[TRANSLATION] Star News Interview: “Hong Jinyoung’s Remarkable Activities on ‘Unnies’ Slam Dunk Season 2’” (June 2017)

[Star News – Let’s Eat a Meal Together] Hong Jinyoung’s Remarkable Activities on ‘Unnies’ Slam Dunk Season 2’


Singer Hong Jinyoung (32) sang while getting completely soaked by rain at a regional university event the day before. That might be why her fatigue symptoms she’d been having has gotten worse. Despite that, she tried not to lose her special quality of being bright. “I should be dieting, but I need to eat well when I’m sick~”

As she put a freshly fried donkatsu in her mouth, a smile spread on Hong Jinyoung’s face. Her voice was low but she said “I have to work even harder when people like me and seek me out” and re-energized herself.

Through Star News’s “Let’s Eat a Meal Together” feature, we recently met Hong Jinyoung at a restaurant in Seoul Gangnam. 

She achieved yet another dream through the KBS 2TV entertainment program ‘Unnies’ Slam Dunk Season 2’ that wrapped up at the end of last month. She wished to stand on stage as a girl group member and a rapper, and on ‘Slam Dunk 2’, she debuted with the project girl group ‘Unnies’ and she was able to achieve her dreams.

“Using a popular phrase these days, I want to ask ‘Is this real life?’” Hong Jinyoung smiled and opened up but it was as if there were lingering feelings as it hadn’t been that long since the program wrapped up. 

“With ‘Unnies’ Opened Dreams That Had Not Yet Bloomed.. Is This Real Life?” (Interview Part 1)

After finishing ‘Slam Dunk 2’…

Of all of the broadcast I’ve done so far, it was a broadcast from which I received the most returns. More so than bittersweetness, the feelings of sadness are greater. The relationship between members were so good. Everyone has a good personality, so filming was enjoyable the whole time.

Have you seen the members after the broadcast ended?

Yesterday, there was a dinner for ‘Unnies’. I had cold sweats and I wasn’t feeling well, so I just quickly showed my face and then came home and passed out. It was our first time meeting after filming wrapped up. We exchanged gifts. (Kim) Sook unnie gave sneakers, (Jeon) Somi gave honey, (Gong) Minzy gave perfume, (Hong) Jinkyung unnie gave dumplings, (Kang) Yewon unnie gave diffusers and bags, and (Han) Chaeyoung unnie and I gave bracelets as gifts.

Since it hasn’t been that long since the broadcast ended, there must be a lot of lingering feelings. 

If we could do it according to our hearts, we want to appear on all 3 major music broadcasts, and go to many schedules, but it’s regrettable that we couldn’t do that.

You cried a lot at ‘Unnies’ last schedule, on stage at Konkuk University.

Yes, we must have grown very affectionate for each other. It was incredibly meaningful for me in many ways. The fact that it was the end continued to not feel real, but as we said our last goodbyes, the tears poured out all at once.

I’m curious what made you decide to appear on ‘Slam Dunk 2’. 

I’m older now so I thought this would be my last chance at being in a girl group. I wanted to achieve dreams that I wasn’t able to achieve, so that’s why I took on this challenge.

You also attempted rap through ‘Slam Dunk 2’. 

When will I be able to ever rap again in my life? Haha. It has been a long time since I have been promoting alone, but I wasn’t lonely when I was with members. Of course there were difficult times while practising but since there were people I could lean on, we received encouragement from each other and it was good.

How does it feel now that ‘Slam Dunk 2’ has ended?

It was a happy dream. It feels like I’ve woken up from a sweet dream. People say it like this these days. Is this really real life?

“‘Unnies’ Dance & Singing 1st Place is Gong Minzy, Visual is Han Chaeyoung” (Interview Part 2)

In ‘Unnies’, Hong Jinyoung is in the middle according to age. 

Yes. There are four older unnies and two younger dongsaengs. 

What would you consider to be your role in ‘Unnies’?

As I’m a trot singer, I know how to deal with fans who are in their teens to their 50-60s. Since I was in the middle of the members age-wise, wouldn’t I have been the connecting link between the unnies and dongsaengs?

As soon as ‘Unnies’ song ‘Right?’ was released, it reached #1 on multiple music charts. Did you predict the outcome would be like this?

We didn’t know. We thought that if we were in the top 5, it would be ‘daebak’. We couldn’t believe it was #1, that’s really crazy. The members thought it was unbelievable and were really shocked. Haha.

Is it your first time reaching #1 on Melon music charts?

Yes, that’s right. It was so good this time. I got #1 while doing ‘Unnies’, I got to rap, I lived 3-4 months really busily. I feels like I’ve done a lot. 

Was it your dream to attempt being a rapper?

Yes, I normally like hip hop. When I listen to music, I don’t limit myself to genres and I like them all. I really liked attempting something new. That’s also the reason why I attempted composing ‘Ring Ring’ recently. Before I get older and when I can do it, I want to attempt this and that, and continue to improve myself. 

Do you have any thoughts on including a rap in a new album?

No. I don’t think you should put a rap in trot. If they ask for ‘Unnies’ at end-of-year ceremonies, I’ll do it then. Since I’m the rapper for ‘Unnies’. I’ll only rap with ‘Unnies’. 

Truthfully, ‘Slam Dunk 2’ was a bit regrettable in terms of viewership ratings. Despite that, ‘Unnies’ had good results, so the conclusion was successful.

I think a lot of people watched it on re-airings or downloaded the show. Whenever I performed, I often heard that people were watching ‘Slam Dunk 2’ well. So rather than worrying, I only had thoughts of doing my best in whatever work I was given. 

I’ll ask a fun question. Name the #1 dancer, #1 singer and #1 visual in ‘Unnies’.

#1 dancer is Gong Minzy, of course. Minzy is a dancing machine. #1 singer is mmm, it went back and forth between myself and (Gong) Minzy, but I’ll say Minzy is #1. Hoho. #1 visual is Han Chaeyoung! Chaeyoung unnie is really pretty. 

Rank yourself too.

For dance, 4th or 5th? I’m not last place. Hoho. For singing, 2nd or 3rd in the upper ranks, since I’m a singer with vocal ability. For visual, wouldn’t I be in the middle? I’ll be conscientious and won’t say I’m in the upper ranks. 

What was the most memorable moment while doing ‘Slam Dunk 2’?

The day we first went to the dorm and slept with the members and the day we stood on stage for ‘Music Bank’. At the dorm, the members were able to become closer and friendlier. ‘Music Bank’ was so touching. It felt like spreading wings that I hadn’t been able to spread properly before. I fulfilled my wish. It felt like indigestion suddenly disappearing. 

You’ve stood on the ‘Music Bank’ stage before many times as a singer.

The feeling was so different from then. It’s different when you’re alone compared to when there’s many, and the genre is different too. It was momentary but it really felt like we’d become a real girl group. 

What kind of a program was ‘Slam Dunk 2’ to Hong Jinyoung?

It was a program that was like a savior to me. It allowed me to achieve the dreams that I hadn’t been able to accomplish and while working in the entertainment world, it was a program on which I opened my heart the widest, in the most sincere way. A lot of people tell me that they saw a new side of me while watching ‘Unnies’. While promoting as a solo singer, there’s a sense of needing to be even stronger and tougher. With this show, it was incredibly comfortable and I didn’t need to do it like that. That’s why I cried like that. Now that ‘Unnies’ has ended, I need to become tough again.

“Heo Kyunghwan Can’t Bring ‘Ring Ring’ to Life, Kicked Away Blessings That Rolled His Way” (Interview Part 3)

Hong Jinyoung recently transformed into a composer. She personally wrote and composed ‘Ring Ring’, an EDM-trot song that released this past April. Before this song was released, there was a public SNS audition to choose the singer between comedian Kim Youngchul and Heo Kyunghwan that became a topic of conversation. 

Through the audition results, Kim Youngchul became the ultimate recipient of ‘Ring Ring’, and Heo Kyunghwan, who was eliminated, recently appeared on MBC ‘Radio Star’ and made everyone laugh by saying, “I don’t want to hear the ‘Ring Ring’ sound so now I don’t even pass by the neighbourhood playground anymore”. 

‘Ring Ring’ is actually a song that Hong Jinyoung first offered to Heo Kyunghwan 2 years ago. Hong Jinyoung said Heo Kyunghwan “kicked away a blessing that rolled his way with his own feet” and laughed. 

Recently, ‘Ring Ring’, which you released with Kim Youngchul, became a big topic of conversation. Kim Youngchul seemed to have benefited from Hong Jinyoung.

I hope Youngchul oppa succeeds as a singer. Thanks to him, I was able to debut as a composer. Do you know my composer name? It’s ‘Godttery C’. People call me ‘Godttery’, which is ‘Battery’ from my hit song ‘Love Battery’ and ‘God’ added to it. I added the ‘C’ from Vitamin C to it. There are a few more songs that I’ve prepared. There are 2 ballad songs. 

Who would you want to sing the ballad songs? 

I want to give it to Huh Gak. 

Can we look forward to a sequel to ‘Ring Ring’?

Yes, please look forward to it. I made a song for Heo Kyunghwan oppa too. But I don’t think Kyunghwan oppa has the will to want to do it. He said he’d be on ‘Radio Star’ so I created the dance and even sent a video of it, but he didn’t do it like I suggested. He kicked away the blessing that rolled his way. Hoho.

It seemed like Heo Kyunghwan is dejected, as he said he’s never declined the song.

*sigh* You need to listen to both sides of the story. I gave him the song and Kyunghwan oppa sang it strangely.

What kind of appearances can we anticipate from Hong Jinyoung going forward?

Since I’m a singer, I’ll show you through music. I will work hard to stand on stage with even better songs, I will meet with viewers on even better programs, and I will try hard to show good sides of me in various ways. I’ll also show you a side of me as a good composer. 

Source: Part 1 / Part 2 / Part 3 

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