SHINee is shining in various areas including the K-pop world. SHINee, which has proven their power in the K-pop world with its fifth album ‘Everybody’, is drawing attention with individual activities. Min-ho became an actor through MBC’s ‘Medical Top Team and the other members are active in musicals, songwriting, and variety shows. The SHINee members are having busy days in many different areas, but they always keep their bright smiles. Either on stage or backstage, SHINee always shines. STARCAST takes a close look at each member’s individual activities of the shining SHINee. Today’s member is Jong-hyun emerging as a sentimental musician.
Jong-hyun’s talent as a musician had already been found before he debuted. He wrote lyrics or songs for up to 13 tracks so far. Jong-hyun is responsible for SHINee’s musicality. Today’s STARCAST shares the stories of Jong-hyun as a lyricist and songwriter!
# Lyricist Jong-hyun
The first song whose lyrics were written by Jong-hyun is the title track ‘Juliette’ of SHINee’s second mini album released in 2009. SHINee, who entered a popularity orbit with hit songs such as ‘Replay’, ‘Amigo’, and ‘Love like Oxygen’, topped the charts in the second week in a row of KBS2’s Music Bank and SBS’s The Music Core upon the release of ‘Juliette’, which gave a rewarding feeling to Jong-hyun.
In fact, however, the songs that Jong-hyun wrote the lyrics for for the first time are ‘Obsession’(second official) and ‘Better off’(third official repackage). Particularly, he was inspired by ‘The Black Cat’ by the novelist Edgar Allan Poe when he wrote the lyrics for ‘Obsession’. Jong-hyun is usually inspired by a novel or a film as in the case of ‘Obsession’. He was inspired by the film ‘Romeo and Juliet’ when he worked on ‘Juliette’ and the film ‘House of Wax’ affected him when he worked on ‘Orgel’ included in Ch. 2 of the third official album. Jong-hyun said, “I am usually inspired by a film or a book.”
Jong-hyun’s style was affected by his mother. Jong-hyun said, “My mother helped me develop the habit of writing when I was a kid by letting me write a book report after reading. I used to want to be a national language teacher. I have been interested in writing lyrics since I was a trainee after I had decided to be a musician.”
# Analysis of Jong-hyun’s brilliant lyric
Showcase of fifth mini album 'The Distance between Us'
SHINee’s third official album has five songs whose lyrics were written by Jong-hyun. He focused on creating lyrics in line with the overall concept of the album. Particularly, he made extra-special efforts for ‘Spoiler’ included in Ch. 1 of the third official for correlation with the title track of Ch. 1 ‘The Misconceptions of You’ and the title track of Ch. 2 ‘The Misconceptions of Me)’. ‘Spoiler’ has a mixture of lyrics from ‘Dream girl’, ‘Dynamite’, and ‘Why So Serious?’ in a brilliant way. Jong-hyun said, “I wanted the first track to be a spoiler of the album. It was fun to organize each part in consideration of each member’s personality.”
‘The Distance between Us’, the title track of the repackage version of the third album ‘The Misconceptions of Us’ demonstrates Jong-hyun’s hard work. ‘TheDistance between Us’ is a song that compares a one-sided love to the moon. It did not take long to write the lyrics, but it took some time to decide the song title. The repackage version had to connect ‘You’ of Ch. 1 and ‘Me’ of Ch. 2 to make ‘Us’. After a long and hard thought, ‘The Distance between Us’ came out.
# Jong-hyun likes ‘Shawol’
Jong-hyun singing 'It's Late' at fifth anniversary party
There are songs singing about his love for fans. The cases in point are ‘Honesty’ from the fourth mini album and the unreleased song ‘It’s Late’, which he sang in the fan meeting in celebration of SHINee’s fifth anniversary. Seeing fans waiting for SHINee at airports and visiting radio open shows, Jong-hyun decided to write ‘Honesty’ to pay back to the big love of fans. Jong-hyun wrote the lyrics whenever he had time on an airplane. He said, “I wrote the lyrics thinking about SHINee World that I am always grateful to and that always supports and shields SHINee.
‘It’s Late’ was played once on the cable channel MBC Music’s ‘SHINee’s One Fine Day’. In fact, Jong-hyun could not joint the promotion activities for ‘Why So Serious?’ before the song had been released due to health issues. He says that he decided to release the song to express gratitude to fans who warmly welcomed him when he came back. ‘It’s Late’ is the first released song that Jong-hyun wrote both the music and lyrics of. Jong-hyun said, “I cherish this song since I want to sing this song for more fans even later.”
# Jong-hyun always have desires to learn
IU and Jong-hyun at waiting room of 'Music Bank'
Among the 13 songs that Jong-hyun wrote the lyrics for, ‘Up & Down’ (second official) and ‘Dangerous (Medusa II)’(Ch. 2, third official) are collaboration works. For ‘Up & Down’He worked with lyricist Misfit of f(x)’s ‘Pretty Girl’ and Henry’s ‘Trap’. For ‘Dangerous’, he worked with lyricist Cho Yun-kyeong, who wrote SHINee’s ‘Sherlock’ and SuperJunior’s ‘Tik Tok’.
Jong-hyun shared his plan on lyric writing. He said, “I would like to learn a lot through collaboration with many artists.” He revealed his ambition to expand the spectrum of his music. ‘Gloomy Clock’ included in IU’s third official album is Jong-hyun’s first self-written song that was released in the form of digital music.
Jong-hyun is still a rookie lyricist and composer, but he is building his own style in the process of learning. Jong-hyun’s lyrics are poetic. For example, there are “I leave your name in my notebook called Life” (Better off) and “The moonlight, as if it’ll spill” (Juliette). What Jong-hyun values most is a point that connects the entire lyrics. Jong-hyuns said, “The point usually become a title. And the title becomes a subject and many situations and stories are created. In addition, I tried to use detailed and poetic expressions.”
Jong-hyun picked ‘Alarm Clock (fourth mini album)’ as his favorite lyrics. He said, “I like the lyrics that go like, ‘Like a flower that falls after a small raindrop brushes against it (Let’s break up)’. Small raindrops may mean nothing to others. Raindrops evaporate in no time, but the small raindrops may take the beauty and life of a flower when they fall down to it. I tried to convey that you may not consider it a big deal but it may be a big pain to me. I love the lyrics most.”
Jong-hyun is the main vocalist of SHINee who sings with a sorrowful and appealing voice. His lyrics, like his voice, are full of Jong-hyun’s own feelings. Jong-hyun chose ‘Honesty’ and ‘Gloomy Clock’ as his favorite songs by saying, “I expressed my own emotion as it is. I am moved by these songs by myself.” Jong-hyun usually works on music on an airplane due to busy schedules. A night before falling asleep is a precious time for him to maximize his sentimental feelings. SHINee already celebrates their fifth anniversary and Jong-hyun has already made 13 songs. We look forward to Jong-hyun’s music and lyrics containing his deeper and stronger sentiment.
Written by Park Su-jeong (TenAsia)
Photograph=SM Entertainment, KBS2