NU’EST’s JR Talks About How He Became Leader, Picks His Proudest Moment + Favorite NU’EST Song, And More

NU’EST’s JR recently participated in an interview series from News1 highlighting K-pop group leaders to talk about his group, career, and more.

Although the role of leader is often appointed to the oldest member, this is not the case for NU’EST. When asked how he became the leader of his group at only 17 years of age, JR shared with a laugh, “I also question why our agency made me leader.”

He continued, “If I really think about it, our oldest member Aron is Korean-American, so he wasn’t that familiar with living in Korea. I also had the longest training period, so I wonder if that’s why they gave me the role of leader. Our agency believed in me.”

JR also spoke about how respecting your members is the key to maintaining a team for a long time. When asked which member he relies on most for advice, he shared that it was hard to pick just one. Instead, he explained the different ways he relies on each member.

He said, “Since Aron is older than me, I tend to lean on him a lot without even knowing. When having to pick a direction or make a big decision, I talk a lot with Baekho. Ren has the ability to make others speak comfortably. To Ren, I talk a lot about my concerns as the human Kim Jonghyun (JR’s birth name), rather than as JR. When I’m working and have realistic concerns that make me think, ‘What should I do?’ I chat with Minhyun. I rely on my members a lot. If I didn’t, it would be so hard.”

Although they initially made their debut in 2012, NU’EST garnered more attention from their group appearance on “Produce 101 Season 2” in 2017. Regarding the difficult decision to compete as a group that had already debuted, JR shared, “It’s true that we had many concerns. At the time, my members and I just thought, ‘Even if it ends when it ends, let’s try everything we can. It’s better to regret it after trying it.'”

He added, “Aron could not compete due to a leg injury, so four of us appeared together. While competing on ‘Produce 101 Season 2,’ I realized a lot of things and learned that hard work pays off as long as you don’t give up. I was proud of myself for taking on the challenge, and I have no regrets.”

Last year, all of NU’EST renewed their contracts with Pledis Entertainment. When asked what the members discussed during that time, JR replied, “When we talked about renewing, everyone’s response was the same: ‘If you do it, I obviously will too!'”

Last May, NU’EST got their first music show win as a full group 2,611 days after their debut. JR talked about this achievement sharing, “After winning first place, I got teary thinking, ‘We’ve come all the way here…How can this be?’ I was just happy.” With a laugh, he added, “I especially liked that it marked the longest time it took for a group to win first place.”

He continued, “After the broadcast, we were on our way to a radio show when my dad called me. However, he didn’t call to talk to me and instead asked to talk to my members to tell them ‘Congratulations.’ It’s really a day I’ll never forget.”

JR also picked his favorite NU’EST song, though he had a hard time choosing because the group’s discography is packed with gems. He explained, “The song where every aspect fits perfectly is our upcoming title track ‘I’m in Trouble.’ Besides this song, it’s our debut song ‘FACE.'” With a laugh he shared, “When I first heard ‘FACE’ I thought, ‘This is going to be huge.'”

When asked what his proudest and most memorable moment has been while promoting, JR picked every moment when their fans are supporting them. He commented, “I feel very regretful that we can’t see our fans up close for these upcoming promotions (due to COVID-19). My proudest moment is winning first place after 2,611 days. There was a time when I thought, ‘Will we be able to win No. 1 as the five of us?’ I was happy to have achieved that.”

Lastly, JR was asked to imagine the future of NU’EST and pick both his short-term goals and long-term dream. For NU’EST he shared, “I always think that it would be nice to be together with my members for a long time.”

He continued, “First, I hope our fans and members are all healthy. Also, my goal is for NU’EST to actively promote for a long time together. Just like how we miraculously won first place after 2,611 days, my dream is to work harder and receive a Daesang (grand prize).”

NU’EST will make their comeback on May 11 with their eigth mini album “The Nocturne.” Check out all the teasers so far here!

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