Interview round up Part 2: Taeyang during Ringa Linga Promotions


From: YG Life : (1, 2)

TAEYANG returns in 3 years after a delightful transformation

It’s like fish sauce.”

From being a part of BIGBANG to becoming a solo artist. TAEYANG, who always delivered trendy music to the fans, compared his album to something completely unexpected: fish sauce. But it connotes that his song has been ripen for a long period of time and now emanates deep and strong scent. There was an indescribable confidence seeping out of TAEYANG, as he devoted 3 years in his solo album.During this timeframe that could be deemed as a long period of time, TAEYANG solidified his musical mind that is unique to himself.

The new song ‘RINGA LINGA’ that is deeply influenced by powerful beat steers away from the rhythmical hip-hop that was seen in his first full album. But the advance-release song is just the beginning of his newborn music.

The 2nd full album, which will go on sale next January, will hold 11 songs with different genre and feels to it. Music lovers can expect to be surprised by the freshness of it. TAEYANG, who has been away from the fans for so long, apologized and thanked them for waiting for him.

“Actually, if things went as planned, my album should have been the first to be released among BIGBANG members. The delay can be blamed on my boss (founder of YG Entertainment, Yang Hyun Suk) and my ambition to make it more perfect. I always feel bad for the fans.

My solo activities overlapped with BIGBANG-related promotion, so I could not carry out my solo career for an extended period of time. But I do believe that I should do my best in that limited time. I hope the fans just simply enjoy the outcome of my work, rather than considering in other factors. My promotion and music video are short, but I hope they remain long-lasting in people’s hearts.”

The news on TAEYANG’s solo comeback has been hovering from the beginning of the year. He explains that his ambition as an artist caused the delay. He was more focused on his musical ambition than the short period of promotional stage. He has truly put much energy and time into this latest album.

The news on TAEYANG’s solo comeback has been hovering from the beginning of the year. He explains that his ambition as an artist caused the delay. He was more focused on his musical ambition than the short period of promotional stage. He has truly put much energy and time into this latest album.

“Because of the big delay in the album release, my confidence for my songs vanished at one point, even though at the beginning they sounded good. But just before the release I listened to them one by one very carefully, and I realized that the effort I put in is as rich and strong as fish sauce. (laughter) Just like fish sauce, some may like it while others don’t.

But I have faith in it that this album embraces my genuine passion for music and dedication and commitment. And my colors became very strong and vivid. This is an album that provides a peek into TAEYANG’s past, present and future.”

The transformation he has gone through as a musician was so clearly seen in the new song ‘RINGA LINGA’, a jointly produced song with his long-time friend and partner G-DRAGON. TAEYANG’s trace was seen in every step of the process including teaser concept, music video and choreography. Such devotion is evidence of how much affection TAEYANG has for the song ‘RINGA LINGA.’

“I worked on ‘Ringa Linga’ last. Another song was set aside for advance release, but when I heard a portion of G-DRAGON’s song, I asked him to work on the song from the beginning. And in just one or two days, the entire recording was done. Part of me wanted to showcase something different to the previous album.

I thought this was a good timing to show a different side of me. As for the teaser image, I was inspired by the Incan civilization that I witnessed at the historic sites of Peru when BIGBANG was on a world tour. The structure of ‘Ringa Linga’, especially at the middle part, radiates something very Korean. So I thought it would be great to hold something of my culture in the music video. I chose the choreographer myself, too, after watching a number of videos of different choreographers.”

TAEYANG did not forget to mention G-DRAGON when he talked about ‘Ringa Linga’. The two teamed up for the first time for the song. G-DRAGON has been producing BIGBANG’s songs, but it was a first for him to partake in TAEYANG’s album. The two boast 13-year-old friendship, and their strong bond is delivered fully to the audience through the perfect collaboration in the song.

“G-DRAGON and I share special friendship. It’s like we’re meant to be. It’s almost like if I were to get married, it would be him. Although he’s a guy. (laughter) We shared nothing in common since we were little. That’s why we had much respect for what each other does. Our tastes are different, but we like the same things. That’s why we get along so well. Many ask if I feel weighed down because of G-DRAGON’s huge success with his solo album before mine, but that’s not how I feel at all. I just hope that my album does not leave a dent in the reputation of BIGBANG.”

Huge fans of TAEYANG claim that BIGBANG’s success for the last 8 years is mainly attributed to TAEYANG. Many incidents came as a threat to the group several times, but TAEYANG always kept his position as the center pillar. He says he grew fonder and more affectionate for his fellow members for the last years.

“There was a time when I wanted to stand out more than other members. But since last year or so, I started to think that BIGBANG members are most important and valuable. I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for BIGBANG. Part of me is thankful to the incidents that happened to us. If it weren’t for those incidents, the relationship would have gone far worse because of the clashes of opinions, like what any group of people would experience at some point. Something happened to us when we were beginning to become self-important and opinionated, which helped us value and thank each other more. I realized that I grew so fond of the members. Just like my name, TAEYANG, which means ‘sun’ in Korean, I try to be the ‘light’ of the group. I feel that it is my position and role to do so.”

With the release of ‘Ringa Linga’, now TAEYANG will be spending restless time until next year. After BIGBANG’s Japan Dome Tour starting from this month, BIGBANG is scheduled to release their second single next month and TAEYANG 2nd full album next year.

“Dome Tour could be seen as an extension of our World Tour. As we are releasing a single, we can showcase many different features to the fans. I personally enjoy preparing for the concert with the members and just hanging out with them makes me happy.

My 2nd full album will be released in a little while, but it’s good for me. I think it will be better for promotion when my album comes out fully next January. Just like how ‘Ringa Linga’ came as a surprise to everyone, each song in the album will be able to deliver similar feelings. I hope people are excited about my music and they pay undivided attention to my songs.”

[인터뷰]태양 좋은 음악 욕심나지만 1위 욕심은 없다5

“Eager to produce good music, but not so much to rank #1”

Q. How does it feel to be back with a new album?
A. It feels like I’m about to enter a final battle. Now that the advance-release song is out, the date of my album release is nearing. I put so much time in the latest album, which makes me grow fonder of this particular one, and I am glad that it is finally being revealed to the world.

Q. How does the pressure you feel now differ from the pressure you felt when you first made a debut?
A. The pressure is definitely different between when it was my first try and when it is not. In the first part I was more worried about how I would be portrayed in other people’s eyes, but now I am more concerned about how to utilize my experience in music. The music I showcased previously is very different to my latest one, and I was curious to see how different they would be. But I was also eager to see the common thread. And the conclusion I reached is that showing what I want to do and what I can do best is the answer to my questions.

Q. ‘Ringa Linga’ is more powerful than the previous songs, which leaned toward sentimental and soft
A. I think there have been some changes in how I feel for the last few years, but I’d like to think that my view of music has broadened, rather than a change in my taste for music. I wanted to show something quite different to the previous albums, and there are many things added to my music, and many new things, so I wanted to lay it out in my latest album.

Q. Can you expand on the changes in how you feel
A. Since we made a debut, there was not much time to relax. We had work constantly and pursued music without a break. I never thought of music as work, but at one point that’s how I started to feel. I asked myself what I am doing to pursue music. And then BIGBANG’s World Tour happened, and I started to experience changes in myself. I understood what I enjoy and what makes me happy. I told myself that I should be more liberalized in pursuing music. Instead of being concerned about people’s reaction, I learned to enjoy the music that catches my attention at certain moments. That would be the biggest change I have gone through.

Q. Before you made a comeback, other members like SEUNGRI and G-DRAGON also released solo songs
A. Actually I was the first to kick off the preparation for this album, but the release date was postponed. But our ultimate goal for pursuing solo is not for BIGBANG, but to coat a different image on BIGBANG so we can attract a broader range of fans. So the other members’ success did not weigh me down with pressure, it simply made me more motivated to help build on the reputation of BIGBANG by showing something completely new.

Q. What was of most grave concern when your album release was postponed?
A. As time passes, the colors of my song and the passion to find my own colors are getting stronger and stronger. Because I wanted to stick to my principles when I released my album, I had to persuade so many people in the process. So naturally it took up a lot of time. I thought to myself that it is right to release the album when the timing felt right for me. ‘Ringa Linga’ was recorded about one and a half months to two months ago, and that was the starting point of my album. I did not release the album even after completion because I simply thought it wasn’t the best time for me. But now I do feel that the time has come.

Q. Is there any particular color you wanted to achieve or pursue?
A. It’s hard to pick one because every genre is so different to each other in music. The previous album was based on African-American music, but my view on music and what I listened to has definitely broadened its boundary. It’s hard to pick one genre but I am becoming better at trying to discover the color I like, or the general ambience of the song, as time passes. The genres range from African-American music to Rock, Ballad and Hip-hop. The previous albums only housed one string of a theme, but this one is the collection of all the genres that I wanted to try back then and that I was attracted to. So I can’t really pick one genre as there are so many, but I can assure you that the ambience of my music has changed.

Q. What was the element on which Yang Hyun Suk put the heaviest emphasis?
A. He told me I should break away from the typical self. That includes my style as well. He asked me to appeal to the public with a whole new self, and that was the most important element he asked of me.

Q. ‘Ringa Linga’ is G-DRAGON’s song, what did you think when you first heard it?
A. Actually I received the track first and was thinking of how to approach it. G-DRAGON listened to it and soon after that he brought the chorus of ‘Ringa Linga.’ He also suggested that we should incorporate the Korean traditional children’s song. He asked me to be in charge of the lyrics and the general coordination, and the song was completed in just two days.

Q. You singing on the crane in the music video was pretty impressive.
A. I actually climbed up the crane that was 5-60m high. It wasn’t that scary, but what scared me most was that people around me were way too worried. But if I didn’t climb that crane, we would not have the outcome we have now. So I can say that I am fully satisfied.

Q. You must feel emancipated with the album complete now. What would you be doing first?
A. I am ready to fall in love immediately after my album is released. (laughter) Something I want to do most is falling in love and also travelling. Since the album release was postponed, I could have done something in the mean time if I really wanted to, but I could not take my mind off the album. I was so preoccupied that there was no room for me to think about anything else. Right now, all I feel is that I want to release the album as soon as possible and try something else.

Q. How does it feel to be part of YG Entertainment for such a long period of time
A. There are good and bad. But I joined YG because I wanted to. It was my decision. So I’d like to think the bad as good. Because I joined YG at such young age, the life in YG stopped me from having a normal childhood that other people would have enjoyed. So that was the downside, but I never regretted making that decision, or about what I am doing right now. From the moment I decided to become a singer, I never ever regretted making that decision for myself.

Q. Your performance on Inkigayo was simply awesome.
A. Previously my performances were mainly focused on the details and revolved around the lyrics of the songs. I felt more pressure back then, actually. I had this image in my head that performances must be done in certain ways. But in the last 3 years of preparation, I was able to perform more candidly and naturally. I was joined by a remarkable choreographer, and there was no part that was over-the-top. The performance looks free and liberated, but in fact it is in line with everything else. I think it became a very delicate and exquisite performance.

Q. How do you recharge the energy you burn from preparing the album
A. The biggest source of my motivation and inspiration comes from the fans who cheer me on and support me. I get my inspiration from very small things. Nature, and space, and more. I am also very interested in the historic aspects of different culture, and seeing people’s lives from different backgrounds provides me with a deep sense of inspiration. I also got ideas from some animals to decide my hairstyle, and this time it was a scorpion. Looking into the African cultures is very helpful for gaining ideas and inspiration for my work.

Q. A place you feel like you must visit
A. Brazil, India, and Tibet.

Q. Park Jin Young selected you as the artist he most wants to work with
A. It is a great honor. I am a fan of the songs he produced. I especially like ‘I Have a Girl’, and his songs performed by Park Ji Yoon. I stumbled upon these songs after a while they were produced, and I became to like them a lot. I thought to myself that I want to do music like this.

Q. For you, what is good music
A. No matter what it is, I think the best music is something that can touch people’s hearts. Music can change people. But it’s easier said than done. Good music is music that is liked by anybody and everybody. Nothing can touch the hearts of people better than music. It has to be real, and it has to be genuine. And in order to touch people’s lives with that sentiment, the artist needs to portray who they really are in the music. The most important aspect would be to express themselves in an honest way.

Q. Do you think you’re doing ‘good’ music
A. I think it’s too early to tell. But I’m slowly getting there?

Q. If you were to define ‘TAEYANG-ish’ music
A. Warm, but at times, hot.

Q. What does this album mean to TAEYANG
A. This the first album where I was mostly involved in the process. Thus naturally it is an album that can show most vividly my taste in music and what kind of genre I am best at. As an artist, and as someone who is producing an album, I think this album describes best the foundation of my future music direction.

Q. While you are out as a solo, what does BIGBANG mean to you
A. Someone that I can lean on? It’s like my home where I can return. If I were just a solo artist, I would feel a lot more nervous about the outcome and the psychological damage would be bigger if things do not go well. But even if we did not succeed in being solo artists, there is always a home we can return and start fresh. And that’s what helps BIGBANG members pursue solo careers with much confidence. However, I do feel that I should not be leaving a dent in BIGBANG’s reputation. That, for me, works as a source of motivation to do well.

Q. Do you have an ambition of becoming #1
A. It would be good for the agency if I did rank #1. But for me personally, I don’t think there is much gain from it. It couldn’t be better if I could rank #1 with good music, but not all #1 songs are good songs. I love doing what I love and what is great, but at one point my exhilaration from ranking #1 started to diminish.

Q. What made those feelings diminish
A. As I have been doing music most of my life, I learn to realize what is really important. I thought to myself if simply ranking #1 is a good thing. It would be great if things work out for me to rank #1, but it’s not something I must achieve.

Q. You must have two different egos: one as a part of BIGBANG and one as TAEYANG. Do you feel any different when you accomplish musical success while playing different roles?
A. There was in fact a difference until 4 to 5 years ago. The music I pursued was quite distant from what I did as a part of BIGBANG, and I was able to unleash all that when I was a solo. It made me lean towards solo more. But suddenly all of that just disappeared. I learned to have a presence in both BIGBANG as a solo by myself, as time passed. I started to have this confidence that I am able to turn everything into my own color. So at the moment I don’t feel so different being a part of BIGBANG to being a solo.

Q. Did you ever go through a slump, or felt that you are going nowhere
A. My biggest strength is that I don’t feel pressured by anything like that. It could be my weakness, too. I know what my heart says and I do what it tells me to do, so I take more time doing things than others. But I don’t like to think things in a negative way. I like translating what I like into action, so I do it, and wait until I really like it. I have the tendency to feel extremely stressed, so I try to avoid feeling that way.

Q. Your music is maturing. What about yourself
A. This is something I learned while producing the latest album, but I realized that without personal growth, there couldn’t be a maturing process in music. You have to revisit your inner self at all times and think about who you are. And those feelings come together to create art and music. So this latest album taught me that you need to see growth within yourself first, in order to ripen your music.

I have a better understanding of what is important in life now. Before, I had all my attention dedicated to music, and I thought music was everything, but now I know that people are the most valuable. I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for the rest of BIGBANG members and the people who cheered me on. My goal is to deliver them the most meaningful impact and inspiration.

Q. How would you like these people to react to your music
A. Either by intention or by accident, my latest album is different to my previous one. It gives me a great pleasure when people tell me it is fresh, because that’s exactly how I feel. There are people who think it’s refreshing, and it makes me feel good.

But one comment that made me the happiest was when I asked Producer Teddy and G-DRAGON to monitor my recorded songs 2 years ago, and it was “I am so jealous.” As someone who produced the song, no compliment could have given me the same amount of pleasure than this one did.

Q. You took part at Pentaport Festival. Do you want to stand on a bigger stage
It doesn’t matter what kind of stage, I simply want to perform before the audience. If there is space for me to sing and dance, that’s all I need. As for Dome Tours, the stadium is so big that I don’t really feel anything personally, and I end up feeling like I’m singing on my own. At times like these I miss being on a smaller stage. A stage that I can interact with the audience more closely.

Q. Does your current status differ from what you pictured yourself to be 10 years ago, when you were a trainee
A. I don’t think it looks greatly different to what I imagined I would be 10 years ago. I think I am slowly getting to what I pictured.

Q. No longer in your early 20’s… what would be different
A. I do think that my sentiments are quite different to when I was in my early 20’s. I don’t know how I would change next year, but I think I’ll have grown more as a person and will have accumulated more experiences. And if my gut feelings are right, I think I will experience a peak in my musical career in my early 30’s. It would be after I come back from being trained at the army. I’m not saying it’s not the time yet, and I am doing what feels right for me now. Considering in different factors like time and my level of growth, I feel like I would become wiser as a musician in about 5 years. I will have a clearer idea about who I am, and I think that will help me peak in regards to music.

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5 thoughts on “Interview round up Part 2: Taeyang during Ringa Linga Promotions”

  1. The last interview in this post is my favorite so far of this promo run – so much good stuff!

    Reading all these interviews throughout the years are a great portrait of who YB is at the time of the interview and really shows how much he changes with every few months and years of growth. Even the tone has changed – he sounds much more determined and confident in these interviews whereas he was more shy in the past and introspective. (I remember in his first GQ interview, he sounded very tentative and polite.) Nowadays, he speaks with much more authority about his own career and perhaps that is the reflection of the personal maturity he is talking about.

    It’s reassuring that he’s willing to take risks with his music for the sake of growth and that he’s prepared for the criticism involved. But he takes a longer view of things and knows that he can always turn it into a learning experience for the next time. It’s interesting that he feels he will be peaking artistically after military duty in the 30s (when he used to fear aging) since it means that he wants to experiment and make the most of his 20s.

    One thing that stood out is that he wants to visit Brazil, India and Tibet – all countries with their own deeply spiritual culture. I hope he does get to visit them, and not just for work.

  2. These interviews really give us a picture into how YB is at the time. What stood out to me was him seeing his career peak when he’s in his 30s – though I can understand what he means by experimenting with what he wants between now and then.

    He’s more confident and I think that’s all that matters to me – like BM said, I remember his interviews back in 2009 and 2010 were polite and he was more unsure of himself at that time.

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