The Korean heartthrob finds the simple pleasures in life from good food and talks about the difficulties he encountered in his latest music mini-album since going solo.
The pretty flower boy image in Korean drama series -- Boys Over Flowers and Playful Kiss -- that sent everyone head over heels is now a thing of the past.
No longer sporting a dark round wispy mane and all-white princely suits, Kim Hyun Joong lived up to his mini-album's masculine theme and appeared at The Face Shop press conference held in Hotel Michael, Resorts World Singapore, looking heaps manlier and suaver than before.
In town for Break Down's music promotions and his first solo showcase, Hyun Joong arrived in Singapore on Wednesday night to a cluster of local and international fans, screaming his name with each step he took (Watch video here). http://video.xin.msn.com/watch/video/welcome-back-to-sg-kim-hyun-joong/tnals73i Apart from enjoying "a very nice lunch at the beach area" on Thursday, the 24-year-old shared that he has yet to visit Universal Studios Singapore because of his packed schedule.
He let on with a tinge of disappointment in his voice, "I really wish that I can visit Universal Studios Singapore after my music promotions today. What made me really happy yesterday was that my staff bought me a 'Best Actor' t-shirt from the theme park."
Decked in a dapper beige suit with matching loafers, xinmsn quizzed Hyun Joong on the prep work behind his new muscular image for Break Down.
While the strapping lad admitted that it was "tough" and he had to do "lots and lots of exercise", he was satisfied with the overall results.
He added that a new "funkier" album with more dance tracks and a wholly different image is currently in the works and will be released sometime around September this year.
Following the success of Break Down which sees Hyun Joong as the first Korean artiste in 2011 to surpass the 100,000 album sales mark, the charismatic chap revealed that he was "under a lot of pressure and stress" while putting together his solo debut.
Commenting on the "unexpected" achievement in album sales, Hyun Joong revealed that he was filled with "lots of worries" prior to its release.
"I had to do most of the preparations alone as a solo artiste and that was a lot of pressure for me. I overcame this when I saw how the fans supported me and how they liked my new album," he said.
So how has life changed for Hyun Joong since going solo?
"As a solo artiste, I have to take responsibility for a lot of things I do. In terms of that, I felt that I have grown into a more responsible person," Hyun Joong quipped in an interview with xinmsn.
Well, his hard work and dedication definitely paid off. The dexterous performer acknowledged his fans' support and would like to repay them by "producing a very nice concert next year". He added that Singapore will be one of the concert stops in early 2012.
Putting aside talk of his debut as a solo artiste, we asked the jet-setter a fun question: What is the one thing he carries with him whenever he travels?
"One thing that I always have to bring along is my iPad, which contains all my music, concert plans, event plans and schedules. This is one thing that I have to bring along and can never lose," he answered.
The singer gave a slight chuckle and a broad smile when we counter-asked him about his gaming habits on the iPad.
He said, slightly embarrassed, "Yes, I have many games. I play fishing games where you have to catch fish and also Paladog, where monsters come in your way and you have to destroy them," much to the amusement of his minders standing around him.
Text & Photos: Joanna Goh
Videos: Teng Siew Eng & Fiona Lin