Song Mino does not know a middle. He raps ‘without rest’ and knows how to ‘totally’ let go of himself in casual settings and when he talks about himself, he is ‘infinitely’ sincere. This is the reason we will ‘always’ look forward to Song Mino.

It has been an year since we last met Song Mino. When we said that he looked better, he excitedly answered that it was because he was promoting. Throughout the interview, no matter what we asked about, he always ended up talking about work. In other words, he only thinks about working and working on music. Seeing him smile widely while talking showed us that he is a clever man who clearly knows that “people who enjoy life wins”. He is not dumb!

Song Mino constantly talked about how he was very happy these days during the interview. This is understandable because, despite anticipating and worrying about the intimidating variety industry, he successfully solidified himself as a cute character, “Song Dumb”. He also successfully made a comeback as WINNER, which he wanted for a long time. Even though he doesn’t have time to sleep much, Song Mino says he is the most happy he has been in awhile and we were able to meet him in his happiness.

“I’m so busy but I’m so happy right now.” That is how he answered when we asked how he was and it showed how much he thirsted for the stage. 1 year and 2 months. In the reality of the music industry, numerous idol groups debut and make comebacks in one month alone and that makes WINNER’s comeback feel all the more delayed.

“The hiatus gave my members and I a time to grow and mature. The change in the number of members is one of the reasons. I think that what we have to do is to work hard and prepare the perfect stage.

On April 4th at 4PM, that hard work was revealed and the response was explosive. When I said that it was as expected of WINNER, he shook his head no, “From our debut, we received an overwhelming amount of love and attention. Because of that, even a small bump made us stumble and weakened us. On top of that, the music market is constantly changing… We didn’t have any expectations because we didn’t want to get hurt. It’s not that we weren’t confident about our music, we just unconsciously became more afraid of things. But the response is very good so I am really happy these days.”

I didn’t expect Song Mino to say “afraid” because he was such a charismatic rapper with more “swag” than anyone on “Show Me the Money 4”. Of course, he was starkly different from his naive “Song Dumb” side that was shown on “New Journey to the West 3”.

“One thing I am sure of is that with every passing year, I become more thoughtful. Just last year, I had the mindset of ‘I can just do it! If it doesn’t work, I’ll forget about it’ but now, I find myself judging things by myself and worrying about things that haven’t even happened yet. Of course, I haven’t been deeply shaken by something yet but it is true that I am showing a weak side of myself that I used to lack.”

Even though you survived those difficult survival shows?

“Yes. My friends are on the currently airing show ‘Produce 101 Season 2’. I worry about them and feel upset for them because they are friends who dreamed the same dream as me from when we were young. I know how difficult it is because I became a member of WINNER through a survival show and I can feel their pain and what they’re feeling just by looking at their facial expressions. I really hope they do well and I hope they work hard until the end without giving up! I will also continue to work hard and not forget my origins. Every time I get tired I tell myself, ‘I am walking the happiest moment of my life right now and there isn’t enough time for me to find a cooler and brighter side of myself’ and I comfort my heart.” I also scold myself by remembering my past. “I was suddenly curious about what kind of person I’ll be next year. So I searched for a video of me performing last year and watched it. It was only an year ago but I was embarrassed of myself as if I was watching a video of me performing years ago. I was so sure that I did well at the time… Just like when you solve problems you keep getting wrong to train yourself to not repeat the same mistakes, I want to constantly check the things I lack in.”

I understood what he was saying as being greedy and wanting to be good at everything. I asked him whether he has ever thought of putting down work for a bit and resting.

“I dream about that vaguely. I want to travel overseas with my friends. I really love traveling but I’ve never traveled. It’s funny, right? (laughs) But I can’t let myself do that yet. First, I need to finish promoting our album and I want to have another comeback as WINNER before the end of the year. Later on, when I get to release my solo album, I think I can travel then. While I’m at it, I wish I can film ‘Youth Over Flowers’ around that time! Oh wait, is that work too?” (Laughs)

Translated by @CHRISSY96 | Scans by @FROM1025