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Posted by AKP STAFF Friday, December 31, 2010

G-Dragon on composing music, maturing as an artist, and GD&TOP's album

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Big Bang'sGD&TOP have made an explosive unit debut with their new album, which has created quite the buzz in the music industry. Reporters from10asia received the opportunity to spend three days from the Christmas holiday with GD&TOP, attending their performances and interviewing them on their growth as musicians. Interviews were divided individually, and T.O.P's can be read here. == >You have dark circles undernearth your eyes. (laughter) GD: "Yes, I had to perform all night. (laughter)" >Your schedule has gotten a lot busier now. You had a period of break after your solo activities, right? GD: "After my solo activities, I received permission from our CEO and did as I liked for about two months." >It was your first time taking that long of a break since your debut, right? What kind of impressions did you gain from that? GD: "It's tiring and difficult when we have a lot of schedules, but all of that disappears when everything's accomplished. I think the break reflected that same feeling - everything from before becomes something that isn't as big of a deal when time passes. You're able to organize your thoughts and work even harder for the future. The one year after I finished my solo activities was the first opportunity for me to try something new since Big Bang's debut. Before, all we did was run, but this past year allowed me to have time to think and rest. It's made me a lot more confident about our next album, and definitely more confident in meeting new people." >It's hard to find a word for it, but to put it simply, it seems like your attitude has changed. GD: "Yes, it's changed a lot. I've become more flexible and more understanding. Our CEO always told me to think from other perspectives instead of my own. After I heard that, I was able to understand a lot more things. Before, when we had a lot of schedules, I'd complain and ask why we had so many. Now, I think preciously of even the smallest things. I feel like a person that's been revitalized after a huge illness. My condition's great, and I'm anticipating the things I'll be able to accomplish in the future." >Sounds like nirvana? GD: "As opposed to nirvana, it's just easier for me to think that it's what I have to do. People might think that I've become successful, but to me, those accomplishments have stimulated me to do better and helped me mature. I'm not pressured about how I look to others anymore, and I want to share my gifts with everyone." >Did you care about the views of others before? GD: "Before, the way I would talk would change depending on the different people I'd meet because of my job. The way I acted towards others was different compared to the way I acted with my friends, but I think I've reconciled that now. I'm actually scared of interviews lately. I know it's good to erase that line of separation between me and my celebrity image, but interviews in Korea can become dangerous (laughter). Aside from that, I'm not afraid to show who I am to others now. This is who I am, and this is why people like me. This is who I'll be from now on." >There was a lyric in your intro that left quite the impression: "I may be short, but my girl's tall." It seems like a phrase that simply organizes all of the complex things that happened into a short, but simple, "It is what it is." GD: "Yes, a lot of my thoughts were organized. At the time of my debut, I was young and never thought about how I would receive the reflection of others. The release of my solo album was when people began to truly judge me. I was hurt a lot, and it was scary having to wake up in the morning every single day., because every new morning, something different happened. At the time, I think I was severely broken." >How did you overcome that? GD: "With time. Now that time's passed, I've realized that I'm a singer who caters to the public. Whatever I intended, my job is to make the public accept it, and if I wasn't able to, that's my fault. I once wondered what the point was in explaining every little thing like that. I kept thinking that I would just produce better music for the next album in response, since I wasn't allowed to express myself through words, which was why I remained quiet. I tried really hard to do everything I possibly could during that time to leave a better impression on people. Now, people are a lot more understanding. I think that's how it works: step by step, everyone just matches up to one other." >Did such changes in your mindset influence your music? A song off of your album, "Baby Good Night," is a style you haven't done before. GD: "You're right. There's an endless amount of molds to break out from. Once you stick to a mold, you play the same kind of music every day. I think that's a problem with idols, and it's a mission that will never be accomplished. Such problems arise when you keep resting without releasing new albums." >True. When you don't have the freedom to think, everything that follows is inertia. GD: "Yes, the minute you start thinking of this as a job, it becomes impossible for proper music to be created. Being able to have my own time allows me to enjoy the music I create. Whether I'm making music or performing, the artist's enjoyment is reflected onto the song." >It must be harder for you now. You've been making a countless number of songs since your debut. GD: "I've lost confidence through that as well. Before, I used to think that I'd be able to do well for the rest of my life, but I reached a slump after I started to cage my creativity. I know this may sound cocky at such a young age, but seniors such as Seo Taiji say that they felt the pain of creation, right? I'm not at that point yet, but I sometimes wonder whether I've already pulled out everything I have inside of me, and so now there's nothing left. Sometimes I wonder whether I can assure myself of success five, or even ten years from now." > I think that was the case with "Heartbreaker." For "Lie," every idea was meticulously brought together in order to create the track, while "Heartbreaker" lacked that sort of delicacy, which is why I believe it was swept in a plagiarism controversy. If you had more time, could the result have changed? GD: "While experiencing that period, I felt that I needed more time in preparing everything. Before, I was able to sit down and just complete a track like a machine, but to do that now makes me apologetic to my fans. Standing before people without being prepared changes your mental attitude." > "Heartbreaker Part II" featured the participation of Flo Rida. The overall track gave off the feeling that you better understood the different sounds in it. It was a recreation that featured new flow and new rhymes. GD: "A lot of people think that Flo Rida participated in the song due to the plagiarism controversy, but that wasn't the case. I wanted to show people that Korean rappers didn't fall behind the skills of a western rapper in the same song. Unfortunately, people were more focused on the controversy that took place before it, so I wasn't able to receive positive or negative reviews on the actual song itself." >Your rapping in Part II left quite the impression. In that short amount of time, you managed to introduce, develop, and conclude the essence of G-Dragon. GD: "Well, it was rapid-fire (laughter). Previously, my thoughts were caught up in the fact that "Heartbreaker" was my album's title track, which largely influenced how it was arranged. For part II, I tried to add stronger variety in order to show everything before Flo Rida." > Having to think of one song in so many different ways must have made your viewpoint and musical creativity change. GD: "For one, it's become a lot more free. Every feeling for Big Bang's album, my solo work, and for GD&TOP's work is different. The more I compose, the more I learn and mature. For now, I'm not sure what the outcome of this album will be, but I know that Big Bang's next album will reflect the feelings I went through with this album. Through that cycle, the rest of the members and I will be able to source different experiences in maturing ourselves." > Your lyrics seem to have changed as well. The lyrics you feature in this album seem to give a deeper view into who you are, as opposed to just a literal expression of yourself. GD: "Just like how movies have comedy, thriller, and horror genres, lyrics have storytelling capabilities as well. I wanted to have my lyrics turned into 'literature', where people would be able to read them without music - like a sort of story with a clear point that leaves an impression, something different from the usual love songs. Ever since I was young, I grew up listening to American rappers, so I think that largely influenced the storytelling in my lyrics." >"Nightmare" off of your album seems to reflect those thoughts. When you close your eyes and just listen to the first part, it feels as if you've been running and are just now beginning to fly. GD: "I wanted people to be able to imagine those things with 'Nightmare.' I wanted to be able to create a song that could be horrifying to some, and fantastical to others; something with an open ending like the movie 'Inception.' An ending that is left up to the listener's imagination, really. I try to pay close attention to the aspect of music that allows people to think their own thoughts without there being a straight answer." >Probably because it's your solo track, but "Nightmare" seems to have a lot of your characteristics as a composer. The difference in change between each part is rather large. The beginning changes in four levels as well, just like "Lie" and "Heartbreaker." Do you have a reason for favoring such a style? GD: "It's the only way I can deliver my music to the public in tact. These days, people can edit parts of songs to turn into ringtones for themselves. The parts they choose are usually 'big impact' sections; oftentimes they choose the chorus. The chorus has become an extremely important aspect of songs now since people decide whether they'll continue to listen to the song or not, and usually only remember the chorus. As for me, I'd like for every part of my song to be remembered by the people that listen to it. That's why every song is arranged differently and feature a variety of stories." > It feels like both you and your music have passed a sort of moment in your life. GD: "An entertainer is a job where you're in the public's eye. I'm a person that makes music and sings it on stage. I need to have my own thoughts and my own music in order to truly show myself. All this while, I've believed this to be the only job for me, but now I see the pressure of all of the other tasks that come with it." > Everything related to you that happened last year became a headline. GD: "Yes, being in that situation makes you more careful, but also a lot more lonely. But taking the time to sit down and sort all of it out through music has helped me become more natural, which is what allowed me to show 100% of myself through this album." > It feels like this is your real start. GD: "It really is my real start. Everything I've done till now has been the foundation under my feet. I, Big Bang included, am starting fresh." > What would you like to do now? You say that "life is one shot" in your lyrics for "High High," but you've reached this point by performing and creating music diligently since your debut. GD: "I don't think I've taken that shot yet. (laughter)" > Really? (laughter) GD: "It might sound like I'm greedy, but even now, I don't think of it as much. There are still so many paths I must take and I've yet to show a real shot yet. I'm just slowly preparing myself, as this 'shot' is something the members of Big Bang dream of. One day, we're going to make that shot. (laughter)." Source + Photos: 10asia

  1. BIG BANG
  2. G-DRAGON
  3. GD&TOP
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