back to top

We Interviewed K-Pop Group Winner And Found Out Some Things You Might Not Know

Find out if you ~really really~ know them, or if you're just a ~fool~.

Posted on

You might've heard about them because they're part of one of the "Big Three" agencies in K-pop, YG, and they've been slaying the charts with their latest comeback tracks, "Really Really" and "Fool."

YG Entertainment / Via

(A forever-appropriate greeting — props to whoever thought of that one.)

Winner was formed in 2013 after they won the reality TV program Win: Who is Next, where two groups of YG trainees competed for a chance to be the first YG boy group to debut since Big Bang back in 2006.

Despite original member Nam Taehyun's departure last November, Winner is back as a four-member group ready as ever to win your hearts with their recently-released mini album Fate Number For.

YG Entertainment / Via Facebook: OfficialYGWINNER

"Really Really" is a laid-back and fun tropical house song that debuted at #3 on Billboard's World Digital Song Sales chart and later rose to #1, marking their highest charting to date. "Fool" brings fans back to the ~maturity and emotional sensitivity~ of previous singles like "Empty" and "Baby Baby" they typically associate with Winner and fell head over heels for — it followed right behind "Really Really," debuting at #4 on World Digital Song Sales and later rising to #2.

With their first two albums 2014 S/S and Exit : E, Winner made great efforts to differentiate themselves from other idol groups by writing and composing songs that showed their emotional complexity. But as "Really Really" demonstrates, they'd also like to produce upbeat songs that capture their youth and don't necessarily have a deeper narrative behind them.

So without further ado, here are some fun facts we dug up about Winner:


1. If the members could shoot Winner's next music video, they'd look to JBiebs or the Cullen family for inspiration.

The Island Def Jam Music Group / Via, Temple Hill Entertainment / Via

Jinwoo: "A fun, entertaining, and free concept like Justin Bieber’s ‘Beauty and a Beat’ M/V" (which was co-directed by Bieber himself and mostly shot on a GoPro Hero 2).

Seunghoon: "I want to shoot in a mysterious forest setting, just like the movie Twilight."

FYI, Dave Meyers directed Winner's swaggy monochrome music video for "Really Really."

View this video on YouTube

He also directed Kendrick Lamar's "Humble," CL's "Lifted," and Katy Perry's "Firework" to name a few, no big deal.

"Fool" was also filmed in LA and takes on a moodier but equally cinematic feel.

View this video on YouTube

YG Entertainment / Via

2. As far as weird work-related habits go, Mino heads over to the toilet whenever he gets stuck working on music.

Wong Fu Productions / Via, Rovio / Via

"I receive a lot of new ideas after coming back from the toilet." 💡✨


5. Seunghoon reveals that "it seems like I’m always full of energy, but I’m quite calm as well."

6. And Mino wants you to "look forward to [his] future" and how he turns out. 👀

MBC / Via, @winnercity / Via

Besides more killer music, I hope it also involves more sparkly jackets and cute cookie-eating bear filters.


7. Seunghoon's favorite performance was Big Bang’s 0.TO.10 concert. He hopes that Winner "can perform an amazing concert just like Big Bang in the future."

@winnercity / Via

Other favorite performances —

Mino: Our final performance on the program Win: Who is Next. The performance played a crucial role in making us Winner.

Seungyoon: Needless to say, our first concert in Seoul.

8. Besides holding amazing concerts, Big Bang (their YG seniors) has also given the boys some solid advice, like "don't be stuck in the present" when both groups had their first drink together. 🍻

YG Entertainment / Via

Jinwoo also said that "when I was going through a difficult time, Taeyang of Bigbang encouraged me by saying, 'if you’re going though hardships, don’t hesitate to tell me.'"

The bromance is alive and well. 👨‍❤️‍👨

9. And CL (another YG senior who debuted in 2NE1) swung by the set for the "Really Really" music video in LA and told the boys, "don't be afraid to try new things."

@chaelincl / Via

This screenshot was taken from MOBB's "Full House" music video, where CL made a cameo and no doubt shared more of her K-pop veteran wisdom. MOBB is a hip-hop duo (formed in 2016) consisting of Mino and iKON's (Winner's YG labelmate and low-key rival group) Bobby.

10. Mino likes to "work early in the mornings in [his] own space" because "it helps [him] concentrate."

YG Entertainment / Via, @realllllmino / Via

And Seungyoon prefers "between 11pm and 4 am in [his] bed."

Mino, Seungyoon, and Seunghoon share co-writing and co-composing credits for "Really Really," while Seungyoon also co-wrote and co-composed "Fool."


11. When they need a little boost, Seungyoon and Seunghoon listen to Little Mix's "No More Sad Songs" and Kendrick Lamar's "Now or Never."

Syco Music / Via

🎵 "Look at the newer me, fate pursuing me / I can feel the energy in the air / It feel like I'm supposed to be here" 🎵

12. Every moment with Inner Circles is a special one, but Seunghoon points out the WWIC (World Wide Inner Circle Conference) in Seoul as an especially unforgettable time.

YG Entertainment / Via Facebook: OfficialYGWINNER, @winnercity / Via

See also: their love illustrated via a Winner + Inner Circle tattoo (which Seunghoon has had for over a year now). 💕


13. If they had to perform a solo dance, Seungyoon would choose Bruno Mars' "24K Magic" and Seunghoon would choose Trey Songz's "Animal."

14. Speaking of animals, Seunghoon would like a second dog so that his current pup "can have a friend and not be lonely."

@maetamongisdad / Via

Say hello to 오뜨 (or Haute)! Those ears! And keen eyes! What a spiffy outfit! 😍

P.S. He has his own Instagram account @maetamongisdad, which I'm not saying you absolutely need to follow...but you should.

In terms of having ~any~ animal as a pet, Mino, Jinwoo, and Seungyoon would all like to have a monkey as a pet.

Here are bonus pictures of Mino's cat Jhonny because JUST LOOK at that squishy face.

@realllllmino / Via, @realllllmino / Via

Do ya think Jhonny would get along with a monkey, y/n? 🙈


16. To literally no one's surprise, Mino is aiming high and hopes to win an "Artist of the Year" award by the end of 2017.

SBS / Via

Seunghoon's already got his celebration game ready. Mansae! 🙌

Jinwoo and Seungyoon have similarly high aspirations and "want to make Winner known around the world."

(So that means a world tour, right? Please? One can hope!)

17. Seunghoon assures us, "we will do our best to work in various fields of activity, so that we can show our fans more of Winner."

@xxjjjwww / Via

Jinwoo starred in Korea National Contemporary Dance Company's production of The Little Prince, which he says was his favorite performance to date and that he "gained a lot of confidence from [the] experience."

And on top of that, Seungyoon and Jinwoo both starred in the YG co-produced web drama Love for a Thousand More.


Not to mention...

MBC Entertainment / Via

Seungyoon recently appeared on King of Masked Singer, performing solo for the first time in years — he debuted as a solo singer in 2013 before joining Win: Who is Next and eventually assuming the role of Winner's leader — and blowing everyone's socks off.

To end things on a high note (literally 😉 ), we asked the boys to hand-write their favorite Winner lyrics and sign their names as a ~special momento~ for Inner Circles.