TaeTiSeo has put out a new album <Dear Santa> after 1 year and 3 months. For the fans who have been waiting for TaeTiSeo, the first Christmas album they made 8 years since debut is the best gift. But the time we could see the ladies was too short. After TaeTiSeo released <Dear Santa> on December 4th, they completed their music broadcast promotions in 3 days. Currently, TaeTiSeo members are in the midst of preparation for the SNSD Japan tour. <HIGH CUT> met pre-comeback TaeTiSeo on November 30th, to try to quench the fans’ thirst a little bit. The TaeTiSeo interview officially starts now.
HIGH CUT: One year and 3 months after last year’s <Holler>, you’re coming back with the Christmas album <Dear Santa>. Even though it’s your first comeback in a while, the promotion period is not very long.
TAEYEON: It’s an album we’ve waited for, for a long time. For the fans, we are thinking of showing live stages. Or we’ll create different content with a Christmas theme and communicate to the fans. There is a limit to broadcasts. Even though the promotion is short, we’re planning to wet everyone with <Dear Santa> until December ends. (Laughs)
TIFFANY: Even though it’s a comeback after 1 year and 3 months, truthfully, Taeyeon and I started album preparation since February of this year. After wrapping up <Holler> promotions, we thought we should put out the next album on the first week of December. We had dreams and wishes towards a Christmas album.
SEOHYUN: As we have SNSD’s Japan tour right after, we are only doing 3 days of music broadcasts. As we have prepared a lot, we want to do (the promotions) for a long time. Even though it’s short, there are many elements that fans will enjoy.
HIGH CUT: It’s a Christmas album but you’re not actually promoting during Christmas.
SEOHYUN: It’s an album you can listen to during all of December. (Laughs)
TIFFANY: I think the first week of December is a good time to do a Christmas countdown. If you listen ahead, you’ll get excited. Hahaha.
HIGH CUT: After your debut, it seems like you wouldn’t have made a lot of memories at Christmas. You must’ve been busy with end of year performances or broadcast promotions. Even during that, if you can recall a special memory, what would it be?
TAEYEON: We would be at the broadcast station or rehearsing for music broadcasts? If not, be at home alone with carols playing. There’s nothing particularly special. (Laughs) Ah, the year before last, I spent time with members in Japan. We were in Sapporo and we spent time like it was Christmas. Japanese fans created an incredibly cool party.
HIGH CUT: You must be busy with schedules this Christmas as well.
SEOHYUN: We have a performance in Japan on December 24th. We do have plans to stay an extra day to go to Disneyland with all of the members, but I’m not sure what will happen. (Laughs)
TIFFANY: I’m looking forward to being with all of the members this year as well. We bought pretty pyjamas to wear while playing together in the living room; I think it will be fun.
HIGH CUT: Seohyun, you are listed as a lyricist for the title song, ‘Dear Santa’. While writing, what part did you put the most focus on?
SEOHYUN: I was curious what kinds of gifts people wanted to receive at Christmas. I asked my friends and everyone said they wanted a boyfriend. There are a lot of people who want to spend Christmas with a lover. The song is about asking Santa, ‘Please let things go well with this man’ about a man that you currently like. It’s a song that many women can relate to and the lyrics are especially cute.
HIGH CUT: Which lyrics are cute?
SEOHYUN: ‘Dear Santa’ is a song with a twist. The beginning is calm and the ending changes excitedly. ‘Dear Santa, Santa, listen to my story, there is something I desperately want’, ‘For his heart to be the same as mine’, ‘My heart wishes for him to come find me’, etc etc. (Laughs) Truthfully, Fany unnie said that she was relieved that I was the one who wrote the lyrics. Every time, the phrase, ‘the world of unknown’, went into Fany unnie’s part. She said she wants to sing lyrics based in reality now, not fantasy. (Laughs)
HIGH CUT: Recently, you successfully completed SNSD’s concert, ‘Phantasia’. SNSD is the first Korean girl group in history to have four solo concerts.
TIFFANY: We are so happy and proud. People say that we are now in our 10th year but I still say, “We’re still young?”. It was our first concert in Korea in two and a half years. This time, we wanted to show how much we matured.
TAEYEON: It was overwhelming because it was personally a busy year for me. I was happy and proud because fans really liked it a lot and thought of it positively, even more so than I thought. We’re starting our album activities riding this momentum so I think we can do well.
HIGH CUT: At this concert, you established ‘whole group activity’ as one of the most memorable things about this year. SNSD has been promoting as a girl group for 9 years and has had longevity. Despite that, there were various words about SNSD. Until when will we be able to see the 8-person SNSD?
TAEYEON: I started my 20s as SNSD, so it has suggested a direction for my life. If I did other work without SNSD, I think it would be unfamiliar. Later on, even if time passes, we can gather again and meet with the name of SNSD. Won’t we be able to continuously go on for a long time?
TIFFANY: It’s a question we’ve been consistently getting for 3 years! (Laughs) Everyone said we would end after 5 years but we won? I think we will continue to win going forward. Hahaha. Even for solo projects, it’s as if our hearts are preparing together. If one person is promoting, everyone visits. I’m sure we’ll continue going forward.
HIGH CUT: Taeyeon, you worked like a cow this year, with your solo album, SNSD concert and TaeTiSeo’s new album. SM should give you an award. Like this year’s MVP.
TAEYEON: Oh yeah? Should I receive a bonus somehow? (Laughs) But I am thankful to the company. There are many artists but they gave me the opportunity. I’m not saying this to be modest, but all I did was sing. I want to work hard.
HIGH CUT: TaeTiSeo is already in its 4th year of activities. Among SNSD members, the three of you must be particularly close. But since there are three women together, there must be conflicting opinions. What does it look like when TaeTiSeo fights?
SEOHYUN: Four years already? My goodness. We are members who discuss the most when it comes to music and there are times when our opinions differ, but we know each other very well. Honestly, when it comes to conflicting opinions, there are several in a single day. (Laughs) When it comes to talking about work, we can be very cold and hard. But when someone says ‘Let’s go eat’, ‘Let’s go play’, we are closer than friends.
TAEYEON: Plates shatter. Hahaha. Really, honestly, we don’t ever get physical. Never. We say our opinions to each other and take them into consideration. I’m handicapped when it comes to being decisive. I tend to give my opinion in the middle, rather than deciding. (Laughs) Because they are members who I have promoted with for such a long time, we all know what to do to come to a resolution. We do it according to our inklings.
TIFFANY: We fight a lot. We have a lot of concern because we have affection and we are each others’ people. If we’re really tired and uninterested, the words disappear. It has been 11 years since I arrived in Korea and I still live in the same house as Taeyeon. They’re more family-like than family.
HIGH CUT: Outside of SNSD, are there other people within SM that you’ve thought of wanting to do unit promotions with?
TAEYEON: Hmm… Who is there? I like Bruno Mars a lot but I don’t want to damage oppa’s voice so I just want to listen as a fan. (Laughs) I want to try genres like R&B and jazz.
SEOHYUN: SISTAR Soyou. Soyou is a same-age friend. We did a lot of promotion during the same time period and I really like her voice.
TIFFANY: SISTAR Bora for me. She’s my best friend. When members and managers see Bora, they take care of her too. I think it will be fun to do it with a friend who is bright, healthy and sings and dances well.
HIGH CUT: Tiffany, including Bora, you are known for having a lot of close friends in the music industry. Despite different teams and different colours of music, how did you become close?
TIFFANY: Speaking with different artists is a huge source of inspiration for music work. These days, I’m actively using SNS and my personality is not one that is hidden. To the concert this time, many of my female idol friends came.
HIGH CUT: Tiffany, at interviews and press conferences, you are always proactive and respond well with sincerity. As a result, you are one of the celebrities that journalists really like. Your personality seems happy and cheerful, but when the cameras are turned off and you are with just the members, what are you like?
TIFFANY: I’m exactly the same, so it’s a problem. Occasionally, I get scolded. They ask why don’t have a filter. (Laughs) I feel the charm of text, as much as photos. So I try to tell recent stories or my thoughts in interviews.
HIGH CUT: Whenever we complete the editorial shoot, you’d go to the front of the monitor and take photos. You must have a lot of interest in photography. Are you uploading all of them live to Tiffany’s SNS?
TIFFANY: I like being photographed but I also like to take photos myself. Before, of members’ SNS photos, 80% of them were taken by me. You know how I was erasing photos from my mobile phone before? There were 19,000 photos. (Laughs) There are photos that experts think of but there are also photos that I want to show fans. Even though it cuts down on my resting time, I have greed of wanting to show them behind-the-scenes cuts.
HIGH CUT: Seohyun, I thought you were only very calm. But during the editorial shoot, your reaction was big and I think you spoke the most. Should I say TaeTiSeo’s mood maker?
SEOHYUN: Really? Thank you. (Laughs) I suppose being with unnies, things like that are a bit natural. If I can bring up the mood, I do it, but if I can’t, there’s nothing I can do. (Laughs)
HIGH CUT: Taeyeon, recently, you unveiled your daily life through the reality variety <Taeng9Cam>. Your honest and easygoing appearance was charming. Is it okay to say that the Taeyeon in <Taeng9Cam> is 100% the same as the real Kim Taeyeon?
TAEYEON: Hmm… Almost? Not 100% but I wanted to show as much as I could, without restrictions, and fans wanted that too. It was a good opportunity.
HIGH CUT: Can we anticipate season 2?
TAEYEON: I’m not entertaining. There’s nothing to watch…
HIGH CUT: It feels like TaeTiSeo has become a brand of its own. When the TaeTiSeo unit was formed, did you anticipate this much success?
TIFFANY: The moment I heard ‘brand of its own’, I want to say we succeeded. There is an image that was created thanks to SNSD and I’m proud and happy that we can gather like this thanks to TaeTiSeo. Truthfully, from the perspective of the company, TaeTiSeo was a gamble with a risk, right? Since the reaction was good from the beginning, the company definitively supports us. (Laughs)
SEOHYUN: (Regarding the name “TaeTiSeo”) I thought it was a joke at first. But it became okay after we kept hearing it. I thought it was rather strategic. Compared to SNSD activities, it feels a bit calmer.
TAEYEON: ‘TaeTiSeo’ is what was written on SNSD’s schedule charts. That was used as is to formulate the name and at first, I wondered if it was okay to do that but fans got used to it quickly and it was good. International fans often call us TTS.
HIGH CUT: Next year, eldest unnie Taeyeon (in order of birthday) will turn 28 and maknae Seohyun will turn 26. In your mid to late 20s, your mental attitude, view of life and goals must have changed a lot, compared to when you debuted. Truthfully, now your age is no longer that of a girl’s.
TAEYEON: Ah, again you insist on calling me the eldest unnie… Five of us are the same age but you have to point out the birthday… Hahaha. I think each and every person has different thoughts about that. If you look at just our ages, we aren’t girls, but if the image that we’re aiming for are girls, it’d be good if you could look at us like that. Compared to the beginning of debut, I’ve changed to become more optimistic, I’m a lot more relaxed and I’ve been able to let go of a lot.
TIFFANY: Backstreets Boys remain ‘boys’, Spice Girls are ‘girls’ even though they’ve had kids and like how Beyonce became Destiny’s Child again, it has become just a title. It’s a name that gives us pride. It’s enjoyable now that we can freely express ourselves with appearances that we attempted, but couldn’t do when we were younger. Before, we often heard that we were like dolls but now, we can open new things musically.
HIGH CUT: Next year will be SNSD’s 10th year since debut. Like how sunbae singers grew their dream by watching Seo Taiji and Boys, you are now the role model for countless girls who are preparing to be in girl groups. What would you like to say to hoobaes (juniors), as a sunbae (senior)?
TAEYEON: I have to put it down. Hahaha. I think timing is very important. Thoughts and choices. If everyone knew the answer, anyone would live well. In the end, their mental state needs to be healthy…