Hi Guys! It’s been a while since I’ve posted, but I bring you Taeyang’s Interview with 10Asia. It’s a 3 part interview!
Taeyang, who is infinitely close to the Sun | Writer Kang Myoungseok
“Youngbae is really not that kind of man” said Teddy, who composed Dong Young Bae aka. Taeyang’s “Look Only At Me”. Taeyang is not a bad guy who says “Even if I cheat, don’t ever cheat” like “Look Only At Me’. It’s true. Taeyang is not that kind of person. He has never had relationships, and is still awkward when he appears on entertainment programs. Even on SBS ‘Heroes’ that is full of female idols including IU, he just sang quietly and then left.
Instead, he likes music. Until just recently, he has only been working on his new album <Solar> in the studio. He wasn’t satisfied with the album made like that, so he changed it and redid over half of the album with new songs. How can I believe that? He ceaselessly talked about the working process of the new album <Solar>, the songs and the stages throughout this interview. Even Taeyang’s first solo album <Hot> received praise from critics, which had a common consensus. In <Hot>, he knew how to harmonize his polished sound and vocals, and conveyed the feeling of R&B, rather than tones of R&B vocals.
Taeyang style, (is one) that is understandable only with music
Different from ‘Look only at me’, ‘I Need A Girl’ focuses on the consistent expression of the sensibility an artist seeks.
<Solar> dug deeper into the music he likes so much. Seeing only the weight of single songs, ‘I Need a Girl’ of <Solar> is difficult to beat ‘Look Only At Me’. But <Hot> was amazing because a member of an idol group assimilated the feelings of polished R&B enough to be one in a million in Korea. On the other hand, <Solar> focuses on the consistent expression of the sensibility an artist seeks. The matter (music) was altered from styles of genres and vocals into how to control rhythm and rhythm, tune and tune. ‘Look Only At Me’ was made by close-woven sounds and despite there not being room for variation, Taeyang sun along the rhythm. But the sound of ‘I Need A Girl’ is simple enough to seem empty. Playing the keyboard is all ‘You’re My’ has. Taeyang has to do his part to lead the song. He varies his vocals between rhythm and rhythm, tune and tune. It’s not purely accidental that songs from ‘Solar’ to ‘Breakdown’ – he said they are songs made again after changing the former album – keep a medium tempo first and last. Among the loose rhythms, Taeyang leads the songs in his own way.
For a musician who sings well, this is not a talent show. Except for ‘You’re My’, <Solar> doesn’t have ad-libbing a lot. He just proves his capability by changing tones as naturally as he seems nonchalant. Instead, he draws a detailed picture of what he wants. It’s something like an atmosphere, that the delicate rhythm creates, as much as it might just as well be called ‘elegant bounce’. The pleasant bounce, that is connected from beginning to end. Or the connected rhythmic sense, which is danceable even with a lyrical melody in an undertone like ‘Move’. It is not just a bluff that Taeyang said his musicial goal is “doing music that is hopeful in the mornings and comforting at nights”. Like his own ideal, digging between a beat and a beat, he has built the bounce, the melody and the style that only his voice can make up. He has completed his own style that anybody can understand just with music, through his own voice.
The way idols will walk, that is not easy and not close.
But the achievement Taeyang reached might be his dilemma. We can enjoy the stages of ‘I Need A Girl’ when you accept his “elegant bounce”. The rhythmic sense, which makes us shake our bodies from beginning to end of the song without stopping for a moment, results from what Taeyang’s vocal and percussion are when combined. We should know and feel why Taeyang does all those small gestures with hands, instead of flashy dance steps. Like JYP’s evaluation that “He plays with beats”, Taeyang has shown how unique rhythmic sense he has in ‘Where U At’. While common dancers adonized theirselves by cutting movements, Taeyang has shown numerous movements with keeping the song’s rhythm like stretching and reducing a rubber band. But he doesn’t dance like that any more. Instead, he melts them into the choreography like a musical. In ‘I’ll Be There’ the song he’s doing activities with, rather than flashy technique, he becomes a part of the huge picture made from the stage concept like a horror movie, and does just necessary movements. It’s like a gamble. In Korea, people are not fanatical easily about songs and stages if they are not melodies that catch the ear from the first, titillating electronic sound and if they are not technically easy, where we would know their (the music producers) skill even if we see only one cut. <Solar>’s sales volume was good enough for 30,000 copies of the deluxe edition to be sold out. But the result of online music was somewhat, sorry to say, that it was as expected. Popularity and musicality, or the distance between a musician who has his own world and an idol who looks at the public. Now Taeyang might be an idol who is not easy for the public to approach.
However, the reversal. <Solar> has hit the iTunes USA chart’s top 100, and took the No.1 raking on iTune R&B/Soul album chart in Canada. Foreigners who became fans from ‘Wedding Dress’ by dancing his choreography, have shouted for <Solar>. To them, Taeyang’s songs, which stake his all on detailed sensitivity and bounce, may be popular all the better. Isn’t the place, that his mind and the public fancy coincide, the position he’s in now? An idol, who does music well, but has no talent for entertainment. A musician, who is the most famous idol but sticks to his own color. The protagonist of the unique success, who let overseas fans know himself with the music that has received lacking responses in Korea. What is waiting for him, on the way of this earnest youngster, who is there like he is anywhere but no where like the sun (note: The ending is some quote that makes no sense to me – Kay)
Translations by MYOKOON@ALWAYSTAEYANG