Model Choi Joon Young debuted in 2009 as the female lead in Seo Taiji “Juliet” music video. At that time, it became a hot issue that Seo Taiji had personally chosen her. After that, we were able to see her walking the runway for Korean designers but also for the Chanel show in Korea. Choi Joon Young changes to match the photo shoo concept or to match the designer brand. She’s showing us the charm of a fairy pitta. Recently, she also wrote lyrics based on her personal experience and sang on the “Romantisco with Joon Young” project album with musician Romantisco. Fiver years into this industry, she’s now a profesional model, but model Choi Joon Young is very greedy about the future. Let’s hear about her activities and her dream as a model.
Hello. Please introduce yourself.
Hello, I’m model Choi Joon Young.
You debuted through Seo Tae Ji’s music video for “Juliet”. I know Seo Tae Ji personally chose you back then.
When the request for the music video came for the first time, the agency sent them back a list of models. I was chosen because he liked my young fresh image.
How old were you back then?
It was when I was starting high school. I remember I wasn’t able to attend the high school entrance ceremony because of the music video filming.
This music video was your debut project, so you must remember it a lot.
Filming was in Australia. It was my first time going overseas. I was very nervous. I was a minor back then, so it was a struggle because I didn’t get a visa. (smiles)
How was it to watch the video?
It was so awesome. Back then, I thought “what kind of music video am I filming?”. When I actually watched the outcome, it was really awesome.
After that, you starred in Lee Seung Hwan’s “Perfect Memory” music video, Kim Hyung Joon’s “Sorry I’m Sorry” music video and you were recently in VIXX’s “Hyde” music video. Which role do you play in “Hyde”?
The music video concept is to show the VIXX members turning from angels to monsters because they were hurt by love. That’s why you see them being good to me in the past and they slowly change into demons and they push me away because they don’t want to show me this transformation. My little sister (?) is a VIXX fan and I turned into a fan too after this filming.
When did you start having the dream to become a model?
I’ve been into fashion ever since middle school. That’s why I applied to enter an academy and I got a phone call telling me I had passed the 1st round. I think that’s when I really started to take it seriously.
How did your entourage react?
I attended the academy without telling them. I didn’t go much to school when I was attending the academy and that’s what my friends were the most jealous of. (smiles) However, what’s really sad is that I don’t have school memories.
What would say if you were to compare back then and now?
I was fresh, you could tell I was quite young back then. Now I’m adjusted to this modelling job, so I’m sly sometimes. (smiles) I feel like starting working at this age made me grow up a lot.
I wonder if there was a special occasion that allowed you to adapt to this working life?
People working around me are much older. Working with them probably help me to adapt a little bit faster.
How was your first collection stage?
I debuted during the 2009 S/S collection. At that time I did the shows of the foreign designers who had come there.
If you remember a show, which show is it ?
The 2012 F/W pushBUTTON show. And I really wanted to go overseas and do a Chanel show. I got to do a Chanel show in Korea, so I’m satisfied for now. I really enjoyed walking the runway for a Chanel show. I was selected for the Chanel show set up by Karl Lagerfeld in 2011, but I wasn’t able to do it because of the college entrance exam. That’s why it was very unfortunate.
Shows like the Chanel one are shows that any model would like to do. Do you know why you got the opportunity to do it?
I practiced my walking a lot. Even when I was attending the academy, I would practice on weekends too. I think that’s why my walking had my own style and it stood out.
What do you think makes your walking unique?
I think people can have this easy, fresh feeling when they watch me walk.
How do you feel when you walk on stage?
I feel absolutely nothing right before going on stage, then when I’m on stage, I hear the cameras and I feel people’s gazes. I really like this feeling. I think it’s this moment that makes me feel the delight of being a model.
Which designer brand would you choose as the one matching you the best?
I think it’s Jardin de chouette. I was the model of their Lucky Chouette shopping mall not long after I debuted. Even back then, I often heard that Kim Jae Hyun and I were very similar.
Is there a designer brand you’d like to try?
The one I want to try the most is the Acne show overseas. And I want to work for all the overseas brands. Chanel is the one I’m the most greedy about.
Working overseas probably require a lot of preparation. I wonder if you’re currently preparing for that.
I’m seeking advice from my sunbaes who are currently working overseas. They say “first of all, you must go for it!”. And I’m also working on my body. Foreign models have a large frame, so I’m developping my shoulders. And I’m also studying English.
You did a lot of photo shoots. Who would you choose as the partner you enjoyed working with?
I think it would be Kim Won Joong whom I’ve felt at ease with when we worked together. It was really a free atmosphere as we went around here and there. It was crazy sometimes, though. (smiles) Still, I think he’s the one I was able to shoot the most comfortable with.
What do you think makes you unique as a model?
I’ve been a model since I was very young, so I can be a veteran. When I do a photo shoot, I think I always have this fresh feeling. For a photo shoot with a mature concept, my age can be forgotten. I think I can express my age for photo shoots with a cute and cheerful concept.
When do you feel happy when you’re working?
The model field wasn’t very big in the beginning. However, I think the range of activities is getting wider as there are more models included in CF or music videos. I think it’s a great change. Like the fact I shot two music videos just this month. It makes me feel great.
If there’s something you want to achieve as a model, what is it?
It’s been 5 years since I debuted. I think I’m lacking to become a top model right now. I wish I could go higher. I want to work overseas and I want to keep making music.
You released “Romantisco With Joon Young” recently. I know this time again it was because someone made you the offer.
I performed a song with Baek Ji Won during the Esteem party last year. There was a PD. He/she liked my tone voice and offered me the opportunity.
How did you feel when the album got released?
I was very nervous before the release as I kept wondering when it would happen. When it got released, I was like “is it really out?”. (smiles) People around me say it’s good. I haven’t seen it with my own eyes yet, so I don’t know.
I’m curious to hear about the reactions from your entourage.
They listened to the songs and they said “thank you for singing with honesty”. I quite don’t know what they mean by that, but they say my voice is pure, untainted.
Please say a few words about this album.
It’s a two-track album, one about fresh love and one about what happens after a break-up. That’s why I think these are songs you can sing according to the mood you’re in.
You participated to the lyrics writing. Did you write about your personal experiences?
The title track “Small Fish” is about unrequited love. The man is very popular, so he’s fishing around. Of course, I’m talking about my personal experience. (smiles).
Did you like the lyrics?
They’re very cheesy. (smiles) People around me say it’s okay to just write what’s on my mind. The first time I did, I wondered if that was the way to go. That’s why people told me it was okay to show what was on my mind.
Model Hong Jin Kyugn and Jang Yoon Joo are also constantly working aside from their modelling activities. I’m curious if you’re also inclinded to widen your activities in the future.
If I get the opportunity, I also want to be active in different fields.
So, will we be able to see you sing?
Of course. I’m currently preparing seriously to sing on stage.
What do you usually do during your free time?
I like watching foreign TV shows in my free time. I’m currently watching “Last Cinderella” and “Kiss Love in Tokyo” which were broadcast in Japan recently.
You’ve also been working on some music lately, you probably get many feels when you’re watching a drama or a movie.
When I did the Pushbutton show, I was really moved by the music. That’s why I asked which song it was. It was a song from the movie “Searching for Sugar Man”. The movie is about singers from the past through a documentary format. When I like a song or a movie, I look it up.
Which movie genre do you like?
I often watch classic movies because my big sister likes them. I watched the movie “The Dreamers” recently. It’s erotic. There’s a reinterpretation through an artistic perspective because the lightning is dark. I remember that I enjoyed watching it.
I wonder if you’d be interested in playing in a movie if you’re offered a role.
I played in the short movie “My Right, Your Left”. So I had one filming experience and I realized it’s very hard. There’s some acting in a music video, but a movie is done through lines you must say. If a good opportunity comes my way, I want to do it, but I think I still need a lot of practise.
I know you often go to the noraebang. If you were to choose one song you like more than any other, what would it be?
I really like memorizing girl groups choreographies. To the point there’s almost none that I don’t know. (smiles) I often go with model Lee Sung Kyung. We dance together and have fun.
Can we see another side of your personality at the noraebang?
It’s a 180° change. I especially like Orange Caramel. It’s really fun to go to the noraebang with other models.
When I look at your SNS, you seem close with the 87 crew. When did you meet them?
We’ve been friends since Kim Won Joong debuted. I think it must have been like 3 or 4 years.
It seems that you exchange feedbacks with Kim Won Joong. Do you?
Kim Won Joong is much older than me. He started working late. I asked him a lot about daily stuff at first.
You were the model of the first pictures posted on your manager’s blog. Did you see it?
My manager had always enjoyed taking pictures. She uploaded them on her blog this time. I didn’t know these pictures would be used this way, though. (smiles) It’s not common for me to have people close to me who manage a blog, so I think it allows me to give off a familiar vibe when the pictures are taken by my manager. I like it.
Your high fashion pose was memorable. (smiles)
The pictures were taken on a music video set not long ago. The stand-by time was long, so I went to take a walk with her and we ended up taking pictures. She likes having fun. I realized people’s reactions are usually good. (smiles)
What’s your usual beauty routine?
I use mask packs for my skin. Twice or three times a week. It’s essence, so I realized it’s good even if I do it every day.
I’m curious about how you maintain your figure.
People ask me if I don’t gain weight even when I eat. To be honest, I don’t eat that much because it’s annoying. (smiles) I think that’s why I don’t put on weight. I live all by myself, so I don’t really eat at home. I go out well to eat well. I think I eat almost nothing in the morning and I only eat at lunch.
I think that won’t be good for your health.
There are people who try the 1-meal-a-day diet these days. It’s unintentional that I eat one meal a day. I think it’s fine for me. (smiles)
You’ve been working as a model for five years. What are the memories you have when you look back?
I think my only memories are me working. I have almost no school memories, so this aspect is kind of sad. Still, I have many memories about working in Korea and overseas in places in which ordinary people can’t go in easily.
I wonder if you ever had regrets in your career.
I have no regret about my work. When I think about my life, I can have some regrets because I can’t enjoy things I could enjoy at my age.
You must have been under a lot of pressure since you started modelling at a young age, how was it?
On the contrary, I think I had no pressure because I was young. If I had been older, I would have been cautious. When you’re young, you’re carefree. I just made my way as I thought “I still have a lot of time left” because I was young.
How is your real life personality?
I’m shy at first, so I may look distant, but when I’m getting close to someone, I’m easygoing and I have a lot of aegyo.
Do your friends give you a nickname or a pet name?
It’s my SNS ID. They call me Junybob (주니밥 ; t/n: the “bob” can also be romanized as “bap”= meal, rice). It was created after we ate together one day. (smiles) Sometimes, I’m called Junykuk (주니국) too (smiles).
Do you like it?
Yes. Isn’t it like Sponge Bob? (smiles)
I’m curious to hear about your dreams aside from your modelling career.
If the opportunity comes, I also want to be a stylist. I’ve been interested as I looked how styling was made when I was doing photo shoots. I like making my own accessoiries. (smiles)
Please give an advice to people who dream to become a model.
I hope you won’t become pretentious as you prepare to become a model. Instead, I think it’s more important to look for your flaws and your personality. And I hope your dream about being a model is sincere.
What is “Romantisco with Joon Young” to you?
I think it’s one turning point of my life, something different from what I had done for the past previous years. Being able to do something else makes it meaningful.
Please say a few words to our Cuvism readers.
Please show me interest because I will show you a better image. I hope you will listen to this album. A performance is scheduled, so I hope many of you will come. Thank you!
Translation: @thesunnytown – thesunnytown.wordpress.com