10: Well you’re the youngest member of Big Bang and even within YG so don’t you ever get worried people will ask you why you do certain things?
Seungri: Age means nothing in this industry. Even with reporters, a good reporter is one that writes well, no matter how young he or she is, right? It’s the same in our business well. Age means nothing. I think you rather try harder if your young to overcome that perception people have of you.
10: Have you always been so determined about striving forward?
Seungri: I changed when I was promoting “Strong Baby.” So much happened then — I think I could call it the turning point of my life.
10: Exactly what sort of things happened?
Seungri: After becoming popular as a member of Big Bang, I suddenly started thinking that I no longer want to be called the youngest of the team. And that’s when I got the chance to promote myself as a solo so I told myself I would try to change my image. And the song became popular amongst a lot of people. It won three weeks straight on a music show and got played in the clubs a lot. But I became arrogant… I guess I became haughty because I was young and immature. And people saw it but they told our leader instead of me. And I heard it through our leader.
10: What thoughts crossed your mind then?
Seungri: I was angry. I wondered why such things were being said and why I have to be viewed in that way. It hurt my pride. And it lighted by competitive spirit. I told myself, ‘Okay, fine. I won’t let people say such things ever again.’ My motto was “I’m the best” when promoting “Strong Baby” but it changed to “I will never make the same mistake twice.” And for the two years that followed after that, I acted even more politely to people, I practiced over and over again without craving popularity, and just lived life as it is. My latest album came out after that. It actually wasn’t easy to release an album because YG had to release Big Bang’s album. Our fans have waited for Big Bang for so long but they believed in me and gave me the chance to pursue a solo career.
10: Is that the fruit of your efforts during the past two years?
Seungri: Not once did I act greedy the past two years. T.O.P shot a movie and won an award for best new actor, Daesung was popular because of his appearance in variety show “Family Outing,” G-Dragon became a hit with “Heartbreaker” and Taeyang held a solo concert while I had nothing. And my friends asked what I’m doing, whether I’m just hanging out. But I couldn’t ask my boss to let me do something as well because it isn’t professional. I wanted to do something twice as well when someone has asked me to do it, not act out of place when nobody has asked me to. This album contains the time I prepared myself with a huge amount of determination.
10: I think the joy you feel from changing people’s perception like that must be different from the joy you feel from simply being love by them. Which is more important to you?
Seungri: Changing someone’s mind. There was a reporter who used to hate YG and Big Bang but I purposely acted even nicer to that person when we once got the chance to meet. I said, “Come on, why be like that? We worked so hard. Please write nice things about us this time.” And that reporter did from then on.
10: That’s probably something that’s hard for other members of your group to do.
Seungri: I do it because they won’t. They themselves say they can’t. And that they’re very grateful for me in many ways because I do. At our new building, the managing and PR team are on the fourth floor, the planning and A&R team on the fifth floor and the planning team are also on the sixth floor but there are few artists that go to the fifth and sixth floor. But whenever I go in, I go to all of those floors to say hello and ask how everyone is doing. That’ll make them realize who they’re working with. The members of my group aren’t quite aware of such things (laugh) so I do it for them.
10: What do you think is the difference between someone saying that he can’t and someone who can?
Seungri: With the other members in my group, they may think about doing things that come from their heart but let it go if they think they shouldn’t after giving it a thought. (laugh) They’re pure-hearted as well but smart enough not to show their real selves.
10: And you?
Seungri: I’m quick-witted so rather than controlling my heart with my head, I make a move when I need to. And it’s something that’s very important. When you make a move, you need to do it to the extent it’ll seem cute and not turn other people off but it’s something you need to study a lot. You need to try making attempts, try killing the mood… But like I said before, not make the same mistake twice.
10: I’m sure it helps you expand on your relationships.
Seungri: I tested it out once for a recording for a TV show. And the reaction I got for when I said, “Hello, I’m Seungri of Big Bang. I’m looking forward to us working together today,” versus “Hello, I’m Seungri of Big Bang. Go, camera directors. I’m rooting for you today.” They’ll hold the camera at you differently by making them smile in such a way because they’ll open their hearts to you. People are just like that.
10: That’s true but when you do the work you do, there are people who will hate you even when you haven’t done anything wrong. How do you feel about that?
Seungri: Oh, I’ll willingly accept it. Bad comments about me that get posted on the Internet. People who write them do so because they’ve watched me perform and are interested. My job is with every performance, to decrease the number of bad comments that get posted. From ten to five to three and then none.
10: You already mentioned how you strive to become better than you already are — your desire to do so seems to become stronger when people point out your shortcomings.
Seungri: Well it has to do with this album but somebody said to me, “You can’t even sing a falsetto when you’re a singer? Do it all over from the beginning.” I was angry but it was true because I couldn’t sing a high note through my nose. So I said okay and practiced my falsetto for a whole year. Thanks to that, I was able to sing falsetto for the songs “OPEN YOUR MIND,” “MAGIC” and “IN MY WORLD” in this album. And nobody has said anything to me about my falsetto since. The same goes for how I’ve become a member of Big Bang. My ninth grade homeroom teacher had told me I probably won’t be able to become a singer. I was so embarrassed because all the other teachers heard what my teacher said but once I became Big Bang and gave him our album, he said, “I’m proud of you. I knew you’d make it.” (laugh) There’s sort of a satisfaction I get from such incidents, when I get to show people who didn’t think I’d make it, what I’ve done.
10: You quelled the concerns and undervaluations people had of you from the moment you became a member of Big Bang, until now, by showing the results to your efforts. Is there anything that you ultimately want to achieve at the end of this road?
Seungri: I want to become someone that many people will feel gratitude toward. I once asked one of the employees at our agency why he still works with YG, despite his old age and the work being tough. And he said it’s because of Se7en. He said he had worked with Se7en since his debut and that he couldn’t leave because he can’t forget how he took care of him from back then. How cool is that. That’s the sort of person I want to become. It would be truly amazing if people stayed with YG because they are moved by me, Seungri.
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Reporter : Wee Geun-woo eight@, Choi Ji-Eun five@
Editor : Jessica Kim jesskim@, Lee Ji-Hye seven@