Se7en is back.
On July 20th, Se7en appeared 8:10PM at the “Se7en Digital Bounce Release Party” in a club at Seoul’s Kangnam Gu and performed his newest songs, “Digital Bounce” and “Better Together”; songs from his first album since a three year hiatus. (You can get his new album here.)
Amongst the cheers of 250 Korean fans and 100 Japanese fans, Se7en showed up looking manlier and sexier, sending all the fans crazy. Even though it has been three years, the “blank period” has been meaningful for him and he has come back with a more sophisticated and cooler look.
“A man brimming with manliness” is no longer an awkward description for Se7en.
We met up with him after the release party. Se7en was attractive in his own way, speaking with much confidence. YG Entertainment’s representative, Yang Hyun Suk, was also present.
Se7en will be having his comeback performances on various music programs on the 29th, 30th, 31st and 1st of August. TOP, who is featured in “Digital Bounce,” will also appear together with Se7en on his comeback stage.
Feelings about coming back?
Because it’s been a long time since I have come back, I feel excited, happy and look forward to everything. The adrenaline is pumping.
People get the impression that you were not able to reach your goal in America.
I was in America for three years and it is right to say that we were not able to reach our initial goal. The preparation period was very long and it’s sad that we couldn’t achieve as much as we had prepared. Although a single was released in America, I did not debut officially in America nor did I carry out proper activities.
This resulted a blank period in Korea and although I was sad about this, if you think about this positively, I was able to learn a lot. In the three years that I was in America, I learned a lot musically. I worked with famous producers and famous choreographers and developed in many ways. On a human level, I received a lot which became like a healing force for me. The way I think about it has changed a lot from before and it feels as if I’ve become an adult.
Any plans to try the US market again?
Yang Hyun Suk: I don’t want to use the words “success” or “failure” to describe Se7en’s attempt. All we basically did was prepare for an album in a market where we had a high wall to climb over. He did not debut and stand on a stage where it was possible to judge whether he has succeeded or failed. So we still have wishes to try again. If it doesn’t waste too much time, we do want to try again if there is a good opportunity.
You’ve become manlier and sexier. Your music also seems to have changed.
My image and music has changed. We are trying to get a balance of electronic music, hip hop, pop, R&B. There are many hints of autotune. So that’s why this album is also titled “Digital Bounce”. This album is a mini-album and rather than saying that I am throwing away my original style, we have evolved it and this is the emphasis. So it’s true that my style has changed a bit. I haven’t tried this type of sound before and there might be people who listen to this and think that this doesn’t seem like Se7en’s style.
Please introduce your album.
Yang Hyun Suk: You can see that there is some development from the music we’re produced before. We have paid a lot of attention to the latest trends in music. I didn’t say let’s change it like this because I’ve made this type of music. Rather, it has become a main point in hip-hop music. We also spent a lot of time on the choreography. Also, because a lot of experience in hip-hop was gained by Se7en in the US, he is able to deal with this type of music well.
It’s been so long since you have come back in Korea. It seems that you must feel some sort of burden coming back to this changed music industry.
I don’t feel burdened. I think I will adjust to the environment straightaway. Coming back with a lot of idol groups is just a part of the trend.
What was the hardest thing for you while living in America ?
Because I was away from home for so long, I think I was quite homesick.
You were quite popular in Japan as well.
I will spend the 2nd half of this year in Korea then spend the first half of next year in promoting in Japan.
About the songwriter Choi Pil Kang.
Yang Hyun Suk: I worked with this songwriter called Choi Pil Kang that many may be unfamiliar with. His forte is in making electronic sounds. When I first worked with him, I felt the chemistry straight away. There are many possibilities here and we are also working with many producers that the public have not been appealed to yet.
In the past you were the youngest at YG, now you’re almost the oldest.
I used to followed the older hyungs and it’s great that I now have a lot of dongsengs (juniors).
Yang Hyung Suk: Se7en is YG’s back. Big Bang, 2ne1 also like and respect Se7en very much. There is also talk that Se7en is G-Dragon’s most feared sunbae. Just kidding (laughs).
How did you feel seeing juniors like Big Bang, 2ne1 debuting?
I really enjoyed watching them. Each member did their part well and was able to create a synergy effect. Teamwork was great, the musical style distinct and the fashion style good. Very satisfying.
You look a lot slimmer than before.
I did lose a lot of weight. Once I lost it, it’s been a bit hard to put the weight back on.
How have you changed compared to three years ago?
Rather than saying which part of me has changed, I think I have matured overall a little. Over time, I changed naturally. I matured naturally. After all, three years is not a short time.
While preparing in America, what was the hardest thing for you?
Language was the hardest thing. Then perhaps it was my race. It seems like I wasn’t able to obtain results in America not solely because of any one reason but a combination of various things.
So what were the reasons you think?
I think there needed to be a combination of the singer’s personal talent, music and promotion. At that time, the three things were not perfect. First of all I was not 100% prepared. In America, for an Asian singer to succeed, you need speak English perfectly, look good, have good music and good promotion. Even then, you don’t know if you will succeed. In such a situation, having even one thing lacking made things harder.
What did you want to do during all this time the most?
I really missed the stage. Because Big Bang, 2ne1 came out a lot, I watched a lot of Korean music programs in the US also. I really missed the stage itself. I really wanted to hurry and come back out. I was really itching to perform.
If you put a title to yourself what would it be?
I hope it’s anything except “Lucky Guy” (laughs).
What are your upcoming plans?
I want to be active in promotions. There are plans to release a full album in October or November. From next year January to June, I plan to be active in Japan.
YG entertainment’s new office is really cool.
It’s got everything a singer needs inside. I’m not kidding but even in America, there is no such company. It’s the best company in the world. Inside the company, there’s a gym where you can work out, practice rooms are sufficient as well. There’s nothing a singer needs that’s not in there.
Many fans came today.
I really thank them all. It’s not easy to wait three years and I really thank them for not forgetting me and coming here to cheer me on. Many Japanese fans came as well. Really thank you so much.
Next week’s comeback stage will feature TOP as well.
From the time when Big Bang originally came out, I had wanted to do a duet with TOP.
Yang Hyun Suk: TOP also wanted to work with Se7en a lot to the extent that he fixed up his rapping part in the song many times. It was to the point where I told him to stop it while watching on the side.
Please say a few words, starting your activities after such a long time.
I started this album with a mindset that I am starting over again. My mindset has really changed. It seems as if I’m going back right to the beginning. I hope for everything to carry out well.
All translations by Cecilia, please credit properly if taking out// Se7en Blog