winner takes it all 1

This is probably not what they mean when they say only non-fans get lucky. Anyways, 2017 was a busy and meaningful year for WINNER and “New Journey to the West Spin Off: Youth Over Flowers with WINNER” was at the core of that. WINNER’s unfiltered, pure, and playful selves stole the hearts of people who didn’t know anything about them before. And right now, there is a talk about WINNER’s comeback. When Nylon sent a love-call to WINNER, their reply was quick and refreshing but the process until the photoshoot was not smooth. There was so much to do for the photoshoot but the proposal draft got overturned. There was such little time for preparation that we even thought that a meeting with the photoshoot team was a waste of time. But we still wanted to do well. We wanted to create results that would surpass all of WINNER’s previous magazine photoshoots. We wanted to create a spread that would make people fall into it in seconds just by taking a glance. Coincidentally, the day of the photoshoot was Lee Seunghoon’s birthday.

They were quiet during the photoshoot. They were loud for a short time when they were teasing each other but they waited calmly as though the bustling of the staff did not phase them. Kang Seungyoon joked with the photoshoot team and Song Mino took photos of the set with his camera that only a few people in Korea own. At the set location, TEAM WINNER sang happy birthday once every 30 minutes. The only celebratory thing we could do was to clap together due to the cold and cramped set location. The cover of the February issue of Nylon, graced with WINNER in blue denim at a colorful bar, was completed. When the WINNER members said, “So pretty”, “It’s pretty”, “It’s already out?” while looking at the cover photo, I wanted to high-five each one of them. Right now, at five in the morning, I am finishing up this February issue that faced more obstacles than usual. Finding myself smiling at WINNER’s photoshoot data appearing on the monitor makes me wonder if I am fated to become their fan or if it’s just a sense of volition that journalists have. Even at this time as I finish this February issue, a specific date for WINNER’s comeback hasn’t been announced yet. However, it is not a disappointing fact if we remind ourselves about how YG always announces comeback dates very suddenly.

You had many individual activities during 2017. We heard that your fans worked hard in 2017 as well since they followed your individual activities and your group activities.

SEUNGYOON: 2017 was a very special year for us. We were very happy!

JINWOO: It was a very thankful and honorable year as we were able to receive lots of attention from the public as well as our fans! I hope we receive lots of attention and love in 2018 as much as we did in 2017. Of course, we’ll come back with even better music.

SEUNGHOON: But amidst everything, our trip to “New Journey to the West Spin Off: Youth Over Flowers WINNER” was the most fun.

MINO: It was a deeply meaningful year for each of us as well as us WINNER. The best year!!

You have “The first male idol to win #1 at the shortest time”, “The first male idol to surpass 100 million chart-in streams”, among other titles. You get called “the first” more often than the usual idol group.

SEUNGYOON: Truthfully, I think whenever we’re called the “first” for something, it is a gift for us from our fans. We recently received awards at various award ceremonies and that really pleased me because now our fans had concrete reasons to be proud as “WINNER’s fans”.

SEUNGHOON: I think titles like “the first” and “the shortest time” have a special meaning that is similar to breaking a Guinness record. I want us to be singers who our fans can be even more proud of.

JINWOO: I am always thankful for our TEAM WINNER staff members and my member dongsaengs for always working hard.

MINO: That’s right. Being called “the first” is nice but we’re more thankful towards our INNER CIRCLE and TEAM WINNER for working hard to give us that title!

What kind of adult do you want to be? How do you want to grow older?

JINWOO: I think I’m still a child. Honestly, rather than becoming some kind of adult, I want to be a person who isn’t embarrassing no matter who looks at me.

SEUNGHOON: The responsibilities I give myself are growing and my facial hair is gradually growing. I want to be a cool man, a tough guy.

SEUNGYOON: I think I have become an adult in some ways but I think I’m still immature in other ways. But I like living the way I live right now. I want to become an adult who is pure.

MINO: I think that becoming “a legal adult” is very different from becoming “a grown-up”. I was really happy and thrilled when I became a legal adult at 20 years old but I think I’ll be sad when I come to acknowledge myself as a grown-up one day.

What is something you don’t want to lose no matter how much time passes?

SEUNGYOON: Myself

JINWOO: My beauty!

SEUNGHOON: Our fans~~ I want to be with them forever. Like diamonds

Do you ever want to be asked about something during interviews?

SEUNGHOON: Usually, whenever something funny happens or I realize something wise, I think, “I’m going to talk about this really coolly” but when I sit down for the interview, I forget them all.

MINO: I don’t really have anything I want to be asked about… Because whenever people ask us sudden or difficult questions, we have WINNER’s answering vending machine, Kang Leader!

SEUNGYOON: I want people to ask these kinds of questions! Questions that aren’t typical! (Laughs)

What are you most interested in these days?

JINWOO: Acting and WINNER’s new music

SEUNGHOO: I think about how we should transform our image for our new music.

MINO: …Working on music…

SEUNGYOON: # WINNER comeback # Nylon # CKjeans # INNERCIRCLE

What is something you tell yourself most often?

SEUNGYOON: I never say this out loud but I always end up asking, “Is this the best you can do? That person can do it, why can’t you?” in my heart.

SEUNGHOON: “You need to wake up…!” (when going to work in the morning)

JINWOO: “Let’s do our best!”

MINO: “It’s ok, I’m right! Let’s try our best!”

What is the most precious thing in life?

MINO: Happiness. Childlike innocence.

JINWOO: Happiness for me too.

SEUNGYOON: Happiness. I want to live to become happy and then give happiness to many others.

SEUNGHOON: Inner peace. I long for a simple and pure kind of life instead of something fancy but I think I still have a long way to go!

Then what do you fear most in life?

SEUNGHOON: Betrayal from a close precious person I trust.

SEUNGYOON: Being alone. Being anxious. No matter how much money a person earns and no matter how bountiful their life is, it’s meaningless and lacks happiness if they don’t have anyone to share it with so what’s the point?!

MINO: My changing without knowing it myself. The changing of a method of thinking and deciding in an environment that I adjusted with others. And that leading to losing things is so scary!

Each of you had many more individual activities (in 2017). What direction do you want to take in expanding your fields?

MINO: I’m receiving a lot of love thanks to “New Journey to the West Spin Off: Youth Over Flowers WINNER” and “New Journey to the West”. Because the public’s awareness of me and my image from variety shows is so large, I feel like many people, excluding our fans, only know WINNER through variety shows. That’s why I want to hear people say, “WINNER is good at music and they’re funny,” after seeing our music activities!

JINWOOI want to be of strength to all the people who listen to my singing and like it or think positively about it. If it’s anything in that domain, I’m willing to challenge myself in anything.

SEUNGYOON: I don’t limit myself to certain genres or domains. Naturally, my roots are always in music but if it’s about making our fans and people happy, I’m willing to challenge myself in any fields.

SEUNGHOON: I was very thankful that we received many opportunities that raised the public’s awareness of us last year. Above anything, I want to be able to have a deeper level of communication with our fans.

WINNER’s consistency! Where does your energy to keep going come from?

SEUNGYOON, JINWOO, MINO: Our fans! Of course it’s INNER CIRCLE! Seeing our fans happy is our biggest motivation and inspiration! “Our fans”. Thinking about the people who like us and wait for us makes us anxious about sitting still!

SEUNGHOON: But don’t you think the start of everything was Song Finger (laughs).

Do you have habits while making music?

SEUNGYOON: Taking notes! Whenever I think of something or get inspired, I write it in my phone notes app or voice record it. Because living while moving around a lot and busily makes me forgetful.

SEUNGHOON: Save it in my computer notes app♥︎ (T/N: Produce 101’s “Save it in my heart” catchphrase)

MINO:  I can only start working on music when I have three bottles of water, my phone on “Do Not Disturb”, have my most comfortable pants and shoes on, and block out anything that may break my concentration. Unless I know beforehand that I’ll be working with someone, I feel like things work better when I work alone. I work well at night so I don’t work any time before 10PM.

Share Your Thoughts!