[TRANS/Hope Relay Interview①] Hani·JR “Those hard times we wanted to give up… We withstood them while remembering the members”

① Reversal Icon ‘EXID’ Hani & ‘NU’EST’ JR

Translated by @janinekwon_. Please take out with full credits.
Source: http://entertain.naver.com/read?oid=382&aid=0000632968



  • The moment of our reversal is a moment I’ll never forget until I die
  • Cried so much when “Ah Yeah” won 1st place
  • Doing your best on every moment will have better results
  • Don’t be in a rush but believe in yourself


  • The miracle of ‘PD101’ which we thought was our final chance
  • When ‘If You’ took 2nd place, I unexpectedly teared up
  • If you work hard, an opportunity always comes to you whenever
  • Just don’t think that it won’t work out

Sports Donga will release a ‘Celebrity Stars’ Hope Relay Interview’ for 3 days starting on March 21 just in time for its 10-year anniversary. We hope you get to feel the sincere feelings of the stars who went through various kinds of hardships and trials and has finally seen the light after overcoming them. First, ‘Reversal Icons’ EXID’s Hani and NU’EST JR will deliver hope.

EXID and NU’EST. They are called the ‘Icons of Reversal’. They are the main characters who debuted on 2012 and became ‘daebak’ (a hit) belatedly. There were many times that they didn’t have any opportunity coming their way and moments they wanted to give up but at that moment when they thought “This is really the last (chance)”, a miracle happened. Now, in front of them is a sturdy ‘Flower Path’.

-Do you remember that moment.

Hani = “Definitely! I’d probably never forget that moment until I die. We released “Up & Down” on August 27, 2014 and diligently had promotions but there was not much reaction. Not many places invited us, too, so I think we went to all kinds of festivals to perform. We also performed at a lot of military units. On one certain unit, a fancam (video filmed by a fan) was made and this gained topics on the Internet. All of a sudden, the song ‘Up & Down’ received the light again and re-entered the music charts.”

4 years has already passed since this moment but just as if it happened yesterday, Hani could not hide his happiness. After ‘Up & Down’ climbed up the ranks, in the end, it even rose to 1st place on music charts. That was December 24. Hani remembers that very moment vividly, “Since it was Christmas Eve, I can never forget that date.”

JR who is vividly listening beside Hani’s ‘Moment of Joy’ had a strange smile as if he’s having mixed feelings. As he remembers seeing the thing that happened to EXID, (he says) a ‘Miraculous Moment’ has also happened to NU’EST.

JR = “It’s no other than last year. June 17th! Our previously-released songs went up from 1st up to 13th place on a certain music chart. There was one certain cause. It was appearing on Mnet audition program ‘Produce 101’ Season 2. During the broadcast of the program, I felt the support of many people but they showed more interest even after the program. That’s how NU’EST songs climbed up the charts. It was unbelievable. We went to ‘Produce 101’ with the thoughts of it being our last chance. Even when it seemed like we were violating the rules of the program which is mainly for trainees only, we still joined the program thinking we didn’t have anything to lose anyway. We have been active for a long time already but the results weren’t that good so each of the members thought to “put down” even our group’s name.”

Hani who tasted how it feels to have a Reversal first felt happy, as if it was happening to her, for the happiness of NU’EST who belatedly rose to fame.

Hani = “I looked over them with interest as we debuted at the same year and our promotions sometimes overlapped. One day, on the way to a schedule we were in our car, I heard NU’EST’s song, I felt it was such a pity that they couldn’t receive more love. One day I saw them appear on ‘Produce 101’ and it didn’t seem like it was happening to another person. We’ve been through it so we know how hard it feels.”


-If your teams didn’t have a reversal, would you have not had this happiness you have now?

Hani = “Probably! Before that, we have already released various songs but we never got satisfactory results. Our members comforted each other with words that seemed like self-hypnosis such as, ‘It’s alright as long as we have fun while performing’ or ‘We did our best so it’s enough’. Opportunities did not come easily and we had a 2-year gap. That time, we prepared for ‘Up & Down’ thinking it was our last. It felt like piling sand on ocean waves. Each of the members made and prepared costumes, the song, music concept and PPT (powerpoint), and presented to our company. We prepared these as if it is our last, eventually, an opportunity came. That dark time of 2 years was so hard but if that time didn’t happen, our members wouldn’t be as close as we are. Those were moments we laughed the most, and laughed the widest.

JR = “Looking at it, it seems like putting good care in making our albums well-made have resulted to a good effect. Our hearts felt heavy and it was hard that we weren’t able to achieve results right away but since people are able to look at these videos and songs even at a later time, we are able to taste this kind of happiness”.

-How about the moment you felt the change of responses from your fans.

Hani = “We couldn’t believe that moment we got 1st place on a chart. That time, my phone’s messenger profile caption was ‘Don’t live a life that is always going between sorrow and happiness’. Although it was the happiest moment, if you’re too happy, it seemed like I wouldn’t be able to withstand the feeling of loss and emptiness that would come after that moment. After ‘Up & Down,’ when the song we released ‘Ah Yeah’ won 1st place, I cried a lot. Even when ‘Up & Down’ got a lot of awards, I never cried onstage.”

JR = “After ‘PD101’ ended, I thought about what I should do now. Thankfully, the interest we got from the program didn’t seem to get lost. Shortly after our digital single ‘If You’ was released, it became 2nd place. Without me knowing, I was in tears. I don’t even know what that feeling is. Within a short amount of time (1 minute) that my tears were flowing, the things we went through came passing by (my thoughts) like a thunderstorm.”

-If you have succeeded in another way aside from having a reversal.

Hani = “Solji unnie appeared at MBC ‘King of Mask Singer’ on 2015. Because she became the ‘Mask King’ EXID even got known as a group with talent/skills. Don’t you think the group EXID would have been known through (Solji) unnie?”

JR = “You can’t underestimate teamwork. I believe that a good performance comes from a good atmosphere. The five members of NU’EST has lived together for 9 years since our trainee season. We are friends and family. We have great closeness and we’d always encourage each other to do our best on every moment.”

We can’t not talk about EXID when it’s about good teamwork. Hani said, “If you only look at the celebrity system we have, it is a reality that it is hard to have a family-like and close teamwork. There is a limit on opportunities and yet a group needs to share those opportunities. When family-like people compete with each other, there would have a division between them”.


-When members fight or if they have misunderstandings, what are the ways you fix them.

JR = “We fight about the simplest things such as eating or sleeping. Our rule is that we have to solve (all problems) within that day.”

Hani = “I believe not saying your real feelings is the worst thing. As you live as a team, I think that’s one thing you should never do. If you feel bad or hurt, even just for a little bit, you need to express that and talk to your members. Misunderstandings are the scariest thing. No matter what kind of relation you have, if you want it to last for a long time, you must not hide your real feelings and you must solve everything.”

-You had a lot of hard times.

Hani = “I felt most sorry for my parents. I was living independently but I didn’t have any income or didn’t have any performances. Holidays, when everyone from my family gathered, were scary. My heart hurt seeing my parents give excuses to our relatives who kept asking me ‘When will you be on TV’. It was alright if it was just me having a hard time but even my parents felt sad so I wondered if doing this work was the right thing or if this path was the right path for me.”

JR = “There was a time my mother went into surgical operation. Out of all days, the day of her operation was a day we had a concert overseas. The plane ride took 10 hours and I was in despair thinking of the fact that I, as a son, couldn’t be by his mother’s side to protect her. I had strange feelings on the way. Since the date of the concert was already set, and I didn’t want to not keep a promise I have made.”

-Those hard moments when you wanted to give up, what thoughts did you have to be able to withstand all of them.

Hani = “The members! When difficult things happen to us, the members intentionally did not talk about such things when we talk to each other. It’s because negative thoughts might spread within the members. The very fact that there were 4 people with me and doing the same work as me has already given me strength in itself. I was able to withstand (everything) with the fact that there were people I could share my problems with and solve them together.”

JR = “The members were the biggest (factor). Another one was doing my hobbies. While playing games and watching animations, I am able to forget the not-so-good things and get immersed.”

-What is the part about EXID or NU’EST that the public can most sympathize with.

JR = “The fact that when you do your best, someone will recognize your hard work and opportunities will come your way, I think that they’ll sympathize with that the most.”

Hani = “Even on the times the light didn’t shine on us, we always worked hard; it seems when you do your best on every moment, you’ll receive good results. The point is not giving up even on the smallest things.”


-There are a lot of teams like your two teams that weren’t able to get attention from the public despite their talents and effort.

Hani = “Aren’t all teams that debut like that. In order to reach your dreams, you debut while bringing out ‘Blood and Sweat’. In the midst of that, being recognized is ‘Plucking a star from the sky’ (Hanja proverb; i.e. There is a very small chance of that happening).”

JR = “There are a lot of groups that debuted who trained since they were young. These people all did not have a student life. It is giving up your time as a student and investing that time to debut with the feeling of hope that it works well just as the amount of work and time exerted.”

-If you were to talk as a ‘Sunbae’ (Senior) to them.

JR = “Although this seems like a cliche saying, I want to tell them to do their best on every moment. Take pride in yourself. We were also able to withstand all kinds of hardships and moments we wanted to give up, and was able to come until here. Everyone encounters a difficult time. It’s not about not feeling anxious about what will happen but just don’t think that it won’t work out. Just don’t give up, and that’s enough.”

Hani = “I sympathize with you. Doing your best on every moment is honestly tiring. It’s about not rushing too much when the result of your hardwork or effort does not appear in front of you right away. Up until now, what I felt as I do this kind of work is that on every circumstance, hardship or trials will always come. When you climb a big mountain, there is another mountain. Whenever that happens, believe in yourself and your possibilities. Don’t blame yourself when things don’t work out. There is nothing in this world that doesn’t work out. Look at us. We also did it. It’s easy to blame yourself but I hope you’d believe in yourself.”

Translated by @janinekwon_. Please take out with full credits.