[Interview] Taeyang talks RISE, Big Bang and the K-pop Explosion (Noonchi US)

by Jaeki Cho

In the early aughts, YG Entertainment opened its doors to two 13-year-old boys aspiring to become pop stars. The teens would study together as trainees for over five years before officially debuting in 2006 as members of K-pop group Big Bang.

One of them, known as G-Dragon, became celebrated as much for his music as his fashion sense , splashed on blogs and magazine pages around the world.

The other, Taeyang, took a slightly different path. Though a style trendsetter in his own right—you couldn’t wave a camera at Paris Fashion Week this year without catching him and GD mingling somewhere—the singer born Dong Young-bae has earned most of his accolades as a result of his musical output. Taeyang is the closest Korea has to a true R&B star.

Read the rest on noonchi.


6 thoughts on “[Interview] Taeyang talks RISE, Big Bang and the K-pop Explosion (Noonchi US)”

  1. For YB fans who have been following YB for some time now, there’s nothing really new in this interview. (Except perhaps that he liked the Alive album more than his solo album. Though I take it in the context that making the Alive album was a life changing experience for him since it changed his perspective about working with his team members, rather than him thinking that the BB album was a better album than his own. There really is no question that 2011 was a tumultuous year for all the Bigbang members, Taeyang included.)

    What I missed from this interview is what he wants for himself as a solo artist and what he actually wants to do. He’s made it clear that he doesn’t want to sacrifice BB for his solo career, but where does he want to go with it really? What does he want to achieve as an artist? Then again, this is just one interview of many and the answer may be forthcoming in other interviews. (Ahem, Jang Woo Chul…. we want to hear from you.)

    And speaking as someone who has read a lot of his interviews from way back, its odd hearing his “voice” as translated by someone else with a more informal (slang) tone. Haha – he “sounds” like a different person even though he’s saying things that he’s always said. (It’s like the language gives a different color to what he says.)

    1. Oh and that bit about releasing mixtapes – we would LOVE to see that happen. I hope YG gives it serious consideration because there doesn’t seem to be any downside of doing so – if anything, it’s stimulate more interest for the rest of his music. As we’ve said before, what’s the point of recording so many songs and just keeping them in a vault? You never know what people might end up loving.

  2. Open minded, straightforward, honest, and a passionate lover of music. An artist just wanting to do something that they love regardless of what anyone says, whether it’s negative or positive. Respectful, humble and mature. That’s the way I see Youngbae, and it’s the reasons why I can’t help but respect him.

    But Youngbae, three girls slipped passed you? Really? C’mon man! (lol kidding)

    He isn’t your typical idol, much like most of the members in the YG family, and while he continues to gain success, all he wants is to do music. The last two answers he gave for the questions towards the end were pretty blunt, but I’m happy about that. It’s just that most idols wouldn’t dare say something like that, even though his words hold a good amount of truth.

    Truly, inspirational.

  3. For those not familiar with Jaeki Cho, he does a lot of khip-hop (and other music) features for Complex. He’s also done some work with Kim Bong Hyeon (one of our fave music critics over here on ATY.)

  4. Maybe because it’s someone different translating but YB sounds quite blunt in a few places when I know that when Silly (pardon if my memory fails me on getting the username right!) translates interviews for ATY, YB comes out much more himself – nuanced and earnest – not that he isn’t here – just that some parts took me by surprise.

    I can understand why he loves the ALIVE album more, given the context of 2011 and what that had entailed for all of Big Bang. For me personally, ALIVE was also quite meaningful and something that kept me happy after what was a rough 2011.

    He mentions the mixtape again! I say YG needs to take that onboard! Who knows what gems may be there that didn’t make the cut!?

    And BM, I think we didn’t get much out of him in terms of what he wants out of his solo career or anything deeper than what we got from this interview was I think because the interview was going for a more general, KPOP audience rather than avid followers like us 😛 I say JWC needs another interview with YB pronto! 😉

    That said, I did like what he had to say about KPOP expanding and idols that partake in it.

    1. I did like the interview but I don’t know if its because I’m filling in the “gaps” with all that he’s already said in previous interviews.

      I wish he had pursued the topic of his personal wishes in regards being a “progressive R&B artist in Korea.” I understand that he doesn’t want to feel pressured or boxed in, but he must have some sort of direction he wants to explore. I also found it interesting that he feels that he’s not constrained by being an idol, but he later talks about restrictions in expression and even limits being put on him by his label. Granted, that’s just the way things are everywhere, but I can’t help but wonder what he wants that he is not able to do.

      Oh and the translation really does give it a different feel right? I found the slang a bit jarring at times, but then again maybe he also used slang in Korean? Or maybe just the writer. Anyway, it was different.

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