You Did Well Jonghyun: A Tribute Piece

Written by on January 8, 2018

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Written by: Chyenne Tatum & Alissa Reyes

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On December 18, 2017, the world lost one of the most influential Korean artists to depression and suicide. Kim Jonghyun, main vocalist of the group SHINee, spent 10+ years perfecting his craft as a singer, songwriter, and composer, and fans and non-fans alike believe that Jonghyun was born to make music.

He was considered one of the most unique and talented K-Pop artists who was heavily involved in writing and composing music for himself, his group, and for other musicians.

His company, SM Entertainment, is usually known for limiting the creative freedom of their artists but Jonghyun was the first to be given that freedom, which is a true testament of his musical abilities and gifts. From a successful 9 year run with SHINee, to an equally impressive solo career, Jonghyun has also been an advocate for the LGBT community and fans with mental illnesses. While he helped many others with their struggles, he was also battling with himself in the midst of being famous, a lifestyle that he admitted just wasn’t for him.

Alissa and I, the hosts of K-Pop Frenzy this semester are both huge fans (Shawols) of SHINee and played their music multiple times on air during the show. We would like to share a few words, songs, and videos in honor of Jonghyun and what he meant to us.

Chyenne’s Journey with SHINee:

I was a casual K-Pop fan back in eighth grade and high school and listened to a few songs, but the only groups I really knew were Wonder Girls and Girls’ Generation. After a few years of not listening to K-pop as much between high school and college, I decided to get back into it and learn more about Korean pop culture.

It wasn’t until early 2015 that I discovered the wonders of a group called SHINee. I marveled at their synchronized choreography, unique hair and outfits, and the extremely catchy songs that they always seemed to do so well.

Up until their “View” era, I swore my bias would either be Minho or Taemin because they both took my breath away at first sight and were the first two members I learned from previous videos on YouTube. But, the more videos I watched, the harder I fell for Jonghyun and the way he sang with such passion. Next thing you know, Jonghyun officially became my SHINee bias and I haven’t looked back since.

His voice is unlike any other artist I’ve listened to and even just one note could drive millions of fans crazy, or make them tear up just by listening to him.

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The moment I heard his first solo album, Base, I knew that he was a special man that was put on this earth for a very special reason. The lyrics he wrote in all of his albums were always so personal and intimate, but other times they were just as fun and mischievous as he was. Jonghyun wrote about love, happiness, depression, loneliness, and every other human emotion that makes people who they are. And although our time together was short, he has inspired and helped me in ways that I couldn’t even imagine before discovering SHINee.

His music puts me at ease and I remember the restless nights when I couldn’t sleep, so I put my headphones in, hit the shuffle on my Jonghyun playlist, and let it play until I fell asleep to the sound of his soothing melodies.

Each moment that he shared with his Shawols was precious to him and he constantly went out of his way to show his love and appreciation. Jonghyun will always be considered an ultimate bias for me and by far, the most brilliant songwriter and composer in the music industry. As SHINee celebrates their 10th year anniversary this May, I hope that they remember their most precious moments together and cherish the bonding memories that they’ve shared.

SHINee did not lose a member, they gained an angel and OT5 will live on in the hearts of every Shawol across the world. Thank you Onew, Minho, Taemin, and Key for staying so strong through this very difficult time. And thank you Jonghyun, for always spreading positivity and love to everyone you encountered.

Alissa’s Journey with SHINee:

It wasn’t until my freshman year of high school that I got into K-pop, I was watching a korean drama called, “To the Beautiful You” which had Choi Minho(SHINee) and Sulli( F(X) ) as the two main leads.

The more I got into the show the more I wanted to know about the actors, so I looked them up starting with Minho. When I started reading up on him I saw that he was a singer and was in a Korean boy group called, SHINee. I started watching their music videos and the first one I watched was their song, “Lucifer” and I was amazed by their outfits, the choreography and the way they looked! I was so mesmerized by their looks and the only thing I could think of was that they are so handsome.

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Then after watching all of their music videos and getting more hooked on to them, I started watching this reality show called, “Hello Baby” which is about celebrities who experience parenthood.

When I saw that SHINee was on it I had to watch it. This show is what helped me get to know more about each members personality. Watching the boys trying to win the heart of baby Yoogeun was so funny and it made me love them even more. After I watched that show, I started to watch funny moments of them together during concerts, fanmeets and other reality shows they have been on.

After I learned that Jonghyun had a his own radio show called, “Blue Night” I started to listen to it as much as I could and Jonghyun is actually the reason why I started doing a radio show during college.

I wanted my radio show, K-pop Frenzy, to be my personal space where I could express my love for Korean culture and share it with others who also love Korean culture.

Jonghyun had the same idea of having that radio show as his own personal space to share with others and he has affected so many people in a good way in Korea and people from the other side of the world who listened in. I feel that we got to know him more and he got to know us more during his time as a DJ.

Even though he stopped being the host for Blue Night at the beginning of 2017, I still hope to achieve the goals he had as a radio DJ in the future and I will continue to have him as my role model as a radio DJ.

I have been a Shawol for 6 years now and they are still my favorite K-pop group. Onew is my bias of the group, but Jonghyun has always been my bias wrecker and he will forever have a place in my heart and every other Shawol out their.

Even though Jonghyun is gone from this world, I feel that he will always be watching over his band members, family, friends and fans. Jonghyun you will never be forgotten and one day we will all see you again.

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