The YB/TaeYang DC Inside Interview: June 13, 2008
Am not sure if this has been translated/posted. I have gone thru the archives and couldnt find any. Either i’d missed it or there are way too many posts for me to go thru. Please let me know if it has been posted before. Then again, this is Georgie’s translated version of the said interview.
“Listen to Dong YoungBae!”: The YB/TaeYang DC Inside Interview: June 13, 2008
This is my translated version of YB/TaeYang’s interview with DC Inside, the home of DCYB.
Dong. Young. Bae.
It is the popular boy group Big Bang’s member TaeYang’s real name. A singer and a rapper of the band, TaeYang is better known as “Dong YoungBae” in the DC Inside communities.
In January 2007, a few months after Big Bang’s debut, the Dong YoungBae Gallery (“DCYB”) opened at DC Inside. It was the first DC Gallery that was not for the whole band/group but for an individual member of a group: what was it about Dong YoungBae (“DYB”) that captured the eyes and ears of the so-called “DCians,” who were notorious for being uncompromisingly particular and mercilessly impartial when it comes to music?
Amid successful, highly visible activities as Big Bang, DYB released his first solo EP on May 22. It was the day when the long-awaited dreams of all DCYB Gallers who had tirelessly driven themselves toward the goal of seeing DYB release a solo album have finally come true. At this moment, the DCYB Gallers are vigorously promoting DYB’s new album, assuming the role of his “strongest supporters.” Their response is that the EP was “worth the wait.”
On May 31, DYB the solo artist was scheduled to perform on camera for the very first time. We met him after the rehearsal in his waiting room at the MBC Dream Center. Understandably, he looked a bit nervous. But I couldn’t find anything that even remotely reminded me of a “teen idol” in his calm and courteous manner during the interview.
According to DCYB Gallers, DYB possesses “7 Irresistible Charms” – dancing, singing, rapping, texture of voice, vocal style, groove, and stage performance. Although I couldn’t see all of them myself within the short period of time allowed for the interview, one thing I can say with certainty is that he was much more charming in person than on-camera.
Name: YB (Dong YoungBae)
Born on: May 18, 1988
Currently a Member of: Big Bang
Album: First EP “HOT” released on May 22, 2008
Q: You’re about to perform on TV for the first time. How do you feel?
YB: Extremely nervous. I couldn’t sleep a wink last night (laugh).
Q: Your first solo EP was released on May 15. Must’ve been an emotional moment for you because it was the first album released in your name after all. What was it like? Also tell us a little bit about your album. (Questions from DC Gallers ㅆ ㅌ and 동영붸)
YB: First off, since it was my first solo album, I felt pressured and pretty excited too (laugh). But most of all, I was very happy that I finally had the chance to do the music I’d wanted to do for so long. Through this album I can finally show you the music I’ve wanted to do.
Q: You became the first Big Bang member to release a solo album. How did you feel when you were presented with the proposal that you release a solo album? (Question from DC Galler ㅂㄱ)
YB: It was President Hyun-Seok Yang who first suggested that I release a solo album. I was really caught off guard (laugh) because I had never expected such an opportunity so soon.
Q: You know, your solo album had originally been scheduled to be released last September, and many fans had impatiently waited for it. Then there was a rather long delay. Why was it delayed and how did you feel about it? (Questions from DC Gallers 심장 and ㅂㄱ)
YB: Under the original plans, it was supposed to be released last September but… there were no breaks in the group activities and it got delayed a lot as a result. But I certainly didn’t want to rush and release an album when I was not ready (laugh).
Q: What was it like when you first hold one of your CDs in your hands? (Questions from DC Gallers LaRa and ㅅㅅㅈ)
YB: I’d been preparing for it for the longest time and it was the first album outside Big Bang with only my voice on it after all. When I first got my CD in the packaging, I was so excited and happy.
Q: Many fans are not entirely happy because your album was released in the name “TaeYang” instead of “Dong YoungBae.” What’s your take on this? (Question from DC Gallers …., ㄴㄹ and 링고)
YB: I know that many fans like my real name better. I thought about releasing my first solo album in my real name but I’ve been known as TaeYang for years now and… then I would end up having too many names so I just decided to use the name TaeYang.
Q: What did you focus on most making this album? (Question from DC Galler ㅅㅅㅈ)
YB: I focused first and foremost on… making an album in which I could express myself and really show my colors as a solo artist, not as a member of Big Bang. As a result the album contains many songs that appeal to your emotional side.
Q: It contains 6 songs in total. What was the extent of your role in choosing the songs? (Question from DC Gallers bf and yb)
YB: First, in terms of music, I took the lead in setting the overall direction, the kind of music I wanted to do best. Once Teddy, Kush and I started working together from early this year, we discussed a lot about the types of music I wanted to do and the themes and styles of my stage performances.
Q: How satisfied are you with this album? On a scale of 100, how much would you give? (Question from DC Gallers Ps, ㅂㄱ and …)
YB: About 60… (laugh)
Q: Isn’t that too low? (Laugh) What are you not happy about it? (Question from DC Gallers 배사마, bf and ㅃㅈ)
YB: Well, the fact that I didn’t actually write any of the songs.
Q: What was most difficult while making the album? (Question from DC Galler 뭬야)
YB: “Difficult” may not be the right word but…well, I had to juggle my album and the group activities and sometimes, I couldn’t sing as well as I wanted to. That was a bit difficult for me.
Q: Do you feel pressured because you go on solo now? Must be very different from working as a group. (Question from DC Galler 영배뿐인걸)
YB: Of course I feel lots of pressure (laugh). Especially when I think about the people who’ve been waiting for my solo album for quite a long time. Naturally, there are many things that I have to do and handle alone unlike when I was with other members.
Q: Which song in the album is closest to the kind of music you’ve wanted to do?
YB: I should say all of them represent the music I’ve wanted to do so it’s difficult to choose only one but if I had to…I think “Prayer” is the one that most appropriately expresses what I am at this point of my life.
Q: I hear that that is also your favorite song from the album.
YB: True. Of course I like all six songs but if I had to, I’d choose Prayer. Because, as I already told you, that song most effectively captures what I am right now, both in the sense of stage performance and the fact this is my first album as a solo artist.
Q: Many people love “Prisoner (a.k.a. Sinner).” I am one of those people (laugh). Is there any chance that we will see you perform that song live on stage? (Question from DC Galler 거성 bf)
YB: I see (laugh). No plans yet though (laugh).
Q: Tell us about your plans of activity as a solo artist in detail. (Question from DC Gallers 동영붸, ㅂㄱ and davx)
YB: I don’t have any specific plans yet but I think I will meet you mostly through music programs (laugh).
Q: According to the announced plans, you will work as a solo artist for about a month or so. Given the long preparation period, doesn’t it feel too short for you? (Question from DC Gallers 여햏을 떠나요, yb, 동경 and 다다다)
YB: Well… not really. I am just so grateful for the fact that I had my solo album released. The length of period could be important in a sense but I don’t ascribe much importance to that. Rather, I focus more on how I will show as much of what I have to show you as possible whithin that short time frame. It’s true that usually artists are given more time once they release a new album, but I have to play a more important role as a member of Big Bang. If anything, the situation sort of makes me more determined to do more in that short period of time.
Q: You spent long and hard trainee years. The thought that you would be able to debut someday alone might not have been enough for you to hang on for six long years. What was it that has pulled you through those years?
YB: Belief I guess. While I was training, I wasn’t sure at all that I would be able to debut and become a singer. But I firmly believed that my dreams would come true eventually. Every time I felt frustrated, I tried to dream even bigger dreams and work harder. That was what pulled me through.
Q: Was there any particular occasion that made you feel that you just had to become a musician, a singer?
YB: I always loved music but I think it was when I met JinuSean that I first started dreaming about becoming a singer.
Q: You’ve expressed your love for African American music, especially R&B music in many interviews, which seems distinctly different from the music Big Bang does. Are there any conflicts among members in terms of music? If there are, tell us how you reach a consensus.
YB: There are no conflicts (laugh). We all agree that first we should let as many people as possible know about our music and then we will be able to do the music we really want to do.
Q: To which genre of music are you most attracted right now? And are there any other genres that interest you?
YB: I still listen to R&B/hip-hop/soul a lot but try to listen to music in other genres as well because I want to experiment in diverse areas (laugh).
Q: I understand you started out as a rapper. Was there any particular reason why you turned to singing?
YB: Rapping and signing…two very different things but I love them both very much. I wanted to become a rapper but loved singing too. Then when I heard that YG was planning to put together a boy group, I thought it “could be helpful if I could sing better” and started working on my vocal skills.
Q: Of the three – rapping, singing and dancing, which one most interests you? And where do you feel you are weakest?
YB: Now I am most interested in singing and dancing. But I still don’t think that I am really good at any of those things (laugh). I am weak in all three… (laugh)
Q: Are you also interested in writing your own songs? (Question from DC Gallers Lampi, 배사마 and ㅌㄹㅉ)
YB: I am interested (laugh). Still need working but I want to write songs that reflect my own feelings and thoughts.
Q: Hmm…What do you think is your greatest strength as a musician? (Question from DC Gallers davx and ㅂㄱ)
YB: Frankly I’m not sure yet (laugh).
Q: Then what do you think is your greatest weakness? (Question from DC Galler davx)
YB: In the area of vocals. I also feel that I could stand to improve my dancing skills substantially. I want to create something that only I can do and that’s uniquely me (laugh).
Q: Compared to when you first started out, your vocal styles have changed a great deal. Did that happen just sort of naturally or did you make conscious efforts?
YB: Can’t really say I made conscious efforts… You can’t really afford to insist on the same genre (laugh). I think that happened sort of naturally while I was trying to sing songs of different styles.
Q: Last year you featured in JoHan Kim’s album. The song “I Should’ve Loved You Less” is my favorite too. How did that collaboration come about? (Question from DC Galler ㅂㄱ)
YB: I had a few vocal training lessons with him before and that’s how we got to know each other and the chance to collaborate with him came about.
Q: Have you ever taken vocal lessons from other vocal trainers than him? (Question from DC Galler ㅅㄹ)
YB: Yes, I have. I only took a few lessons from JoHan Kim because it was after our debut. I learned what singing was all about from the famous vocal trainer Won-Seok Choi. I still take lessons from him.
Q: Are there any musicians that you admire or make you want to be like them? Who was the biggest influence on your music?
YB: There are many that I respect and admire but I’ve never really wanted to be “like” any particular musician (laugh).
Q: Then are there any artists/producers you want to work with, regardless of nationality and the times? (Question from DC Galler 조던23)
YB: Mmm… Stevie Wonder, Jermaine Dupri, Scott Storch… and Teddy of course but luckily I had a chance to work with him on this album (laugh).
Q: Oh, and you also said you wanted to perform on stage with In-Soon-Ee. Be they Korean or foreign, male or female, do you have any other vocalists you want to collaborate with other than her?
YB: Mmm… Lil Wayne and Kanye West.
Q: What is the biggest difference between now and before your debut?
YB: Well, many people recognize us now and I feel less free than before. Other than that, things are pretty much the same.
Q: What are your personal goals and ambitions as a musician?
YB: I want to have more people recognize me for my music and my performances. My goal is to become a musician recognized internationally as well as in Korea (laugh).
Q: Then how do you envision yourself in 10 years?
YB: In 10 years, I wish… it would be great if I could become an internationally acclaimed artist (laugh). Or I could be a father (laugh).
Q: You come across as a quiet, serious type. What are you really like? (Question from DC Galler ㄴㄴㅇ)
YB: A bit conservative and headstrong too (laugh).
Q: What do you usually do when you don’t work or practice – when you have free time?
YB: I ride my bike. When I have time, I watch movies, catch up on my reading… that kind of stuff.
Q: I am curious what the other members’ reactions were when they first heard about your solo album. (Question from DC Galler 영배뿐인걸)
YB: There were no particular reactions but they’ve been extremely supportive and helped me a lot (laugh).
Q: You guys must be like a family but is there a sense of competition among members? How is it?
YB: Not so much a sense of competition… We respect one another’s opinion within the boundaries of Big Bang and take a very anything-goes approach to music in general.
Q: Big Bang is very popular now. Did you expect this much popularity before your debut? You must feel awfully pressured every time you make a new album because of your popularity. How do you deal with the pressure?
YB: Frankly it’s beyond our wildest imagination (laugh). True, we feel pressured every time we make a new album. The only way I can think of to deal with the pressure is practice, practice and more practice (laugh). And things get easier once you know how to enjoy the whole situation.
Q: Personally, I think the name “Dong YoungBae” has so much more impact. How did the name “TaeYang” come about?
YB: Well, it was a stage name after all so I wanted something special. This could sound a bit childish but I thought the sun (“TaeYang” means “sun” in Korean) was the hottest and the brightest object in the universe. Frankly I don’t place much significance on names but I liked it for what it signified.
Q: I hear that you have a very good command of Japanese. When and how did you start learning Japanese?
YB: I first started to learn Japanese while in high school. Then YG Entertainment started to offer systematic training programs and I began to take lessons in earnest.
Q: Is there anything else you study other than Japanese?
YB: I want to study English of course (laugh). I work on it on my own but hope to have a chance to take structured lessons.
Q: They say you possess this “force” that dominates the stage and captivates the audience. Is there any performance that you feel you were at your best?
YB: I try to give my very best in any performance but… sometimes, well, more often than not it doesn’t turn out like that (laugh). If I have to choose, I think I was at my best during the Ciara performance. I really tried my best because we thought we were representing Korean music. Of course, there’s a great deal of room for improvement (laugh).
Q: Now the inevitable question – Let’s talk about the DC Inside Dong Young-Bae Gallery (“DCYB”) (laugh). Have you ever been there?
YB: Yes, I drop by from time to time (laugh).
Q: We are curious what you think of DCYB. (Question from DC Galler 뭬야, Rix and 휘량리토)
YB: Mmm… To be honest, I go there and read the posts but most of the time I don’t understand what they talk about (laugh). To me, it’s like they communicate in some sort of an alien language (laugh). I mean, I really don’t understand what they are saying at all. Still I visit DCYB from time to time and get the impression that they know me very well. I can feel that they care about me and what I do. And every time I visit there, I feel stimulated. I appreciate the fact that there are people who give me objective criticism. In some ways, I find their views flattering but they also speak firmly when they see something that they don’t like. I feel very discouraged sometimes but feel motivated at the same time.
Q: DCYB believes that you will be the next big thing in the Korean R&B/hip-hop/soul music scene. What’s your take on this?
YB: First of all, I am extremely grateful that they approve the fact that I do R&B/hip-hop/soul music and listen to my music. I am not really sure whether I deserve such attention and compliments (laugh). To be honest, I feel a great deal of pressure, and such compliments make me extremely cautious when making even the smallest decisions.
Q: Not just DCYB Gallers but many people in other online communities say that you have a very unique voice. What do you think of your own voice? (Question from DC Galler ㄷㄷㄱㄹ)
YB: Mmm… Well, to be honest, I’ve never really thought about my voice. It’s just when I sing a song, any song, I try to be true to my heart, to understand the emotions and convey the meaning of the words in the most heartfelt way. Some people tell me I am blessed with a unique voice texture but I don’t really know. I’ve never really seriously thought about it in those terms. It’s just that the music I love happens to be R&B/soul music, and because that’s what I’ve been listening to since my childhood, I guess I am more likely to sing and express myself that way.
Q: What do you do to protect your voice? (Question from DC Galler 락카펠라 and Rix)
YB: To protect my voice… I stay quiet (laugh). My throat hurts when I talk too much (laugh). I don’t really eat anything particular for my throat. I just take a rest any chance I get. Not just for my throat but for my body too.
Q: Many DCYB Gallers are dying to see you perform at your solo concerts (laugh). I presume you don’t have plans yet but I want to know what you think about the idea of holding solo concerts. (Question from DC Gallers ㅅㅅㅂ, 거성bf, 요기는, ㅇㅇㅍ, 에고, ㄱ, 영배류, 동경 and 얌)
YB: You’re right (laugh). I don’t have any plans yet but would sure love to perform all six songs on stage. I also think solo concerts could be very helpful to me. There’s so much I want to do too. Of course it would be awesome if I could but there are simply too few songs on my album… (laugh). Besides, Big Bang is currently on a national tour. I wouldn’t be able to perform all six songs of course but I would like to show you as much as I can.
[Photo: A framed calligraphy piece presented to TaeYang to celebrate DCYB’s 1st anniversary]
Q: You received this framed piece of calligraphy from DCYB saying “Being Like YoungBae.” That was pretty impressive. Where did you hang it (laugh)? (Question from DC Gallers yb and ㅅㄹ)
YB: Oh, I hung it in the living room of our apartment (laugh).
Q: You know what “Being Like YoungBae” means, right?
YB: Yes, there are several different things written on it too. It’s a phrase from our documentary. They were actually words used to scold me but the Gallers kindly interpreted it in the most complimentary way (laugh).
Q: Umm… Some people say that you are way too strict on yourself and sometimes too hard on yourself. You are only 20 years old. Aren’t you being too cruel to yourself (laugh)? (Question from DC Galler 링고)
YB: I guess that’s just my personality. It could be seen as too much, I guess. It may not be appropriate to say such things about myself but I am very strict on myself because I always see room for improvement. And there are other people who notice it too. When I perform on stage, most fans say I did well but I always remember what I did not do well. There are people who remember that like I do and they are DCYB Gallers. And they’re right.
Q: How is TaeYang on stage different from TaeYang off stage? (Question from DC Galler Lara)
YB: Well, I guess I tend to become more confident and try to do more and better when it comes to the things I love and I think I can do well. I have this passion and drive to do really well on stage and try to control myself a lot. Off stage, I just quietly… (laugh).
Q: Now a question that seems very popular these days – “What’s music to Dong YoungBae?”
YB: To me, regardless of the genre, music is a treasure that has always been a source of my strength and inspired me to have dreams. The metaphors change every time I answer the question, but it’s something that you cannot compare to anything (laugh).
It wasn’t just the DCYB Gallers and fans that recognized his talent, skills and potential. Recently, a number of renowned artists, including Tablo of Epic High, Hyon-Jun Choi of V.O.S. and (critically acclaimed producer/singer) Hee-Yol Yu, sang high praises for DYB’s new EP. President Yang of YG Entertainment, who had suggested YB that he release a solo album, recently said he “understands the music fans’ hunger and thirst for what they believe TaeYang can do for them,” and announced the company’s plans to hold his solo concerts and release a new album annually. Apparently DYB’s talent, abilities and potential are being known and talked about in wider circles now.
My impression: Dong YoungBae was a very shy 20 year-old young man with a gorgeous smile. I saw a tightly packed ball of energy, passion and love for music in him. I hope his dreams of becoming the hottest and the brightest “TaeYang” in the universe will come true very soon.
[Original Text/Photos: DC Inside (Interview by SooKyung Han; Photos by YoungMin Lee)]
[Translated by pgeorgie]
Post taken from: http://pgeorgie.blogspot.com/