Individual Interview: EXO’s Wolf Emblem
There is no prey that you cannot catch; it depends on whether or not you have the ambition to catch it. There are no dreams that cannot be fulfilled; it depends on whether or not you have the ambition to do it. In the eyes of this pack of “wolves”, you will never see the kind of despair or regret that makes people disheartened. Because they know, no matter how many failures they experience, that as long as they persist they will definitely succeed. Because they want to become the princes that people adore, all of the hard work is worth it.
Teamwork, unity, endurance, dedication, struggles, loyalty, even the appropriate amount of greed……if you tightly link life and dreams together, then you will discover, that they will always shine.
Waiting is a type of distinctive feeling, and to be filled with waiting is a forever unsatisfied desire
Whether it’s the romance novels that are unripe and ignorant, or the interlinking detective novels, or the abstract fantasy stories, they all cannot escape this kind of setting – waiting. Waiting is a kind of distinctive feeling; it might be within the sense of excitement in a person waiting for their loved one, or it may also be within the anxiety of waiting for a result. Even more so it may be within the despair of awaiting danger……in this year’s time, EXO’s 12 members experienced the process of waiting for a comeback. At first, they thought that like normal groups they would come back with something new within three months, and meet with the fans. After all for a group that has waited for a long time and finally debuted, the feeling of wanting to quickly be back on the stage is very strong. But slowly, as the time between comebacks only got longer and longer, the members’ moods became nervous. Do the fans still remember me? Is everyone still anticipating us? In this kind of doubtful and nervous situation, the comeback became particularly difficult and heavy. The blank period of a year – please try to imagine the changes in mood that the members experienced. Although they resented the company for waiting an entire year before finally returning the kids to the stage, at least they didn’t let the kids wait till they gave up all hope. Before the «Wolf and Beauty (Wolf)» comeback, EXO’s mood was expectation. From the end of «MAMA» promotions to this year’s April, held within EXO’s fans’ hearts was constant expectation. And this time’s title song, being hunters — wolves are still waiting. Awaiting their own prey, waiting for companions that can recognize and influence their wild nature to appear. These three types of ‘waiting’ feelings, aren’t they all exactly the same? Everyone can figure it out for themselves.
SMP is SM Ent’s signature style. Starting from H.O.T, to Shinhwa, TVXQ, then Super Junior, SMP continuously doesn’t break from its previous place, and its success in the music market has left a mark. The SMP (SM Music Performance) created by Yoo Youngjin has a magnificent musical style; the song’s rhythm has a strong feel, and the choreography is also extremely brilliant. Its key essence is in its content — accusing society, changing society, emphasizing individual value! It’s awkward to say this, but starting from SHINee’s «Lucifer» and ever since then, SMP’s music connotations have begun covering this musical topic of “overwhelming” love. «Wolf and Beauty (Wolf)» is an example of this, wherein a wolf falls for a girl that becomes its prey, and the mood changes from nervous to crazy love. As said by the members in the interview, the moment in this song that poisons people the most is the “I love you” part.
Enjoying the ultimate faith, the pride that cannot be tamed.
Since this is a work using the SMP style, it is the same as the other previous works produced by SM that have the SMP style. Just like the name of the style, the influence they have on the stage draws people in – however the digital sales are normally less than ideal. But, surprisingly, ‘Wolf and a Beauty (Wolf)’’s digital sales were better than expected, and even managed to score four consecutive number ones!
Rino is SM’s in house choreographer. Naturally, she would not be careless in choreographing with regards to this large scale comeback. After looking at all of Rino’s works, you would find that her dances are all very ‘pliable but strong’. She incorporates the feeling of strength into her dances at the same time, without losing the softness of a female. Although this means that her choreography for SM’s male groups are destined to be viewed by some people as ‘feminine’, the Wolf dance this time is really too nice to look at. Using the members’ bodies to create a tree ensures that the whole song’s opening is filled with even more mystery and impact, and the caves and forest are very detailed moves that require slow analysis before you see the trick. (Looking at the ‘Ceci’ interview, the hints that the members gave really do have value~)
COOL: This is the first time since debut that EXO is meeting your various fans through ‘COOL MUSIC’. Please use the most unique way to introduce yourselves to our readers.
LAY: Hello everybody, I am the healing unicorn!!! LAY! (Xiao Cool also couldn’t help but yell out LAY!)
SEHUN: Hello everybody, I am the maknae, Sehun.
BAEKHYUN: Hello everybody! I am EXO’s crafty BAEKHYUN.
KRIS: Hello everybody, I am EXO’s KRIS.
LU HAN: Hello everybody, I am EXO’s LU HAN. (Hey, aren’t yours both a bit too simple?)
TAO: Hello everybody, I am EXO’s Romantic Kungfu Panda, AB Style Rapper TAO. (Lots of information~)
CHANYEOL: Hello everybody~! I am in charge of the voice in EXO, CHANYEOL.
D.O.: Hello everybody, I am EXO’s D.O..
KAI: Hello everybody … (pauses) Hello to ‘COOL MUSIC’’s readers, I am in charge of dancing in EXO, KAI. My charm is dancing. (hesitates) My bronze skin and eyes that cannot be woken up are my charms too.
XIUMIN: Hello everybody, I am EXO’s cute oldest brother, XIUMIN. (particularly cute, ke.)
SUHO: Hello everybody, I am the mother who protects EXO, SUHO!
CHEN: Hello everybody, I am in charge of the high notes in EXO, CHEN.
COOL: It has been about a year between your debut mini album and this official album. Who does everyone think changed the most during that period of time? When you hear the word ‘wolf’ which member do you first think of?
SEHUN: The members have all changed. They take more notice of their appearances, and like dressing up even more.
BAEKHYUN: TAO especially became even more handsome!
D.O.: I agree that it is TAO. Within that year, everyone has changed a lot. TAO seems to be the one who is the best at expressing the movements of a wolf. He looks like a wolf too.
KRIS: Actually for this comeback, everyone has had quite a bit of change in terms of appearance. TAO, LUHAN and SEHUN’s hair colour, CHANYEOL and my hair colour etc. But when you say ‘wolf’, the first person I think of is definitely myself.
TAO: It is definitely true that everyone had changes made. When you say ‘wolf’, other than KRIS, I still think of KAI. (Turns to look at KAI; KAI is spacing out.)
CHEN: I feel that I have had the biggest change. Through various performances, my dance skills are even better than the ‘MAMA’ era!
COOL: The Korean media call “The Beauty and the Wolf (Wolf)” SM Company’s SMP’s ambitious piece of work. In the members’ perspective, what kind of special charm does this song hold?
CHEN: This album of ours, XOXO, has been split into two versions: a Kiss version and a Hug version. Kiss is the Korean version and Hug is the Chinese version. The album used the concept of old school and style of a yearbook. I hope everyone will give us a lot of support. When I first heard the song “The Beauty and the Wolf (Wolf)” I felt this burst of freshness, especially the “Saranghaeyo” within the song, it’s quite interesting. It left a huge impression. (Responsible for professionally introducing the album, he definitely memorised this!)
SEHUN: This song, “The Beauty and the Wolf (Wolf),” is really good at demonstrating everyone’s brand new image, right?
TAO: Yes, because in the first place, a stage with all 12 members in itself is a special charm. All 12 of us have different kinds of charm and by fusing them all together it’s really special. (The maknae line’s teamwork is incomparable)
SUHO: The combination of dubstep and hip-hop as well as the performance’s intense genre can leave a deep impression on people. With “Saranghaeyo”, it’s a really catchy lyric that is constantly echoing by everyone’s ears.
COOL: Just as Chen just said, what was the reason for choosing an old school and yearbook concept?
CHANYEOL: “The Beauty and the Wolf (Wolf)” is a song that can reveal the unique charm and powerful dance that only EXO possesses. But when considering the overall concept of the album, aside from the usual look, we utilised the old school and yearbook concept in order to present the occasional youthful image.
D.O: Even though the song holds quite an intense, sexy etc tone and all sorts of different charismatic features, and even though we’re already grown up, I still want to wear a school uniform just one more time……. (So a uniform advert should be filmed!)
SUHO: This is the first time that all 12 members are promoting together. Presenting a fresh student lifestyle is pretty good too.
CHEN: I also think that one reason we chose this concept is so that we can remember our school lives.
COOL: “The Beauty and the Wolf (Wolf)”’s MV is very characterful. When the members transformed from humans to wolves, it was incredibly eye-catching. The dance version, which was released first, really really caught people’s eyes. What’s the most memorable, key point in the dance? Which part was the most difficult during practice?
EXO: (in unison) The wolf ears! (This part left the deepest impression after all, imitating it is really easy too)
KRIS: There’s also the cave, the tree etc and moves similar to those. They really match up with the song’s style.
D.O: If everyone looks closely at the “tree” part when we’re performing, you can see how each detail is formed. When practicing, as expected I wanted to demonstrate a “wolf-like feeling”, so this part was pretty hard.
BAEKHYUN: I also think that in order to match the “wolf” concept, to perform like a “wolf” is very difficult. Just making the actions seem similar isn’t enough.
SEHUN: To be honest, the dance very easily allows people to connect with the story, so to perform it is very difficult.
CHEN: Especially because when we’re practicing all 12 of us have to cooperate, so our minds have to be really focused. This was pretty difficult.
TAO: (wanting to speak but having second thoughts for a long time) I think the most difficult part is probably the tree, I guess? (No one answers, kongfu panda is very sad. Pats you~)
COOL: The album included a lot of songs that were once featured in the teasers, as well as lots of new songs. Aside from the title song, what are each of your favourite songs? What’s the reason for your choice?
BAEKHYUN: “Baby Don’t Cry”! The fairytale lyrics and the powerful title song have completely opposing melodies, I really like it.
SEHUN: I really like “Peter Pan”, it’s a song that really makes people associate it with a fairytale. It’s a song where when you hear it your mood is really good.
D.O: The song I like is “My Lady”. The reason I like this song is because when we were first publicising the teasers, I sang this song solo. This time we included the whole song in the album, so I’m really happy.
TAO: Does no one like “Don’t Go”? I think that this song is the most intoxicating.
CHANYEOL: I like “3, 6, 5” the most. It’s now the summer, so this is a refreshing song. Moreover, it’s filled with hopeful messages inside.
CHEN: I want to recommend “My Lady” to everyone; this is the song that featured in the very first teaser video, so it’s very special.