K-pop boy band SHINee on Thursday celebrated its 15th anniversary. The bandmates shared their feelings and plans for their comeback through a press release the same day.
"It feels strange that 15 years have flown by so fast, and I'm proud that I could have experienced so many things and challenges as SHINee," Onew said in the statement.
Minho added, "Although it might sound cliche, it's really unbelievable. I'm so happy that my dream which started in high school still continues to this day."
The group, which debuted under SM Entertainment in 2008, is known for its contemporary rhythm and electro-pop sound. The band has five members -- Onew Key, Minho, Taemin and the late Jonghyun. Sadly, Jonhyun passed away in 2017, but SM Entertainment officially defines SHINee as a quintet including Jonghyun.
Looking back on their time together, the members each picked their favorite moments.
"I remember when we used to live together in a dorm," Onew said, while Key added, "I can still recollect all the moments so vividly, from our debut day to the anniversaries, fan meetings and concerts."
Minho and Taemin said the concerts were their highlights.
"All the concerts were so memorable. Thinking about the moment when we became one with SHINee World still makes my heart full," Minho said, referring to the band's official fandom named SHINee World.
"Every concert was special, but our biggest standalone concert in 2015 at the Tokyo Dome stands out the most," Taemin said. Tokyo Dome, the biggest concert venue in Japan, holds a significant value for K-pop singers. SHINee held its first Tokyo Dome concert with its Japan tour "I'm Your Boy" in March 2015.
The band is set to add another notch to its belt with its long-awaited group comeback.
Following its youngest member Taemin's discharge from his military alternative service in April, the group has been gearing up for its first comeback in two years.
Onew said the new album will mark the start of the band's "new chapter," while Minho said it will show "a strong and solid SHINee."
The new album will mark the group's first full-group comeback since the release of its seventh LP-reissue "Atlantis." The company explained that the forthcoming package will include songs from music genres that the band has not tried before, marking a colorful first step to its new chapter.
The members are set to celebrate the anniversary with their fans over the weekend at the band's fan-meeting.
"We're finally reuniting with our fans! It's exhilarating just to imagine then. I can't wait," Key said.
"I've missed their cheers. Also, I heard we have a Q&A corner, and I'm curious what will come out there," Minho said, laughing. "I can't wait to show all the performances that we have saved up over the past few years when we haven't met," Taemin added.
Titled "Everyday is SHINee Day’ : [Piece of Shine]," the two-day gathering will take place at Jamsil Arena in Seoul over the weekend.
The fan-meeting marks the latest in a slew of events the group has been unveiling in the days leading up to its anniversary. Starting last Monday, the members have been updating their respective social media pages with new pictures and comments, counting down to the big day with their fans from around the world.
On Thursday, it also opened a new pop-up store, "The Moment of Shine," in Seoul.
Decorated in the theme of the group's identity, "shine (light)," the pop-up is packed with pictures, photo booths and merchandise for fans to celebrate SHINee's special day.
The store will run until June 14 at Understand Avenue in Seongsu-dong.
Ready to move into their next chapter, the members shared their anticipations and goals in Thursday's statement.
"I wish we continue to be together, the members and SHINee World," Onew said. Key shared his ambition, saying,"We'll never settle for what we have now and always move forward."
It's a fresh new start, Minho said. "I want to keep on achieving more with the members and fans. SHINee is just beginning. We'll talk with each other more and strive to give better performances."
"Staying healthy and returning to fans with a grateful heart, that's my goal," Taemin said.
SHINee holds an unparalleled position inside the K-pop industry, with countless hits behind it, beating its own records with every comeback.
The members picked "novelty" as their defining strength. "We're different. Many tell us 'it's different when done by SHINee,' and it always makes me feel proud to hear that," Onew said.
"Always finding something new, that's SHINee-style," Key said, while Minho pointed out, "Our identity as a 'contemporary band' is big. We always show something new and challenge ourselves, and I think that's what defines us."
"It's like a rainbow: we're all mavericks as individuals, but together, we harmonize," Taemin said.
Ending the interview, the four members each expressed their deep gratitude and love for the fans who have made their 15 years possible.
"Thank you for always standing by us. I hope we can continue to be each other's happy memories," Onew said, to which Taemin added, "SHINee World has made us feel special, thank you."
"I don't know how to put my gratitude into words, but thank you for your trust. I'll also trust myself and work harder. ... Whether it's a good day or bad, I want to be with you guys everyday," said Key.
Minho added, "I know words fail to express how grateful I am. We will return (to our fans). Thank you again and we love you."