Super Junior-M’s Zhoumi Talks About His Life, Career, and Friendships in Korea
Super Junior-M‘s Zhoumi recently posed for a casual yet stylish photo shoot for BNTNews, as well as sat down for an interview about his life in Korea.
Zhoumi debuted as a member of Super Junior‘s Chinese sub-unit Super Junior-M in 2008, and the group most recently released their third mini-album “Swing” in 2014. Later that year, he debuted as a solo artist with his own mini-album entitled “Rewind.” He’s currently an MC on SBS MTV‘s “The Show,” and he frequently makes appearances on variety shows as well as radio shows such as KBS Cool FM‘s “Kiss the Radio.”
BNTNews says Zhoumi was bright and friendly, as well as surprisingly talkative, during their interview with the star. They had worried about his Korean level, but they found that there was absolutely no reason to be concerned. He tells them that he’s now familiar with most of the language used in everyday situations, although he adds that he has to use a translation application to help him when his doctor uses difficult words.
The magazine notes that his process of adapting to Korea was difficult because of the language barrier. Zhoumi says he ate the same food for a month because he couldn’t speak Korean. He also says he was taught when he first arrived in Korea that it was important to greet people politely, so he’d greet people he didn’t even know with a full 90-degree bow. In addition, he used a very formal and polite form of Korean, even to his close younger friends, because that’s what he learned first. He says that he still laughs about it with the guys from SHINee.
Zhoumi says that the fact that he’s now hosting a live television show in Korea surprises even himself. “But it’s been a huge help to me, because my Korean language skills have improved,” he says.
He adds that in addition to his language skills, his feelings about Korea have also changed significantly. He says that all together, including his time as an SM Entertainment trainee, he’s spent eight years living in Korea. “I feel like Korea is my second home now,” he says. “When I come back from working abroad, I feel relaxed when I get off the plane at the airport in Korea. I think ‘Ah, now I’m home.'”
After having been performing as a member of Super Junior-M since 2008, Zhoumi debuted as a solo artist in 2014. “When I put out my solo album, it was really hard to fill the stage all on my own,” he says. When asked what he remembers about his first ever solo stage, he says, “Thinking about it now, it was really the worst. It was live, but all I could think was ‘Ah, I screwed it up.’ I think when I release my next solo album, I’ll be able to do a good job, because I’ve gained so much experience from being an MC on a music show.”
When asked how he feels now that he’s being recognized in Korea, Zhoumi says that before he started solo activities, he used to always be mistaken for his label mates Kangta or Super Junior’s Siwon. “Whenever I went somewhere, people would come up to me to say hello because they thought I was Kangta,” he says. “But now they know who I am, and say they saw me on a music show or on ‘Abnormal Summit.’ The fact that it seems like they know who I am feels really great.”
Zhoumi says that he wishes that Super Junior-M could do more activities together, but he knows that everyone’s really busy. He continues, “Back when Henry and I were added, six of us all slept together in the same room in order to get to know each other. Like we were at kindergarten. In the same space, we bumped into each other, relied on each other, and got to know each other quickly. Now we know each other so well that we feel like a family instead of just friends.”
“When my album came out, they came to the network to cheer me on,” he goes on. “I was so grateful. To be honest, I don’t have a lot of Korean celebrity friends, so I’m so touched when the members come see me.”
He also says he’s friends with KARA‘s Youngji, and that he’s so close with miss A‘s Fei and Jia that they’re practically family. When they get a craving for Chinese food, they’ll go out and eat it or cook it together. When asked who he’d like to sing a duet with, he says he’d love to release an album with Fei and Jia. He jokes that they spend so much time together, whether it’s going shopping, having a meal, or going to the movies, that it’s disrupting their love lives because none of them have time to go on dates.
Zhoumi says, “I always want to show new sides of myself, and I hope I’ll have more chances in the future to do so in Korea.”
You can watch a video from the photo shoot below!