Ren, a former NU’EST member, talked about his current activities and future as a solo artist in a new interview!
After 10 years of promotion, NU’EST disbanded earlier this year and released the last “best” album entitled “Needle & Bubble”. Now Ren has reached a turning point in his career as he progresses as a solo artist. Since then, he has starred in the musicals “Jamie”, “Hedwig” and “Bungee Jumping Out of His Own Hand”, and will start starring in “The Three Musketeers” later this month.
In a recent interview with News1, Ren spoke about the break-up of NU’EST, the pros and cons of promoting as a solo artist, how he got into musicals, why he kept his stage name and much more!
Regarding the tough decision to part ways with NU’EST and its former PLEDIS Entertainment agency, Ren commented: “Including when we were interns, I spent 12 years with my members. I’ve been with them more times than my family. There were so many good aspects but there were different circumstances and we thought we were protecting our team for a long time so I decided to get my way.
Ren continued, “Honestly, it wasn’t long since we started promoting after we came out, so I know the fans really regretted it. When I think about it, I’m sorry, but all the members had things we wanted to do individually, so we decided to respect each other. I don’t regret my decision. “
He added that during the decision-making process all members showed mutual support for their solo endeavors and added: “I really hope everyone is doing well and while we are on our own paths now, if the opportunity arises, I hope a day comes where we can all meet again.
Reflecting on the differences between promoting in a group and as a solo artist, Ren said, “I’m more lonely than I imagined. When I got promoted in the team, no matter where we went, we were five together and had fun sharing even the smallest things. Now the only people I can talk to are my employees, so I feel different. “
He added: “Also on stage when I’m with my members we can rely on each other and there is energy the band gives off, but now that I’m alone I feel a void in that regard.”
However, Ren revealed a few pros, saying, “When you promote yourself as a band, there is a promise among the members, so I was a bit careful about doing everything that would set me apart. It was hard to get away from the designated choreography and the designated position, but now that I go on stage alone, I can express myself to my heart’s content so that I feel a sense of freedom. “
Despite starting a new chapter as a solo artist, Ren did not change his stage name. When asked why, Ren replied, “Although I thought I wanted to use [my birth name] Choi Min Ki to promote, I have been promoting for 10 years under the name Ren, so I thought fans might find it unknown if I suddenly changed it. I believe that so far I was able to get promoted because my name was Ren, so I wanted to support myself [the name]. If I stop acting in the future, I don’t know what will happen, but for now I want to protect Ren. “
Right after parting ways with his former agency, Ren dived into various musicals and was asked if he had always been interested in them. “It’s a field I’ve always wanted to try,” Ren replied. “People around me said my energy would be a good match for the musicals, so I was curious and wondered, ‘What are they?’ Then I got the opportunity to do the musical “Jamie” and fell in love with its charm. It was lovely to be able to communicate with the audience in real time and change my lines and tone each day depending on my emotions. I also liked being able to present singing, dancing and acting. “
Ren also welcomed fans as a solo singer on KBS’s “Listen Up”, a music charts competition. The program features a battle between music producers and Ren performed with Ryan Jhun, a hit producer who previously collaborated with NU’EST.
The artist said: “I think ‘Listen Up’ was a good start for solo artist Ren. I am glad that through the transmission I was able to show an image that was neither exaggerated nor typical. My album is currently in preparation and as a solo artist my music will be unique and full of individuality. My concepts and ideas are endless. I think I will be able to present a different image than Ren from NU’EST, so I’m looking forward to it.
Regarding what gave him the strength to go this far in his career, Ren made his own fans right away. “Honestly, without my fans, I wouldn’t have been able to promote myself. Therefore, I want to respond even more to the amount they expect. My fans, family and friends are a huge driving force for me. “
Ren’s cute fan club name is “Min Ki Jeok”, a combination of his name “Min Ki” and “Ki Jeok” which means “miracle” in Korean. Ren explained, “Min Ki Jeok captures the importance of wanting to create miracles with my fans.” He revealed that the name was originally thought of for his YouTube channel, but found it fit for the name of his fan club.
Finally, Ren shared what makes him happiest, saying, “I’m happiest when I’m on stage. I’m lucky in the little things too, such as communicating with my fans, going on vacation with my family and eating delicious things. ”
Ren’s new musical, The Three Musketeers, will be available from September 16 to November 6 at the Universal Arts Center in Seoul.
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