Aeriverse Translation Team 38Sr, YeyeWalkways [New Year Interview] EXO Kai Year of the Rooster Part 1 & 2 “These days, my passion is burning little a fighting chicken. Because it’s year of rooster, it’s my own.” Kai, the main dancer of the country’s top idol group EXO, was in disappointment in the year of 2016. The group still won many awards, but he was not able to devote himself to group activities because of being in rehabilitation for four months due to having two injuries. So, in 2017 “Rooster” Kai is ready for the start. Recently, he’s become a fighting chicken with a fighting spirit. -In 2016 EXO’s work was great. “EXO’s work in 2016 was certainly great but personally it was a year of sorrow. It was nice to have opportunities for individual members in order to show their personal charm and talent, but in that time group activities decreased a little. I didn’t have a chance to meet with the fans directly. The amount of fan signs were a lot less than usual. Apart from whether or not our songs are a huge success, this year my personal hope is to do a lot of activities, have time to communicate with fans, and have all of our members perform together on stage often. Each member's feelings about 2016 will probably be different. There were members who did acting or performed in unit activities and there were who practiced to improve their skills during that time. I was able to look at my own position, and I think it was a year I was able to think about what I was good at and what I need to strive in more.” Kai and EXO, based on their powerful fan base, made a remarkable performance in 2016 unlike any other group. Their third regular album released in June 2016 brought a new era of triple million sellers (three consecutive million and more copies sold) followed by the first and second regular album. Also, the collaboration song with Yoo Jae-Seok “Dancing King” swept the music charts. In addition to group activities, there were solo and unit activities such as Chinese member Lay releasing his solo album Lose Control, Chen Baekhyun and Xiumin forming the first sub-unit and D.O. starring in the movie Brother. Last December, EXO released their special winter album For Life and gained immense popularity in ten days. However, Kai personally felt sorry this year. He injured his ankle twice and had to rehabilitate for four months. He also to appear in front of fans in a wheel chair. -What kind of year was 2016 for Kai? “Personally, it was a year of disappointment. I showed my fans my injured state while in a wheelchair. Like that, I couldn’t dance and had to rest. I’m too stressed about hurting myself again. So from the end of 2016, my body was restored and I felt myself getting fired up again. I’m practicing for more than 8 hours and burning like a fighting chicken. I look forward to this year. Since it’s year of rooster, it’s my own.” - If you had to choose the moment you were happiest since debut? "I don't think I could choose just one. First I think of the day of our debut showcase, March 31, 2012. Before then I didn't have many chances to show my performance to other people; actually, that was my first stage experience. The cheers of the audience, the shivers I got, I will never be able to forget it. Before going on stage I was very nervous, but the moment when I got on stage and was waiting for the music to start, I wanted to laugh. I was too excited, so I wasn't able to show a dance that I was satisfied with. May 2012, the Dream Concert shortly after debuting also comes to mind. It was held at the Seoul World Cup Stadium, at the time our seniors Super Junior were singing "Sorry Sorry". It was such a huge stage so all of our members were nervous. Before we went on stage, we gathered together and encouraged each other loudly. I don't think we'd ever had a moment where everyone was happy and overflowing with encouragements like that before going on stage. When we talk amongst ourselves, that moment often comes up. Receiving the Daesang at the Gayo Award Ceremony is also a moment that is always touching." [To. Sports Seoul readers, Hello, I am EXO's KAI. The Year of the Rooster has arrived. I would happy if you were happy and healthy for the whole year. As "Rooster" KAI, I will work hard this year. I hope you are always happy ~ <3] - The time with the most regrets or the hardest time until now is? "Last year when I injured my ankle for the second time was very hard for me. I rested from April until May. I found it wasn't easy to escape from depression or sadness. I haven't had to overcome those things very often. I'm a person who practices harder than anyone else, becomes happy by dancing, and enjoys going on stage, but since I hurt my leg I couldn't dance and I couldn't do the things I wanted to do. I felt myself falling into a slump. My body has recovered but it's not at 100% yet. Until just recently I was carrying this worry that my leg might get injured again, and also the burden of "will I be able to do well?". Since I was hurt for a long time, at some point I must've had a lot of stress piled up. When I practiced, I should've been happily dancing but even after recovering I realized that there were many times when I didn't practice and rested instead. At some point I wondered "what am I doing?". Because of that, when I monitored my own performances I couldn't be satisfied with myself. If I had to say, it felt like the spark inside of me got smaller? Around last September or October I felt like I shouldn't be like this anymore, so I strengthened my resolve. Now if there's a day when I don't have anything scheduled, my daily routine is only filled with practice. Dance practice for 5 hours, acting classes take about 2~3 hours, singing classes 3 hours; it's 2AM by the time I finish everything. I'm looking forward to this year so much. Even though I still have a slightly rusty feeling when I go on stage, I'm looking forward to seeing a sharpened, more improved side of myself."