iKON's Kim Jinhwan Revealed Who Influenced Him to Become a K-pop Idol

iKON's Kim Jinhwan Revealed Who Influenced Him to Become a K-pop Idol
Image credit: Legion-Media

If it wasn't for this girl, he would've never decided to become an artist.

Recently iKON 's Kim Jinhwan appeared as one of the guest stars on 'MINDSET'. It is a project by Dive Studios where celebrities share their stories and life lessons, opening up about mental health and their attitude towards hardships.

In one of the episodes Jinhwan talked about his family. The artist grew up on Jeju island in an environment full of love and affection with a strong female presence in their house. Kim Jinhwan's mom and especially his elder sister, Kim Seiyeon, had a great influence on him, helping the idol become the person he is now. Jinhwan expressed deep gratitude for his sister and acknowledged her as a role model, saying if it wasn't for Seiyeon, his life would look very different now.

"My sister had such a positive influence on me that I could call her my mentor" – Kim Jinhwan

He mentioned that in their childhood Seiyeon was a fan of K-pop idols and that both brother and sister loved watching variety and music shows together. Jinhwan shared that because Seiyeon introduced him to a captivating world of K-pop idols he always tried to learn popular dances, practice his vocals in karaoke, and even imitate idols' looks when he was a teenager. That's how Kim Jinhwan started dreaming about becoming a singer and an idol himself.

But his dream wasn't completely shaped right away. It wasn't until Jinhwan became an exchange student living alone in the Philippines that he realized where his true passion lies. Later, he went to Seoul to pursue a career as a singer, and his sister (who was studying fashion design at that time) offered Jinhwan her place to stay.

Since their family was left back on Jeju island, two young adults lived together in a small flat in Seoul for years, working hard to achieve their dreams. Kim Jinhwan recalled how much Seiyeon cared about him back then, from cooking him meals to buying clothes. He described his elder sister as someone very determined, accomplishing any goals she aimed for. Seeing this side of his sister, Jinhwan realized that he also should be more adventurous and try to not just dream about things but act on it right away.

Seiyeon was always a person Jinhwan could rely on, she gave him a lot of strength and mental support. His elder sister was nice but also scolded him when needed, acting like a mother, but Jinhwan pointed out that it was solely to make him a better person.

However, Jinhwan regretted being too inattentive to his sister in the past, asking too much from her, and taking her efforts for granted. He felt apologetic that he behaved like a little brother who was used to being taken care of. Therefore now, as he's older and wiser, Jinhwan strives to repay Seiyeon for her love as much as possible. He joked that there is a positive side to being an idol: iKON often goes on tours to other countries. Since he wants to go on vacation with his sister more often, Jinhwan invites his family to come along to their concerts to create more precious memories together.

The idol even left a video message for his sister, expressing gratitude for Seiyeon raising him and saying again how important of a role she plays in his life. He promised to be a better brother and repay Seiyeon for all her love and efforts.

Right now, both of them still live in Seoul (albeit not together in a small flat anymore) and often meet up for a drink, to share concerns or talk about deep stuff or any little thing like close friends.

After sharing the heartwarming story about siblings' bond, Jinhwan didn't forget to give his own life advice to MINDSET's listeners.

"There is nothing in the world you can achieve alone. I believe that there's always help and sacrifice of someone we cannot see. So I hope you don't take the love and sacrifice you receive for granted. If you can think of someone like that, try to repay their love you received back" – Kim Jinhwan

iKON's fans have always known that Jinhwan and Seiyeon are really close. While living in Seoul and following her dreams, Jinhwan's sister also opened her own cafe 'Platte'. For many years this place used to feel like home for many iKONICs as they celebrated every comeback, iKON members' birthdays, and fandom anniversaries there. The fans describe Seiyeon as a really warm-hearted and kind person. They mention that after meeting his sister in person, it becomes very obvious who shaped Jinhwan's personality.