[INTERVIEW TRANSLATION] Muzmon Interview: New Year First Ballad Song ‘Love Is…’ by a Trot Fairy (January 2019)

Q: Please introduce your new song “Love Is…”.

Hong Jinyoung: ‘Love Is…” is a lyrical ballad which contains the pain that approaches more and more realistically after a goodbye. You will be able to hear my soft and appealing voice that I haven’t shown before. The song is enhanced by a majestic orchestra so I think it will be a song that many people can relate to and listen to comfortably. I wanted to show everyone the ballad sensibilities inside of me as a ballader Hong Jinyoung, not trot Hong Jinyoung.

Q: Trot fairy Hong Jinyoung! This time, you released a ballad song, not trot, we’re curious how you felt about singing a traditional ballad.

Hong Jinyoung: Since it’s not the style of music that I sing normally, creating music in a new style was a big experience for me, and I liked it even more because it was an opportunity to meld my colour with the style of Park Geuntae composer-nim who made countless ballad hit songs.

Q: “Love Is…” is a song that would be good for these people to hear! Any recommendations?

Hong Jinyoung: I think winter is a season when people miss ballads. When you go through life, it’s inevitable for each day to be busy and for it to pass by without time to spare. I hope that you overcome the cold, drink a hot cup of tea and immerse yourself in emotion while listening to this song. For someone, it can be a source of comfort and sympathy, for someone else, I want to tell them to rest. Isn’t that the diverse charm of this song? During the cold winter, I would like it if you listened to “Love Is…” and discover momentarily forgotten sensibilities.

Q: Do you have your own tips on how to overcome winter well?

Hong Jinyoung: In order to overcome the long winter, as expected, I think you need to eat well. You need to maintain your stamina with food. I often eat health foods like red ginseng, fermented bean powder and fruit juice. Recently, I’ve been grinding apple and radish and adding it to a spoon of soy sauce and it’s so good for your body. I saw the proper effects so I want to recommend it to many people. More than anything, eat every meal well and like me, when you lose your stamina, eat meat and you will be able to overcome the cold winter easily. Up to now, it was Hong Jinyoung’s tips to beat winter by eating. Haha. (Laughs)

Q: Hong Jinyoung, who was hotter than anyone else last year! Please tell us about your new year plans in 2019.

Hong Jinyoung: This year will be 10 years since my debut. “Love Battery” came out in 2009. I can’t believe it has already been 10 years… This feeling is so new. I want to create a meaningful year with fans who have cheered me on and loved me for 10 years. I don’t have a full length album yet. I want to release a full length album, I want to do concerts and I want to run the audition that I mentioned often on broadcasts. It’s called ‘Hongdition’. Please look forward to it, everyone!

Q: Lastly, please greet your fans.

Hong Jinyoung: I’m able to greet you with my first ballad song since my debut. Until now, I’ve been working hard to get to his place with only passion but I think I’m still lacking. I want to repay fans in many fields with an even better appearance. Please give me a lot of love going forward!

Source: Naver Muzmon

[INTERVIEW TRANSLATION] Joy News 24 Interview: [Star♡Pet] Hong Jinyoung, “Warm Winter with Jolie·Pari·Dalkongie” (December 2018)

Singer Hong Jinyoung’s trademark ‘aegyo smile’ comes out of even in front of her pet dogs. “Ogoo ogoo, pretty”, she says as she looks at her pet dogs lovingly and rubs her face against theirs. Hong Jinyoung laughed saying, “These kids see my aegyo most often. Even though my side is very cold (aka, she is single) this winter, I’m not lonely. Our kids are here.”

One day in late autumn, Hong Jinyoung came to a pet supply store in Samsung-dong with her dogs, Jolie, Pari and Dalkongie. She met actress Kang Yewon and her dog who were filming a pet program. They stood for a while greeting each other and talking about their life with dogs and Jolie, Pari and Dalkongie explored their new friend and said hello. They said, “Next time, we should meet up with our dogs” and planned their next meeting, showing off their special friendship. After that, she responded to the autograph requests of the store employees and customers with a smile and spoke comfortably with the common thread of pet dogs.

Photo shoot with her pet dogs started after that. It was busy coaxing and calming three dogs who have their own minds. At the request to “please laugh”, she jokingly said “laughter won’t come out” but she treats her pet dogs with a warm hand. She explained the unique personalities of her pet dogs who have personalities as different as they look, and while telling their adoption stories she teared up, showing her heart. Jolie, Pari and Dalkongie have a big share in how she is able to live life even more fully and energetically.

Hong Jinyoung lives a loud life with 10 year old Jolie, 9 year old Pari and 7 year old Dalkongie. Hong Jinyoung who raised puppies since she was young said, “As I started my life in Seoul, I wanted to adopt a pet. I was less busy then. I thought it would be nice if my home was lively.”

Eldest unnie Jolie was the first family member to join. Hong Jinyoung said, “I held Jolie and she had teary eyes as if saying, ‘Please adopt me’. It didn’t sit well in my heart so we brought her with us. But her tears are like that every day. I think she was always a teary kid.” Pari was adopted so Jolie wouldn’t feel lonely and Dalkongie was the last to be adopted who had been hurt a lot by people.

Jolie, Pari and Dalkongie, as different as they look, their personalities are also different. While taking photos, Jolie stuck right by Jinyoung’s side, Pari moved around here and there brightly and Dalkongie was calm.

Hong Jinyoung explained her pets’ personalities in detail saying, “Jolie has a lot of aegyo. Even at home, she asks to be held and is right by my side. Like an eldest unnie, she has charisma. Pari has the strongest personality. She changes suddenly and tends to bully Dalkongie. Maknae is not good at expressing her affection. Even if we ask for kisses, she doesn’t kiss us often and her only expression of affection is running toward us and slamming her body. She’s the last in rank so she drinks water when unnies drink and she eats food when unnies eat.”

It’s not easy to raise not just one, but three dogs. There are many difficulties. Hong Jinyoung laughed saying, “We walk them one at a time. If we walk all three at the same time, I need my unnie’s help.” She tries hard to give the same love to all three dogs. Hong Jinyoung said, “It’s not easy to hold Dalkongie, if Pari doesn’t go down. So my heart goes out to her more. We set time so that we hold them equally. We try to give love as equally as possible.”

When we playfully asked Hong Jinyoung if she has any thoughts on expanding her family, she said laughing, “Truthfully, we didn’t think we’d raise three dogs but our heart went out to Dalkongie so we brought her home. I think it will be difficult to have more than three. These kids’ liveliness is not normal.”

With autumn events and various broadcast schedules, Hong Jinyoung is so busy that she divides her time in ‘nano’ increments. Hong Jinyoung said, “I want to bring them with me but I travel long distances often. Pari barks and when Jolie is in a car for a long time, she shakes. For the kids’ health, I think it’s better for them not to come with me”.

Hong Jinyoung who is unexpectedly a ‘homebody’ says she feels guilty about that she can’t be with them due to her many schedules. So on her days of rest, she tries to play with the dogs at home and tries to have a lot of time with them. When she returns home late at night, she feels happiness looking at the dogs who greet her.

“When I come home after finishing my schedule, even if it’s late, they greet me. Jolie and Pari run to me, and Dalkongie goes into the kitchen. They have slightly different personalities (laughs). Unnie is at home too, but the puppies like me so much. I can feel that they’re waiting for the owner all day. If I give them treats and play with them, the appearance of them enjoying it is like a baby, or like a companion. Every single day, I see these kids, I laugh and I receive comfort. I can’t help but feel responsible and have a lot of affection.”

Hong Jinyoung requested responsibility of those who are raising dogs. Hong Jinyoung emphasizes, “I can’t watch videos of abused and neglected puppies because it hurts me. They are kids with feelings and they get abandoned because they’re ill or because they’re not pretty. I hope people like that put themselves in the opposite position and think about what it would be like to be born as a puppy in the next life. If you have no sense of responsibility, I wish people wouldn’t adopt dogs from the beginning.”

During the interview, the words that Hong Jinyoung spoke the most were ‘happiness’ and ‘enjoy my life’. Her position toward her dogs is the same. Hong Jinyoung said, “I hope our puppies will be happy with me. As I chose these kids and they became family, I will try hard so that they can be happy until the end.”

Part two of this interview is an excerpted version of this earlier interview.

Source: Part 1 / Part 2

[TRANSLATION] My Daily Interview: “I Didn’t Realize Unnie’s Appearance on ‘My Little Old Boy’ Would Become A Topic of Conversation Like This” (November 2018)

“I Didn’t Realize Unnie’s Appearance on ‘My Little Old Boy’ Would Become A Topic of Conversation Like This”

For singer Hong Jinyoung, right now is her most enjoyable day. As much as she worked hard in every moment to get to this point, she is receiving a lot of love. From music to varieties, Hong Jinyoung’s height of prosperity continues.

Especially recently, she appeared on SBS ‘My Little Old Boy’ and became a topic of conversation for days on end. From romantic atmosphere with Kim Jongkook to an appearance accompanied by unnie Hong Sunyoung, she monopolized the topic of conversation.

“I’m thankful that many people like me. When I go to events, I can feel it a bit more. People immediately express that they like me so I’m very happy too.”

Especially on ‘My Little Old Boy’, you could see a new side of Hong Jinyoung through her chemistry with unnie Hong Sunyoung, who is overflowing with excitement. Hong Jinyoung said, “We finished filming about 2 months ago. I did predict that it would be fresh since it’s the first time unnie was unveiled to viewers” and reflected back on the reaction at the time saying, “But I didn’t know it would be this huge. Even when my name is not there, unnie’s name was on the popular keyword searches”.

“It was a bit burdensome for unnie at first because it became than we thought. But when she goes to markets or the mart, elder ladies compliment her saying ‘You look so slim in person’. I strictly told her that’s not true. (Laughs) Unnie is thankful too as many people are liking her. As soon as everyone sees unnie, they say that they watched ‘My Little Old Boy’ well.”

Every variety show that Hong Jinyoung appears on explodes properly. From ‘Omniscient Interfering View’ to ‘My Little Old Boy’, Hong Jinyoung is on popular variety shows. She said, “I receive many proposals for broadcast appearances but due to my busy schedule, it’s difficult to appear on them all” and said, “Broadcast of ‘My Little Old Boy’ was filmed a while back and I couldn’t have predicted (its popularity) either. Programs that I had filmed earlier are coming one by one, so people think even more so that I don’t rest at all”.

Hong Jinyoung will continue to ‘work hard’ until the year end. She will release a new song ‘서울사람’ (translates to ‘Seoulite’, ‘Seoul person’; a person from Seoul) joining producer Park Geuntae’s project. This trot song is a collaboration of producer Park Geuntae and lyricist Kim Eana, and the participation of ‘trot queen’ Hong Jinyoung has been drawing anticipation.

“I had recorded this song last year. A collaboration opportunity came this time so I recorded it again. I can show a new appearance once again to people who enjoy my music so I’m anticipating it a lot too.”

From varieties to releasing a new song and even various events, Hong Jinyoung is always running. She said, “Someone told me I’m a ‘happiness virus’” and she laughed saying “I read a comment that said that because I am always laughing even when things are difficult”.

“Even when it’s difficult, I always try to laugh when I work. When I laugh, my mood is lifted even when I’m down. When fans saw my SNS updates of when I went to Pohang one day, and then Jeonju again, they thought it was impressive saying, ‘You make your hardships not look hard’. For me, weekends are Mondays and every day is Monday. So I don’t have the Monday blues. (Laughs) The reason why I’m enjoying it is because I’m doing work that I like.”

Hong Jinyoung, “No Marriage Yet, But Confident I Can Receive Love of Mother-in-Law”

Singer Hong Jinyoung is receiving love from men and women of all ages with her witty words and actions. She especially received the love of mothers of celebrities on SBS ‘My Little Old Boy’ and ascended as the ‘nation’s daughter-in-law’.

“When I go to department store performances, many mothers come. They really adore me. I think I receive even more love because I approach the elders with affection and have a comfortable image. I’m not thinking about marriage yet but when I get married later, I think I can do well. I’m confident that I can receive the love of the mother-in-law.”

As she monopolizes the love of the elders, as expected, opportunities to stand (on stage) come pouring in. Hong Jinyoung said, “I think my dating cells are dead right now. I think it’s even more so because I don’t have any thoughts of marriages yet” and said, “There are so many things I have to do and I want to do.”

“I think the seeds have really dried up now. Haha. When I liked someone before, I couldn’t approach them first. But if there was someone that I really liked, I did approach them. But now I don’t think I can do it. Someone needs to approach me first for something to progress but there’s no one like that right now. I don’t have thoughts of marriage yet but I’ve already made all of the plans for after marriage. (Laughs)”

Recently, Hong Jinyoung has showcased various contents and expanded her domain. From YouTuber ‘Samba Hong’ to songwriting and launching a makeup brand, she’s living a life where 24 hours is not enough.

“I work hard as a singer but when I want to try something, I try to attempt it all. When time passes, it becomes even more difficult to do. I have a lot of greed when it comes to work so there is a lot I want to try. I continuously wrote songs since a few years ago and makeup is one of the things I like the most and one of the things I’m good at. I wanted to apply good ingredients on my face so I ended up launching makeup.”

Although Hong Jinyoung is always busy, she does not forget about diligent self-care. She said, “First of all, I maintain my stamina through food. I eat red ginseng and fermented soybean powder and fruit juice” and received attention by saying, “Recently, I’ve been grating apple and radish on a steel plate and eating it with a spoonful of soy sauce and it’s so good for your body. I want to recommend it to many people.”

“I’m trying to find happiness in small things. I relieve stress in a normal way by buying pretty shoes or clothes. After performing at events, I find happiness by eating meat for dinner or going to a delicious eatery and watching a drama at home. Day-to-day feels like it repeats daily but each day is also different. I’m finding small enjoyments while living.”

“Next Year’s Goal is ‘Hongdition’, Ultimate Goal is Producer”

Singer Hong Jinyoung unveiled her dream of becoming a manager and producer.

At a recent interview with My Daily, Hong Jinyoung confessed, “My ultimate goal is to become a producer. Forming my own management company has been a long time dream.”

“On a previous broadcast, I have spoken about an audition program called ‘Hongdition’. There are many people who still remember it. I’m  planning to officially start it next year. It’s an audition where I’m personally planning for a trot rookie. It would be good to attempt producing after more years of experience but I think it would be better now because I can teach and show more while I’m actively promoting. After opening the opportunity, I want to help friends who want to attempt trot so that they can survive well.”

Many broadcasting stations proposed a collaboration for Hong Jinyoung’s ‘Hongdition’ but she said, “I want to do it in a more fun and diverse format so rather than a (television) channel, I’m thinking of a different direction” and was sure of herself saying, “I’m planning ‘Hongdition’ through YouTube ‘Samba Hong”s new channel. I think it will progress more freely if it’s on YouTube”.

“Since I was a rookie, my dream was to be in the management business. As time passes, I found myself resembling that dream. It’s a step by step process of progressing toward that dream. I could fail, of course. But I could also make up for it and attempt it again next time. Strangely, I think that if I foster (a rookie), I think they can be a really good singer. Our (entertainment agency) CEO always tells me that it’s not easy. (Laughs)”

Hong Jinyoung emphasized that ‘unique colour’ is what is needed in the next generation trot market. She said, “When I first debuted, the question mark was why trot singers didn’t appear in dramas, magazine editorials or advertisements” and emphasized, “I thought that the domain of activity needed to expand. Like how Jang Yoonjung unnie and Park Hyunbin oppa expanded the market, going forward, trot singers need to do broad activities with their own unique personalities.”

Source: Part 1 / Part 2 / Part 3

[TRANSLATION] Joy News 24 Interview: “Hong Jinyoung’s 10 Years, Meaningful Glory Days” (November 2018)

Hong Jinyoung’s 10 Years, Meaningful Glory Days

The images that come to mind when you say Hong Jinyoung are ‘brightness’ and ‘positivity’. Trot fairy overflowing with excitement, a star with a favourable impression whose charms are her aegyo and loveliness, and recently, she became a beauty goddess too.

Although she’s a trot singer, she’s as lively and bouncy as a girl group member.  She has escaped the human emotion feelings characteristic of trot and created music that shatters tradition. As a producer, she has collaborated with diverse singers, and gotten one step closer to the younger generation. Hong Jinyoung has attempted to break the rules in a good way without being shackled down, she has become a new role model for trot singers by searching far and wide for diverse pursuits.

Joy News 24 met singer Hong Jinyoung to commemorate 14th year since its first publication. On the day of the interview, Hong Jinyoung, who had a schedule in Gwangju in Jeolla province, said “October is peak (event) season. On average, I go to more than two places a day. With a grateful heart that they’ve asked me to come, I’m working hard” and laughed. Although it’s a difficult schedule, we couldn’t find tiredness in her face.

Hong Jinyoung said, “I don’t get tired. I always think that nothing lasts forever. Being busy has its time. I have a lot of passion so in my heart, I want to work even harder than I do now”. She said, “If I work a lot, I get tired and exhausted, but when I go up on stage, that disappears and I end up enjoying it. You can’t keep up with people who are enjoying life. I want to live enjoying life” and shouted “Enjoy my life”. Strength to make people beside her laugh is Hong Jinyoung’s real charm.


“10 Years of Trot”… ‘Fun’ Challenges Made Possible Because She Is Hong Jinyoung

Trot Singer Hong Jinyoung’s first start was ‘Love Battery’ released in 2009. 10 years have passed since then. Hong Jinyoung, who was called a new generation trot singer, is now an unmatched star and irreplaceable icon in the trot world. ‘Love Battery’ continues to receive love as well as songs like ‘Thumb Up’ which was popular among kindergarteners too and ‘Good Bye’ released earlier this year. On ‘Hidden Singer 5’ which was aired this year, she was the only trot singer to appear, evidence of her popularity in the general public.

It was previously mentioned on broadcasts but Hong Jinyoung did not dream of becoming a trot singer in the beginning. She started her activities as an actress in plays in theatres on Daehangno, followed by time as a trainee in a music agency to debut but nothing came of it numerous times. She debuted in 2007 in the group ‘Swan’ but ended promotions within a few months and experienced hardships.

In 2009, she met ‘Love Battery’, and next year will mark the 10th anniversary of her debut. Hong Jinyoung said, “I always think it’s far away. I think I’m still continuing to learn gradually”.

She is proud of the fact that the domains of trot singers have expanded. Hong Jinyoung reflected, “While doing trot, I thought ‘Why are (the domains of) trot singers limited?’ I thought I needed to expand it by working hard at my activities. I wanted to become a singer that can shoot commercials and magazines. I wanted to change the (limited) feeling.”

Within that domain, there were ‘fun’ attempts too. Last year, she collaborated with Kim Youngchul on ‘Ring Ring’ and this year, with Kang Hodong on ‘I Kicked My Luck Off’. As songs that Hong Jinyoung composed and wrote herself, they were explosively popular with the younger generation. They are songs infused with Hong Jinyoung’s unique merry and bright colours.

“My life goal is ‘enjoy my life’. I only release one main trot song once a year, so I wanted to work in a fun and enjoyable way through other methods. I don’t want to be limited to adults and I want to work expansively. There are trot songs that have human emotions, but I want people to listen to my music and enjoy it. They play it often at baseball games, it’s really fun.”

One by one, as Hong Jinyoung fulfills dreams she had when she was young, she is expanding to new dreams. She excitedly speaks about different plans she has as a producer.

Hong Jinyoung said “I compose well when I’m coming back to Seoul from Busan. Last week, when I went to Busan, I wrote five songs. There were a variety of songs from ballad to EDM trot. I will need to work on them a bit more” and laughed.

With a theme of ‘Looking for Hong Jinyoung’s dongsaeng’, Hong Jinyoung is preparing from a ‘Hongdition’ project. It’s something she has been preparing for a long time, and a type of audition. It’s a meaningful step forward for producer Hong Jinyoung.

“I want to personally foster singers. As Jang Yoonjung, Park Hyunbin sunbaenims (seniors) were representative of younger trot singers and allowed hoobaes (juniors) to promote comfortably, I want to pave the path for hoobaes as well. In trot, there aren’t many auditions or opportunities, but there are many friends who are earnest. I want to open an opportunity for these friends. If I were to personally teach these friends, I think they will be able to learn a lot more. I think I can make them feel even younger. When I still have passion remaining, when I have the embers, I want to hurry and attempt it.”

Hong Jinyoung smiled brightly saying, “I want to help hoobaes who have wanted to do trot to walk on flower paths”.


“I’m Not ‘Pretending’ To be Happy, I’m Really Happy”


Throughout the interview, Hong Jinyoung was overflowing with energy and bright. She signed for each and every fan, smiled and took photos too. After a short conversation, she didn’t forget to say “Be happy”. Hong Jinyoung’s aegyo and overflowing energy, for anyone who has encountered her even for a short time will know that her image that is shown on TV is not pretense. Throughout the interview, the words Hong Jinyoung said the most were ‘happy’ and ‘enjoy my life’.

“Truthfully, there are times when I hear words like this. ‘I don’t like how bright you are’, ‘I don’t like you having fun alone’, ‘I’m having a hard time but why do you look happy’. But I think it’s all in your perspective. People who work say ‘It’s Sunday now. I don’t want to go to work tomorrow’. For me, every day is Monday. I work continuously for 2, 3 weeks but if there’s a day of rest, I work hard looking toward that day. I say ‘Since I rest on this day, I will work hard’. On some days, I’m so happy to have a schedule at 1 or 2 pm. If everything irritates you, life becomes really difficult. If you feel happiness even in the small things, life becomes enjoyable. What makes my life happy is not my environment but within myself. I hope many people will live happily. I hope they have good thoughts and that their lives are full of good things.”

Hong Jinyoung said she’s not ‘pretending to be happy’, but she’s really happy. Of course, there are times when she’s exhausted from busy days and incidents that stress her out. Times like that, she controls her mind and practices controlling her heart.

Hong Jinyoung said, “When I’m exhausted, I think of times that were truly draining. When I think ‘When I compare to then, this is not hard. I’m happy’, I really become happy. If you keep thinking of the bad situation you’re in, it becomes even more difficult”. To a journalist who has fallen for Hong Jinyoung’s ‘eudemonics’, she shared another plan saying, “I created a new word ‘Hong-eum’ which combines Hong Jinyoung and heart. I want to write a book one day”.

Hong Jinyoung who is so busy that she divides her time by ‘nano measurements’ lives dreaming of various dreams. She’s filled and overflowing with work she wants to do from producing a trot rookie, producing a beauty brand business with her name attached to it, and so on.

Hong Jinyoung, who says her ultimate dream is the management business, said “I want to continue to foster hoobaes. I’m thinking of it all, male solo, female solo, group. First candidate will definitely be trot but I think the remaining candidates will have some ‘ppong’ to them” and laughed saying, “I want to create SM of the trot world”.

In order to ensure her dream doesn’t end up just being a dream, she’s taking each step gradually. So she can confidently say that Hong Jinyoung’s glory day is not today.

“I always think my glory day is ‘-ing’, what I’m currently working on. I have the same heart as I did in the beginning. When I was asked what kind of a singer I wanted to be when I was a rookie, I said I wanted to be a familiar person. I wanted to be a singer who’s like mom’s friend’s daughter, neighbourhood noona, next door unnie. I said that but I’m becoming more and more like that. I have been able to accomplish what I wished for and what I had thought of. Now when someone asks ‘What kind of entertainer do you want to be?’, I say ‘I want to be a person’. I’m not different from other people, other than the fact that I show up on the television and sing, the way I live is the same as everyone else. I just want to be a person who gives bright energy to all people.”

Source: Joy News 24

[TRANSLATION] Grazia Interview: “Beauty Icon, Hong Jinyoung?! I Just Want to Communicate Enjoyably” (October 2018)

“Beauty Icon, Hong Jinyoung?! I Just Want to Communicate Enjoyably”

I wanted to honestly let the public know and share the products I normally use
I didn’t want to give information as if I’m marketing it through a sponsorship
I think that’s the aspect people viewed favourably 

Q. Now when you type ‘Hong Jinyoung’, makeup related search keywords naturally follow. 

That’s what I mean, it’s really hard to predict what happens to people (laughs). While I was doing music or broadcasts, I never thought I needed to appeal to the public with ‘beauty’. But by chance, I received attention for it.


Q. It all started with tvN’s <Life Bar>. 

tvN <Life Bar> Broadcast Capture

That’s right, I drank alcohol on the broadcast and my skin turned so red. Even my neck and ears turned bright red but my makeup was perfectly fine so female viewers who saw that scene got very curious.

After the broadcast, I received thousands of DMs a day asking ‘What foundation do you use?’ on SNS. So I thought, ‘If people are this curious about how I apply my makeup, it would be good to let them know exactly’ so I unveiled the product list myself through YouTube.

Q. We remember the reaction being hot.

At that time, I didn’t have any PPL (product placement) and let everyone know the actual products I use so many people responded positively saying ‘you’re honest’.

Q. After you unveiled the product list, sponsorship requests poured in from various brands but we heard you declined all of them.

After the broadcast, it is true that I received many sponsorship requests and advertising offers. However, I just wanted to let everyone know about the products I was using, I didn’t want to give information as if I was marketing it through a sponsorship. I wanted to honestly let everyone know the products I normally used and enjoyed and share the information with the public.

Q. It’s somehow ‘Hong Jinyoung’-like. Cool woman!

Haha. Thank you.

Q. Now when you appear on broadcasts, makeup related topics become a trend. 

Recently on JTBC’s <Carefree Travelers>, the ‘waterproof makeup’ and the scenes where I applied makeup on other travel members became popular. Honestly, I like applying makeup on other people’s faces rather than applying it on myself. It may be because I’ve been receiving makeup for a long time, now I think I can apply it to some extent on other people. And when you apply makeup on someone else’s face, it’s fun. I think I’m fairly skilled at makeup (laughs).

Q. Do you tend to give beauty counseling to people around you?

People do ask me often. Questions like ‘What eye shadow are you wearing?’ or ‘What colours are pretty for a lipstick?’. Then I try to let them know all of the information I know.

Q. Of people you know personally, has there been a situation where someone’s vibe entirely changed due to your advice?

There’s a close dongsaeng who wore a lot of eye makeup so I told her to try wearing it a bit lighter. Of course, the changed makeup suit her so much better. When I was a rookie, I wore a lot of makeup. There was a time when I wore black eyeliner top and bottom and wore eyelashes that flapped like wings. At that time, I thought that looked pretty but now that I look back, that’s not the case. According to your age, your tastes and style definitely change.

Q. You must have felt satisfied after seeing your hoobae.

Yes. So I’m thinking of holding an event through my personal SNS or YouTube channel where I choose someone to do their makeup for them from a pool of applicants.

Q. You said you’re so busy you don’t get to rest even a single day in a month.

I can’t do it right now (laughs). When I have some time, I definitely want to do it.

Q. What items do you cherish the most?

Lip products. I really have a lot of lip products at home. They were all purchased by me. I previously had almost 200, but now I’ve organized and I have 80-90. According to the seasons, my favourite lip colours change. In the spring, peach tone; in the summer, bright pink; in autumn, burgundy or brown; in the winter, I enjoy applying vivid red.

Q. Is there a beauty item that you’re especially fond of these days?

Since it’s autumn, eyeshadow that you can create subtle eye looks with, and lip products in colours of autumn leaves. I think it will be really pretty if you match a similar colour tone of your eyes and lips.

Q. What items do you always carry in your makeup pouch?
 We opened Hong Jinyoung’s real pouch 

Lip products of various colours, shading (contour) products that create lines on your nose and face, and compact, if I have these, it’s not hard to last the whole day (laughs).

Q. You’re incredibly busy and yet, you launched your own brand (of makeup). Was it all because it became a topic of conversation on broadcasts?

Appearing on <Life Bar> did become a big opportunity. After unveiling the list of products I used and the makeup tips, a comment said:

‘Unnie, it costs too much money to buy all of those products. To buy all of these, I need to work part-time for two months’

After I saw that, I thought carefully ‘Couldn’t I combine all of this into a single product?’. That was the starting point for ‘Hong Shot’. Even before then, I had thoughts that I wanted to try making beauty products. Such a good timing came to me so it was brought to fruition.

Q. Liking makeup and launching a brand are different things, as you can’t create a brand just with an idea.

It’s so different. But I did not want to create it haphazardly. So I had several meetings and I visited the laboratory many times. Although I was busy, I split my time and studied up on makeup ingredients. Honestly, I wasn’t the type to be sensitive to ingredients but the more I knew, the more I realized I couldn’t ignore the importance of ingredients. Since it’s being absorbed by the skin, I kept thinking that I needed to create an exceptional product with good ingredients.

Q. As you prepared for the brand launch, to what step did you participate personally? 

All of it. I personally took part from the planning stage to ingredients, testing and packaging.

Q. Did you come up with the name ‘Hong Shot’ yourself?

I held a contest on SNS to create the name.

Q. When you first planned ‘Hong Shot’, what areas did you put a lot of focus into?

Before I launched the brand, I purchased most of the products that are popular on SNS and personally used it. There were products that suit me well and products that didn’t suit me well, and there were products that had excessive advertising. I have sensitive skin so even if there’s a slight irritation, it turns red so I can’t use whatever products. Through these experiences, I worked hard to create a product that suits almost all skin types as much as possible.

Q. Hong Shot that you created with your heart and soul sold out on the first day of home shopping, how did that feel?

I really didn’t know it would receive that much attention. I was really surprised and very thankful.

Q. When you think about it, what aspect do you think was emphasized in a charming way?

Truthfully, when it comes to any makeup product, you can’t confidently say ‘it suits everyone well’, same goes for my product. Likes and dislikes vary from person to person. However, I was able to confidently say on the live broadcast that I tried my best to create a product that would suit the skin of as many people as possible. I think honesty like that was appealing.

Q. The products must truly feel like your ‘child’. What item do you want to boast about the most?

It has to be the foundation. Without irritating the skin, it stays on the skin in a moist way with a high level of coverage. It was created thoughtfully, after sampling and testing it several times until I was satisfied. I confirmed that it was created with ingredients that are harmless to the skin and I am confident in this product.

Q. Music, broadcast, business, there isn’t anything you aren’t good at. You always seem to be overflowing with energy, but aren’t there times when you’re tired?

The moment I go to lie in bed at home after finishing the day’s schedule, I totally pass out. But before I lie in bed, I do this and that at home. I’m making an app these days too.

Q. What kind of an app is it?

It’s a selfie app. It’s a ‘life shot’ app that takes pretty photos no matter what (laughs). I’m learning how to code. It’s been delayed compared to the original plan so I think it will be complete next month.

Q. You’re incredible. Are you sure you only have one body?

There are so many things I want to do. When I still have passion inside of me, I want to attempt one more thing, and I want to try many things if I can do it. Of course there will be times when I fail but I also think that is a huge experience in my life. There’s a huge part of me that wants to continue to attempt new things. Even though my body will be tired.

Q. There must be times when Hong Jinyoung, who has a lot of ‘excitement’, gets stressed.

It’s hard when I’m not in a good condition so my voice doesn’t come out well or when my body is sick. I really like talking (laughs). I like working while laughing joyously and chatting with people around me but if my body doesn’t follow, that really upsets me. So these days, I’m trying to eat things like tonics and vitamins.

Q. If you were to reveal one ‘I have this side of me that people don’t know’?

It seems like I’m strong and won’t get hurt easily but I’m actually very delicate. But even if I get hurt, I try to overcome it alone. Whatever happens, situation differs depending on your perspective. I try to live every day diligently in a fun and positive way while loving my work and thinking of people who like me. If I do that, I have no time to be sad.

Q. You’ve already accomplished so much but is there something you really want to do going forward?

Training a hoobae. My goal is to personally direct and produce someone to debut, but first, I’m going to open an SNS audition within this year. Finding Hong Jinyoung’s dongsaeng, named Hongdition! After receiving audition videos, my followers will choose the 1st place winner. I’m thinking of continuing it into seasons 1, 2, 3. First of all, I need to have a good start.

Q. Does music genre matter?

It doesn’t matter at all. But the first dongsaeng has to do trot, no matter what.


Q. Today you joined us not as a singer but as a ‘beauty icon’ chosen by <Grazia>, what will it be like going forward?

I think if I continue to show the comfortable side of me that I normally show, people will continue to enjoy it. It’s funny for me to suddenly appear as a beauty expert (laughs). Like how I’ve done so far, I want to communicate in a friendly and enjoyable way through SNS or YouTube.

Source: Grazia

[TRANSLATION] THE FACT Entertainment Interview: “25 CFs Just This Year, My Cost Effectiveness Must Be Good” (August 2018)

“25 CFs Just This Year, My Cost Effectiveness Must Be Good”

쿨하게 트로트 비타민으로 불러주세요 홍진영이 24일 인터뷰에서 가수로서의 인기는 물론 출연하는 프로그램마다 화제와 이슈를 몰고다니는 예능 대세로서의 소감을 밝히고 있다. /남용희 기자

Hong Jinyoung, ‘Trot Fairy’ Who Spreads Vitality in Music and Variety

“I like ‘trot goddess’ and ‘trot fairy’, but going forward just coolly call me ‘trot vitamin’.”

I met ‘Godttery’ Hong Jinyoung (33). As soon as she started talking, her first phrase was overflowing with charm. I am familiar with her cuteness but it’s our first time meeting as interviewer-interviewee and it feels different. Like a singer who helped bring young trot to the music industry, following in the footsteps of Jang Yoonjung, she has an energy that makes the environment around her brighter. She says just to coolly call her ‘trot vitamin’. It really feels like I’ve ingested vitamins. 

At the <The Fact> Sangam-dong office on the 24th, Hong Jinyoung visited, who is garnering attention for pioneering new trot genres like ‘bbongDM’ and ‘bbong-llad’. Our editor colleagues who are indifferent to celebrity appearances display interest with at least one gaze in her direction. Recently, she created news and trends in each program she appears in with ‘Hidden Singer’ and ‘Carefree Travelers’, creating the realization that she is a trendsetter in variety entertainment.

Hong Jinyoung’s rise has been confirmed by placing 2nd in female advertising model brand ranking this past April, setting her place as a blue chip in the advertising world. What is her secret to surprising influence even though she promotes in a non-mainstream music genre?

From exceptional vocals to excellent songwriting abilities, it’s thank to her disposition as a multi-faceted entertainer that attracts a variety of audiences all at once. After achieving ‘trot fairy’ and ‘trot goddess’ status, we met Hong Jinyoung, who has gotten public popularity as a ‘trot vitamin’ personally, to dissect her secret to popularity and charms. This is the topic of the first part of the special interview.  

애교의 대명사 가수 홍진영이 지난 24일 오후 서울 상암동 <더팩트> 사옥에서 인터뷰하고 있다. /남용희 기자

I think you’re enjoying all of the popularity in the entertainment world alone these days. 

I’m always thankful for the love and compliments that are above what I deserve. I must have been born blessed. Or I saved the country in a previous life. (As recent public interest and popularity was mentioned, Hong Jinyoung gave a broad smile in her unique bright expression.) 

I personally appeared on the entertainment talk show ‘Rumor Has It’ for nearly a year with you and built a relationship but meeting like this is new. 

That’s right, it has already been 2 years. It’s so nice to meet you like this. Your image is completely different from when you were on the panel to a journalist in a newspaper editorial department. Honestly, while I was the MC for that program, I learned a lot about the physiology of the entertainment world from the journalists. Perhaps that’s when my popularity spiked again.

During her time as ‘Rumor Has It’ MC, Hong Jinyoung had a reputation as the set mood maker. Since her schedule is so busy, there were a couple of times when she asked us ahead of time to understand having to change the filming day, but she was never late once or inconvenienced anyone. Even though she had regional schedules in the early morning, she always showed her face at late dinners after filming ended in the middle of the night, showing her sincerity. 

What do you think the reason that everyone likes Hong Jinyoung?

Wouldn’t it be my honesty, hahaha. As you can see and as you know, my personality is not one that covers or hides. On stage of course, and even in entertainment shows where there is a set concept, if possible, I try hard to show myself honestly. (Hong Jinyoung has a habit of laughing loudly at questions that are difficult for her to answer immediately. Throughout the interview, she showed she was especially weak at compliments.)

You must have your own set of standards although you promote as a star singer for the general public. 

I always keep an optimistic mind, a thankful heart and live by the principle that I should care for others. People say if you can’t avoid it, enjoy it. If I’m going to have hardships and have encounters regardless, I should do it with an enjoyable heart.

You ranked up to 2nd in the advertising model brand ranking. How many CFs did you shoot? 

Is it okay to say this? I think I’ve filmed 25 just this year. There are many one-time CFs but I also have several that run for 1 year. Guarantee? I’m not as expensive as you’d think. From the perspective of advertisers, I’m cost-effective so wouldn’t that be why I’m used often? Hahaha.

Even 3~4 years ago, Hong Jinyoung continuously shot 5~6 CFs a year. Her activities were gradually noticed and received attention from the advertising industry and her popularity climbed sharply last year. Although entertainer Kim Saengmin received attention for filming 20 CFs before his ‘Me Too’ controversy, Hong Jinyoung deserves to be called the blue chip of CFs. 

홍진영의 몸값은 특 A급. 홍진영은 워낙 스케줄이 많아 TV 고정프로그램 출연은 엄두를 못낸다고 말했다. 홍진영이 한 골프 시상식에서 축하공연을 하고있다. /임세준 기자

Among singers, you tend to have many events. What do you do if it conflicts with broadcasts?

I do tend to have a lot of schedules. Broadcasts are important but it’s difficult to give up events. So these days, I’m not able to make fixed appearances in a program. Most of the broadcast appearances I’ve made this year are short-term and as a guest.

Since you are doing so well, there are many people who are curious about your event pay. 

Conversations about money are outside of my scope of authority. I could also get backlash. There isn’t a set pay, but I’ll just reveal that I’m A-level in the music industry. (To singers, event pay is very important. Like how requests to be in CFs are a barometer of popularity, singers’ guarantee levels differ depending on the public’s preferences. Hong Jinyoung’s A-level event pay is comparable to the broadcast appearance fees of top popular variety MCs like Kang Hodong and Yoo Jaesuk.) 

Do you like the nickname of ‘trot fairy’?

It’s an honorable name that fans have given me so I can’t say I like or don’t like it. But personally, I like ‘trot vitamin’ even more than ‘trot goddess’ or ‘trot fairy’. If you call me that, I’m more thankful and happier. Like vitamins, I want to give a lot of vitality.

I understand you originally debuted as an idol, in a girl group. 

That’s true. When I was 20, I first came up to Seoul and did plays for about a year. I wanted to be a singer so I attempted and failed in a girl group twice, and the third group, Swan, debuted but due to the company circumstances, we weren’t able to promote properly and disbanded in two months. So now I have a longing toward being an idol, since I can’t go back to that time. (Hong Jinyoung momentarily had a sad expression while thinking of difficult times, but quickly had a bright smile as if those painful experiences made today possible.) 

올해만 CF 25개를 찍었어요. 올 상반기 여자 광고모델 브랜드파워 2위에 뛰어오른 홍진영은 가성비가 좋아 광고주들이 많이 찾는 것이라며 애교익살을 부렸다. /뮤직K 제공

What’s the reason behind your transformation to trot? 

I was reluctant to give up being in a girl group so I really didn’t want to convert to trot. I was actually very upset to release a song and promote as a trot singer at such a young age (mid 20s). I didn’t like getting attention for changing to trot after having failed in a girl group. Based on the mood back then, it wasn’t an easy choice. The optimistic thought that trot is getting younger was one that I could only have way later on.

Do you think you’ve played a role in spreading trot as a popular genre across the country? 

In the trot world, there are many prominent sunbaenims (senior singers). Since I’m active on top of the groundwork that they’ve laid down, I’m actually reaping the benefits. Even when I first stepped into this world, I couldn’t imagine such public popularity. I need to repay now. I need to play my role to spread this genre with a bright and fresh mood so that we can receive a lot of love, even among the young generation.

After ‘Love Battery’, Hong Jinyoung continuously released songs and with her recent song ‘Good Bye’, she once again pioneered another territory in trot. ‘Good Bye’ is a collaboration song between the music industry’s hit-makers Jo Youngsoo and Kim Eana and it’s a retro trot song that captures your ear even if you only hear it once. 

Even within trot, do you think there is a Hong Jinyoung style? 

Since I was a rookie, I wanted to show my own unique color. ‘BbongDM’ (a new word that combines trot and EDM) which infuses exciting and fast electronic music to the typical trot genre is a style that suits me. ‘Amor Fati’ that Kim Yonja sunbaenim sang is like that too. It received the spotlight for enhancing excitement by adding electronic dance music (EDM) to a trot melody.


“Kim Jongkook Oppa? Possibility for Progress Is There”

홍진영 에너지 원천은 긍정 마인드의 열정. 홍진영은 24일 인터뷰에서 매사 긍정 마인드로 부딪치면 설령 실패하더라도 좋은 경험이 된다고 말하고 있다. /남용희 기자

Cool Confession “Boyfriend? I Had One, It Ended On Its Own When We Couldn’t Meet” 

Singer Hong Jinyoung (33) re-signed with her agency Music K Entertainment (CEO Kwon Changhyun) early this year and definitively maintained a 10-year long loyalty. Her deep confidence in CEO Kwon, who has been with her since her debut in 2008, continued with her contract renewal. When CEO Kwon became independent of the previous agency and established Music K, Hong Jinyoung naturally made a new home there. 

Music K has been enjoying Hong Jinyoung’s stable public popularity and brought to life a new rookie boy group, walking a very strong path. After placing 2nd in the female advertising model brand ranking this past April, Hong Jinyoung rose as a blue chip in the advertising industry. What is her secret to surprising influence even though she promotes in a non-mainstream music genre?

From exceptional vocals to excellent songwriting abilities, it’s thank to her disposition as a multi-faceted entertainer that attracts a variety of audiences all at once. After achieving ‘trot fairy’ and ‘trot goddess’ status, we met Hong Jinyoung, who has gotten public popularity as a ‘trot vitamin’ personally, to dissect her secret to popularity and charms. This interview was conducted at the <The Fact> Sangam-dong office on the afternoon of the 24th. 

What is the source of Hong Jinyoung’s energy who is continuously active? 

It’s the passion and spirit of challenge of an optimistic mind. It’s exciting to have a lot of attention and popularity but if there is too much work, it’s difficult for your body and mind. That’s when it’s important. If you always have a positive mind, even when you fail, it becomes a good experience.

Do you find plastic surgery controversies uncomfortable or upsetting?

If I said they weren’t, that’d be a lie. But I don’t really pay a lot of attention. Double eyelid and nose plastic surgery have become normal procedures that anyone can do, and I have acknowledged it myself and revealed which parts I’ve enhanced. It’s not even a controversy.

In her own episode of JTBC ‘Hidden Singer 5’, Hong Jinyoung unveiled where she had cosmetic procedures done. Judging panel compared her appearance from when she was promoting in the group Swan to now and said “Nothing has changed except your double eyelids” and Hong Jinyoung coolly confirmed “What changed since then is my nose” and received ‘very Hong Jinyoung-like’ comments. 

가수 홍진영은 특유의 끼와 엔터 기질을 발산하며 예능계와 광고계 블루칩으로 떠올랐다. 홍진영이 출연한 KBS 예능프로그램 언니들의 슬램덩크2 제작발표회 당시 모습. /임세준 기자

Who are your celebrity bosom friends? 

There are many people I’ve gotten close to through entertainment programs. Pro entertainers like Kang Hodong, Kim Youngchul and Heo Kyunghwan take care of me. We have a thick bond, so when we meet we are naturally playful and joke around.

Hong Jinyoung composed ‘I Kicked My Luck Away’ sung by Kang Hodong and ‘Ring Ring’ sung by comedian Kim Youngchul last year that had a hot reaction. After receiving the hit ‘Ring Ring’ from Hong Jinyoung, Kim Youngchul also received a new song, ‘Andenayon’. Both are fast electronic music (EDM) and are characterized by exciting rhythm enhanced by Hong Jinyoung’s unique refreshing and bright color. 

Doesn’t your busy schedule wear down on your stamina? 

There are times when my stamina runs out while going all over the country by car. But I naturally tend to eat anything well so there is no reason for my strength to be depleted. If I work excitedly, I automatically get an endorphin boost.

What kind of exercises do you normally do to maintain your stamina? 

If I’m being honest, I don’t exercise separately these days. No, I can’t do it. You need to make time to exercise and I start moving early in the morning and if I end work early, it’s 11 PM at night.

Don’t you need to maintain your figure?

Thankfully, singing and moving on stage requires an immense amount of stamina, and with that, I automatically diet. So typically 3~4 kg of weight come and go depending on my stage schedule.

서울 상암동 더팩트 사옥에서 가진 인터뷰에서 홍진영은 끊임없이 일을 벌이고 매달리는 스타일이라며 열정을 쏟아내는 비결을 밝혔다. /남용희 기자

What is your best charm in your opinion? 

It’s my personality that is never satisfied by reality. My style is one that endlessly creates work, clings to it and carries it out. That’s why I’m always busy. Depending on how you see it, it could also be a shortcoming, but in my opinion, I think it is my biggest strength and charm.

There is exactly one thing I’m curious about. How much alcohol can you drink?

Is it because of my style normally? How much alcohol I can drink is one of the most frequently asked questions. Do I look like I can drink alcohol well? I’ll confess now, even when I drink one glass of beer, my face turns red. I can barely drink alcohol at all. If I force myself to drink sometimes, I can drink up to 3~4 shots of soju, but those days are very special days.

When was the most difficult time after your debut?

There are many celebrities who became Cinderella overnight but it was difficult for me from the beginning. While I was doing plays when I was 20 years old, I fostered a dream of becoming an actress and gave it up, and I attempted a girl group debut but it wasn’t easy. Even after my trot debut, I encountered countless difficulties in order to become acknowledged. More than anything, there was no incline to lean on so it was difficult.

Fans have a lot of interest in your thoughts on marriage. 

I don’t have any specific plans on marriage. I can only date when I have time. It’s not an exaggeration but I really don’t have time to date. I should get married, when I find a good person.

I wanted to ask you this point-blank when I met you. What kind of a relationship do you have with Kim Jongkook? 

Huh? What is this, all of a sudden? Kim Jongkook oppa is a great friend in the entertainment industry. It’s true that he unreservedly takes care of me as a hoobae but rationally, we don’t have an intimately close relationship. Of course, it’s not that there isn’t any leeway, keke.

(At this question, Hong Jinyoung made an expression as if it’s a bit outrageous rather than be flustered by it. It wasn’t that she was trying to hide an existing truth and formally avoiding the question, she replied seriously. At the ‘words and actions on broadcasts as if they may have had push and pull between them’, she explained that it was a concept that emphasized their normal closeness a little bit more.) 

선하고 편안한 사람이 남자친구였으면 좋겠다. 홍진영은 이상적인 스타일에 대해 경제적 능력 보단 심성이 착한 남자가 좋다고 속내를 밝히기도 했다. /뮤직K 제공

Is there anyone who’s in your heart? 

To tell you clearly, there is no man I’m dating right now. I have dated an ordinary person. As I became incredibly busy, we grew apart naturally. Affection between a man and a woman deepen when you meet often but it’s sad since I can’t do that in reality.

What is your ideal style in a man? 

I like people who are good-natured and comfortable. Whether they are younger or older, I like men who have a kind disposition rather than their economic capabilities.

If you had to choose one from male celebrities who are active now? 

Actor Cho Seungwoo without double eyelids is exactly my style. I’ve never met or had a conversation with him. I just mean that his aura and image is one that I’m attracted to.

Lastly, how does it feel to receive a lot of public popularity and love? 

It’s forever exciting. More than anything, I like the feeling that trot is getting younger. Even when I debuted, trot was largely regarded as the exclusive domain of the elderly. When I go to university events, I sing EDM versions of my songs and it’s difficult to differentiate the excitement for idol singers. I hope trot continues to progress as a genre that’s familiar to anyone.

Interview with Hong Jinyoung was pleasant and exciting from beginning to end. It was kind-hearted for her to make time to come by the office, not forgetting the promise, even though she was on her way to a regional event. It was as though I didn’t realize 1 hour and 30 minutes of time passed by. If the manager didn’t point to the clock and urge on so that she can do her next schedule, we could have continued for another hour. What content will fill the next interview with her? I’m already looking forward to that time. 

Source: Part 1 / Part 2

[TRANSLATION] Sports Donga Interview: Hong Jinyoung “Hurtful Comments… It Hurt for Exactly Two Days” (May 2018)

If there are stars who are difficult to approach even though they are popular, there are also stars who you’re happy to greet and hold hands with as if you’ve known for them for a long time even though it’s your first time meeting them. There’s no need to explain which side singer Hong Jinyoung (33) falls on. From continuous new songs, event stages she restlessly stands on all over the country and to TV entertainment programs she’s all over where she shows her charms. Hong Jinyoung, who seems like she lives her life split up by the minute, wants to enjoy her daily life and says “I never want to settle”.

For ‘conversations with female journalists’, she sat oppositely me despite a busy schedule and even on that day, it was after she had finished an event at a department store in Seoul. After the interview, she headed to Daejeon. When I asked her if she is tired, she said “When I’m at least a year younger, when I still have passion left, I want to attempt even more.” Along with her unique eye smile. I met Hong Jinyoung, the person with relentless energy and whatever she does becomes explosive.

It seems you’re really busy.
“When I look back, I ran to this point without even breathing. But now that I’m a year older, I’m more relaxed. I find passing time to be really regrettable. Even if I fail, it becomes experience, and that’s how I can plan a better future so I move busily.”

Does your popularity feel real?
“These days, wherever I go, elder ladies are especially fond of me. I just came from a department store event and as soon as they see me, they kiss me. And pat my butt. At festivals where people in their 20s and 30s gather, a different reaction comes out. That’s why I sing. Before there were so many people who were confused if my name was Hong Jinkyung or Hong Jinyoung.”

Tell us your tips for positive energy.
“I laugh a lot. When I read comments these days, I’ve seen reactions that say ‘Hong Jinyoung’s laughing is forced’. But I’m the same person, in the past or now. What has changed? Is it because I got injections? Haha! I tend to laugh furrowing my forehead and the doctor at the skin clinic I frequent told me those wrinkles can’t be ironed out with injections, so I’ll need to live with it for the rest of my life.”

It seems you tend to read comments often.
“Mmm… That’s true. Hahaha! I was recently really hurt. It’s my first time feeling like this. I couldn’t think straight for two days. Up to now, I just let things like this go and laughed them off, but now they prick my heart. I even saw comments that said ‘She’s abusing her power’. I was so upset. I cried while eating curry, and I even teared up while washing my face. I didn’t have anywhere to explain myself, so I had to withstand it alone.”

Source of Hong Jinyoung’s aches came from her appearance on MBC entertainment program ‘Omniscient Interfering View’. It honestly showed her close appearance with her manager who she spends most of her days with but a portion of the viewers saw it and were not happy. Their reason was that it was ‘too much’.

“When I was a rookie, I spoke strongly and acted over the top. I needed to stand out. That’s how you don’t get edited out of broadcasts. There were many times when I would record for hours and only be shown on screen once or twice smiling and saying hello. When I would speak strongly, I would be shown on screen more. I needed to live too. Since then, there have been comments saying ‘Hong Jinyoung is venomous’.”

As time passes, and as she gains experience, Hong Jinyoung is finding her boundaries. Her thoughts are to “Show exactly who I am, and don’t create something over the top”. Even the recent heartaches she experienced, she didn’t step out of her house for two days and endured it alone to be able to shake it off.

Hong Jinyoung debuted in a girl group but wasn’t able to receive a lot of attention. She didn’t get discouraged and stepped onto the path of trot, a choice that can’t have been easy for a singer in her 20s, and became the ‘current trend’. ‘Love Battery’ which she released in 2009 was the start of her popularity. She strengthened ‘youthful trot’ that was created by Jang Yoonjung and Park Hyunbin and expanded her areas of activity. She appears on all kinds of entertainment programs, from reality, observation to variety. Her recently released song ‘Good Bye’ is popular too. Last year, comedian Kim Youngchul sang ‘Ring Ring’, a song she composed and wrote, and it became huge.

Hong Jinyoung said, “I want to show that you can do a wide range of activities even in the genre of trot” and “Like how I realized trot can be young while watching (Jang) Yoonjung unnie and (Park) Hyunbin oppa, I want junior singers to look at me and help them expand their outlook with trot”.

Are you eyeing the royalties from ‘Ring Ring’?
“Everyone said it’s huge so I really thought that was the case. I’m not chasing money but since I’m human, I thought perhaps? People around me talked about royalties a lot so I anticipated it a bit. When I look at my bank account, that’s not the case.”

Reactions to ‘I Kicked My Luck Off’ sung by Kang Hodong was good too. Do you have more songs you’ve composed and wrote?
“I have two songs left. One song is a ‘bbong’ (trot) ballad and the other is a typical ballad. A ballad singer asked me to give it to them so I’m going to. It’s still a secret!”

When you open your eyes in the morning, what do you do first?
“When I wake up, I eat breakfast. Recently after going through hardships, I wanted to live so I diligently ate breakfast. Haha! These days, it’s performance season. I go to corporate events, university festivals and regional festivals. I stand on stage, indoors and outdoors. My May schedule was mostly filled up at the beginning of the year.”

The description ‘Queen of Events’ suits you well.
“It puts me in a good mood to hear that. It means I’ve become symbolic of something. When I go to performance venues, I always remind myself, ‘Don’t lose your intentions’. When I wanted to be a singer, I was desperate. Because I wanted to stand on stage. So when I stand on stage, I try to be devoted. I know very well that this situation can’t go on for a long time. So when there are places that seek me out and want me there, I want to go to one more place.”

Another area where you can sense Hong Jinyoung’s popularity is advertising. She is the advertising model for 8 brands, including cosmetics and chicken. Recently, she added karaoke machine advertising to her roster. Hong Jinyoung said, “Starting this year, I’ve had big luck. Even when you say you got lucky, your life is what you make of it”.

You must think of marriage nowadays.
“My parents do get requests often. I don’t like meeting artificially. (Showing the ring she’s wearing on her index finger) I wear this ring every day. I’ve seen comments that say I must have a boyfriend, but I really don’t. I went to the department store and thought it was pretty so I bought it. Honestly, there are people who confess to me that they like me. But I want to date when my heart is more relaxed.”

How do you maintain your health?
“I eat red ginseng but as expected, meat is the best. I love meat. When I look at my monthly card bill, I spend the most money on meat. I like meat with a bit of skin on it like Jeju whole pig. I’m wondering what it would be like if I opened a meat restaurant.”

Hong Jinyoung’s manager who was listening to her words beside her shook his head saying “I wish you wouldn’t”. His gaze wanted her to stop creating so much work. It’s the manager who appeared on ‘Omniscient Interfering View’ with her. Off-camera, the two people seemed to have deep confidence in one another as partners who work together.

What kind of a person is Hong Jinyoung viewed from Hong Jinyoung’s perspective?
“A person who doesn’t get tired! After a performance, I’m tired and exhausted. But when I go to a different performance venue, I get my strength from somewhere. When I go home dragging my tired body and rest for a little bit, I get strength again. I’m the person who doesn’t want to go to sleep early, so I resist and fall asleep passed out.”


Hong Jinyoung is a ‘girl boss’ who has an entrepreneurial streak. She’s also a woman of ‘action’ who puts the ‘picture’ she envisioned in her head straight into action. Although she quietly closed down the internet shopping mall that she started with her sister 2 years ago because it was difficult to maintain, she’s not afraid of failure and she’s endlessly thinking of businesses daily thinking ‘What should I try this time?’.

Currently, the business item that she’s planning is a ‘photo app’. She really likes to take photos so there aren’t any photo-related applications she hasn’t used. However, none of it was able to meet Hong Jinyoung’s standards. She made her own thinking that it would be good to create an app that combined all of the best parts of various apps. The photo app that Hong Jinyoung created will be pay-to-use and release in June. She learned coding with the help of an acquaintance so she is planning to use the profits for a good cause.

She also has plans for a different business. She’s thinking of fostering a male trot singer with the mind of a singer and a producer. She wants to call it ‘Hong-dition!’ (Hong Jinyoung + audition). “Whatever I do, I started with the thought of wanting to do it in a fun way. Like the ‘Ring Ring’ contest that Heo Kyunghwan and Kim Youngchul oppa did, I want to hold an audition over SNS. For that friend, I’m planning to create a song and a debut stage. I want to communicate the know-hows that I learned first-hand and experienced to a hoobae.”

This plan won’t end with a one-off and she wants to hold it every year so next year she’s planning to create a ‘3-member trot group’.

Source of new ideas come from Hong Jinyoung’s personality. Since her life philosophy is ‘In a fun way, no matter what’, various ideas come to mind like a spring that will never go dry.

“It’s regrettable to live life repeatedly like a turning wheel. I want to work while attempting different things, and even if I fail, I won’t give up. When I’m older and I look back on my past, I want to have the satisfaction of ‘I really lived my life to the fullest’.”

Source: Part 1 / Part 2