EXO-M’s main dancer Zhang “Lay” Yixing has a message for fans of the Chinese “sub-unit” of K-pop blockbuster boy band EXO–you can count on him.
In an interview published Saturday in the Chinese magazine SE Weekly, Lay reassured any fans insecure about the band’s future following the departure of two EXO-M members, Luhan and Wu “Kris” Yifan (both currently in ongoing legal negotiations with the group’s label SM Entertainment to get out of their recording contracts), within the past 12 months.
“The members trust me very much,” Lay said.
“Just like the [EXO] song ‘Promise,’ I will always keep my promise with EXO.
There is no way I will terminate my contract, but I will keep persevering.” Comprised of two groups, EXO-K featuring six Korean members and EXO-M, now down to four members, EXO is arguably the hottest male group in K-pop right now.
Their second studio album “Exodus,” released on March 30, received 500,000 pre-sales, a new record for a Korean pop album, according to the Korean entertainment website allkpop .
And the music video for the latest EXO single “Call Me Baby,” has already received over 13 million views.
Yet, for Lay it is not enough.
The 23-year-old pop star feels the weight of keeping EXO-M afloat if for no other reason than to assure that their will always be a place for Chinese performers in K-pop.
“I must use my own hard work to prove that Chinese people can be trusted,” Lay said.
“If everyone [in EXO-M] terminated their contracts, there is a possibility that SM will never work with Chinese people in the future and that will obstruct the cultural exchange between China and Korea.” But he also has a huge devotion to the group’s devoted fans.
“Fans have really done a lot of things that touched me, many romantic things,” Lay said.
“They will write letters to me, like love letters, and I keep them very diligently.
When I have time, I will read them.
Some of these love letters, beyond praising me will remind me of a lot of problems, such as taking care of my body.
[They’ll tell me] not to slouch.
These are very helpful love letters.” And that devotion to the fans and fellow Chinese performers translates into a steady, deliberate work schedule for the EXO band member, who recalled skipping out on Chinese New Year festivities back in February, so he could stay in Seoul and work on his moves.
“If I went home, I wouldn’t know how to dance and it would hold back our members,” he said.
“I don’t want to be the one holding back others.”