DAY6’s Sungjin Talks About His Journey As A Singer + Being The Leader Of The Band
Sungjin has played a huge role as DAY6’s leader in strengthening their teamwork.
Sungjin said that he would like to be a trustworthy person and hoped to be remembered as a leader full of humanity in the future.
DAY6 is quite a unique band in numerous ways. They are the first and only band under JYP Entertainment, which is more known for groups who sing and dance. Also unlike most bands that has got one vocalist, all the members of DAY6 take part in singing their songs.
Starting their humble journey from busking on the streets, DAY6 have come a long way. Now, they have gained recognition both domestically and internationally and has a solid fanbase. In an exclusive interview to media News1, the group’s leader Sungjin talks about their journey.
Sungjin had a huge role to play in helping the team find their place. Being at the center, he read through the members’ difficulties, strengthened teamwork, and resolved conflicts through conversations.
He admitted being stressed over his responsibility as a leader but the members played their roles well and Sungjin also eased some burden by leaning on them.
He also hopes that DAY6 would continue to make good music and become a band that sings for every moment.
Becoming a leader and carrying out the responsibilities
Sungjin said that him being a leader was not planned. At that time, they were slotted to debut under the name 5LIVE and being the oldest member, he was chosen as the leader.
Jae, who is the oldest member of DAY6 came in to join the group after that. Since Sungjin was born on early 1993 and was on the same grade as Jae, they got along as friends.
As a leader, Sungjin feels that though he is easy to get around with sometimes, he can be quite stubborn.
During the band’s early debut days, Sungjin felt a lot of stress but was able to overcome them with the member’s help. The members distributed the roles among themselves and as a result, during most instances Sungjin plays the part of a mediator.
Talking about his sense of responsibility he said, “I felt a huge responsibility to mediate between the company and the team.” As a leader, he feels that one has to take the members’ positions and pass them on to the company and convey to the members what the company wants as well.
Emphasizing the importance of mediation he added, “If you tell each other what you want, there is a possibility that you will break the relationship, so I try to get rid of the emotions and only tell what is important. Personally, I like to communicate, so I don’t feel very stressed.”
As a leader of the idol band, Sungjin believes that it is important to respect everyone’s opinions. By disregarding a minority opinion, discord is inevitable. Therefore, recognizing the diversity of opinions and accepting them wisely is essential to make the team work.
Handling the conflicts, crisis and thoughts on the team
Sungjin said that his process for resolving any conflict is to talk. For example, when there is a person who opposes a matter, the conflict was resolved by listening to their opinions and trying to understand the other party who made the opinion.
Talking about their own conflicts in line with this process he said, “Of course, in this process, if you insist on sticking to yourself, the conversation itself won’t work, but we don’t have such members. Conversations have never resolved conflicts.”
About handling crisis and overcoming them, he stated, “Whenever something difficult happened, I try to unite us rather than read into it extensively. We eat together, play games, and if one of us is feeling down, we try to talk.
In doing so, we overcame it. Teamwork became stronger as we face out hard times together.”
Since his responsibilities are not easy, Sungjin seeks advice from others too. Usually, he would talk to his members, but if that doesn’t work out he also seeks advice from friends, seniors, and families outside.
He looks for people with more experience than him. Sometimes, he also ask for advice from his friend Sandeul of B1A4.
Regarding his team, he thinks it is like a family based on trust. One has to wait if someone slows things down.
They have gathered to work, so it is necessary to be professional with their jobs but it is also important to protect what needs to be protected. It is important to be together without hurting each other.
Boasting about his team he confessed, “We really like music. Also, since each member has a different color, they can absorb various genres. Growing up is our charm.”
When asked about any specific moment when DAY6 needs their leader the most, he answered that they need each other every moment. He added that he wanted to be a leader who is full of humanity and remembered as a trustworthy person.
For the members, Sungjin wished for everyone to be happy and healthy.
Story of how DAY6 was formed, DAY6 as a team and struggles after that
A lot of people appreciates DAY6 and their music. According to Sungjin, this because there are no characters with overlapping members. Each one have their own ends in the pentagon, and it seems to like their different charms. This is also one of the aspects why people love DAY6’s.
Talking about how DAY6 became the first band of JYP, a company that specialises in idols, Sungjin said, “I couldn’t really dance. The new development team at that time wanted to save my voice and made a band. Young K and Won Pil, who were at the dance teams at that time, also joined.”
At first, Sungjin learned Djembe because the company was planning to launch an acoustic band. 5LIVE was almost formed as a band and practiced to make their debut. Then the company gave another opinion of forming a rock band.
So Dowoon joined the group as a drummer through the audition and they changed into a full band. Sungjin had to change his position from Djembe to Guitar. After that, he made his debut with DAY6.
With position change, came the slump. Sungjin already found it hard to practice singing while playing the instrument, and he had to change the instrument again when he was already getting used to it. “I had no choice but to do so,” he said.
“In fact, I was trying to leave the company because my worries grew. Then, when I pondered ‘What can I do well’, I realised it was music. I said to myself, ‘If this is the case, let’s do good music.’ so I prepared my heart and overcame it,” Sungjin said while talking about the process of moving on from his slump.
Preparing and composing songs for debut
When preparing for the band, Sungjin started working on creating his own music because the company wanted them to debut with their own song. Speaking about their process, Sungjin said, “Wonpil and Jae mainly write melodies, and since Young K speaks Korean and English, he would write the lyrics.
I was responsible for organizing the song as a whole. If something doesn’t fit in the melody line, smoothly correct it, and give the lyrics better direction by using other expressions.”
With regards to the company he added, “The company provided a lot of support, but in fact, learning that doesn’t make a good song right away. In the process, our debut was delayed a bit. Still, we tried hard to improve and achieve the completeness.”
Since DAY6 members had different musical propensities, they initially argued a lot including Sungjin. The leader stated, “At first, I strongly argued that I would go in a certain direction because I wanted to create the feeling of the team I was thinking of.
However, the members also have their own ideas. While talking to the members about those things, I thought it would be better to make DAY6’s color rather than fit my frame.”
Praising Jae’s influence on him about the matter he said, “I learned a lot from Jae in terms of these kind of things. It was because of Jae that DAY6 could have the same color right now.”
DAY6 did not have the similar kind of start that other groups in their company. Sungjin was puzzled in the beginning. Because, their group walks a different path, they wondered what they were supposed to do.
Speaking about his feelings during that time, Sungjin said, “There were times when it was difficult to climb little by little, but at that time, I thought that I should make more effort and always tried my best.
Looking back now, it was right. Without that period, the team would not have been able to grow. We gave our beat to be recognized, so we were able to grow.”
Recounting the tales of their dreams during their debut, Sungjin shared, “At that time, we had really big dreams such as going to Grammy and entering Tokyo Dome. It didn’t take long to achieve that reality, but we tried to go up slowly without limiting our dreams.”
Thoughts on new achievements and favorite DAY6 songs
It took a long time but DAY6 are slowly climbing the stairs of sucess. The group won their first music show win in 2019. Reflecting on his thoughts at that time Sungjin claimed that he was happy but does not try to dwell on it.
“Popularity is only for a short while and we will continue doing music,” he added. He believes that DAY6 have a lot of good songs and is confident that they will shine later too.
DAY6’s popularity grew a lot in 2017 during their Every DAY6 Project where they released two new songs every month. Speaking about the impact of the project, Sungjin stated, “Every DAY6 is a project that gives diversity to DAY6’s music.
At that time, we tried everything we really wanted to do while challenging various genres. We were stressed because it wasn’t easy to release a new song every month. But without that period, we wouldn’t the DAY6 that we are today.”
From the Every DAY6 project, he likes the song, “When You Love Someone.” He feels that this is a song that can be listened to every day without getting tired because it is plain and simple.
Expressing his surprise on how DAY6’s”You Were Beautiful” rose in the music charts earlier this year, the singer disclosed that he initially thought it was a prank. However, he is grateful towards their fans for the love they received.
When asked about the DAY6 song that he loves the most, Sungjin answered that it was their debut song, “Congratulations.” He commented that since the song was their first, it holds a great meaning for him.
Additionally, Sungjin also picked, “You Were Beautiful”, “I Smile”, and “Time of our Life” in his list of good songs.
Reaction to praises of his voice, World Tour and future plans
Sungjin’s unique and raspy voice has been praised by music experts and many people find his voice attractive. Speaking about it, he revealed that he in the beginning he did not have that kind of tone in his voice. He was trying to have his own color so he started trying a raspy voice. Rock-based music requires a strong voice so he practiced doing that. He also added that he likes the tone balance in “Letting Go.”
Earlier this year, DAY6 concluded their Gravity World Tour which received massive reactions. In regards to that, Sungjin said, “The first place we performed at was Hongdae Live Club, but now we are growing bigger to perform at the Olympic Hall and hold concerts abroad. I am proud. Especially in this world tour, I was impressed and thankful to foreign fans who were humming our songs. I feel a sense responsibility to make good music in the future as well.”
Looking back at their debut to where they have reached, Sungjin feels happy about it. He thinks that if one believes in themselves and pour 100% to it then there is nothing that they cannot achieve.
Finally about the future goals and plans, he revealed, “Being the best band is our biggest goal. Also, we want to become a band that does not grow old and a band that sings every moment, as Young K stated.”
“We also have to go to Grammy and Tokyo Dome,” he jokingly added.
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