Writer and GQ Editor Jang Woo Cheol has interviewed Taeyang for GQ many times in the past and most recently included the interview titled Dong Young Bae’s Spring in his book “Here and There”. The following post is a column he did for Naver.
When the season changes, so does the kind of music you want to hear. It’s not just the song that achieved an “all kill” today, but that particular song that comes to mind out of the blue, almost inescapably. Suppose you are enjoying the quiet passing scenery to Kim Jung-Mi’s ‘Spring,’ but then you want to note the fine details of that scenery to Jo Weol’s ‘Fireworks.’ It’s like having your own personal soundtrack. Or listening to David Bowie’s new song, ‘Where Are We Now?’ and fantasizing about stopping the flow of time…
But now music is everywhere. You almost don’t even have to seek it out anymore. For several years now, we live through seasons surrounded by songs, songs and more songs. Various audition programs have caught on like wildfire, and programs like ‘I Am A Singer’ have added fuel to the flame.
While the flood of music has made us realize how many good voices and good songs there are out there, it has also brought up the concern that music itself has become a mere passing trend. Like the saying, “even a good song [will grow tired] after a few hums,” it’s almost as if music itself has become tired. There must be a reason we hear the cries for “no more audition programs.” Will ‘K-Pop Star,’ which recently wrapped up its second season, continue with a third season? Is it inevitable?
From time to time, I come across a scene that transcends the situation. I found myself rewatching Bang Ye-Dam (runner-up) and Taeyang’s joint performance of ‘Bad Boy’ on ‘K-Pop Star’ a number of times. In that performance, there was a raw freshness of a sort, different from the kind of impact that makes one watch wide-eyed or the deep emotion that makes one applaud tearfully. The collision between the veteran, completely at ease on the stage [“toying” with the stage], and the still green newcomer manifested itself in a restless energy that filled the stage. It wasn’t that they were amazingly in sync nor was it that they sang perfectly, but it was alive.
But while such performances exist, the music scene itself continues to appear tired and directionless. There is no letdown of the various ventures that refuse to allow singers to just be singers. The attempt of programs like ‘Immortal Song’ and ‘Hidden Singer’ to blend music and entertainment/variety can be meaningful and interesting. But I can’t help wondering, what stage is available for these singers to really sing their own songs?
That said, Cho Yong-Pil is making a comeback. ‘Nation’s Singer’ and ‘King of Gayo’ are terms that are certainly appropriate, but I’m curious how he’ll fair with his single. Recently, David Bowie hit Number 1 on the UK charts for the first time in 20 years. What kind of response will Cho Yong-Pil’s new song produce?
I cannot wait to hear his voice, but have to first wonder – on what kind of stage will we meet his new song? Taking aside special programming, what stage, among those available to singers these days, would actually suit Cho Yong-Pil? Does such a stage even exist? Is it possible that we will be left, in the end, with just “the song by Jo Yong-Pil” [emphasis on the song] rather than “Jo Yong-Pil’s new song” [emphasis on the singer]? Songs are plentiful, and my worries are rather long.
Original Naver Column by Jang Woo Cheol here.
Translations by Silly for alwaystaeyang.wordpress.com – Please credit if taking elsewhere