It is not living in pajamas in a big, neat house with a garden like in “I Live Alone” but living in the midst of music with the recklessness of the word “Passion.”
GQ : I’ve read all of TAEYANG’s [past] interviews with GQ. I noticed that you spoke about your future plans in most them. You said you would fall in love, would do a world tour, and would release a song with just vocals. You accomplished all of them. T :Right? haha. I was a bit surprised when you mentioned that. I said those things at that time…
Taeyang has released his new album <Rise>. The title song ‘Eyes, Nose, Lips’ has not only maintained the top spot on domestic music charts for a long time. It is also doing well on international iTunes charts. In Japan, he will soon be conducting a multi-city concert tour. As a solo artist, he is experiencing what can be described as success, more so than ever. And yet, Taeyang said, “I don’t have much to say. If possible, I didn’t even want to do interviews this time.”
Do you remember the texts we exchanged the morning of the album’s online release?
Yes. “This is the way you did it? Congratulations.”
I’ve always loved Taeyang’s black and whiteportraits. Not just because he’s a naturally handsome guy that seems to get handsomer as he grows older, but that the B&W photos he has done tend to bring out the more thoughtful and vulnerable side of him in a way his other fashion shoots don’t.
“Here and There” is author Jang Woo Cheol’s first book; a collection of his thoughts, anecdotes, poems and images that he recorded over the seasons. He also included some select interviews including artists Lee SoRa, Kwon Bu Min and Taeyang among other personalities who have made an impression on him. This is the 5th time Jang Woo Cheol has interviewed Taeyang at length, the previous 4 times were for GQ Korea (of which JWC is an editor). The previous interviews are an insightful journal of Taeyang’s growth over the past 4 years and their obvious rapport and chemistry makes for great reading each time. This latest interview is no exception.
Dong Young Bae’s Spring
Born in 1988. Also known as Taeyang
You’re wearing a cap. I figured you’d be wearing a cap.
Yes, I finished late last night, but instead of going to sleep, I went dancing and just woke up before coming here.
Taeyang was recently mentioned in a segment on GQ (original here) called “How did I Look?” that asks contributors from the fashion industry (stylists, fashion editors, designers etc.) to comment on celebrity style.
When I read about Taeyang, the words that come up the most are ‘sincerity’ and ‘honesty.’
It’s something I talked about a lot.
Does that govern everything in your life?
No, that’s not really the case. It’s just one of those things that you’re born with, that can’t be easily changed, you know? It’s not so much that I’m trying hard to be that way. It’s just me, I think.
Relaxing after the photo shoot. Having removed the luxurious fur coat, Taeyang saunters over to us. The editor and the photographer are in the midst of talking about a delivery crisis that occurred due to traffic backed up by a state function on November 11th. The bonsai pine tree that was to be used for the shoot almost didn’t make it in time. After listening quietly, Taeyang murmurs, “Why do they make such a fuss…” Having never been one for acting up or posturing – in a Korean mainstream music scene where, nowadays, it’s hard to even distinguish Idol from Ah-ee-deul [children] – Taeyang is stubbornly walking a different path. Rather than insisting on a certain concept, he has the belief that he’s doing what he wants. Rather than mindlessly complaining about the state of the music scene, he shows the determination to triumph over its weaknesses. Rather than flaunting insistently, he has the maturity as a singer to sometimes just keep quiet.