Sung Si Kyung makes one think of two different extremes when it comes to personality. An emotional and sensitive musician, but then again a rumored rude guy on variety shows. The image that media has molded Sung Si Kyung into has made it hard to see what “human” Sung Si Kyung is really like, and makes it seem that it is hard to get along with this singer.
Sung Si Kyung agrees. Having woken up from a nap in his room at a music show recording before a recent interview with local media, and not noticing his slightly messed up hair, Sung Si Kyung started ranting, “I’m not that kind of person. I’m really sensitive. I also often feel hurt after people’s reactions,” in response to a simple opening interview question, “Does Sung Si Kyung also get nervous?”
With his smooth “ballad image” and slick way of talking, Sung Si Kyung showed his sense of humor and shared a variety of stories. He didn’t try to hide and talk in a polite and refined way as ordinary celebrities do during interviews, which made for a very fun and interesting atmosphere. There were a lot things that the interviewer believed “would be awesome if used as the article title.” However, Sung Si Kyung requested, “Please write it in a way that people won’t get the wrong ideas.”
Sung Si Kyung was interviewed by local media Osen on the day of his comeback stage.
Were you sleeping with your comeback performance ahead of you?
I was just closing my eyes for a little bit. I could not get any sleep last night because I was so nervous. Even at the rehearsal recording, my hands were so sweaty that it was visible on camera.
Sung Si Kyung is capable of getting nervous too?
I’m actually a really sensitive guy. I speak my mind, but I also think through what I want to say thoroughly. I also regret and get hurt from what I say afterwards. If all people see is the me on TV, there’s no way to prevent people from getting judgmental notions of me. “He’s really rude,” “he has an attitude,” I know that’s the kind of character people perceive me to be. I found that it’s no use to try to defend myself or redeem my image by stating elsewhere. I don’t have a very large network of people that I know, but I am really honest and open to those that understand the kind of person that I am.
This new album “First” is very different from music these days. Even your title track “I Like” has a different feel.
Isn’t a catchy chorus something easy to make? I tried to make the chord a bit unique. The main part of the song was a bit difficult but, I feel like music these days is even more challenging. I believe that a song has to have lyrics that you can understand, but some songs these days I have no idea what they’re talking about.
Looking at things now, singers these days usually do a lot of self advertising by uploading self cam’s and such, but you don’t seem to partake in such activities.
(showing his old-school cell phone) This is what I use. I’d rather have a deep relationship with one person than have 100,000 followers. I understand that our society is a lonely one, but celebrities updating their twitters is not a way of proper communication. Posting that you’re “at a restaurant” with a picture and then not even replying to any of the comments that fans leave you is not really sharing anything. If there’s a good restaurant, I would want to go there with people I like and care about, not reveal it to the masses of people out there. Revealing my private life isn’t really my thing, and those types of posting aren’t really revealing anything anyways. It’s weird to say you’re communicating and sharing your life when it’s only a very small portion you’re showing.
But your juniors that sell part of their private lives reap the benefits of it, you don’t want to do the same?
It is possible that a thorough quality interview such as this can be easily overlooked and be buried underneath meaningless articles on someone posting a self camera picture of themselves. But just because that can happen, doesn’t motivate or propel me to do the same. Even if I do and get good results from it, I think that it’s a bad thing. I believe that valuing myself is important. I also have the confidence to believe that I don’t have to go to those lengths to be successful. Besides, I don’t even like taking pictures. I’m even hesitant about fans that want to take a picture with me.
Your fans have been waiting for a while. You had a 7th Album opening concert in May, but your album has been released in September.
It was a strange and bizarre case of fraud. (laughs) I thought that the album would come out sometime in May because the concert was so early. But because I didn’t like some of the songs, I rewrote them, I caught a cold so I had to hold on recording, for all of these various reasons I lost the right timing. I’m also kind of lazy. For a person that rejects using a cell phone or twitter, I’m kind of slow.
For younger celebrities that get released from the army, seem to start their celebrity lives right away, making it onto TV the day after, but you waited a whole year.
I needed time. I had to prepare to produce myself, so it took time to come back to being a normal citizen. I took the time to fix bad speech habits I picked up, and brush up on recent news and what kind of people have been making it big.
You perfectly timed your comeback right as fall started.
Working on the album ended in August. After finishing the album and having some time before a comeback was a first. It was a mix of feeling anxious, worried and heart fluttering.
You waited for about a month, right? How do you feel after making a comeback in three years?
When I was studying more before applying to college, I had a girlfriend. I had $5 spending money per day, and after buying food to eat and paying for bus fare I would have about $1 left at the end of the day. But I really wanted to buy her a $88 couple ring. I starved myself, and scraped up the money so I could buy the ring. I had to wait two weeks before I gave her the ring. What if she didn’t like it? Should I have bought another one? I was constantly worrying about this and that. And it’s the same with my comeback. I wrote the songs, produced them, and I used a lot of money in the process, so I lost sleep over worrying what kind of response I would get.
You get a lot of criticism from men in general. Would you like someone that had your character?
There isn’t a guy that like.
What if you pretended there was.
I don’t think I would dislike that person. A lot of people tell me I pretend I know what I’m talking about. But I don’t. There’s a lot of things I don’t know, and if I there’s something I don’t know, I’m honest about it. But a lot of guys think that I act like a know-it-all. I think it’s hard to grapple and fix that kind of pre-conception.
A lot of guys criticize saying, “All Sung Si Kyung is is a pretty voice.”
Hm. I’m sorry that I have an above average voice. I’m not good looking, but I’m sorry that I’m okay looking with my glasses on. Am I supposed to respond like that? (laughs) Why do they hate me so? I feel like this society has a surging force of hate. I haven’t even done anything to inconvenience them.
Of course you inconvenience them. Because many of their girlfriends’ ideal guy is someone like you.
Why aren’t there any girls like that around me? I’m always drinking with my manager, trainer and radio staff. I really dislike those that judge me without even having one meal with me. It really hurts a sensitive guy like me.
It’s almost like a stereotype. It seems like you’re quite progressive but then again conservative. You like a romantic guy, but then again might think work is more important in your life.
What I hate the most is “two-facedness.”
I’m sorry. (laughs)
Being conservative is right. It’s my father’s influence. But, I think that love always comes first. Nowadays I’m beginning to think that I have work as much as I love. Being a guy in my 30’s and not capable of being able to work is not a good thing. But that doesn’t mean that I’ll love less. A lot of people rank love as a 3 and work as a 7 on the scale of importance, but even if I lose sleep I want to live as though love and work are both 7’s.
It doesn’t seem like an easy task.
Maybe that’s why I can’t seem to find a girlfriend.
Since it’s been a while since your comeback, there a lot of work ahead of you.
I have a nationwide tour planned, so I’m not sure how long I’ll be on TV. But I’ll definitely be promoting until SNSD makes a comeback! (laughs)