KOREAN MUSIC: Lee Hayi of SBS’s “K-Pop Star” (7)

케이팝 스타: 이하이 (Lee Hayi, or Lee Ha Yi)


Today, I’m going to translate interviews with/about Lee Hayi.


(1)       Excerpts from Lee Michelle Interview with EDaily(03/17/2012) (Link)

Q:  Who’s most amenable among all the contestants?

Michelle:  (It’s) Lee Hayi.  She’s really cute.  There’s no need to nag her about anything.  She’s taking care of things on her own.  All the other contestants are young too, but she’s only 17 (15 in Western age).  She knows how to control herself even when she is annoyed.  I find it cute when she takes care of Park Jimin, the youngest.

Q:  Who’s the real Hayi?

Michelle:  Hayi has surprised me the most because her real life persona is very different from the one on-stage.  We watch other television singing competitions too and evaluate contestants’ performances as if we were judges.  Every time we do that, Hayi cracks us up.  She’s silly and quite naïve.  She walks as if waddling (in a cute way).  She might have come across to a television audience as charismatic but when you take a look at her real life self, (you’ll know) she’s really funny.

WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT MICHELLE? Check The Story of Lee Michelle of SBS’s K-Pop Star.




2.       Lee Hayi Interview with SBS (03/29/2012) (Link)

Q:  You and Park Jimin are frequently considered rivals.  How does it feel like?

Hayi:  I don't feel any rivalry to Jimin because we have different singing/vocal styles.  I’m doing what I do best and she’s doing what she does best.  But I envy her voice a little as hers has far more mass appeal.

Q:  I heard you have never taken voice lessons before, and now you’re training with professional coaches.  How does that feel?

Hayi:  My voice rarely ever gets hoarse… No matter how loud I shout when I sing, I’ve never had vocal cord nodules.  While practicing on myself, I’ve learned to sing with diaphragm, without damaging my throat. During my ENT visit, I found that my vocal folds are twice the size of average female vocal fold size yet shorter than men’s, and that’s why I can sing high notes when my voice is deep and low-pitched.  And my coaches (at K-Pop Star training camp) told me that I could sing better with diaphragm (NDR/NDT: this means she’s been practicing the right way on her own), and this is the greatest advantage of training (with professionals).  They helped me bring out the best of my voice.

Q:  What do you like the most (about professional training)?

Hayi:  That I could take voice lessons from great coaches and professional singers during casting auditions. Besides, I can see the judges around whom I was never able to meet otherwise.  It was such an amazing, great experience.  And it’s really amazing that people dress me up and do my hair and makeup for me.  I’d like to have met TOP (of “Big Bang”) though.

Q:  Of all your own live performances, what has satisfied you the most?

Hayi:  Regrets, Sweet Love, Don't Stop the Music, Foolish Love – all these are the songs I’ve loved all the time but I wasn’t satisfied with any of my renditions of them.  It’s all my fault. Since the judges had given me so many compliments before, I’m kind of a bundle of tangled emotions.  Like, “How can I get better?” “How can I prove my ability to sing?”

Q:  How do you feel about being cast by SM (on the show)?

Hayi:  BoA asked me why I looked so down when she talked to me… but the truth is it’s because she's surreally beautiful.  Whenever I’m around her, I become absorbed in thought that she’s so pretty and stylish all the time, and because of that, I might have looked blank.  And when people told me I had seemed unhappy when she cast me, I felt so distressed.  For I was just upset about my own performance that night.  I was really happy that she had chosen me.  I thought she had had no interest in me, so I felt surprised and happy when she cast me.

Q:  Who’s your best friend at “K-Pop Star” training camp?

Hayi:  (It’s) my roommate, Jimin.  I used to share a room with Jeongmi (NDR/NDT: She was already eliminated.) but when Jimin asked me to move into her room, I did.  We got a lot closer since then.

Q:  How did you two become so close?

Hayi:  We are both on the same wavelength; we both get the joke.  We mimic the comedy routines in television shows.  I love Jimin because she’s funny.  The way her face is animated and the way she talks just make me laugh.  The very sight of her just makes me laugh.  I think her presence itself is fun.  Jimin also told me she feels so happy when I laugh at her jokes.  She said when I laugh at everything she does, she likes it.

Q:  What kind of conversations do you two usually have?

Hayi:  We share what happened in each other’s classroom and fun stories.

Q:  Do your fans gift you often?

Hayi:  It’s Seunghoon and Jehyung who get a lot of gifts from their fans, like clothing, hats, or shoes. Jehyung’s fan club even brings a fresh lunch for him every week (Sunday).  I received age-appropriate gifts like lollipops and Saekomdalkom (새콤달콤, “Sweet, sour, tangy, chewy Korean candies”).  I wonder how they knew I like eating snacks.  I was really grateful.  I was really happy too when I received a handmade cake two weeks ago.  The cake is so lovely to eat so I still have it, untouched.  (Giggles)




Q:  What's your personality?

Hayi:  I’m quite dry at home, but I try to be funny around people because I’m one of the youngest at training camp.  Some people told me I seem blunt and aggressive.  I guess it’s because I always sing dark and gloomy songs?  But I’m not that kind of person.  Once people befriend with me, they easily get to feel comfortable with me.  I’m quite bubbly and playful.  At training camp, after every meal, we always play rock-paper-scissors to decide who's going to do the dishes. I’ve lost many times and the crew came to shoot (a segment for “K-Pop Star”) only when I lost.  I’m sorry if I came across as always doing the dishes alone.

Q:  Isn’t dieting hard?

Hayi:  I diligently dieted when training camp first started, but stopped doing it when it started interfering with my singing.  But one day when I was evaluating my performance, I realized I looked too fat for TV.  So I started the diet all over again.  After my live performance last Sunday, my mom and sister came backstage to see me.  I expected them to give me pep talks to encourage me.  The moment they saw me, however, they went, “You got too fat,” “Your song does not pierce people’s heart,” “You sing too unenthusiastically!” “Your singing lacks emotional intensity,” “You didn’t cover the song that well this time,” “I don’t think you practiced as much as you should”….  I doubted for a second if they were really my family.  (Giggles)

Q:  You said you don’t know what love is.  Do you have an ideal type of a man?

Hayi:  TOP!  I really love his dark voice and deep eyes..., and his Jack Sparrow-like image. I like guys with well-built body and muscles.  But I place men's deep voice above all else….

Q:  How did you get started singing?

Hayi:  I had always wanted to be a singer since I was little.  I told my parents I wanted to be a singer when I was in first grade.  Then my mom talked me into taking up classical singing lessons.  When a coach there heard me singing two children’s songs, she said my voice was too raucous to be a classical singer and she’d never met a kid who sang a children’s song like me.  She told my mom that I wasn't cut out to be a classical musician.  My voice is now much clearer; it was even more raucous when I was little.  There used to be local singing competitions that offered prize money, like 100,000 won (about 88 US dollars).  Me and my sister won every competition we entered and made pocket money.  When I was a second grader, I won an award at kids singing competition. But my teachers always told (my parents) that I wasn't cut out to be a classical singer because my voice seemed a bit too "phlegmy" to sing a children’s song.  Then they advised me to pursue a career in pop music (Gayo, 가요).

Q:  How do you feel about the remaining live performances?