Taeyang, “I’m better at singing sad songs”


Whoa.  What a fantastic article.  Youngbae always surprises me with how eloquent and intelligent he is.  Maybe because he’s so shy and quiet, I forget he talks at all!  In this interview/article, YB responds to the compliments from the 21 critics who claimed that he would be the most successful as a solo artist among “idols” in Kpop.  As expected, his answers are humble yet sincere.

DongA Journal – chosen via a survey conducted among experts as “Best Idol” – BIGBANG’s Taeyang

When I entered Mnet’s Standby Room (on the afternoon of September 2), I saw BIGBANG’s Taeyang, who just woke up from his nap. Taeyang, who has just finished the recording for Cable Chanel Mnet’s “M! Count Down” is waiting for the live show to start. After releasing his first solo mini album in 2008, Taeyang revealed his first album ‘SOLAR’.

Taeyang said, “This period is the busiest since BIGBANG’s debut (in 2006)”. Additional tracks such as ‘I’ll Be There’ are included in his ‘SOLAR International Release Album’ and it was released on Apple iTunes where it is climbing the R&B charts – number 1 in Canada, number 4 and 5 in Japan and America respectively. On the 25th and 26th, Taeyang is holding his solo concert at the Hall Of Peace, Kyung Hee University, located in Seoul.

From the survey, the 21 music experts from DongA Journal agreed that Taeyang is the number 1 idol from an idol group who will have a succesful solo career. He is also the best dancer as well as vocal singer.

When asked what he thinks about this, Taeyang revealed his trademark eye smile, “I’m a bit embarrassed, but of course I am thankful too. This makes me think that the effort I put into the album, as well as the stage performances, did not go to waste.”

‘I’ll Be There’, which is released internationally, comes in both English and Korean versions. On Youtube there are videos of foreign fans covering Taeyang’s ‘Wedding Dress’ and ‘Where U At’, therefore it is safe to say that Taeyang may be aiming for an American debut. “Rather than suddenly announcing an American debut, maybe by slowly expanding the area of activities like what I am doing now, I will have better opportunities.”

Taeyang chose R&B, a genre that solo artists rarely choose. “When I was young, I shared a room with my brother who is five years older than me. My brother always listened to Black/African-American music, so at that time, it was as if I lived with Stevie Wonder, Boyz II Men, Michael Jackson, Marvin Gaye, Brian McKnight and Jay-Z.”

Because of his introvert nature, whenever his parents asked him what he wanted to be when he grow up, he always said ‘pianist’ instead of ‘singer’. “If I said I want to be a singer, I was scared my parents will let me sing and I was shy.” Taeyang entered YG Entertainment when he was 12 years old and went through six years of training before debuting as one of the five members of BIGBANG.

Taeyang did opening acts for various famous American singers including Alicia Keys and Brian McKnight when they held their concerts in Korea. “To stand on the same stage with the idols I admire since I was young makes me nervous. But as a singer representing Korea, I want to do my best.”

For a period of time, Taeyang was said to imitate American singer Usher, If I am simply imitating Usher’s trademark performances, that will be humiliating because to stand tall, you have to fully understand Black/African-American music. But it’s the same with what Usher said, ‘to be the best you have to [study] the best’.”

To carry off sweet R&B songs like “I Need A Girl”, Taeyang always make effort to be heart-touching. “This is very important to singers. In fact, after a long period of not having these heart-touching moments, I think I’m better at singing sad songs and I usually face a lot of difficulty when it comes to sweet love songs.”

When the interview was about to end, Taeyang told the reporter there was something he must say. [“I grew up feeling, through music and film, the sensibilities(*) of the analog times. But these days, it seems to be an age wherein it’s getting harder and harder to feel those emotions. Competition is becoming greater and music and film fade instantly like expendable goods… I think the reason teenage crime has become an issue in society lately is because [they] haven’t been able to feel that loving(**) sensibility. My goal is to make music that will enrich their souls.”] (Translated by Silly@ATY)

Silly’s Translation Notes:
* sensibility, sensitivity, impressionability, receptivity….
** so hard to translate… kind of like a warm fondness, but stronger? Deep emotions, compassion….

Source: DongA Journal
Chinese Translation: losssanctuary @ BBChina
English Translation: J-Lene @ http://www.bigbangupdates.com

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38 thoughts on “Taeyang, “I’m better at singing sad songs””

    1. Girl, im telling you!
      I feel like a 5 yr old when I read his interviews.
      I love that he knows where he is, and knows what he wants. I find that incredibly sexy.

    1. I’m pretty confused by that too.
      Its too bad the phrasing of the translation is awkward…I can’t decipher what YB meant by that.

      “The quality of music and films are fizzling away like bubbles…with teenage crimes and society problems.”
      Does he mean, because of teenage crimes and societal problems the quality of music is fading? I feel like this is totally random….or I’m understanding it completely wrong.

      1. I think he means that film and music dont have the same impact as they used to. The quality of art is fading and kids now dont have nothing to shaped their views (Fanboy)

      2. Well, here’s how I’d translate the final quote. I don’t know if it clarifies for you guys…

        “I grew up feeling, through music and film, the sensibilities(*) of the analog times. But these days, it seems to be an age wherein it’s getting harder and harder to feel those emotions. Competition is becoming greater and music and film fade instantly like expendable goods… I think the reason teenage crime has become an issue in society lately is because [they] haven’t been able to feel that loving(**) sensibility. My goal is to make music that will enrich their souls.”

        * sensibility, sensitivity, impressionability, receptivity….
        ** so hard to translate… kind of like a warm fondness, but stronger? Deep emotions, compassion….

    2. i think what he means is that because pop culture is so saturated with what’s hot right now and the industry only cashing in on what’s popular among the masses, that it’s easy to do a halfway glance/not pay attention to the details of deeper content, or even pay close attention to what’s going on around the world outside of fandoms. so it’s harder to relate/make a connection. and he wants to try to change that mindframe (which im guessing he’s referencing his involvement while making SOLAR/his wants in general as to where he wants to take himself as not just a singer but a “true” artist).

      1. @jaydork24 I think you hit the spot.

        I sometimes wish I can talk to YB myself and have a deep intellectual conversation about music. I get what he’s saying and agree with him 100%.

  1. I love when he said
    “If I am simply imitating Usher’s trademark performances, that will be humiliating because to stand tall, you have to fully understand Black/African-American music.”

    Most entertainers don’t think they have to understand anything abt the history of music.it’s just imitated without understanding the root of it.

  2. As always, thanks for posting the translations. d^^b
    (Btw, Usher’s quote should have been translated as “To be the best, you have to *study* the best.” ^^)

    I’m sure you’ve got someone working on the new 10asiae interview, too! ^^ Finally another wonderful, lengthy interview about MUSIC(!!) to follow up the GQ one. I’m praying that this is a sign of more to come…. >.>

    1. Ohh Thanks for the clarification. That sounds a lot less pretentious. I’m looking forward to the 10asia interview as well. EEEK. If it’s like GQ, I’m so excited.

  3. The last part, oh geez. YB sometimes you’re too deep for me to even catch what you’re doing. Nonetheless, I completely agree with him singing sad songs as his forte.

  4. “It is because they lack the experience of having a sad/real feeling. To produce music that can colour their lives is my goal.””
    SHAAAT! ♥♥♥
    lmao i feel like YB is more than just a singer… its nice to meet him (virtually) cuz if he didn’t have his talent and hard-work, we wouldn’t be able to know his personality.

    Regardless of his music, YB is still YB 🙂 but he probly won’t be the same without this “career” xD well for people like him, its his way of life 🙂 not a “job”

    PHIGHTING YB<3

  5. YB is simply the best, what an awesome article. One of the best I’ve read so far. Proud to be a fan, & will a mindset like this, YB will indeed go be far in his career & be successful.

  6. This makes me a proud fanboy of YoungBae even more..
    I love how he sees his music as an art and not a commodity.
    And the last line, ungh, very inspiring..

    “To produce music that can colour their lives is my goal.”

  7. why does he only make me feel better and better about being a fan of his? he’s awesome, i tell you. he’s so different from all the other k-pop singers/boybands/bands/WHATEVER. he’s one of a kind, and he’s about to rise high like the sun.

    TaeYang fighting! you’re an incredible inspiration to me!

  8. Goshhh he makes me so proud of being his fan (: he is really one of a kind ❤
    “To produce music that can colour their lives is my goal.” – I love you YB.

  9. I love YB’s interviews! Especially when he talks about music. So proud being his fan and somehow he makes me love him even more.

    ———————————————–
    On another note.. you guys need to watch this!

    Omg, hahahahaha I cracked up so much while watching this!

  10. ALEART!!!!! PLEASE HELP TAEYANG!
    I know sometime we should ignore the hater but this is too much on Taeyang’s MV” I”LL BE THERE ” it has a Justin Bieber fan attack toTaeyang now, she destroy Taeyang’s fame, please go to the MV of Taeyang and comment her back please because people when see her comment they will don’t understand Taeyang and make them don’t llike Taeyang too….the thing she said that’s not the truth!!

  11. I know exactly what he’s talking about with that last quote… =) It’s what I’m studying at the moment LOL.

    I’m doing a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies, and it focuses on how media and technology has changed the way people interact with each other and how they use/facilitate TV/radio/newspaper in their lives.

    To not sound like I’m losing everyone, I’ll just say that YB is hoping that through his music, he can recreate the shared values people had round the medieval period (religion, everyone knows everyone, family gatherings, etc. etc.), because with the media (even the Internet) everything can be meditated, there’s not that physical affection there anymore, and I think that’s what YB thinks (wordy! XD) is causing crimes and stuff.

    But that aside~ I love this article. It goes to show how amazing, humble and deep YB is.

    I’m really proud of this man who dreams of touching the hearts of people through music. It’s a big dream and he is taking little steps towards that already.

    The fans and followers of this blog right here, fan covers of his songs… are DAMN PROOF. =)

  12. The last part actually made me tear up. It solidifies the fact that he makes an effort to make quality music. Just imagine the type of songs he will make when he starts going through his own relationships and he really perfects his songwriting skills….

    1. OH YES YES YES. THAT WILL BE THE PEAK OF MY FANGIRLING FOR HIM WHEN THAT TIME COMES. So freaking much potential as a songwriter and composer i tell ya.

  13. awww!!! that is why everyone loves taeyang oppa! he is so considerate and sweet and just amazing, that there is no way one can’t love him!

    keep it up oppa!!! aishiteru!!! <333 fighting!!!

  14. .kekeke..omo!id nt know wy but i cant stop smiling:D..bae what have u done?kekeke..so adrble when he said he dont want to say that he wnted to be a singer bcoz he is afraid that his parents would let him sing!and i was kindaa relaate to that.kekeke:)))

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