You could clearly hear his lively passion ringing in his voice. It’s a sort of excitement that can only come from a boy who is ready to open the door.
Meeting the fans for the first time on Weverse
SUNGHO: I was so touched because so many people responded. I really want to show them the best of me going forward. Each artist can change their nicknames on Weverse, but LEEHAN and I are the only ones who didn’t yet. (Interview was held on May 19.) I’m not sure what my nickname should be. But then I saw this comment that said, “How cute would it be if SUNGHO can’t decide on a nickname right now?” I thought that they might be watching me for a hot minute! (laughs) I’m not sure what emoji to use yet, because some fans say that I look like a cat, and others say I look like a fox from what they saw in our concept photo. It might be fun to let them decide with a vote or by having a Q&A.
Feelings about the debut
SUNGHO: I posted my concept photo in my family group chat. My parents don’t really use social media, so I sent it to them in case they didn’t get to see it yet. (laughs) But it turns out that a lot of their friends sent it to them already. They don’t say things in so many words, but I realized that they were keeping tabs on everything. (laughs) They told me that my brother was keeping his eye out for me, too. There's a big age gap between my older brother and me, so he didn’t tease me too much (laughs) but he said it felt a little strange, just like any brother would.
Choosing to become an idol at sixteen
SUNGHO: I’ve always loved singing and performing on stage since I was little. I thought that only a singer would be able to do all of that. But it took a while for me to tell people that I wanted to become a singer and idol. I was in seventh grade when I first realized that that was something I wanted to do, but I kept it to myself for over two years. I was a bit worried that my friends would tease me and tell me that I wasn’t cut out to be a singer. (laughs) But then in ninth grade we really had to think about our future, and I just couldn’t keep it in anymore. I thought that I would really regret it if I didn’t give it a shot, so I told my parents first. They thanked me for being honest with them and telling them what I wanted to do. They were fully supportive from the get-go. I could prepare for my auditions and now I’ve debuted all thanks to them.
Life as a trainee for three years and nine months
SUNGHO: I started going on auditions when I turned seventeen. I briefly lived in Wonju back then, and that’s when I saw a poster of an open audition at KOZ Entertainment by chance. I had never taken any dance lessons, so I just showed them a simple choreography that I practiced. I felt more confident with singing. I was in a band in middle school, and I played the guitar. (laughs) That’s how I began my trainee life in my first year of high school. I don’t have many typical high school memories of going to a study café with my friends to drink coffee and studying for exams together, but I don’t have any regrets. I had a dream and a clear goal, so I’m glad I went through it well.
Things SUNGHO likes
SUNGHO: I’m younger than my brother, so he’s had a huge influence on me. He has sophisticated tastes and a discerning eye for quality content. He taught me what was what since I was really little (laughs) which affected me as I grew older. I love watching dramas and movies, and I’m more enamored by the cinematography rather than the plot. I’m the type to admire and watch with awe, thinking, “Oh, they framed the camera like this!” or “How did they portray this scene like this?” I also enjoy the work of famous directors like Christopher Nolan, Martin Scorsese, and Park Chan-wook. In terms of music, I like K-pop, naturally, and I also enjoy jazz, and I occasionally listen to classical music. I don’t stick to a certain style of music; I appreciate many different genres.
SUNGHO: There are a lot of objects that can give a pretty accurate first impression of who I am in “SUNGHO’s DOOR”. Cycling isn’t a huge hobby of mine, but it was used in the music video to make me look more reserved and sophisticated. (laughs) There are a lot of artworks around the door illustration - I like drawing and going to exhibitions. It was hard for me to go see them in person after I became a trainee, though. (laughs) I look up a lot of articles or photographs to make up for any missed experiences. I’m interested in architecture, too, which is another area where I was influenced by my brother. I have a lot of pictures and illustrations of buildings, and movie posters on my Pinterest board. A lot of movie fans hang up posters in their rooms, but I keep mine in my small phone because I can’t decorate our current living space. (laughs)
When the six members of BOYNEXTDOOR met
SUNGHO: The six of us were good friends from the get-go. The amount of time each of us spent training is different, but we have a really strong bond. We really wanted to continue with what we have been doing, and we started off really trusting each other. I was the first one to join the company, and RIWOO came about a month later. He was really shy at first, but then he showed me his dance moves and I was completely mind blown. Like, he was on another level. (laughs) This guy who was super shy just a second ago turned into a totally different person, and I thought he was just amazing. WOONHAK is another person who left a strong impression on me. When he first joined the company, he was this little kid. (laughs) It’s not that he was short, but he was really young - he even had a buzz cut. (laughs) I thought, “who on earth is this pure soul?” I’m three years older than he is, after all, and he’s an adorable kid. He was really bubbly, but he was really polite and humble, too, which was really memorable. I learned a lot from him regardless of our age difference. People might not understand what I’m talking about because he’s so cute and sunny, but he’s actually really mature.
BOYNEXTDOOR seen by SUNGHO, the oldest member
SUNGHO: It wasn’t very awkward for me to take on the role as the oldest member. I think that I’m pretty well-spoken (laughs) and I do enjoy being the leader, so I have a lot of experience being the representative of a group. I was the school president one year, when I was in middle school, and I went to a boarding school, so I was the head student of the boarding house. I’m good at quickly spotting what each team’s strength is, and what it needs to work on. You’re bound to get a little friction here and there when you live with other people, and you sometimes fall into a dilemma. If we ever find ourselves in these situations, we try to trust JAEHYUN to solve it because he's the leader. Too many cooks spoil the broth, (laughs) so we try to follow JAEHYUN’s lead. But as one of the oldest members in the group, I try to help out in areas he can’t manage by himself.
Boys next door as seen by SUNGHO
SUNGHO: When I first heard our team name “BOYNEXTDOOR” it felt unfamiliar to me because it was my first time hearing the words. But after learning what it meant, I thought it perfectly reflected our team identity, and I got used to it really quickly. At one point, it started to feel like it's always been our team name. BOYNEXTDOOR sounds like a team that can show different emotions and experiences a person can go through. When you’re hanging out with a friend, you sometimes laugh and have a good time, but you also get embarrassed at times. (laughs) I think you’ll see that we’re like your friends who are fooling around, but also looking good while we're doing it. This might sound a bit serious, but I hope that BOYNEXTDOOR becomes a core memory for a lot of people. You know how when you listen to a song or watch a movie, they sometimes unlock memories from the past? I hope that BOYNEXTDOOR can sink into your memories just like that.
To the fans he will soon get to meet
SUNGHO: I want to grow really close to our fans. I haven’t met them in person yet, but I really can’t wait to meet them and connect with them. I can’t wait for us to go on music shows and talk shows, but meeting the fans in person comes first. I would absolutely love to show them how good we are on stage, but I hope that they don’t feel this huge wall when they see me as Park Sungho, either. And someday, I hope to be a positive influence on someone, and get them to think they want to lead a life like mine.
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