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[INTERVIEW] Big Bang's G-Dragon and T.O.P unit - Part 2

2011/01/04 | 2164 views | Permalink | Source

G-Dragon and T.O.P (Choi Seung-hyun) [Lee Jin-hyuk, Chae Ki-won/10Asia] 

10: I think the other units would've been interesting as well.
G-Dragon: But it turned out that they're all busy with their individual activities and appearing on variety shows. (laugh) Only T.O.P (Choi Seung-hyun) and I had some time to kill so we ended up working together and producing the most songs together. (laugh) But our other projects were getting pushed back so Yang suggested we try various experiments for Big Bang's music in the mean time and then have Big Bang's album itself contain songs with all five of our voices instead of in units. So that's why Seungri's song, which was actually supposed to go into Big Bang's album, will be released in his upcoming solo album and we're releasing our songs separately as well.

10: So it seems like your album came about by coincidence but how did you two actually make music together? It seems like you two had entirely different interpretations of "BABY GOOD NIGHT"?
G-Dragon: He has changed his name to e.knock now but that song was made when I was over at Kush's house. I was just hanging out with him when he played the arrangement for "BABY GOOD NIGHT" he'd made, asking me what I thought about it. I took it from him as soon as I heard it. (laugh) Then I came up with the melody that I thought would go with it, humming up the part that goes "Baby good night" and T.O.P (Choi Seung-hyun) added the rap to it. Then I added more lyrics to it, singing for the first time with this album. We made "DON'T LEAVE" after that.
T.O.P (Choi Seung-hyun): That was the first song we completed together for the album. G-Dragon had been working on Big Bang's album and when I joined him after getting done with film "71 Into The Fire", we recorded this song first but the result was satisfying so we started working together lot after that. In that sense, I think "BABY GOOD NIGHT" was how are album came about.
G-Dragon: For that song, the first thing we did was to come up with its theme. We thought of what song we would sing to our lovers if we had one. So we came up with the lyrics imagining that I was caressing my lover's hair while she sleeps, and then added the melody to it. We also wanted to make a very sexy song and I also wanted our song to be one that people would turn on when they want to create a romantic atmosphere with their lovers. (laugh)

10: Is that the reason you included narration in French for "BABY GOOD NIGHT"?
G-Dragon: I've done a lot of narrations for Big Bang's album and my fans probably won't mind hearing me do them again but I felt that other people might be sick of it. (laugh) I also wanted to give the song more of a movie-like vibe to it through the dialogue between a man and a woman, as well as use a language that goes better with the song's sound.

10: Are you saying that there are certain pronunciations that go better with certain sounds because G-Dragon, with all of your songs, it seems like you paid more attention to making sure you pronunciation mixes well with the sounds rather than making an effort to pronouncing everything accurately.
G-Dragon: People have pointed out problems with my pronunciation a lot since I was young but I thought about it a lot instead of trying to fix it. I feel that this is something I'm curious about as someone who listens to current music but I realized that songs become weird and their unique vibe gets lost when non-Korean songs are translated into Korean. It's like how a movie seems different when it gets dubbed into another language. So I try tried to write the lyrics in Korean as much as I could but pronounce it differently. For example, I rolled my tongue more for pronouncing "round and round" in song "KNOCK OUT". I regarded my voice itself as an instrument so I paid careful attention to the effect that my voice is giving off.

10: I think that's why it seemed like you purposely affected your voice this time.
G-Dragon: Yes and I do it quite often. I tried as hard as I could to make it sound like an instrument and I also tried to make as many instrumental sounds as I could with my mouth.

 

G-Dragon and T.O.P (Choi Seung-hyun) [Lee Jin-hyuk, Chae Ki-won/10Asia]

10: T.O.P (Choi Seung-hyun), you on the other hand, pronounce your words very accurately -- it's probably the most accurate you've sounded out of all of your albums so far. You've made the complete opposite choice from G-Dragon.
T.O.P (Choi Seung-hyun): It wasn't something I intended on, I just went with how I felt, but I have changed my vocalization technique. A lot of people listen to Big Ban's music so I want people to hear each and every sound, as if I'm talking right into their ears.

10: I think that's how your voices work together to produce the songs we hear in the songs in your album. For example, in "HIGH HIGH" and "DON'T LEAVE", G-Dragon seems to be leading the flow of the sound rather than just rapping while T.O.P (Choi Seung-hyun) on the other hand gives impacts to the songs.
G-Dragon: T.O.P (Choi Seung-hyun)'s voice has weight and is very charismatic while mine is extremely light so I think we work well when I flutter around his grounded voice. (laugh)

10: But it's interesting to see that this is the album that two artists with such contrasting styles have produced. It's as if it reaches a bit beyond reality, that it's literally 'high'.
G-Dragon : Yes. That's the style we like.
T.O.P (Choi Seung-hyun): We wanted to create music that is dreamy and with a sense of space.

10:Why did you choose to go with such sound? Both "HIGH HIGH" and "OH YEAH" seem to go beyond music one would listen to at a club to have fun and rather give off the vibe that you're 'drunk' with your music, as if you've reached a state of nirvana.
G-Dragon: We wanted to make music that can be pictured in one's mind, just by reading the lyrics, and we wanted to make music that is visual like a movie. It's no fun simply enjoying yourself all the way from start to finish. During concerts as well, it is up to us to lead the crowd and in order to do that we have to know when to push, pull, loosen or tighten, because that's how you create tension for excitement. So even during the short playing time, we changed the flow of the song and emotions expressed within it, and added in various effects to create ups and downs to make the listeners become immersed.

10: Is that how you brought the sense of space felt in clubs to life? You seemed to have made quite an effort to create the space at which your song is being sung as well as giving it different texture depending on what the song sings of.
G-Dragon: That's something we demand for in extreme detail. We don't say, "Hey, let's have that guy who's good at mixing work on our music" but instead explain everything saying, "Bro, this part has to ring more, as if we are singing from somewhere very far in the background and this part has to seem more as if we're whispering".
T.O.P (Choi Seung-hyun): Our company also puts in the most effort into the sound mixing. Yang will sometimes do the mixing himself as well. For this album as well, the sound will seem different depending on whether you're listening to a CD or listening to the digital sound source because our boss personally took care of the sound mixing himself to suit the listening environment. (laugh)
G-Dragon: That's why YG's music is different depending on the generation you're in -- Perry's generation, Teddy's generation and our generation. Each producer will imagine of different sounds and that precisely is what gets reflected into the albums they work on.

10: That is why when you listen to "HIGH HIGH" or "OH YEAH", they sounded similar to Big Bang's electronica style on the surface but it rather seems you two reproduced what goes on inside a club. And there may not be too many people who know how to enjoy themselves with the sort club that your song gives off.
T.O.P (Choi Seung-hyun): We too knew we may be taking a chance. But if we had focused simply on the song's commercial success, we would've gone with the styles we did as Big Bang but we altered it a bit instead. And the first things we wanted to do was to present the public with our color to show who we are. We kept thinking that we need to seem different in some way since we're in front of the public for the first time in a while.
G-Dragon: Whether people know about club culture or not, I wanted to make them think, "Ah, so that's how you have fun in the club and that's how you move to this music to have fun" from watching our performances. We were confident that we could make people understand our music through our televised performance.

Senior Reporter : Kang Myoung-Seok two@
Photographer : Chae ki-won ten@
Photographer : Lee Jin-hyuk eleven@
Editor : Lee Ji-hye seven@
Editor : Heidi Kim heidikim@
<ⓒ10Asia All rights reserved>

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