those days, I think that the countryboy (me) has come a long way.
In front of my house was a village hall and that place also was my playground. My brother and I practically lived there. I especially remember learning to sing and dance at the preschool in that village hall. Was my intuition being developed there? I not only liked singing and dancing but I was also among the ones who were good at it.
Memories regarding my grandmother who loved me very much take up a significant part of my childhood. My grandmother took care of me because my mother owned a restaurant. It makes me happy that my grandmother is still healthy.
"When I took Su Won out on my back, I couldn’t even take a step because all the villagers adored him so much."
My grandmother still says this and pats my butt. I must still look like a preschooler in her eyes. But when my mother opened a restaurant in Seoul, our family had to leave Boo Chun. My life in Seoul began as I left my friends and the house I was so fond of. That was also the beginning of my elementary days.
I am rather quiet now, but I was a mischievous little boy. There even was an incident when I was playing in someone else’s garage and burned the whole place. I wasn’t very active but I do remember dancing in front of a crowd when there were class vs. class talent shows. As all my peers did, I sung the popular song back then, "Nahn Ahl Ah Yo" by Taiji Boys, rather than nursery rhymes.
I had too many dreams when I was young so when I woke up from my sleep, my future goals always changed. When I saw a soldier, I thought of becoming a soldier and when I watched a soccer game, I thought of being a soccer player.
When we came to Seoul, my father quit his job in order to help my mother who was taking care of the restaurant alone.
Chapter 2: Even When I Dye My Hair and Pierce My Ears…
Must be because I was adored as the last child…
I think my mother believes that whatever I do, I do it well and take care of things myself.
In 9th grade, I was attached to hanging out with my friends. One day, I followed what my friend did and came home, with my ear pierced.
I was pretty cautious about it as I was eating dinner, for I was afraid Mom will find out. But for some reason, she didn’t seem to know. So, the next day, I pierced my other ear for the heck of it. The day after, she seemed to be looking at my ear, but she still didn’t say anything. Until then, I really thought she didn’t know. The next day, I just went ahead and pierced another hole.
"Su Won, did you pierce as much as you want now?"
I then realized that she was pretending to not know even when she knew.
Even when I first dyed my hair and came home, she didn’t hit me or scold me. She just told me, "Do whatever you want," "I trust you."
I suppose other kids try to defy their parents when they get scolded for doing things like that, but I was the opposite case. It was no longer fun once I did it because my parents’ reaction was so calm. I always came back to my original place after I did it once out of curiosity.
I resemble my father very much, and I like him a lot. I can hold man-to-man conversations with him among our family members, we connect that way. He is always kind-hearted and I can tell that he always tries to grant my wishes. On top of that, I even got the liking for dancing and singing from him!
Once, my grandfather’s sister came and said, "Su Won, the way you like to sing all came from your dad. He liked to play guitar and sing when he was in school." I couldn’t believe my father had that side in him since he was always so quiet.
In contrary to my father who likes to do everything we want, my mother is known to be ‘stingy’ in the family. Thanks to her frugality, our house is pretty well off now.
A while ago when we were recording the 4th album, I always came home way early in the morning. Mother always waited for me to come and gave me things to eat. I feel apologetic in my heart but since I don’t speak much, I never express my feelings- I wonder if she resented me for that.
Not just my mother… after I became a singer, I sometimes complain and lash out at my family whether I am aware of it or not. Basically, I take out my stress at home. That isn’t really cool, so I like to take this opportunity to thank my family members for accepting my whines.
Chapter 3: In the Midst of Playing Kids
I was pretty popular among my peers in Jahm Won Elementary. I wasn’t the type to be a leader but since I was out going, I hung out with my friends a lot. My grades were good but I also showed potential in sports. Tae Kwon Do, soccer, basketball, baseball- I liked all kinds of sports. My parents were inherently proud of me for being like this. I was not the kind to worry my parents at that time but…
"Hello, this is Su Won’s friend, may I speak to Su Won?"
"This is he, who is this?"
After I enrolled in Shin Bahn Po Middle School, I kept on getting phone calls from the girls I didn’t know. I must’ve been complacent about that fact, because my grades started dropping since then.
Then, in 9th grade, I hung out with so-called ‘troublemakers’ in school. Once in a while, I attended their birthday parties or meetings but the feelings I received from them were strong for some reason. They were always in groups, doing whatever things they wanted to do. No one could mess with them in school and they were not afraid of anything.
Even when they threw a birthday party, they went all out and sang on the streets. At first, I developed curiosity just from hanging out with them. And they must’ve liked me too, because they included me in their little meetings from time to time. What I discovered from hanging out with them was that without stereotype, I could find good qualities about them.
But it was difficult to receive good grades from hanging out with such friends. The grades dropped so low, to a point where I had to worry about high school entrance. From then on, I limited myself from playing with them. I couldn’t give up on studying entirely. I drifted farther away from them as I became a singer.
There are two friends I got closer to, even when I started singing. They are Yang Kyu Myung and Kang Tae Sung.
"You’re a singer, so what."
They think it is no big deal that I am a singer, they don’t treat me any differently. They don’t envy me or become jealous of me either. Kyu Myung attends Kyung Hee Univ. majoring in P.E., he is a pro golfer. We became friends when we joined the same reading class in 10th grade.
"How unlikely that you are in this reading class!"
We always teased each other like that. Now, instead of reading, we work out together. I was too skinny so I started working out. Doing it with Kyu Myung must have motivated me even more. I feel this ‘rivalry’ towards him these days so I am concentrating on building my cool muscles. Su Won’s muscles, coming soon!
Tae Sung has been a close friend of mine since elementary. He keeps good grades in school. He is preparing for the college entrance just like me now. He is intelligent and diligent so I don’t worry about him, but I wish we could both go to a school we want. I wish to share unchangeable friendships throughout my life with these two precious friends.
Chapter 4: Yearning for My School Days
When I reminisce about my teachers, I cannot leave out the one from my 7th grade year. He made us write a journal every single day and when the school was over, he did a checkup. I could only go home if I passed the checkup, it was such a suffocating experience!
I like freedom. If something tries to restrict me, I develop defiance in my mind first. At the time, that impression was stronger. I was strongly opposed to the teacher’s attitude that always tried to reign the teenage boys who were defiant, with violence.
Then one day in 9th grade, my friends got caught smoking. And I, who happened to be with them at that time, got called in as well. The teacher made us write the statement of self-reflection. He misunderstood that since I was with them, I smoked as well. But I wrote all 10~20 pages, "I didn’t smoke, I didn’t smoke." I suppose he didn’t like that and thought of me as a liar. I was suspended for that incident during the break.
But I was so indignant. Since I seemed so quiet on the outside, I think he was a bit surprised by how I was so strong with my opinions. Yes. I hear many times that I look quiet, but if there is something I want to do or if I have to step up in some situation, I become active. I usually express my thoughts strongly.
I don’t just have the bad memories of my teachers. I have many teachers who remain as the thankful ones in my memory. For example, in 10th grade, my homeroom teacher always gave me a pass when I had to go and do things for Jekki. And he didn’t forget to tell me "Always try your best." He helped me in many other ways.
In 11th grade, my homeroom teacher asked the principal to enable me to do the singing activities legally. At that time, there weren’t too many idol stars so there was a trend of looking at us with prejudice when we told them we were singing. I become earnest when I think of my two teachers who were very considerate. But the school I attended, Se Hwa H.S., had very strict rules. With the teachers’ help only, it was impossible to be a singer. It was impossible for them to give me any special benefits when I wasn’t even famous yet.
With no choice, I transferred to KFS (Korean Foreign School), the school that didn’t put any restriction on the entertainers. But this time, it was harder for me to catch up in my classes. Lectures were done by foreign teachers and even the test questions were written in English, so it was inherent that I couldn’t catch up.
I am saddened by the reality of me having to transfer and the fact that I couldn’t enjoy high school life due to my singing activities. I didn’t make that many friends either and I couldn’t concentrate on my studies. When I think of my high school years, I realize the statement, ‘No pain, no gain.’
However, I receive comfort from the fact that I got to meet my precious Jekki members and the fans. Since I know that the pain of losing is big, yet the happiness of gaining is great as well, I feel a lot better now.
[Picture insertion- Sleigh riding! I begged my mom to take me here on a really cold day]
Chapter 5: The Audition I Took with My Friends
"I want to go to a school of arts."
It was right before my middle school graduation. Since I was rather introverted in both my house and school, my parents were speechless at my sudden declaration and only stared at my face blankly. And because they knew that I always had to do what I wanted, they gave me their permission with ease.
Truthfully, I dreamed of being a singer since my middle school days. I confirmed my underlying potentials as I was singing and dancing along to the songs I liked back then, by Deux and Taiji Boys. But since I was so passive, I didn’t say it to anyone. I just told myself silently, ‘I want to be a singer, I will be a singer.’
I prepared the best I could, in hopes to go to Kye Won School of Arts. But time wise, it was impossible for me in comparison to other kids who prepared since they were in elementary. I failed the test, probably because I decided on going too late. I failed my high school entrance exam but by that time, I was already determined to ‘be a singer’ rather than ‘to study hard.’
Now that I think about it, I really wonder how I made that decision, because I am so quiet and timid. Was it a breezing trend like my peers who were obsessed with dancing and singing?
At that time, there was a huge backdancer boom amongst my high school friends. Since I really liked dancing, I danced with them. But I didn’t dare to think I could be a ‘backdancer or a singer.’ I just liked dancing, and I liked to watch dancing. It was fun enough just seeing it.
Then one of the middle school kid junior to us gave us a piece of information. He asked us if we wanted to try out at an audition at some production. We didn’t have any skills to present, because we were only dancing and singing for fun. But we felt like having fun, so we just said ‘what the heck!’ and participated in the audition. But when we actually arrived at the audition, there were a few hundred, I mean, a few thousand kids waiting for their turn! Compared to me and my friends who came for the fun of it, they all looked serious. On top of that, their dancing and singing skills were very high. My mouth dropped open at their level that I couldn’t even compare to mine.
It was an audition I came to anyway, so even though I wasn’t perfect at it, I sang the song I liked back then, "Ee Bahm Eui Ggeut Eul Jab Go" by Solid. But I received a call from the manager unexpectedly the next day. He told me to come to the 2nd audition. Only 2 out of 5 of us who went there together got a call. I could only doubt my ears. I got rid of all those competitors from that audition? It was unbelievable.
But the friend who got a call with me couldn’t attend the 2nd audition. I became hesitant at that moment. It was really hard for me to decide because I didn’t try out with a determination to become a singer, and I didn’t have the confidence with my skills either.
‘It’s better not to go than to be embarrassed.’
My mind was filled with this thought.
Did they guess how I felt? A while after the audition time, the production called me, asking me why I wasn’t coming. At that moment, I didn’t have time to think anything, I just caught a taxi and hurriedly went to the production.
I met the production manager for the first time. The kind impression he carried, unlike a production manager would normally have, eased my nervousness.
"Honestly, I really can’t."
"How about the dance?"
"I can’t dance well either."
"Really? But you are willing to practice hard, right?"
I was not apt in lying or bs’ing, so I told him honestly. I didn’t even dream about being a member of Jekki. When I took the audition, I felt a bit empty. ‘I shouldn’t have come.’ I thought that and just dragged my feet and went down the stairs, but Ki Youngie hyung (our manager now) stopped me.
"Come starting tomorrow and practice."
I couldn’t believe it. I suppose they were impressed by how I was trying hard. Even when I think about it now, I think it was my fate to become the member of Jekki. The situation could only be explained like that.
Chapter 6: We are Eagle 6
A polished fashion and a hairstyle unlike a high school student. Even from the start, Sung Hoon looked like an entertainer. With his soft and bright face, it gave out a good impression. Ji Wonie hyung is someone I saw at the office, and unlike Sung Hoon, he had a strong impression and I could feel some kind of charisma within him.
I met Jae Dukkie hyung at the dance practice hall. He had a short hair and a cute image. Jae Jinnie hyung’s dance I saw at Lee Juno’s office was just fantastic. At last, I saw Ji Yong and he had a sporty hairdo back then. In some ways, he looked like an exemplary student and in other ways, he just looked cute.
They were all so handsome and most of all, they gave me a good first impression. Their singing and dancing were really high leveled. I gained confidence from thinking that, "If I’m with them, no one can treat us wrong." So what if I lack in skills, I have such a great background! But I never fell behind in my practices. I practiced even harder to improve the areas where I wasn’t very confident of.
After our team was established, we had practice after practice. We were scolded many times by Ki Young (our manager). If we didn’t do either dance or sing right, he yelled at us and just discouraged us. But no one really complained. We only thought of ‘doing well.’ In order to do that, we were ready to accept any criticisms.
Since 6 people with different personalities were gathered together, it was hard to open up at first. I mean, we were 6 totally different people put into a same team!
Now, it has been 3 years since we got together and we are like brothers. It even feels weird if we don’t see each other for one day.
"Jae Dukkie hyung, what are you up to?"
"Ji Yong, let’s play."
"Hey, aren’t you tired of seeing us everyday?"
But they don’t seem to dislike it when I call them out. Rather, when one member gets out, sooner or later, the rest of us all get together. On top of that, we like to play around and pull tricks. Then when something serious happens, we care about each other.
We went through thick and thin so now we all know what each other thinks in their mind. If someone gets his feelings hurt, we all ache together. Now we can’t break up even if we want to, we are like brothers. Eagle 5, no, Eagle 6!!
(Picture insertion: With the managers who always take care of us)
Chapter 7: As a Group that Stands Out
"I did everything I can. It looks like the only thing left is for you guys to get up there and try your best."
A week before our first TV appearance, Mr. Lee gathered us together and told us. I cannot forget what he said to us in such a grave atmosphere.
‘Yes, we just have to show what we practiced so far.’ I declared to myself.
I don’t think I will ever forget our first stage show on KMTV. We went to the makeup hall for the first time, but I got the impression that it was a bit shabby than I thought. But that wasn’t my primary concern.
As I was waiting for our turn in the makeup hall, I began to get anxious. I worried whether or not we would do well and my legs started to shake.
"The next up is Sechs Kies, 6 Crystals!"
Even before the MC finished announcing us, we jumped out to the stage. It was our first show but many fans yelled our name. That was unexpected. We exchanged nervous glances and gained courage and went on the stage.
(Picture insertion: Quiet yet mischievous little boy Jang Su Won)
"Like the phone that doesn't ring, I'm living this world without any expressions. When the school bell rings ‘ding’ our war begins again. Everyone's friend is everyone's enemy, everyone struggles to trample down on each other……" [From Hak Won Byul Gok]
I don’t even recall what thoughts we carried when we were performing. But everyone commented with hopeful words after we got off the stage, all sweaty.
"This group really stands out, it has a good premonition."
"Something different, a newcomer with potential."
The executive producer said this. I was finally relieved after hearing this, and I could see everyone in front of me clearly. I felt my heart bursting with hope.
Our 1st album title song, ‘Hak Won Byul Gok,’ entered the top 10 in a popular chart program. Our next title song ‘Pom Saeng Pom Sa’ made a lyrical trend, ‘Live in form, die in form,’ and brought a big sensation to the music world. I then forgot all about all the times we suffered before the debut and the worries we had.
And a few days ago, many fans came to my house on my birthday and threw me a birthday party. All these good and happy memories breeze through my head like a panorama.
Chapter 8: Falling in Love with the Charm of the Concerts
I cannot forget our 2nd concert we held at the Gymnasium in 1998, after our first concert at Se Jong Cultural Center in 1997. The members and I fell in love with what the concert had to offer the first time, so we were eagerly anticipating for our 2nd concert as well.
For the concert, we prepared everything near perfection. We had to practice after practice, it was difficult. But when we saw some 8,000 people who came just to see our performance, I had forgotten all about the arduous times.
We approached our fans who were yelling "Jekki, Jekki----!" with nervousness.
The Gymnasium had a versatile stage where it could transform its shape the way we wanted. The special effects and the lighting were so great in comparison to our first concert at Se Jong Cultural Center. Since the stage was bigger, we knew that any mistake was not acceptable, so we were somewhat burdened by the fact that we had to show our fans the better performance.
Honestly, I was so nervous that I could not see anything in front of me until I sang about 3 songs. But after some time had passed, I could slowly see the members and the fans. From then on, I fell in love with the concert.
‘This is why the singers senior to us say they cannot forget their concerts.’
I personally like the concert stage where we could interact with the fans better, rather than the TV shows. The TV has so many restrictions, such as ‘No earrings’ or ‘No dying hair.’ It is the era of the multi-talented entertainers. If a singer were to just come out dressed like a governor, the audience would change their channel.
For this reason, rather than the TV that has strict rules, the concerts that can show more variety are considered better. And when we are on TV, we barely sing one song and have to come off the stage because of the time limit, but the concert allows us to arrange everything without having to consider time. We can set up the stage so it fits Jekki’s image more, and we can also feel the fans’ reactions right away, so everything is more dynamic.
But that doesn’t mean I only like the big stages. A few years ago, Jekki was a continuous guest in a program called "Teuk Jong TV Yeon Ye City" in MBC. The ‘Buhn Gae Concert’ was the surprise concert we held by going to the place we wanted.
The place we visited was in Dae Gu, where the handicapped children resided in. I was very saddened by the fact that those children who were supposed to be playing but couldn’t because of their handicaps. Not just me, but I remember all the members crying and trying our best for this concert. This was the very first experience of helping someone else after I became a singer, where I got to share the precious and the warm heart.
Chapter 9: Telepathic Fans < P>A while ago, I was so surprised when I woke up from my sleep. One fan was looking at me sleeping, through my window.
This happened once. One fan wanted to converse with me for a short time so I went out and talked to her, and in no time, one hour just passed. I told her, since I was going to be late for the TV, I had to leave. But she was asking me to talk to her more! I had no choice but to leave her behind, and later had to cope with the story that "Su Won became arrogant after becoming popular."
But even those fans are considered polite, compared to the ones who come to my house at 4am and kick the door and ring the bell and yell at me to come out. I’m even scared to go home on the weekends, when there are many fans waiting in front of my house. So when there is a special schedule the next day and we need to rest, I sleep somewhere else with the members. But there aren’t just aggressive fans like these. The majority of the fans watch our performances, and they give us strength with their kind words and letters of encouragement when we are exhausted.
To be truthful, I now know all the names and the faces of the fans that come to our performances all the time and watch us in the front. They probably don’t know that I know all of them.
I became attached to them. They are all like little siblings to me, even though I have never talked to them. But they all know well that I cannot treat them like m real siblings. There are too many of them, so I can’t just pretend to know some and not know the other. I believe they will understand my situation.
Unlike my face that looks younger than my actual age, I have many fans who are older than me. There are the ones who are 8 to 10 years older than me. I guess they consider me as their cute little brother.
I sometimes try to convince my members that some fans and I are telepathic. This happened a while ago. I was watching TV and thought I wanted a framed CD. Then from a fan, I received my favorite CD in a frame as a present. The fans know what I like better than myself.
I feel bad when I see 30-40 fans that spend the night in front of my house just to see my face. They waste so much time…. Just to see my face coming out of the house or getting in the car. I sometimes feel bad because I think they are wasting their time when they should be studying. I want my fans to remember the fact that they ‘liked Jekki’ when they were students, as good memories.
I know why we are on the stage. We are singing the songs that our fans want to sing, we are saying the words that they want to say. I know for sure that if it weren’t for the fans, we would not exist.
Chapter 10: The World Outside of the Stage
Taking a break!
Just the words are sweet enough. The emptiness I feel when I come home, dragging my exhausted body when I get off the stage.. would the fans know this feeling? But even this emptiness doesn’t last long, as I lie in my bed. The lights turn on again on the ceilings, and I fantasize about being on the stage. The stage is a very fantastic atmosphere for me.
That’s why what I am afraid of the most is my life as a singer ending. So when we go on a break after we are done with our performances, I never fall back on recharging myself. I practice singing and I monitor myself on the TV shows.
How meaningless my life would have been if it weren’t for music. My only hobby is going to a PC place once in a while and playing computer games once in a while. There hardly are any girls in the PC place so I can freely enjoy playing, though there are some boys that recognize us.
But going to a theater or an amusement park is almost like a reckless thing to do. Speaking of that, being an entertainer comes with many disadvantages in life, more than needed. Before I became one, I had fantasized about the entertainers. I thought they drove the best cars and ate at the most expensive restaurants. But after I became one, that was only an illusion.
I have to skip meals because I get tired after finishing the dance and the recording until the day ends. And we should be treated as the old (?) group now that we are out with the 4th album, but the people at the TV stations still treat us like children. And I become sensitive because I meet a lot of people, and I tune into every little detail that goes around me.
But there was a lot I learned after I became a singer. First, I became more polite. Once we step in the TV station, Jekki is the group busy bowing to people. So we sometimes hear that we are more polite than the other groups. And even though I am still young, I think I developed the ability to see through people. I would just accept what people say if it was before, but now, I try to find the hidden meanings in people’s speech. I realized that what I see isn’t always the truth.
I sometimes witness hypocritical people who are nice to the ones that give them good, but treat their managers harshly. I am not defending my group but we never treat our managers like that. Rather, we are very close to our managers, almost like the real siblings. Personal stuff, like going to the movies or shopping, we call them and hang out with them. Of course, the managers treat us like their younger brothers, not only as entertainers.
Chapter 11: Teenage Entertainers are Arrogant?
"Su Won? Su Won? Where are you?"
When people are taking pictures of us for magazines and such, sometimes I disappear and people search for me anxiously.
It’s because I am quiet and I never stand out. People who compliment me say that I haven’t changed since I became a star, and that I am always kind and modest.
But I know that this could be a minus factor in being an entertainer. ‘You have no individualism, you’re just there,’ ‘You’re too quiet’….etc… However, I don’t have special plans to change my image. Rather than someone that shines only in the beginning, I believe I am the one to blossom as I go on. I just want to improve my singing, dancing, and stage manner slowly.
"Young people nowadays are arrogant."
"They only think about themselves and they have no depth."
I see many adults who say that. They especially seem to think so when they see the teenage entertainers. They probably think we are too young to come out with our hair dyed in yellow and in weird clothes, when we are supposed to be studying, lip-syncing the songs that are not even worth singing. Really, I receive the cheering of the teenage fans but I sometimes feel the sharp glares of the adults out in the streets.
But what made the teenagers to be like that? I think it is the older generation. They always corner the teens into competition, so we need some kind of an outlet.
And the so-called ‘arrogance’ that they speak of, I can feel that they don’t like us to express our opinions so outwardly. But I wish they would understand how we could be so straightforward because we have not been washed away in this world and are still innocent.
Yet I do think that if there are teen entertainers, they should be somewhat different from the ordinary teens. Their little actions and words could affect their peers very much. I think it is the best to act humble and polite. ‘Because we’re still young….’ ‘Because we haven’t suffered yet…’ There are all just excuses.
Hence, I am still young but I always try to act polite.
Chapter 12: To be a True Musician
‘Once you step out of the entertainment industry, you become messed up.’
‘A star looks pathetic when he is ordinary.’
After I became a singer, I heard many of these things. These days in particular, I really think that I might turn out like this.
If I weren’t a singer, I might have just been an ordinary salary man, but now, I do not think I can settle down and live my life. It would be hard for me to even work for a company, but I also wonder if I will be able to survive in a systematic society.
Since I became a singer the hard way, I wish to stay as a musician. I started as a teenage group but I realize that I cannot remain an idol star.
But when I became a singer, I found out that the music industry was really broad. What makes a singer is not just a singer alone, but various of other people such as composers, lyricists, planners, producers, and recording engineers. So in order to survive as a musician rather than an idol star, I should probably study music diligently.
I think about queer things at times, so I seriously wonder if I really need college. I don’t like the theory that I have to go because everyone else does. If I were to go to college with that theory, it is obvious that I won’t enjoy it as much, with an excuse that I am too busy with singing activities.
My working in some company would never happen in life, so I really don’t think it is necessary for me to go to college. I sometimes see in dramas that parents oppose marriage because the main character has low educational status, but if I have to go to college for that reason, it’s all the more ‘no thank you.’
So what is my purpose of going? It’s because I yearn for the things I did not get to enjoy back in high school. The fact that I didn’t complete my studies in one school must have remained as a small scar in me. So when I go to college, I want to try my best I my studies and enjoy my campus life as well.
Fortunately, for the upcoming year 2000, I was admitted to Kyung Hee Univ. as a theatre major. It was an early admission and I really anticipate it because it looks like I will be able to experience many studies and others for an entertainer.
The class of 2000, Jang Su Won! I don’t know what would hinder me, but I really want to try my best to make my college life that will be without regrets.
When I think about my future, the subject of getting married dawns on me. In some magazine interview, I wrote that my ideal woman is a sexy type, but that was for fun. I just like a kind one. Since I am quiet, I also think I would like a cute and winsome type of woman.
How about getting married to that kind of girl when I am 27. I imagine myself being a father that thinks of my family first (just like my dad), living in a sweet home with my children. Living a happy life with the person I love, and also being acknowledged as a musician…
Am I being too greedy?
Chapter 13: Mother Han Young Rim Speaks of her Son Su Won
"Mom, I passed the audition."
"What are you talking about?"
I couldn’t help but to doubt my ears when Su Won first told me that he was going to become a singer. What we knew of Su Won so far was that he was just a submissive and an ordinary son. I occasionally saw him dancing in his room but I did not think he was trying to be a singer at all.
Come to think of it, though he was an introvert, he still could draw people’s attention since he was little. Every neighbor loved him. I was too busy operating the restaurant so the other adults in the village raised him- he was that cute and mild.
And when he got into preschool, I remember singing and dancing well. He was so cute so my mother-in-law or husband did everything that he asked for.
Su Won was notorious for being mischievous. I did not see him for a whole day once he got out of the house in the morning, he was just always playing outside. He was small but had strength, so I am thankful that he never caught cold and just grew up as a strong person.
He looks quiet on the outside, but once he set his mind on something, both his father and I could not win over him. But he didn’t have a crooked personality, he just wanted to do whatever he aspired to do. That’s probably why people seem to like him better as the time goes on.
When Jekki released their 1st and 2nd albums, I told him,
"Su Won, you seem too quiet in the interviews, why don’t you try to stand out?"
"Mom, what’s the point of standing out in the interviews? I should try to stand out in singing or with my competence! And if there is a person that stands out, there also needs to be a quiet one.
He is not greedy- so he gets along with everyone.
What saddens me the most after he became a singer is about his health. He seems fine still, but his unbalanced eating habits and lack of sleep worry me.
And it worries me to watch his fans that wait in front of our house just to see Su Won.
"We came to see Su Won just once."
They wait for days just to see him, and it hurts me. I wonder how their parents would worry about them so much at home.
When he first told us that he wanted to be a singer, we worried a lot.
‘He’s still young, what if he fails.’
‘His studies will lack….’
But now, I feel better looking at Su Won’s bright face, for he does what he likes now. I just earnestly wish that he doesn’t get chased by his work and always have some room in his life.