SHINee's Key Talks About Finding Inspiration For Upcoming Solo Album, Importance Of Living True To Himself, And More

SHINee’s Key recently participated in a pictorial and interview for fashion magazine Vogue!

In the interview, Key spoke about what the keyword “retro space” means to him. “Before retro became a mega trend, it was a theme that was already built into me,” he shared. “I’ve always yearned after that culture and wanted to try it out in my own way someday.”

The retro trend is something Key is infusing throughout his upcoming solo album “BAD LOVE,” which will be released on September 27. Mentioning how he took inspiration from the science fiction genre, Key revealed that he researched old toys, drawings done by legendary rock bands, and classic foreign movie posters in order to put together the concept for his album.

As for how the album design was determined, Key said, “For my previous album, I considered the votes of experts in the field and other staff members. However, for ‘BAD LOVE’ since I had already suggested the keyword ‘retro space,’ I wanted to include my own input more than before. My standard for choosing the album design came from the thought that a CD is a type of souvenir. You want to collect it, and you feel good when you get it. Rather than something you could buy at any time, I wanted an album that had a strong, seasonal vibe.”

When he struggled to think of a word to describe what he wanted his album to be, the interviewer suggested “artwork.” Key agreed, adding, “That’s right. People who buy artbooks might do so because they like it, but they also get great enjoyment just from possessing them. I want my album to be like that.”

Key pointed out that even though it’s his own solo album, the style shouldn’t be completely his own. “I considered a lot of different perspectives,” he said. “However, this time around I thought I would regret it if I didn’t do what I wanted. Recently, I’ve been on a lot of variety shows and haven’t done much musically. I want to let people know that I’m powerful and have a strong conceptual side. Like I’m the ‘essential key.'”

Key also revealed that he cried on the filming set for the ‘BAD LOVE’ music video. He explained, “This album must have been really intense. There were issues with the budget and time, the synopsis for the music video was overturned, I had disagreements with people…there was a lot of drama. The moment when the filming ended felt somewhat complicated.”

Describing himself as someone who prefers to stay busy, he credited this personality trait to his experience having lived a life that was determined by others. “I can make much better decisions since I know much more now than when I was 18, and I also have the courage to say ‘no,'” he shared. “This is a self-marketing era where it’s good to reveal more of myself. There’s still a lot I don’t know. A few months ago when I was promoting ‘Don’t Call Me,’ I was shocked when I heard the comment, ‘Key must like singing and dancing.'”

Key figured the reason for this comment must have been due to his constant appearance on variety shows and his recent military service. “The idea of me singing must have been new to the public. Because of those words, I’ve realized once again what I am in the present moment.”

He noted the importance of consistently making himself known through various social media platforms, saying, “As this is an era where it’s normal to appear on things constantly, if you take even a little break, it could feel like a long hiatus. I’m not a celebrity who makes YouTube videos, but I try to appear on other people’s videos often.”

Key pointed out that social media has also made it possible for him to easily let people know what he likes as he reminisced, “It took a long time to let people know that I liked clothes. There was no Instagram back then.”

The influence of social media isn’t the only thing that has changed since Key became a celebrity. He also mentioned how his personality had changed compared to around five years prior. “Previously I would go out whenever I had the time, whether it be to buy clothes, go to the dermatologist, or meet up with friends,” he commented. “Now I enjoy spending time cleaning the house or looking after my dogs. I call it ‘the joy of solitude.’ It’s nice when friends visit my house, but after one or two hours, I wonder when they’ll leave, ha ha.”

Key then brought up his interest in environmental issues, commenting, “As I’m someone who moves around a lot, I can’t stop using plastic, but I try to distance myself from it. I posted pictures on Instagram from when I went to a zero waste store, hoping that someone would see and be influenced by it. I’m coming up with some ideas related to the environment, but I’m also not perfect so I’m being cautious.”

The interviewer wrapped up by asking Key if he ever heard the comment, “Out of all the people around me, you seem the happiest.” Key answered with a laugh, “I’ve never heard that, but people do tell me that they’re jealous of how I can plainly say what I like and don’t like.”

Check out the teasers for “BAD LOVE” here!

Also check out Key’s 2017 drama “The Guardian” below:

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