(Note – SHINee Debut Stage Intro)
Hi Everyone! 🙂 James here, Tina has very kindly invited me to do a guest blog. This is the first blog I have ever written, so please bear with me, and I apologise if it doesn’t flow as well as other blogs!
I pondered for a while on how to start this… in fact it’s taken me 40 minutes to reach this point haha :o. It then hit me, y’all probably wondering “who the hell are you?” right? So, let’s get some key facts out the way, so you can get to know me better:
James | Male | 27 | UK |
All the groups I stan below (to name just a few):
⭐️ Monbebe (Monsta X)
⭐️ ARMY (BTS)
⭐️ MyDay (Day6)
⭐️ Stay (Stray Kids)
However, first and above everything else, I am a Shawol, which moves me on to the topic I was asked to write about for you guys today, SHINee 😀
If you have made it this far then you may have noticed the date at the top, don’t panic, you haven’t travelled back in time, well not just yet 😉. 2008.05.25 is a special date within any Shawol’s life, it is of course the date on which five loveable boys burst onto the K-Pop scene with their much loved debut track ‘누난 너무 예뻐’ which literally translates to ‘Noona (Older Girl) Is So Pretty’, otherwise known by its English title ‘Replay’. So how about we take a look?
Wow. Right? What on earth were those outfits and haircuts all about? Well I can only assume that was the fashion back in 2008. Personally, when I look back at photos of myself from 2008, ooh cringy! Replay, the song that started it all, the song that introduced South Korea and the world to five cute, talented boys with an undeniable charm that’s difficult to put your finger on. When I first saw this MV I fell in love with its sweet loveable vibe and the chorus was stuck in my head for weeks. I was a new-born to the K-Pop world at the time (having only been exposed to Anime and J-Pop/ Rock through my partner at the time) but I was struck by one members visual and most importantly his obvious vocal talent, which I would not have expected to hear in a manufactured music industry. Any ideas which member?
Oh! That’s right! You may not know who the members are yet… my bad 😦 Let’s get to know them with a brief introduction:
1989.12.14 | 29 | Lee Jin-ki | Leader
No K-Pop group is complete without a Leader, and SHINee has to have one of the best leaders, well ever! Lee Jin-ki, otherwise known by his stage name ‘Onew’ joined SM as a trainee in 2006 aged just 16, training for 2 years before debuting at age 18. He loves his members dearly, and is supportive, playful and clumsy. Other than his activities as part of SHINee, Onew has had notable acting roles (Decendants of the Sun) and made his solo debut in 2018. He enlisted for mandatory military service on 2018.12.10.
1990.04.08 | Kim Jong-hyun | Main Vocalist
Kim Jong-hyun, simply known as Jonghyun, joined SM in 2005 aged just 15, training for 3 years before debuting at age 18. Jonghyun is protective of the other members. He is creative, caring and sensitive. Jonghyun contributed to the writing of a number of SHINee songs, as well as writing and composing for other artists including Lee-Hi, IU and EXO, gaining recognition for his artistic control within an industry known for limiting artists. In 2014, Jonghyun debuted as a radio host on the MBC Radio Programme ‘MBC Blue Night’, a show which he hosted until 2017 when he left due to his busy schedule. He made his solo debut in 2015 and is regarded as one of the best vocalists within the industry.
Ahh.. I’ve reached the point I know I need to cover (for those that may be new to SHINee, new to K-Pop, or those who may just not know) but also the part I would give anything to not have to write about…
2017.12.18 Sadly Jonghyun passed away and became the most beautiful shining star in the sky. He did well, he worked hard, he helped a lot of people, and he touched a lot of hearts. Our eternal member, 사랑해.
Well, I’ve blabbed on for quite a while now (if you are still reading, thank you) so I think it’s time to take a look at another song!
SHINee are not afraid to experiment with new styles and sounds when it comes to their music, and this next song is one amazing song (especially when performed live). From the imagery to the sound and the dancing, the whole performance just oozes power. Not quite sure who felt the need to give Taemin hair extensions though, although I was guilty of long hair and extensions when I was 18 :o. This is ‘Sherlock (Clue + Note) which is a hybrid remix of 2 songs and was the lead single to their 4th EP ‘Sherlock’ released 2012.03.21.
1991.09.23 | 27 | Kim Ki-bum | Lead Rapper/ Vocals
Kim Ki-bum, known simply by his stage name, Key joined SM in 2005 aged 14. He trained for 3 years before debuting at age 17. He has a keen interest in fashion, helping design many of the outfits for their concert tours. He is a member of the duo ‘ToHeart’ along with INFINITE’s Woohyun and made his solo debut in 2018. Key has had notable acting roles (Guardians) and has also starred in a number of musical theatre productions. He enlisted for mandatory military service on 2019.03.04.
1991.12.09 | 27 | Choi Min-ho | Main Rapper/ Vocals
Choi Min-ho, known simply by his stage name, Minho joined SM in 2006 aged 15, training for 2 years before debuting at age 17. Minho was originally cast on the street before auditioning because of his cool and charming smile. Minho enjoys sports and enjoys sports, and has a strong ‘never give up’ motto which he applies across his life. SHINee members have also described Minho as having a ‘reversible’ personality, appearing cool and mature on stage, but returning to his kid-like personality off stage. Minho is especially loved by his seniors. Like with other members, Minho has had notable acting roles (Hwarang, To the Beautiful You). He enlisted for mandatory military service 2019.04.15.
1993.07.18 | 26 | Lee Tae-min | Maknae/ Lead Dancer/ Vocals
Lee Tae-min, known simply as Taemin joined SM in 2005 training for 3 years before debuting aged just 14. Taemin discovered dancing when he was in 6thgrade and is considered as the best dancer within SHINee and many idols look up to him for his dancing skills. During his trainee days, he was not very good at singing, however he constantly worked hard to improve his singing skills, with the help of his hyungs. Taemin is a playful, yet shy member of the group and likes to play tricks. He made his solo debut in 2014 as well as acting in the 2017 Japanese drama ‘Final Life: Even if You Disappear Tomorrow’. Taemin is currently the only active member of SHINee with his hyungs all carrying out mandatory military service. SM recently announced that Taemin will form part of the line-up for new group ‘Super M’ which features idols from a number of SM groups. (You can read more about Super M here, including the reason why the group was created).
So now you hopefully know a bit about the 5 amazingly talented people that make up SHINee. I have been a Shawol for many years now, and Tina asked me to write this blog to give you an introduction to the boys, and also write about why I love them, easy right?
Well, I’ve introduced you to the members, so I’m doing quite well with my scope so far I think haha, and of course you will be introduced to a lot more stunning SHINee content as we explore further. For now, though, lets have a listen to one of my many favourite tracks ‘Kimi Ga Iru Sekai (君がいる世界)’ also known in English as ‘The World Where You Exist’ from their 2013 Japanese album ‘Boy Meets U’.
I’ll be honest, trying to find the words to explain why I love SHINee is difficult, listening to them or watching them invokes so many feelings inside of me that I don’t know where to start, or which words to use… Comfort and security are the overwhelming feelings I get when listening to them. I feel relaxed and at ease, and anything I may have been worrying about, or any sad feelings I may have been feeling disappear and I feel content and safe. I originally discovered SHINee at a time in my life when I was happy, and I had my whole life planned out. I was happy in my relationship; I was happy in my job. I was happy, and I enjoyed spending my spare time discovering more about this new found interest in my life. Even though I was happy, I still always felt the most at ease whilst listening to SHINee, and in particular one voice and presence…
The above video was taken from the DVD for their ‘SHINee WORLD 2013 ~ Boy Meets U’ Japan Arena Tour and was filmed 2013.12.24. Thinking back, Kimi Ga Iru Sekai was a song I liked, but it was never really up there amongst my favourite songs until I saw this performance. Obviously, SHINee release great music, but its when they perform live do they really expose their true talent. These 5 men each with their own individual personalities, strengths and weaknesses, along with a stage, and most importantly a microphone turn into a force to reckoned with. On stage they all come to life, and even sat at home watching through a screen, the audience can feel their passion, emotion and determination. During their time they were considered to have the best live vocals in the industry, a statement which to me, is still true even now, with each of them having their own distinct tone.
“Since the day we met, I have been in love with you”
“Even if more than a thousand years pass, you’ll still have all my love”
“This world becomes pleasant every time you smile”
The lyrics behind the song (above translation credit to azlyrics.com) begin to describe some of my feelings as a Shawol. Since I was first exposed to SHINee I have loved them, and all these years later I still do and I don’t anticipate that love diminishing any time soon 💛
Like I mentioned above SHINee come to life when they are on stage, so I would love to share a couple of their other performances! The first one we will watch is an iconic and well known performance within the K-Pop community: ‘Excuse Me Miss’ from their SHINee World IV concert which was filmed in Seoul in 2015.
From their vocals, dancing and interactions with each other, to the iconic “it’s a new bridge”, this performance is life, and I think it encapsulates SHINee perfectly. During the whole concert their vocals were on point and the dancing as powerful as ever, with each movement beautifully executed and in sync. Throughout this particular performance however, their interaction with each other and the crowd allows their bond to shine through perfectly, while showing how much SHINee love performing on stage becoming one with their fans. Oh! And let’s not forget those little bum wiggles!!
The final live performance I would like to introduce you to for this blog is a performance which is taken from their 2016 SHINee World V in Seoul. There is no denying that each member of SHINee is talented, however I feel there are two members whose vocal strength is head and shoulders above the rest, those being Onew and Jonghyun. The below performance showcases each of their vocals.
The vocal strength is unreal, with the gorgeous tone of their voices remaining present throughout, they both demonstrate the ability to control their voices, reigning in to softer vocals when required.
SHINee will always hold a special place within my heart. They were my first K-Pop discovery, and have maintained their top spot for me no matter how many new groups I discover. They have been in my life when I’m happy, they have helped me through my darkest days; their music comforts me. It goes without saying that SHINee has suffered a very difficult time recently, but they came out the other side and have shown their perseverance to keep going through the sad times, come together through the worst times and show their true strength and bond as brothers.
When SHINee debuted they were 5 young boys, who had this fresh, innocent charm about them. Its this charm, the charm which they have never lost, no matter how famous they became, that attracted me to SHINee and probably still attracts new Shawol’s today. They always remain humble and thankful, they are there for the fans, and they remain there for each other. Although they grew up and matured in front of our eyes, they never forgot who they were or where they came from. Many people can relate to to them and I hope people continue to support in the future, because these boys deserve it!
This was just a short introduction to my favourite group, I hope you have enjoyed reading it, as much as I have writing it.
Please let me know if you enjoyed the videos and performances. Which ones stood out for you?
I truly hope you have caught a glimpse of even a fraction of how much I love SHINee.
Personally, I don’t think I have successfully managed to tell you why I love SHINee so much, but to be honest, no matter how hard I think, I struggle to put my finger on the one thing that makes them stand out.
Oh! Remember I asked if you could guess who my bias was? Well… have you managed to guess? My SHINee bias, and indeed my ultimate bias has, is and always will be Jonghyun. I won’t write about the specifics of that just now, as hopefully Tina will ask me to do another guest blog on that subject, but I hope you will agree that he was one of the most talented, kindest, innocent and selfless stars to grace our lives.
Well, I think that just about wraps up my first blog. I won’t lie, its been a lot harder to write than I imagined. Writing has never been one of my stronger suits, especially if that writing has to include my personal opinions, views and thoughts on things, but I am happy I gave it a go, and I just hope you enjoy reading it J. I will leave you with one final song to listen too, the upbeat and retro-sounding ‘1 of 1’.