As lead vocalist in mammoth K-pop boy band BIGBANG, Taeyang managed to enrapture K-pop fans from all around the globe all over again with the release of second solo album “Rise” last month.
Four years after his last solo effort, the R&B-focused set was met with rave reviews, exploded to the top of the charts in Korea and even earned a major stateside accolade by reaching No. 112 on Billboard 200, a new record set for Korean solo acts.
Not only did the nine-track set prove that Taeyang could find chart success on his own, but also showcased the 25-year-old’s talent as a powerful singer, rapper and his artistic progression since 2010 album “Solar.”
In the midst of promoting his heartwrenching new single “Eyes, Nose, Lips,” Taeyang exclusively invited Billboard to YG Entertainment’s headquarters in Seoul, Korea to discuss his latest musical maneuvers, inspirations and thoughts on an all-English album in the future.
Your new solo album “Rise” comes four years after your last. How does it feel to finally release new material?
As a musician, there are certain artistic qualities from this album that I’m unsatisfied with, but I am extremely thankful and grounded that people like it — especially because it’s an album that holds my emotions, memories and musical values that I have felt and gained in the last four years while I was working on it.
On the Billboard 200, “Rise” became the third highest-charting K-pop album and the best chart position for a Korean solo act, beating out G-Dragon and BoA. What’s your reaction?
Honestly, [charting on Billboard chart] is not something I expected or anticipated. I think fans acknowledged the effort I have made as a solo artist and as a member of BIGBANG throughout the years. It is a very humbling yet gratifying achievement for me.
Read the rest on Billboard.
Look out for a special video interview coming to Billboard’s K-Town soon.