Interview: MFBTY Reveals Hidden Gems from “Wondaland,” What They’re Listening to Right Now, and More!
Is MFBTY’s “Wondaland” still on your mind? It’s definitely a treasure chest of an album, and if you haven’t given it a listen in the quiet of your room with a solid pair of headphones, volume up, you should definitely cancel your dinner plans. The group brings a kind of sound that is undoubtedly their own, and an adventure you most definitely want to have.
MFBTY spoke with us and gave us a little bit of insight into their own adventure with the makings of their latest release, hints on hidden gems, their favorite picks from “Wondaland,” peeks into the top songs of their current playlists, and more!
Check out the interview below!
To what extent does the music you listen to influence what you produce? Were there any particular inspirations for “Wondaland”?
Tiger JK: Sublimely and spiritually everything I hear influences me. But what inspires me the most is what I’m going through. “Wondaland” was particularly inspired by my people. People who supported my father till the last day, just chatting with him and sending love and positive energy. Believe it or not, during my father’s seven month battle with cancer he did not take pain meds at all, which is a miracle. He kept his smile thanks to all the good people all over the world. I don’t call them my fans, I call them my family. They inspired me to make this record. I love them and thank them dearly.
Yoonmirae: We’re inspired by everything around us. But we work best when we tune into whatever’s happening in our own lives. I know that all the music my parents played in the house while I was growing up is the reason I am the artist I am today.
Are there any hidden Easter eggs in your album? Lyrics or melodies that have a story to them that only you know, or any hidden message? If you don’t mind, could you share a couple with us?
Tiger JK: Sexual innuendos and my verse from “Hollywho.” Check it out!
Yoonmirae: Where’s the fun in that!
Bizzy: For the intro track on our album, we used our fans’ voices on it to surprise them.
You mentioned that “Wondaland” is a K-pop, not hip-hop, album. What made you decide on a more K-pop rather than a hip-hop sound? Do you have plans for a hip-hop album release?
Tiger JK: This time we wanted to do something fun. I’m not saying hip-hop ain’t fun for us. But the three of us transforming into something else was liberating for us.
Yoonmirae: I agree with what JK said. We love hip-hop, have released hip-hop records, and plan on releasing more, but we just wanted to try something different this time.
How many drafts of a song do you usually go through before you reach the final version? Is there a song from the album that has a completely different sound from when you started working on it? What was it like originally?
Tiger JK: We had over 30 plus songs. There were some definite bangers we didn’t put on this record because they didn’t fit. But you’re going to hear them soon. As far as a song growing a life of its own and turning into a different animal, it is usually when the three of us work on it together. Three different characters all hear different tunes off of the same sounds. It’s fun and sometimes painful because we don’t know which way to go.
What was the hardest song for you guys to finish from “Wondaland”?
Tiger JK: Strangely enough, “Let It Go” was the hardest. It was a typical party tune, and we thought it would be finished in a half day. It actually ending up being the last thing we completed. It ended up as a completely different track from when we first started.
Jordan has already done some work for this album, despite only being six years old. What is it like working with Jordan? Do you see a music career in his future?
Yoonmirae: I want him to love music. But a career in music isn’t something I necessarily want him to pursue. However, if one day he does decide that a career in music is what he wants, I won’t stand in his way. But I will make sure that JK or Bizzy is his manager and follows him everywhere!
What are your personal favorites from the new album and why?
Tiger JK: I like “Rebel Music,” “Half Time,” “Buckubucku,” and “6 am.” Tasha’s rapping is just too dope on those and my singing is so lovely! And Bizzy’s verse on “6 am” is mad lyrical. If you understand what he’s saying, y’all ladies be in trouble!
Yoonmirae: “Bang Diggy Bang Bang” is my jam!
Bizzy: In the morning I like to listen to “6 am” and “Love Fortune.” Afternoon is more like “Bang Diggy Bang Bang” and nighttime is “Love and Peace” for me right now.
Is there anyone who you haven’t worked with yet that you would really like to in the future?
Tiger JK: I’ve named so many artists in other interviews that I feel like a desperate man! But I mean what I say. For a Soompi exclusive, I’m going to say this time, for a change, that I would like to work alone. But if Soompi readers have any good suggestions, then I’m going to try and make it happen for y’all.
Yoonmirae: I want to steal Bizzy’s usual answer and say Bom and Bobby. And I have a few others in mind, but I hesitate to say them because people always be stealing our ideas!
Are there any artists that have caught your eye lately?
Tiger JK: There are lots of them when Tasha ain’t around!
Yoonmirae: There are lots of them when JK’s not around!
Bizzy: There are lots of them when JK and Tasha are not around!
What are the top three songs on your playlist right now?
Tiger JK: Earl Sweatshirt’s “Grief,” Damian Marley’s “Welcome to Jamrock,” and Erykah Badu’s “On & On.”
Yoonmirae: Mobb Deep’s “Shook Ones Part II,” Craig Mack’s “Can You Still Love Me,” and Drunken Tiger’s “Addictive Diction Friction.”
Bizzy: I’m listening to the whole “Wondaland” album. I’m trying to memorize my lyrics!
Do you feel a lot of pressure being referred to as hip-hop royalty in Korea?
Tiger JK: We never really hear that at all, especially here in Korea. It’s only during interviews like this where that comes up.
Yoonmirae: Aww … I bet you ask that to all the hip-hop heads.
If you had to pick one genre other than hip-hop for the rest of your career, which genre would you pick?
Tiger JK: Reggae music zeen!