The unpredictable and musically obsessed, G-Dragon, has hit it off again, with his recent come back. A huge percentage of the fan base for idols is teens, but his newest album was rated for 19 or over. Not that some incident was unexpected of sensational rapper/songwriter G-Dragon’s comeback, it was nonetheless a shock to see this happen.
One of his new hits, “That XX” from his comeback album have questionably explicit lyrics that read “what does that b*stard have that I don’t?” The harsh title of the song certainly turns heads, but in contrast the song has a rather soothing acoustic melody creating an interesting yet cohesive mix. In fact if the XX phrase is taken out from the song, the lyrics are quite sappy, far from inappropriate. However, G-Dragon stands strong by stating that he would have “hated to sing the song if the phrase was taken out from the song.”
You have made a solo album comeback after three years. How would you describe the concept of ONE OF A KIND?
There really isn’t one. It’s just unrestrained freedom. Like the title of the album suggests, it’s something what I do best, better than everyone else. I try hard to be unique.
What is it that you do best?
I think my best feature, is not following standards. I try to do what others find difficult, and I try to make it my own. With music videos and music, when it all seems to be the same and boring, I think I find a way to make it fun. I try to voice difficult things to say as well.
If there is something that is different from your solo activities three years ago – ?
Before I put a lot of thought into things. I thought a lot about the deeper meaning and the message in my music and about how my music would be accepted and heard. But the more I make music, the more I think that making music without any deep thought is my personal style that fits be best. Music is just music, and the most important thing is having fun. Rather than thinking up a grand theory or message, I try to put in the emotions I’ve felt a particular day into my songs, so it’s fun for listeners, viewers, and the performer.
What else are you influenced by other than your experiences and emotions?
There are emotions that can pour out from just one word. It’s a weird habit, but I try to interpret things many different ways. I like to imagine things even while watching movies. “Crayon” is a powerful word in itself. I started to produce the song by trying to place the word in. Also the Joker’s famous line from “The Dark Night,” “Why so serious” was a theme that I also wanted to put into the song. Personally the message I got from watching the movie made a good transition into making this song.
What is the reason behind restricting your own album to 19 or over?
There were obviously going to be problems that I was going to run into, so I wanted to prevent those problems before hand. I know it’s just one word, but it doesn’t have a positive nuance. But because the song was made based off that very nuance, I wouldn’t have wanted to sing it without the word. I think those who listen to the song will understand.
Every song, album you produce many people have high expectations. Do you feel pressure?
The pressure is there, but it does not bother me too much. If I was the type to be concerned about the gaze of other people and restrict myself because of that, I would not be able to do what I do. If I work hard enough, people will come to accept me, right?
Do you make an effort to differentiate the styles of your solo activities and Big Bang activities?
Before I would make the effort to separate the styles between the two, but these days there is no such thing. My only thought is to make good music. Setting different styles is in a way restricting. There’s no higher goal than people enjoying our songs.
People always expect something new and far-out from G-Dragon.
Standing out isn’t always a priority. I think it’s a matter of personal concern. Since I have received a lot of love from my listeners and my fans until now, it’s a kind of a responsibility of mine that I need to satisfy their expectations. Things have only been good up until now, but continuing on in the future is certainly a concern. There is always another mountain to climb. It’s difficult, but I’m still young and luck has been on my side until now. I want to give my all into what I can do when I can.
Are you under the impression that there will inevitably come a time when your career with start moving downhill?
I always think of it. You just don’t know with life. If I fall all of a sudden I think it will be overwhelming and I wouldn’t know what to do. I don’t do music in fear of falling, but if my career as a performer reaches a low, I have thought about getting ready to go into producing. Beyond making money, my goal is to do music in the long-term. I might seem like a crazy kid on stage now, but that’s something I won’t be able to do 10, 15 years from now. I’d like to see myself making good music that correlates with my age at that point.
What is G-Dragon like with not doing music?
I think there’s a huge gap between my personalities when doing and not doing music. On stage there’s a part of me that wants to look more confident as a part of image making. When I come down from stage I’m more awkward become like a kid. During my time outside of producing, when I’m out eating with friends or watching a movie, I tend to talk a lot.
You seem more free do to what you want to do offstage in comparison to before.
I think so too. It may increase in the coming years, but in comparison to the years before, after becoming a year older it feels as though I have more leeway. Before at the broadcast stations I would always be busy making my rounds greeting my superiors, but now even bigger people than me come and greet me first. It feels as though I’ve become more of an adult.
What do you think of your senior and fellow label mate, PSY, and his rise to fame all over the world?
I respect him so much. At the beginnings of his song release I had no idea it would get so big. I won’t be able to feel or understand what PSY hyung is going through right now 100%, but I imagine him feeling as though he’s living a dream every day. As a colleague and a labelmate as well a part of me is a little jealous, but I am truly happy for what he has achieved. If PSY hyung carefully paves the way as a harbinger, I think his juniors will be a step closer to their goals in the market as well. The whole situation is really interesting.
Your work receives positive feedback overseas as well, are there any plans to officially try to break into the international market?
It’s not something that can happen from planning. But I also think that it’s better to not try at all if you have is a feeble attempt. My goal is to produce music that people all over the world can listen to and enjoy, and that, I am certainly preparing for. I think will be able to attain that goal naturally if I can produce something they can enjoy and at the same time something that I am confident about. I am learning a lot from doing world tours.