[INTERVIEW] 140702 防弾少年団☆STYLE VOL.7 RESPECTED AND INFLUENTIAL ARTISTS――WE FIND OUT ABOUT BTS’ MUSICAL INFLUENCES!
VOL.7 RESPECTED AND INFLUENTIAL ARTISTS――WE FIND OUT ABOUT BTS’ MUSICAL INFLUENCES!
CREATIVE AND EXCELLENT HIP HOP SOUND WITH EACH MEMBER’S VOICE AND FAST RAP FLOWING WITH A VARIETY OF DIFFERENT COLOUR. THIS TIME, AS ARTISTS THEMSELVES, THE COLOURFULLY CHARMING BTS WILL EACH TELL US ABOUT THEIR MUSICAL BACKGROUND OF THE ARTISTS THEY WERE INFLUENCED BY AND WHO THEY AIMED TO BE LIKE.
The artist whom they set their sights on becoming like, 3 out of 7 chose BIGBANG……
――When did you set your sights on becoming an artist? What lit the spark in you?
J-HOPE: I first started gaining interest in dance by watching various dance videos, and in them I saw BIGBANG. I too wanted to dance with such high quality and be an artist like my sunbaes so in my first year of middle school I auditioned.
V: When I was 10 years old, I saw singers perform on TV and they looked like they were having such a fun time singing. I wanted to sing while running around on a huge stage too. I thought that performing with all your heart looked like a lot of fun. Above all, I was captivated by BIGBANG sunbaes’ performances.
JUNG KOOK: When I was in elementary school, I saw G-DRAGON sunbae and I wanted to be a singer. Then, since being a trainee, I wanted to be an artist rather than a singer.
――3 of you were inspired by BIGBANG!
J-HOPE: BIGBANG is a truly amazing group so we were really influenced by them.
JIN: From when I was in elementary school, I had a vague dream to become a performer, so when I was in 3rd year of senior high school, I watched dramas. The actors looked really cool and seeing this I was deeply moved. I wanted to try too so in order to challenge myself, in university, I listened to the British artist Daley’s music. I wanted to sing like him and move people, is what I came to think.
JIMIN: When I was in junior high school I started to learn dance. I also performed by myself in public, and went to see other singers’ performances. “If I were to perform on that stage, I wonder what kind of feeling I would have~” is what I overwhelmingly felt. Among other things, my entire family was a fan of RAIN sunbae, and so watching his performances, I decided I wanted to become a singer as well.
SUGA: When I was in elementary school 5th grade, I loved the the underground Korean reggae group STONY SKUNK from YG, and I went to see their performances. I decided that I wanted to try making my own music in 6th grade after watching Epik High perform. From that moment on I was prepared.
RAP MONSTER: In my first year of junior high, my friend made me listen to rap, and at that time it was the first time such a song existed in this world so I was shocked. Then I tried writing my own rap lyrics. I want to show my world, is what I came to think.
――You’re saying that if that friend wasn’t there, the current RAP MONSTER wouldn’t exist either?
RAP MONSTER: I can say I’ve been close friends with them since I was 4 years old, and so it wasn’t a mistake but rather thanks to them, my life has changed. I’m thankful to them even at this current moment. There was no way for me to directly tell them this, so when we debuted and I called them on the phone saying, “We finally debuted! I’m truly thankful!” they congratulated me as if nothing had happened.
――It must have been embarrassing.
RAP MONSTER: I’m also embarrassed (bright smile).
JIMIN: I’m embarrassed too~ (laughs).
RAP MONSTER: Why~? I think one day I’ll have to buy something expensive and give it to them (laughs).
――You need to buy them something in the range of a house (laughs).
RAP MONSTER: Ah…I’ll try my best in order to buy it!
JIMIN: Well then, buy one for me too.
V: Me too–!!
RAP MONSTER: Why should I buy something as much as a house for you guys~
JIMIN: Aren’t you BTS’ leader?
SUGA: Well then, one for me too please.
All: Me too!
RAP MONSTER: Haa~ (sighs) Being leader is tough (laughs).
Even X JAPAN! Artists that have been an influence――
――Well then, the music of the artists who influenced you?
V: The famous American musicians Ruben Studdard and Eric Benét. Their voices, everything make them wonderful artists. They’re really the best!
J-HOPE: I think I gained a lot of hip hop influence. As I thought BIGBANG really influenced me a lot. I searched for a lot of videos and pictures, and I observed whatever they did, whether it be the way they danced, rapped, sang, their visuals, the small details – so I performed a lot like a copycat. Personally, Seungri sunbae was my goal. As a matter of fact we’re both from Gwangju and we attended the same music academy. I really respect how unbeatable he is as a performer, and it’s amazing how he’s able to clearly change his colors and catch your eye during every performance.
RAP MONSTER: J-Hope is also an entertainer, in charge of BTS’ comedy!
J-HOPE: I’ll do my best to be like Seungri sunbae!
JIMIN: I also choose BIGBANG, especially Taeyang sunbae. He’s really cool and I love him. I watched a lot of his videos, and every time he seriously leaves me overwhelmed (imitates RINGA LINGA).
J-HOPE: (also imitates) Truly cool huh~
SUGA: I’ve always loved Kanye West. Being my eventual goal, an artist who is able to put together content, I want my near future to be similar—someone who can do everything from music works to producing.
RAP MONSTER: I also choose Kanye West. Among Japanese artists, X JAPAN. They weren’t rappers but nevertheless they had a lot of impact on me. Even though I didn’t know Japanese, I felt the music in my heart. While listening to their sad song 「ENDLESS RAIN」, the depression that was in me left. To add, I wasn’t influenced but I love Hikaru Utada as well.
JUNG KOOK: For me it’s the foreign artist Justin Bieber. Of course I also like G-DRAGON from BIGBANG. I admire how he can be a role model, have stage presence, write lyrics, compose, do things from music to fashion, and everything he does is self-produced. One day I’ll definitely be able to do all those things myself.
JIN: When I was a trainee, I would listen to Jason Derulo’s music on repeat many, many times. It’s somewhere in the middle of HIP HOP and R&B. I didn’t especially try to delve too deep to find meaning while listening to the music because, while learning lessons and listening to my teacher’s explanations, I learned about the fun of music.
――Well then, in「NO MORE DREAM-Japanese Ver.-」’s lyrics is the line ＜while saying I hate studying.＞ What were your best and worst subjects in your student days?
JIN: My best subject……(laughs). My worst subject was chemistry. I really hated hearing the words “scientifically prove this.” Not being allowed to forget how to perform a certain experiment was also something I hated.
RAP MONSTER: My best subjects were humanities, Korean, English, and social studies. My worst were science and math.
JIMIN: RAP MONSTER is also good at Japanese.
RAP MONSTER: I think I might be a little good at catching the accent of languages. I listen to those who live in the country speak their language such as Japanese and Chinese. It would be best if you learned in this sort of way as it makes it easier to get used to the accent.
J-HOPE: As expected music was my best subject. My worst was math. I hated having to closely solve/answer things.
V: I loved music and PE. My worst subject was also math.
JIMIN: I liked all subjects but I especially liked art, PE, math, and chemistry.
RAP MONSTER: So we’re opposites. Jimin is really bright.
JIMIN: But that was only up until junior high (laughs). I was only an honour student up to junior high. Still, I was also bad at studying history.
JUNG KOOK: My best subjects were PE, art, and music. Everything else I hated (laughs).
SUGA: I like the feel of machinery so I was best at computers. The subject I hated was math.
――We’ve established that everyone in BTS is exceedingly bad at math (laughs).
RAP MONSTER: Apart from school grades, I think we all share our love for music.
SUGA: Our passion towards music won’t lose to anyone!
Trans cr; Amanda @ bts-trans