Text: Dang Hui Ling, reporting from Hong Kong
Video: Vina Chia, reporting from Hong Kong
With lights set and camera ready to roll, BIGBANG member Taeyang swaggered into a room located on the 116th level of The Ritz Carlton, Hong Kong – with an entourage consisting of his translator, stylist, make-up artist and minders – for an exclusive interview with xinmsn on Tuesday night (Dec 2).
xinmsn was invited to the interview by the concert organisers Flabbergast Productions, LinkTopz and CC Crave Media (Korea) who will be bringing Taeyang's RISE World Tour to Singapore on Feb 8.
While Taeyang was raring to talk about his first solo world tour, we couldn’t help asking about his new fringe, which hindered any form of eye-contact with him.
“I can’t see very well,” the 26-year-old admitted. “(Does such a hairstyle hinders your performance?) Because I can’t see well, it boosts my confidence when I perform on stage.”
Is that a hint of insecurity we sensed, under his perfectly-curated stage persona? Perhaps that’s where the age-old saying of how idols are “only humans too” stemmed from, but that tinge of insecurity was quickly buried under his pristine idol image.
Alas, before we could continue on the topic of stage confidence and his new shiny new ‘do, we were told from the get-go that the interview will be 15 minutes - and only 15 minutes long. In a race against time, as the seconds ticked away, we moved on from the topic of his visually fascinating hairstyle.
Last week, YG Entertainment announced the world tour, which got international fans wildly excited. Besides being named after Taeyang’s latest album, RISE, to the singer, also represents a fresh beginning. “It symbolises my album which took a long time to prepare, and it is also a reference to my stage name (Taeyang means “sun” in Korean),” he explained.
As if VIP (BIGBANG’s fans) need more reasons to grab tickets to the highly anticipated show, Taeyang revealed that he will be performing all the new tracks from RISE, giving his word that watching the “live” rendition of his songs will be an entirely different experience from merely listening to the album.
Apart from the special stages, the good-natured chap also let us in on what goes on behind the scenes. Although Taeyang does not have any particular pre-concert ritual that he practises, he usually goes to the washroom to be alone and clear his mind. “When there are people around, there is a lot of noise,” he thought aloud.
Soon to embark on his tour as a solo artiste, it seems like Taeyang will not miss his BIGBANG members very much because he has his fans (all together now: aww). “When I’m on stage, it is an engagement with my fans, so I don’t really feel lonely. But when I’m waiting backstage for the concert to begin, it can get kind of boring,” the singer shared.
Eight years since his debut, Taeyang has completed numerous gigs in various cities. When asked to single out the most memorable performance, the Hallyu star tactfully commented that it is a tall order to do so, as every place has their own culture, and his interaction with local fans differs too.
“Because of our love for music, we become one with the fans, regardless of the location,” he emphasised. “I hope to create even more memorable stages in the future, be it on my own or with BIGBANG.”
And if VIP are thinking of ways to attract Taeyang’s attention at his concert, our advice is to simply have fun. As a dedicated performer who relishes the stage, the feeling that Taeyang gets when he sees fans enjoying themselves and truly being moved by his music is the best kind of crowd response for him. “I naturally notice it when fans look at me with so much love in their eyes,” the singer added smiling.
Taeyang’s latest collaboration with his buddy G-Dragon “Good Boy” has unsurprisingly proven to be a huge hit among the fans and on music charts. In an impressive feat, the single debuted at No. 1 on Billboard’s World Digital Songs, making the BIGBANG duo the third K-pop act to accomplish that.
So, where did inspiration for ‘Good Boy’ come from?
“We didn’t specially plan for it. Jiyong (GD’s real name) and I are close friends who meet each other often in the studio, and we discuss a lot about music together,” Taeyang let on.
The affable lad also shared that they have written many songs for BIGBANG, but as the members are busy with their individual activities, he would prepare demos for them to listen to.
As it turned out, YG Entertainment’s CEO Yang Hyun-suk decided that the BFFs were good enough to rock the song. “Our CEO said that there’s no need for all five members to sing [‘Good Boy’], and that Jiyong and I can do it,” Taeyang disclosed.
BIGBANG has previously done ‘Bad Boy’ and with the release of ‘Good Boy’, but the question is: Is Taeyang a good or a bad boy in real life?
“People who don’t know me well may think that I’m a bad boy, but if you truly understand me, I’m a very good boy. I’m embarrassed to say this myself,” he laughed. “I’m not that young, so I shouldn’t be called a ‘boy’ anymore in fact. This term shall not be used after this year.”
In case you haven’t heard, BIGBANG is set to usher in 2015 at the CELEBRATE SG50 countdown show held at The Float @ Marina Bay on Dec 31 – which would also be the first time that the quintet will be kicking off a brand new year with a gig.
When asked for his thoughts on welcoming the New Year in Singapore, Taeyang cheekily replied: “Why don’t I call you after the show? I will make an international call to you. (I will be in Singapore) Then I will tell you on the stage.”
Is that a pick-up line he’s trying? Looks like he’s beginning to make good of his word to not be called a “boy” anymore.
xinmsn is proud to be the official online media for Taeyang’s RISE concert in Singapore. Stay tuned to xinmsn for the latest updates!
WATCH: Get upclose and personal with Taeyang as he shares about his upcoming world tour
2015 Taeyang RISE World Tour in Singapore
Date: 8th February 2015 (Sun)
Venue: Singapore Expo Hall 3
The ‘Rise’ of Taeyang: Don’t call me a boy after this year
The BIGBANG member tells us what to expect from his upcoming maiden solo world tour
- Taeyang RISE BIGBANG