Taeyang’s Interview with 10Asia – Part 1


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)

Original Here
Translations by MYOKOON@ALWAYSTAEYANG

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35 thoughts on “Taeyang’s Interview with 10Asia – Part 1”

  1. This interview is my favorite one yet. Everything is so true and i guess the interviewer saw what we saw about the success of Solar International/ singles of Solar doing in the music charts, among many other things. the way he dance and sing… the interviewer really “dissect” his subject doesn’t he?

    and the part how Taeyang “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.”

    So true isn’t it.. and he saw it. I feel like crying… others do realize that too.

    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.

    -great article.. and yeah what does the last sentence mean?

  2. What an introduction….can’t wait for the rest of the interview!

    I like how the writer distinguishes YB’s skill for rhythm and groove in a relatively simple melody as opposed to showing off range (which is how many tend to judge singers – like a talent competition.) It is a skill that is so subtle and easily overlooked. And I especially like how the article begins to explore the peculiar situation YB is in as an idol who does “unpopular” music and “has no talent for entertainment.” I think he might address this in the rest of the interview, so I’ll reserve any more comments till then.

    And I LOVE that he described Solar as “doing music that is hopeful in the mornings and comforting at nights”. Because that is a darn good description of how I feel the music of Solar is. Not background music or easy listening in any way, but comfortable and undemanding but still affecting.

    Many thanks to Myokoon for the quick translation (and Kay for the edit and post.)

    1. Ahhhh BM….stealing thoughts out of my head again? Hahaha.
      Everything you said was literally going through my mind as I was reading this article. 🙂

    2. Do other Kpop artists get articles/interviews like this written about them? I think Youngbae is the rare case. Highly intelligent article. I’m kind of blown away considering the crap Korean media puts out.

      To follow up on Bluemaid’s comment and this interview…

      I think one of the greatest qualities about Taeyang is his attention to detail. His inception and execution of his music and performances are precise and always on-point. The author of this article talks about [Solar] but I’ve noticed this in [HOT] as well. For example, when I first read the English translations for [HOT] I remember being amused by how the album had a story from start to finish (ie: In “Prayer” he makes a promise; “Look Only AT Me” he cheats; “Sinner” he has a nasty break up; “Baby, I’m sorry” he apologizes; and in “Make Love” well…he makes love) There is this complete circle. It’s quite satisfying.

      Youngbae carries this attention to detail into every aspect of what he does. His music is highly polished – even though he doesn’t write the majority of it, he still knows the direction and sound he wants from it. Same goes with this choreography – INAG, WD, LOAM are great examples of this precision. Every movement means something – they’re subtle but they are wonderful because they are subtle. If music and dance can be intelligent, I’d say Taeyang is one of the handful of artists that have intelligent music and dances. His work takes time to digest and appreciate. Even as an veteran fan (lol) , I’ve found myself experiencing this as well – I think this is why ATYers say Taeyang is a “creeper.” Hence his lukewarm reception in Korea – even the author recognizes Taeyang’s unique but unfortunate circumstances. He’s not the first one either.

      1. Just noticed something….is it weird that we call YB a “creeper”? Something that has such a negative connotation, we use to describe YB in a positive light. ATY is definitely a unique fansite! 🙂

        1. I really want to post an IBT GIF of YB’s shadow or him crawling on the floor in response to your comment except I don’t have one. 😦 Let’s just say on ATY, we always say “creeper” with affection. 😛 Because really, he does it so well in many ways.

        2. I know. YB is definitely the ultimate creeper. Everything, from his music to his personality, takes a while to get used to. But once he’s in your heart, he stays there!

  3. Taeyang’s interviews are always deep and makes you think. Articles after articles, theres always some mentioning of him being loyal to the music he loves.

    WE’ve followed YB from the beginning and have witnessed numerous victories and defeats, but we all know, he’s a legend in the making. So proud of his because he deserves all the best

  4. loving this article. And while I have some thoughts on the last quote, I do like the lasting effects it has. Can’t wait for more of this.

  5. See what happens when you ask questions other than whats up with your girlfriend search? You get a decent interview. I’ll anticipate the next parts.

  6. “An idol, who does music well, but has no talent for entertainment. ”
    can someone explain this to me please? not sure i get it.

    1. As in YB is a great musician but in front of the camera, as purely entertainment, he’s not that great. That’s why you dot see YB on variety shows, he doesn’t do well like that.

    2. ^
      plus he’s very shy on camera and doesn’t have that out-there personality that most entertainers in S.K. have. Very shy and unassuming.

  7. Great introduction!!!

    I like this article a lot. He really did his research and dissected his subject from inside and out.

    The critics and tofu put what I’ve wanted to say in better words! XD

    YB really is a rare jewel in the K-pop industry. But… even the critics knew the lack of response S.K. had to WD…=\

    I can’t wait to see the rest of the interview…. You rarely get quality articles like these about an idol…. Only YB, ❤ 😀

  8. Wow, this article definately digs deep. Its quite rare. I just hate the position YB is in, and the author described it well,
    “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.”
    I cant wait for the other parts of this

  9. i think what the writer means about the last quote is that YB is very popular now, he is known and recognized worldwide even though he only does music in Korea. same as the sun which we can see in almost every part of the globe but it is no where near us.
    i think the sun is used as a metaphor of how YB reaches to people all over the world.

  10. just to add, this is a very intelligent article.
    well-written and well-thought of.
    although i know that most of us fans what to know about YB’s love life, i agree that talking about his music is way better.

  11. I agree with @shikuradehan that the last quote is a metaphor.

    This is my interpretation of the last quote…… The sun is always there shining, though you can’t see it all the time. The sun doesn’t always shine on the same place/part of the world all the time, all day long. While its sunny in some places its dark in others, but the sun is always there.

    I think the writer trying to point out that, though YB may not be popular in Korea, he is being recognized in places other than Korea.

  12. OT, but this was too good not to share….

    See 0:20… further proof that YB lets loose every time he’s outside of Korea.

    I wonder why he’s so much more straightlaced in his home turf?

    1. ^
      I’ve noticed that. He’s crazy in Japan too.

      But I think this is because this is a recent behavior thing – since he started to open himself up. So in Japan and elsewhere he can be crazy but in S.K. he already has an “image” of how he’s suppose to act and it’s hard to break that. He’s the shy, quiet one that’s all good and well behaved. And he’s slow to come out of his shell there and break out.

  13. Okay…dude I got lost I’m not sure what the article is trying to imply.. ???? It doesn’t make sense so I skimmed through it..still not sure…

  14. This was beautifully written and translated. Simply flawless.

    I have to admit that Solar surprised me because it was totally different to what I had heard from Taeyang in 2008, but it was impossible for me to dislike this album, especially because it has this distinctive soft and delicate sound that gives you a very pleasant and relaxing feeling.

    And it’s really sad that Korea is stuck in the “idol craze”. There are many really good artists that I love and respect and who get little to no attention and recognition simply because they are no idols. Truly sad…

    Anyways, I hope Taeyang grows even more as a musician in the future. I’ll be waiting for him to come back regardless of how long it takes. 😉

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