Ladies and oppas!
Today, we have the honorable pleasure of introducing the singing category winner of the 2013 K-pop World Festival in Prague.
Please, welcome MinJi (Vu Thao Chi; 15yo) from the Czech Republic.
KPOPEUROPE.EU: Hello MinJi! We are very happy to have you with us today. To begin with, lease, try to share with us your feelings shortly after the announcement of the results and how did your dearest ones react to your first big success? Do you get a lot of support from people close to you?
MinJi: : Actually, it took quite a while until I’ve realized what actually happened. I kept asking myself the same question – Is this only a dream? If yes, I don’t want to wake up!
As for my family and friends around me, everyone was so surprised. Only a few of my close friends believed that I could actually make it to the very top. As I phoned all my friends after the contest and shared my joy, only some of them believed me.
KPOPEUROPE.EU:Why have you decided to participate in the Prague round of this global K-Pop contest? For how long have you been interested in this musical genre and what has brought you to K-Pop?
MinJi: In the beginning, I used to hesitate quite a bit because I know that Czech and Slovak republic are the home of many awesome singers, who would take part in the contest for sure. I was convinced that I had no chance in such a fierce challenge, not even in the preliminary round. But then I told to myself that if I never try, I’ll never know what I’m capable of.
I started listening to K-Pop in the beginning of 2008, when my older sister introduced this music style to me. I fell in love with K-Pop back then and I think I will stick to it for a very long time now. To me, K-Pop is not just a muci style, it’s the essence of my life.
KPOPEUROPE.EU: You performed a unique mixture of K-Pop songs in an unusual arrangement. The crowd got hooked by your acoustic version of EXO’s WOLF. Why did you choose this kind of arrangement? Did you have some help with the preparations?
MinJi: It was very hard for me to decide which song I should choose at first. Each time I started something, I quit quickly because I didn’t like it. When EXO released their first album, I was convinced that I will choose something from their album but again, the choice was hard for me. After a while I chose some tracks lyrics of which fitted quite well with each other. Finally I chose WOLF, MY LADY and TWO MOONS (I especially liked the matching of TWO MOONS and WOLF).
As there were no decent instrumentals available at that time, I decided to use a completely different instrumental, which was MISS KOREA by Lee Hyo Ri. I had no special reasons for choosing this slow-paced style but as I practiced, I found out that this swing/jazz style suited me quite well.I did the mashup myself, although I had a few weak moments when I wanted to quit everything and start all over again. That was when my best friend stepped in and supported me a lot, for which I want to thank her very very much.
KPOPEUROPE.EU: What is the story behind your stage name of “MinJi”?
MinJi: I got the nickname “MinJi” from my Korean friend quite a while ago so I decided to use it for the contest.
KPOPEUROPE.EU: What was the source of your inspiration for the performance? For how long have you been practicing?
MinJ: i My inspiration came mainly from the mood I was having when I was creating the mashup. When I had good days, all went like by itself but then I also had worse days when I only used to stare at the wall without any ideas at all. That’s why the mashup took one month to be finished. After it was completed, I revised it every time there was a possibility.
KPOPEUROPE.EU: Was this your very first public performance in front of such a big audience or do you already have some singing experience?
MinJi: I only performed during the prelimiary rounds, so yes, this was my first big performance.
KPOPEUROPE.EU: Despite your young age, you’ve shown us a very professional singing performance. Weren’t you also interested in the dancing category?
MinJi: The dance category didn’t attract me that much, mainly because I was on my own. I never focused on dancing in any special way but I would definitely like to give it a try in the future.
KPOPEUROPE.EU: Performing in front of such a big audience requires a big amount of courage and self-confidence. You seemed very confident and relaxed on the stage. What helped you to overcome all the nervousness?
MinJi To be honest, I was very nervous but I kept on talking to my self that even I mess something up, the world will not go down.
I had much support from the people in the backstage and also in the crowd. That was what gave me courage.
KPOPEUROPE.EU:Would you like to join some vocal group in the future or do you prefer solo performances? Which fellow contestants from the Prague festival would you like to join for a collaboration and why?
MinJi: I guess I like being a solo artist more, eventhough I don’t have many performance experience so far. In this way, I can be my own boss and I can do things that suit me the most. However, being a member of a group has it’s advantages – you never get bored and there is always some by your side, when you need it.
As for the Prague round finalists, I’d like to try to perform with the Maskove sistesters. They’re amazing singers and I myself thought they would win the 1st place.
KPOPEUROPE.EU: K-Pop in Europe is becoming more and more popular with various parties, events or actual concerts of real idol stars. Would you like to be invited to perform somewhere abroad?
MinJi: If the circumstances will allow that, I will gladly accept such invitation. It would be a great honor for me.
KPOPEUROPE.EU: As the end of our interview is here, is there something you would like to say the fans who perhaps see you as the next European K-Pop idol?
MinJi: I don’t think of myself as an idol but I would sincerely like to thank all those who supported me. I would never reach the stage where I’m now without your inspiring and motivating criticism.
I’m forever in your debt! ❤
This concludes our interview with MinJi, the 1st prize winner of the Prague regional round of the 2013 K-Pop World Festival. On behalf of the kpopeurope.eu team, let me thank you for the interview and we wish you a lot of artistic success and many amazing performances 😉
You can support MinJi by voting for her winning performance at the official KBS website of the K-Pop World Festival and giving her the chance to represent the heart of Europe at the grand final show in Korea!
interview by: slavo