How do you feel the group is developing now that you’re in your fourth year together?
TAEHYUN: For me, it feels like there’s quite a lot of water in the cup, and just the slightest bit left to get to the top. If there was no chance for that, I wouldn’t have any expectations, but it’s quite clear to me how much synergy our group has and how well we’re working together. Even now, I can still feel how our teamwork continues to improve when we’re practicing choreography or out doing events. The chemistry between us when we’re taking dance lessons is great, too, and we’re quick with sharing feedback with each other, and I think we even learned how to solve problems and keep it really light, and I felt like we each found our own way to communicate. I think now we’re almost at the point where we can be clearly consistent enough in our teamwork that we can keep on improving without any issues. I feel like we’re right on the threshold, so I think our job now is to find that breakthrough.
That’s a rational but also affectionate attitude towards the members. I remember you took a photo of all the shoes just inside your door after all the members finished quarantine and came back home, and you uploaded it on Weverse.
TAEHYUN: It felt like a reminder not to become complacent and take for granted what we hold dear. There would usually be a row of four pairs of shoes whenever I came home at the end of the day, but no matter how late I came back, there were no other shoes. It felt weird. So it struck me as cute as soon as I saw it—this thing that used to be so commonplace but which I hadn’t seen in so long—and I took a picture.
People were very interested in the difference between you and BEOMGYU because of your “T” and “F” MBTI types. How does that difference actually come into play within the group dynamic?
TAEHYUN: BEOMGYU is an extreme Feeler and I’m an extreme Thinker, so we’re very different, but I feel like my work is really easy lately thanks to him because he’s great at all the things I can’t do, like he can talk and everyone would not find him annoying or he’s great on variety shows. And when we’re practicing, when someone says, “Let’s try that one more time,” I just quietly say, “Okay,” but he’s able to boost the group’s morale and create a good atmosphere. These days I really think a lot about how I couldn’t live without him.
But I heard you’re always nagging the others. (laughs) Where did that baby-faced, cutie pie trainee TAEHYUN go?
TAEHYUN: I barely nag. I might say something small when we’re on stage or practicing or at home (laughs) but it’s because I’m interested. I wouldn’t even begin to call that nagging. (laughs) I already told them everything I wanted to say, to be honest. And I don’t think my personality has changed much. As you said, I was so young, so I think they saw me as the baby. But I can tell they still adore me. I feel like I’ll always be seen as the little boy to them because, no matter how much I grow, I’m still younger than them. (laughs)
The fans see you as “Director Kang” but still think you’re cute. What would you like your fans to see you as?
TAEHYUN: I’ll always be me, no matter what, but I still feel like I really want to show off the flawless parts of me. I might appear excessively calm, cool and collected, but I’m in no way restricted to a narrow set of emotions. I want to give my fans all the warmth I have inside me. So I hope MOA can feel that and see me for the truly warm person I am.