BIGBANG’s Taeyang recently recently had an exclusive Q&A session with (New York-based) Complex magazine. The discussed topics included the production process of his album Rise, the musical “roadblocks” even big name artists have to face in the K-Pop industry, his relationship status, and future plans for BIGBANG! Check out some interview highlights below.
1. How’s the reaction been to your new album, RISE?
Luckily, the reaction has been very good. I’m happy about that.
2. Are you happy with the music? Did it come out the way you wanted?
To be honest, it’s a little different compared to the initial concept I had when I started the album.
3. The last time we spoke, you said you wanted to make every track off the album as if it were a single. Did you fulfill that goal?
I’ve worked on numerous tracks and out of those tracks I’ve handpicked nine songs. I think each song definitely stands out, but as a whole, there are some elements that leave more to be desired.
4. If you have to pick out a specific song that stands out to you the most, what track would it be?
The last track, Love You to Death. I think that sound best reflects my personal taste in music right now. Of course, I like all the tracks I have on the project, but my personal favorite is track nine.
5. Are there roadblocks in the Korean market because of your musical taste?
I wouldn’t say they’re roadblocks. It’s more so a process of figuring out how to merge the sound I like for the market out here. My personal taste is closer to the underground.
6. Let’s get back to your album. The lead single “Ringa Linga” came out in November 2013, but there were no more singles for the next seven months, when RISE was released.
Yes, you’re right. To be direct with you…
7. Please be direct.
The company held it back. [Laughs.] But the fans know. The album was prepared back then, and starting with Ringa Linga we wanted to put out records one after the other, and then release the album. I don’t think the company was certain about my album. The company asked me to work on more records, and because I wanted to put out this album so much, I concentrated on making more tracks. That’s how the single Eyes, Nose, Lips came about.
8. I’d love to talk about the music video for that. It kind of reminds me of D’Angelo’s “Untitled.” But it is also refreshing because in K-pop, music videos are usually very fancy and loud. I like the fact that it was so simple yet detailed.
Yes, that’s completely right. If you look at the tracks released from my previous album, either the performances were really flashy, or the video sets were very well-produced. But for a track like Eyes, Nose, Lips I wanted to make something simple. I felt like that was the best way to relay the record’s emotion. So we decided on the idea of completing the video in one take. And people around me said I look better when I take my shirt off, so that made it more interesting.
9. It’s a great love record. Speaking of: What’s your real love life like as of late?
I can tell you that I don’t really reminisce about my past relationships. I’ve been seeing a lot of…well, I wouldn’t say a lot.
10. Nothing wrong with a lot.
Personally, if I like someone I’m pretty earnest with that one person. So I’ve dated only a few over the years. And you know, it’s been really good. I’m not as much tied to my past. I’ve sought after newer emotions. And it’s good to share those various feelings through music.
To read the rest of the interview head over to this page in Complex!