[Interview] Taeyang “Usher, I didn’t copy him, I am just influenced by him”①


He’s like the hot sun on a summer day when he’s expressionless, and when he smiles he’s like warm sunlight on a cold winter’s day. Looking at Taeyang of Big Bang, his name fits him so well. The sight of him as solo artist Taeyang rather than as a member of idol group Big Bang was especially Taeyang-like. Known for being unable even to make eye contact with women outside of his company, he was quite a shy young man. But when he spoke about music he became sincere and sure of himself.

Much better with ‘I Need a Girl’ than with ‘Only Look At Me’

 I met with Taeyang who recently made a comeback with ‘I Need a Girl,’ the title track off of his first official solo album. “It’s much better now than when I was promoting ‘Only Look At Me.’ It was hard to digest the lyrics of ‘Only Look At Me’ that talked about cheating on someone and asking her not to do the same, when I didn’t even have any experience with dating. But the lyrics to ‘I Need a Girl’ talk about an ideal type of girl that I want, so I was able to put my sincerity into it (laughs).” During the time he was promoting his first solo track ‘Only Look At Me,’ the fact that Taeyang never had any experience dating became the hot topic. Taeyang, who to this day still hasn’t dated, says in 2010 he definitely wants to find a girlfriend. “Honestly when I’m asked to describe my ideal girl, I don’t know what to say. It’s because I don’t have a definite type. But singing ‘I Need a Girl’ I started thinking that this kind of girl would be perfect.” A line from singer Byun Jin Sub’s song ‘I Hope’ that makes an appearance in ‘I Need a Girl’ speaks of all guys’ romance about women.

 ◆ Not copying Usher, just influenced by him

Seeing Taeyang, unable to hide his shyness, it’s not easy to picture Taeyang as an artist on stage with his showy performances. But through his comeback stage, Taeyang showed us a sexy yet sensual performance with a female dancer. There seems to be overlap between American pop artist Usher, who held a concert in Korea on the 3rd, and Taeyang. “It can’t be helped that Usher is a role model to me. I think people have a tendency to confuse being influenced by someone with copying them. But if you follow the history of African-American music, there’s Usher, and before him there was Michael Jackson, and before him James Brown, and others. Since the hottest artist today is Usher, I can’t help but be influenced by him.”

1TYM’s Teddy took over producing Taeyang’s first official solo album, and G-Dragon did a featuring while Sandara Park participated in the music video. “With Jiyong, we don’t consider ourselves to be helping each other. If there’s something we can do, we do it. With Sandara Park, to be honest, it’s because the boss made her.. (laughs) We tried looking for a model that fit the lyrics of ‘I Need a Girl’ but there wasn’t anyone, and since it was more comfortable for me to work with someone I already knew, it just happened that way.” The track Taeyang is most satisfied with on this album is ‘Superstar,’ a song put together by Teddy. “Living with Teddy for a year and a half, we talked about music a lot. That’s how this track came about. It’s a song with a style that’s new to our culture, with a hip-hop beat combined with instruments reminiscent of old-time soul. I like all the tracks on the album but I am happy when I listen to this one. When this song was born, there was an uproar. (Waving his arms in the air) Like that (laughs).”

Original article : HERE
Translations by Seungie

28 thoughts on “[Interview] Taeyang “Usher, I didn’t copy him, I am just influenced by him”①”

  1. I don’t care Usher much (like his music tough), but I think YB found his own style. And he will remain for me the ‘other one korean artist I like’ (1st is Lee Hyori)

    So YB FTW!!

  2. awww….. YB he sound so happy!! and YG was the one who chose Dara. doesn’t matter. i’m just so excited for the new MV coming out!!
    and he’s nothing like Usher. I have never once thought about Usher when i see taeyang. they are just doing the same genre, that’s all. To me, Taeyang is in his own league and Usher is Usher. Maybe taeyang did give this sort of feeling when you see his pictures but really when the dude stars performing/singing, he’s just himself and no one else.

  3. I could quote this entire interview, but I’ll just say I’m glad he’s finally singing a song that he can relate to.

    And Superstar is definitely something different to what Koreans are used to listen to. I seriously love that song and I’m sure that ten years from now, I’ll still be humming it.

  4. Taeyang does sound a little like Usher though however, for someone to go as far as to say Taeyang is trying to be like Usher is too much. Taeyang has his own flavor and if he is singing R and B, of course he is going to have a R and B sound that so many R and B artist have. Just by hearing it, you can tell when it’s a R and B sound. Uh oh, here comes the hate. That’s when you know you doing great!!!

    1. Well if Taeyang sounds like Usher, it was the Usher of before, because right now Usher’s just making pop or RnBish pop. I was an hardcore fan of Usher but his music is getting another direction frow what’s real rnb.
      Anyway, I agree with YB and yall, it’s not copying obviously, he’s just being influenced…
      hopefully, YB will attract more and more people into Korean rnb…

  5. You can’t help be hear some Usher sounds and vocal-like sounds from YB. But he’s definitely not trying to be like Usher, he’s different..he’s Taeyang. But a duet would be awwweeesome!!! Gz…if he were to do a duet with Usher, imagine how estatic he’d be? I mean, opening up for Alicia Keys, singing with the great Brian Mcknight..and USHER. boooy!!

    However, Usher isn’t as good as he use to be though…he was better during the time of 8701, he lots the flavour, imo. I also looove Superstar…duno why, maybe it’s the beat..but it’s a good song to dance and get hyped about.

  6. Hope Taeyang gets to meet Usher one day. Taeyang couldn’t have said it better. There is a difference between copying & being influenced. Taeyang is most definitely influenced by Usher but then adds his own style & vibe to it.

  7. I agree. Taeyang is Taeyang and Usher is Usher. Too many people confuse him looking up to the likes of Usher and MJ as him copying them but to me, Taeyang is in a world of his own. He successfully revolutionized the RnB scene of Korea. He’s broadening the horizons of so many international fans….his music has Bo boundaries, as shown by his recent success in iTunes. He had it even harder than Usher and MJ, who were able to succeed in the more open-minded America. So to come this far in a country that doesn’t fully appreciate his musical styles, I say “Bravo Taeyang!!!”

    1. You can definitely say that MJ succeeded, but he definitely had to knock down many barriers and had some trying times.

  8. when i first heard YB songs,some do sound a lil bit of usher’s style but its only a couple of it…not all…^^ he isnt copying others but got influenced by it..^^ and thats ok cause usher is his icon anyway..and i love that he make his music this time according to what he wants..^^ and the result……BAMMMM!! a total hit on the charts^^ and i’m proud of him^^

  9. “When this song was born, there was an uproar. (Waving his arms in the air) Like that (laughs).” this just made my day 😀

  10. i can’t help but imagine a happy and carefree Youngbae during the interview…

    i knew he’s not going to have a hard time feeling the emotions of I NEED A GIRL… since this is exactly what he feels…

  11. Yeah2x me too. His music is way more Americanish, and I thought he is Chris Brown in Asia, but yeah, I changed my perspective on him when he performs on stage! He is original in his own land and he is not anyone’s replica. He is Taeyang.

  12. I’m so glad Taeyang’s favorite track is “Superstar” because I love it too. I hope he promotes it eventually….but there’s always that concert!

    What about “Take it Slow?”…he did write it! I love that track too.

  13. You can tell back in the days like when Taeyang performed My Girl at concerts you can see Ushers style. But I think now he’s definitely created his own style and groove. You can just tell by the way he moves.

    I would of thought his favourite was Take it Slow, love that track

    By the way does anybody want a Taeyang Deluxe Edition Album for £27, not including shipping?

  14. yea , and i think taeyang’s style was really close at Usher’s style but still they have their own differences . Taeyang’s more hotter and more handsome for me but Usher’s soo HOT !

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s