Post KMA 2011: Kim Bong Hyeon, Jinbo and Deez speak about Taeyang


Music Critic Kim Bong Hyeon’s affectionately labeled Korean R&B “Trinity” all went home with awards at the 8th Korean Music Awards held last February 23. (Deez was awarded “Best R&B/Soul Song” for “Sugar” and Jinbo was awarded “Best R&B Soul Album” for “Afterwork”. Taeyang received the Netizen’s Choice Award for Best Male Vocalist. KBH interviewed both Jinbo and Deez immediately after the awards. Here are excerpts from the interview that mention Taeyang (who was unable to attend since he was busy filming the Big Bang SBS Special at the same time.)

Excerpt from Post-KMA Interview with Jinbo and Deez. (Full interview here at 100beat.)

KBH: That’s true (laughs), but no. I think this was a good result. If just one person got both awards, it would have been a little regrettable. How do you feel about Taeyang?

Jinbo: I wanted to meet Taeyang tonight, so it’s too bad [that he didn’t attend the KMA]. Actually, there was someone seated in front of me with Taeyang’s hairstyle, but it turned out he was a heavy metalist (laughs). Taeyang is, how should I say, a kind of source of hope for people like us. Because the music we do is not mainstream in Korea. But I think if someone like Taeyang makes good use of his power and opportunities, the R&B/Soul scene can grow with him.

KBH: I actually wrote recently that “Within his environment, condition and position, Taeyang will be able to achieve things for R&B that Deez and Jinbo cannot.” It seems similar to what you just said.
Jinbo: He’s Korea’s Usher, in one word (laughs).

KBH: Jeon Gun, who made Taeyang’s “I Need A Girl,” mentioned in our interview that you and Deez are both so good that it’s annoying. How do you feel about Jeon Gun?
Jinbo: I saw that interview. First, I’m very thankful. My parents worry about me (laughs). The people around us don’t really even know what I do. But I think his comment can be a credit to me. And if you look at his music, he’s making trendy R&B. That he’s working with someone as well-known as Taeyang and achieving mainstream popularity and spreading the R&B sensitivity with the work is a big deal in and of itself.

KBH: Did you tell your parents about your award?
Jinbo: They probably watched at home. My mother hadn’t said anything before, but a few days ago she suddenly pulled out her social security number. She said she needed it to vote for the Netizen Award (laughs). That I had to win. So I told her, “Why bother. Look at Taeyang’s vote count – it’s ten thousand something.” At that point she said, “It’s ten thousand?? I thought it was a thousand something…”

KBH: What would you say about Jeon Gun?
Deez: I listened to “I Need A Girl” a lot. I listened to other songs, too, on YouTube, and it seems like he makes good trendy R&B music. He’s clearly a seasoned pro.

KBH: What about Taeyang?
Deez: First of all, he’s so famous and everything he does becomes an issue (laughs). Like Jinbo said earlier, I think he’s someone who can have a big role in the revival of R&B. “Take It Slow” was especially good.

Jinbo also mentions Taeyang in an interview he did for Rhythmer Magazine. (Full interview here.)

First, I need to be drawn to the music. Whether or not it’s popular comes after that. But I’m not against music that’s trendy and popular. I think, if given the opportunity, I’d like to work on something that’s popular. But it has to be well-made. I’d like to work with Taeyang in that context. There are a lot of musicians on that side  who don’t understand the music they’re doing. They appear on shows and call themselves R&B singers, but I think many of them probably feel burdened by the label. There are clearly singers who are considered R&B singers because of a concept but can’t actually sing R&B. But when I read Taeyang’s interview, I get the feeling he has things he wants to do [a direction he wants to go, clear ideas as an R&B singer.] It seems like he wants somebody who can support that. Personally, if I get a chance, I think it’d be great to work together. I can do a good job… (laughs)

KBH published his own comments on Taeyang’s post KMA win in Hankyoreh.  (Taken from his blog.)

Netizens’ Choice for Male Artist of the Year – Taeyang
Beyond an Idol, a Dignified Musician

If [people] still refer to Taeyang using phrases like “for an idol” or “compared to other idols,” we are probably overly stingy people. To call him an “R&B musician” is not being exhortative or overrating him, but rather recognizing the truth as it is.

This becomes evident if we look back on 2010 and consider just how few R&B albums were better than Taeyang’s. Taeyang has already had the honor of winning Korean Music Awards with his mini album. This year’s first full length album showed even greater growth but was regrettably overshadowed by Deez and Jinbo’s immense presence. Though an absolute comparison is not possible, one could say that while Taeyang’s was a great album that met expectations, Deez and Jinbo’s albums soundly exceeded them. Strangely, though, Taeyang is the one who most captures my interest.

Of course, there are key terms like “young age,” “hidden potential” and “potential for growth.” But even putting those qualities aside, [I believe that] within his environment, condition and position, Taeyang will be able to achieve things for R&B that Deez and Jinbo cannot. In order to witness Taeyang get to the denouement of this R&B dungeon and see a joyful ending, I will gladly be a hidden influence for him.
Kim Bong Hyeon (Music Critic, KMA Jury/Selection Committee Member)

Translator notes: The last sentence is probably confusing in translation. He’s basically likening the R&B genre in Korea to a dungeon – in the shadows and restricted to its small circle, i.e. not mainstream – and he wants to see Taeyang, with his status, break through and bring R&B to the mainstream. And “hidden influence” is a poor translation, but I didn’t know what to call it. It usually has a negative connotation, but obviously KBH is using it to say that he will be a quiet supporter.

TRANSLATIONS BY SYLVIA@ ALWAYSTAEYANG | Please credit when posting elsewhere

Thanks to YB Mania for the Hankyoreh scan!

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20 thoughts on “Post KMA 2011: Kim Bong Hyeon, Jinbo and Deez speak about Taeyang”

  1. And this is why, people, Taeyang truly does deserve to be apart of the Trinity.

    I love that he gets so much recognition other artists in his genre. And they’re not the blah artists either, but the legit ones; the ones we can only hope YB to grow out to become like.

    I’m eating with my family or I would expound on this article so much more and then I have to study for my last exam tomorrow morning but I’ll be back to comment after that! 😀

    But the last thing I want to say is that a collaboration between YB and Jinbo would be abso-freaking-lutely EPIC!!!!

  2. As someone who loves both YB’s solo work and appreciates his work in BB, I’m troubled at how his fans in two opposing camps look at his career. A good number of YB-only fans tend to think he is wasting time in BB when he could be concentrating doing more R&B and furthering his solo career in Korea and abroad. There is a feeling that his BB commitments are holding him back. On the other hand, a lot of BB fans are suspicious and resentful of YB’s solo success since they feel it is leading him away from the group. (I’m going to ignore the faction of YB anti’s who just don’t want him to do well for petty reasons.) The thing is – his career is what it is. He IS a BB member and a solo artist, and for now that means he has to compromise and constantly be “sorry” to fans for “disappointing” them when he goes from one set of activities to another.
    I’m happy about these interviews because it focuses on the opportunity and not the “compromise”. BB has opened a lot of doors to YB, and I think his popularity in BB can really make R&B more accessible to the public. (Apart from the fact that BB is probably what keeps him in Chrome Hearts 24/7 , but I digress…) Being in BB can be a win-win : his solo career gets a boost from the group’s popularity, and BB likewise gains more credibility as artists with all the members’ solo success. The change can be disconcerting since the YB in BB is different (in music and stage character) from the solo YB (and I think that is something YB has to reconcile on his own) but I think that if fans can see the silver lining in his current choices, it would be heck of a lot less stress on YB.

    1. Likex1000000000 As always BM….you captured my thoughts exactly. *Two thumbs up*

      Hahaha….look what you did. Pulled me away from my studying with that awesome thought 😀

    2. Yea, I’m one of the fans that thinks BB is holding him back. I mean, I consider myself a BB fan, but I’d much rather have more Taeyang than group activities. Thanks for this though, it really makes me think. Without the group’s popularity, he probably would be in the same boat with underground R&B artists and wouldn’t be in a position to do anything for the genre. So, I’ll just have to be more patient during his BB time. 🙂

    3. Hm, pretty insightful. love your comment. i agree with everything.

      This is a great post anyway, Bluemaid. I lvoe reading interviews of other artists supporting our boy. Also, KBH is such a fanboy, it’s fun and comforting haha.

    4. Same here. I used to think BB was holding Taeyang back and I always wondered if he felt the same… But I’m finally starting to realize that BB made him who he is. It isn’t a burden because it widened his audience. Also, Taeyang is still young and he still has a lot of time to settle down into his R&B career. Everything will happen in due time. 🙂

      1. I feel the need to clarify myself sorry xD But what I meant was: I don’t mind the music he makes in BB. I love BB actually. They’re all a bunch of talented individuals. But I feel like YB can really make it as an international artist. BB is more riske since we haven’t had Boy Bands in America since the early 2000s and I feel like their image is more fit for the Asian market. Also, obviously promoting in the U.S would take YB’s full attention for about 1 year or more but it would be impossible to find the time while being part of an idol group.

    5. You’re right, BM. Always the messenger of wisdom 😛
      I’m not going to deny that I sometimes resent the fact that YB is in BB. I really like BB..I’ve been following them for years, and I am so thankful to the group, I’m appreciative of their comradery, and I understand the huge impact they have had on each other’s lives. I also understand that YB would not be anywhere close to where he is now, without the company, and without the help and support of his teammates.
      But there is a part of me, that wonders..what would happen if YB didn’t have to “compromise”, how far would he have evolved as an artist, if he was able to focus 100% on HIS music.
      Admittedly so, I am also very selfish. I want YB to challenge himself, explore, collaborate. Maybe he’s not ready, maybe he doesn’t want to (who am I, anyways?). But I can’t help feeling and expecting certain things from him. I know it may seem as a burden to YB (and it probably is), but the decisions he has taken so far, with his career, does not make me appreciate him less, or question my loyalty to him (lol…couldn’t think of another word).
      I think my feelings also stem from the fact that BB’s music genre has evolved every year since their debut. Perhaps if BB were still promoting hip hop and R&B, maybe I wouldn’t have such sentiments.
      But honestly, who knows. I sound like those moms that push their sons to be better, work harder (I can’t help it!), but one thing I have learned to become, esp concerning YB, is patient. Although I may complain, and grumble, it honestly makes me so happy when he’s on stage with BB. I can’t deny that either. So when he’s ready, I hope he will still strive to (in Teddy’s words) “take over”.

      Also, since when did we start labelling YB as the beacon for R&B in Korea? That’s even more burdensome! lol. Ahh but I guess people will always have expectations…otherwise, how are you supposed to strive to get better? 🙂

    6. I totally agreed. Being in an idol-group (although I think BB can be clearly distinguish from stereotyped idol groups in kpop) and doing non-mainstream R&B solo at the same time is what makes YB so special and outstanding. BB really did open a lot of doors for YB and I am thankful to YG who is being so open-minded and let their artists work on the music style they like rather than fitting the general taste of the public.

      I sincerely hope that YB can make an influence to Kpop and bring R&B music to the next level.

      It would be nice if YB can collaborate with more non-mainstream artists~

  3. Wow, I think I just heard ATYers’ frequent comments on YB’s style and abilities from Jinbo’s mouth! TRIPPY~ XDDDD

    It’s great to read how they feel about Tae Yang and his R&B style…. YB really is the critic’s favourite…Keke. I also love that the legit R&B artists are recognising him for his skills and abilities. 😀

    From the beginning I already knew some, if not at least 50% of YB’s success in his solo career goes to his BB works. What BM said makes a lot of sense, it’s no wonder he keeps on saying sorry for disappointing fans…

    YB can’t please everyone, and like he said he’s trying to find himself (reconcile as BM said?) this year and I think so far he’s doing a good job. =)

    All the best for our man! 😀

  4. So true, hope YB gets to work with these musicians.
    I like the bit they talk about how people claim to be rnb artists based on their concept or whatever when they are really not.

  5. It’s really sad that these extremely talented people can’t get much shine. Too bad the music scene in Korea is engulfed in electro pop. Deez is amazing.

    But it’s great that Bae is getting praise from respected musicians. And lol @ Korea’s Usher. I think he’s better than Usher. He’s washed up.

  6. in US, when J.T sang “Cry me a river”, Usher also had “Burn” (seemed like Water & Fire)
    in Korea, Bi – Rain is a superstar, and Taeyang is a rising Sun (Water & Fire , too)
    it’s not a battle, and i know water can stop fire…
    i just think of those as 2 basic elements in the world
    so, obviously Taeyang is a big name as its meaning 🙂

  7. Awww… so happy to read this article for some reason. Jinbo and Deez captures so well my intimate towards Taeyang as an artist.

    I just read an interview on ibigbang that taeyang like women with western features. LOL dk why, but that was such a turn on. lol

  8. damn, i’m so proud of our man!
    i love how these great artists recognize YB’s music and talent.
    i love how they said that YB is the hope of the future of R&B in Korea.
    YB has definitely gone a long way to have real musicians acknowledge him as their equal.

    also to bluemaid, i love your post!
    i love what YB is doing in both BB and in his solo activities.
    fans should just learn to accept that.
    obviously, he loves what he is doing too because if he doesn’t, i’m pretty sure he would have left BB.
    in an interview, YB said that he found in his solo activities what buries him in Big Bang but he has also said that BB is always his first priority.
    i guess we could put it this way: Big Bang activities help him to crave more and strive more as a solo artist and pursue the music he really wants while his solo activities make him a bigger asset to Big Bang with all his new experiences and learning.
    as of now, i’m enjoying all the things he’s doing with Big Bang and i’ll be patiently waiting for his next solo album, maybe next year!

    and oh! YB’s collabo track with Swings is coming out tomorrow.
    i’m so excited!!! 😀

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