Taeyang Talks About His New Album and His Approach to Hip-Hop (Interview Part 1)


“He’s a dancer that knows how to play with the rhythm.”

This is what Park Jin Young of JYP Entertainment said about Taeyang who is signed under YG Entertainment, one of his rival companies. Taeyang, who displayed his devotion to R&B, went under a transformation and has returned with a hip-hop track, “Ringa Linga.” He demonstrates his talent as a dancer when he performs on stage. His powerful choreography and disciplined movements seize the stage. He possesses something that can’t be attained from practice; he has ‘soul.’

The dance video to “Ringa Linga”, which was revealed prior to the release of his single, is receiving a good response. Taeyang flew to L.A. to record the video with 12 of the best dancers in the U.S. More surprising thing is that Taeyang stands out within the group. The video was so hot that Rihanna began following him on Instagram. On November 11, Taeyang had an interview session with Ilgan Sports at a café in Hongdae, Seoul. He did not cover up his anticipation for his new album. “I made the kind of music I wanted to do the most. I want to perform on stage. I would perform standing on top of a box if I had to.” Taeyang plans to release his complete album after releasing his singles.

– You came out with a hip-hop track “Ringa Linga” rather than an R&B track. Why hip-hop?

“It’s the type of music I’m into right now. I showed a lot of my emotional side before, but my original dream was to become a rapper. Hip-hop is what I like most and what I am best at right now.”

– Could it be the influence of G-Dragon who wrote and composed the song?

“I was working on the song and Jiyong (G-Dragon) made the chorus in minutes after listening to it. I liked it a lot, so I thought it would be better to let him take charge of the whole song. We finished the recording in one day. Teddy hyung and Jiyong know best about the color and the range of my voice. They make songs that are easy for me to sing.”

– The dance video is creating a buzz aside from the music video. What lead you to making it? 

“There’s an American dancer named Parris Goebel. I fell in love with her style after watching her videos. I showed this to [Yang] Hyun Suk hyung, and he said, ‘I’ll give you three days. Go to America, learn for a day, film for a day, and come back.’ I went to the U.S. right after filming the music video.”

– The chorus to “Ringa Linga” sounds very fun. Where did the inspiration come from?

“It was Jiyong’s idea. It came from a Korean children’s song ‘Round and Round.’ Both Teddy hyung and Jiyong think of ways to make the songs catchy.”

– Your second album is going to release soon. Can you tell us about it?

“I prepared for this album for three years. I included songs I made over the time period, so the tracks are diverse. R&B and hip-hop are a given, but there is also electronic, ballad, and rock. It was difficult because it took so long to finish. Sometimes, I just wanted to hurry up and release it. It was difficult for me to hold in my urge to perform on stage. I couldn’t do anything because I didn’t know when my album was coming out. I wanted to meet girls and travel, but I felt uncomfortable about doing anything. I want to release it quickly and do something else.”

– Why was it delayed?

“I got greedy. It’s hard for me to accept it when someone else doesn’t like something I like. I feel the same way even if it involves the boss [Yang Hyun Suk]. I waited until the boss liked my music. I made him listen to my music until he liked it.”

– Did you feel resentment towards him?

“If he said ‘No’ I would have started over from scratch, but I was disappointed because my schedule kept being pushed back. But when I look back now, I’m thankful for the outcome. It was actually my selfishness that led to the delay. The boss took in all of this and allowed me to release my album.”

(Continues in Part 2)