Aespa‘s Winter recently shared a fact about her past that contradicts her image now: she used to be overly shy.
On an episode of Leemujin Service, a talk show where singer-songwriter Lee Mujin talks with various musicians, Winter appeared as a guest and sang a few live songs. She started with an acoustic version of aespa’s “I’m Unhappy,” which showed her undeniable vocal talents.
Between songs, Winter and Lee Mujin talked about her career. Amazed at her powerful voice, Lee Mujin asked her if it was correct that she wanted to be an idol singer since she was young. Winter confirmed it was true, but she was too shy to admit it then.
Yes, deep inside my heart, I really wanted to be an idol but since I am very introverted, I couldn’t say that I wanted to be an idol. I was just too say to say I want to be an idol.
She continued that SM Entertainment cast her at a dance festival, and it was only after she was cast that she admitted to her mother for the first time that she wanted to be a singer.
So first, I was cast at a dance festival. After being cast, I told my mom that I was cast and she asked me if I wanted to do it, and I said, ‘Actually, I want to be a celebrity…’
Lee Mujin was shocked at her introverted personality and that she first confessed her dream to her mom after she was scouted. Then Winter shared that she was extremely introverted when she was young—to the point where she couldn’t get up to press the button to signal to the bus driver that she had to get off the bus.
Even when riding the bus, I couldn’t press the button [to get off the bus]. It felt like I’m getting attention, so I would wait until someone got off the bus at the next stop and get off with them.
Lee Mujin understood that there were people who found any sort of attention intimidating and stated that some people even reached the last stop because they couldn’t press the button. Winter shared that she also experienced that, except her stop was close to the last stop, so it wasn’t too much of a detour.
My neighborhood was a few stops before the last stop, so I went to the last stop… often.
After laughing together at her shyness, Winter admitted that she became less introverted as she got older. However, many of her introverted tendencies remain, and she shared a fact about herself that she never revealed before: she can’t stop without Airpods.
But it got a bit better as I got older… Actually, it’s my first time saying this but I can’t go shopping if I don’t have AirPods in. You know how [the staff] comes to you to assist you? If they approach and ask me, ‘Is there anything you’re looking for?’ I actually leave.
Of course, she didn’t leave right away because that would be rude. Instead, she browsed a bit more, said goodbye, and left. To avoid situations like this, Winter needs to have her AirPods in. She admitted that if she had AirPods, she could press the button before getting off the bus because the earphones helped her feel like she was alone and distant from the rest of the world.
How is she able to perform and dance on stage, then? Fascinated by her shyness, Lee Mujin asked her how she had the confidence to go on a dance competition show when she was young. Winter shared an interesting opinion that, to her, dancing was less “embarrassing” than singing on stage.
Actually, this might sound weird, too, but I feel less shy when dancing than singing… For dancing, you dance together [with other people] so the gaze is dispersed. But for singing, it seems like you have to do it alone. And for dancing, it’s more like you’re pushed to do it [when others tell you], ‘Hey, you’re good at dancing!’ But for singing, you do it because you really want to do it.
Seeing Winter sing and dance flawlessly on stage as a member of aespa with such charisma makes one realize how she could have been so shy.
Even if she was scared to press a button on the bus and doesn’t like shopping without her AirPods, Winter is a professional who owns the stage whenever she performs—and she can perform confidently in front of thousands of people!