On the latest episode of Lee Young Ji‘s My Alcohol Diary series, SHINee‘s Key shared his words of wisdom with Young Ji as he explained the secret behind his longevity in the entertainment industry.
When Young Ji expressed her worries about staying relevant, especially since so many idols younger than her were debuting, Key shared his experience in the industry and the mindset that carried him through four years as a variety show star and fifteen years as a celebrity.
When the opportunity came, I tried do things in my own way and I realized that “Oh, I should try to approach everything with my own style.
Instead of comparing himself to others, he focused on developing his own color that no one could imitate.
The roles that people like Key and Young Ji have aren’t roles that can be replaced. Their colors can’t be imitated, nor do they need to be. For those who will come after them, whether as idols or variety stars, staying true to who they are is what’s most important.
Young Ji also asked Key to advise younger idols on finding ways to change their image. As artists, many idols want to explore different concepts and styles, but it isn’t easy to change your image once it’s been established.
Key shared that staying with SHINee helped him when he was conflicted and trying to change his image. Many idols think about quitting the group every so often as musical frustrations pile up, but looking back, Key realized he needed the boundaries placed upon him.
Thinking back, I needed that time to think. I would have had a narrow insight if I were able to do all the things the way I wanted.
The restrictions help idols learn what works and what doesn’t, opening their world to concepts they might never have wanted to try and allowing them to appreciate and pour more of their heart into the ideas they wish to pursue. Over time, artists and their companies come to compromises when it comes to experimenting with music, but in the meantime, Key advises new idols to be patient and use their time to learn as much as possible.