2ne1′s Interview, Part I (10asia)
Online magazine 10asia published an interview with 2ne1 on August 5. Read on for the translated first half of the interview. The second half will be posted within the week.
10asia (10): As soon as “I Don’t Care” was released, the response was very favourable.
CL: Our practice time is getting longer [nowadays]. We’re focusing on practice because we figured expectations be raised after “I Don’t Care”.
10: It is known that even during your activities [following a release], there’s a lot of rehearsal time and not many stage schedules. Don’t you want to do more [public] activities?
CL: We’re still lacking in practice time. Because we spent several years only in a practice room, it feels odd if we don’t practice.
10: Does the company (YG Entertainment) make you practice that much? (Laughs.)
CL: We feel the need to. There are times when we forget everything that we practiced and just play on stage, [but] then mess up the choreography.
10: The stage must be enjoyable for you.
CL: It’s fun. Because you lose your mind a little when the music comes on.
Dara: It’s most nerve-wracking right before going up on stage.
Minzy: I don’t have a lot of stage experience yet so it’s amazing.
10: What advice do the unnis (older girls) give Minzy.
CL: We’re not in the position to give advice either. (Laughs.)
Minzy: They say let’s work hard together.
10: Minzy begins the first part of “I Don’t Care”. You must have felt a sense of responsibility about the opening.
Minzy: There was a bit of that. Because if the first button is threaded well, everything [else] falls into place (Korean idiom).
10: You just used a teen girl’s voice rather than a unique way of singing [in that song]. What was the reason for that direction?
Minzy: I just let out the voice that I have. Since my actual voice is young.
10: How do you understand the lyrics to “I Don’t Care”?
Minzy: It is extremely difficult. I try to get pull it out by imagining what I can. Watching dramas with my mom when I was young helped too.
CL: It’s a song that can be a warning message from girls to guys; it’s also a song that can be advice from girls to girls. That’s why we tried to communicate the lyrics as precisely as possible. As we were sincerely delivering a message.
Bom: Teddy obba (the song’s lyricst and composer) said he’d like it if our voice tones were sharp so we put in effort to do so.
10: What do you think about while singing?
CL : To be honest I haven’t had any unique experiences, so on stage I just express the feelings that I felt while watching a movie or listening to music. When you spend several years in a practice room, other experiences decrease, so I usually get the lyrics or feelings by listening to the music.
Bom: In “In the Club”, I liked the part that Dara sang so much that I asked [her] what she was thinking about and she said that she was just acting. That answer came and connected with my heart.
10: Does your acting experience in the Philippines help when you sing, Sandara?
Dara: I consider myself to be acting when recording, filming a music video, or on the stage. [But] I’ve heard some talk that it’s slightly excessive, so I’m trying to control myself.
10: Your fans in the Philippines seem extremely proud.
Dara: And they monitor in real-time. I’m grateful that they send me presents too. Since I have so many friends and memories there, I feel like it’s my native home.
10: You entered YG after experiencing enormous popularity in the Philippines. Wasn’t your decision difficult?
Dara: My original dream was to be a singer, and I wanted to do proper music so it wasn’t a big worry. Although I’m aging (laughs), I think I was patient because it was for something that I wanted to do. There were times when I felt in a slump or lonely but I never thought of giving up.
10: Maybe it was because of your image during activities in the Philippines but it was surprising to see you digest the hip-hop ambiance.
Dara: I liked Jinusean sunbaes’ or 1TYM sunbaes’ songs a lot from a long time ago, but I never thought that I could do it. I wanted to enter YG because I liked its family-like atmosphere, but I saw when I came in that everybody listened to hip-hop music all the time. Seeing that, I got more and more into hip-hop, and wanted to wear hats or large men’s clothes such as baggy pants.
10: I heard that at YG, sunbaes (seniors) directly give lessons. Sunbaes like Se7en and Danny [join in to] help during practice; everyone gives us so much help.
CL: It’s not that there’s a separate lesson time that’s set, they just come find us and do it.
10: Which song do each of you like from the album?
Dara: “Pretty Boy”. It’s the song that can express my voice the prettiest. I like the lyrics too. This is also a story about a strong girl, and it distinctly shows each member’s individuality.
CL: I like “Let’s Go Party”. When that song first came out, I recorded the demo in English, solo. I’ve had a strange feeling [about it] since then. It’s an exciting yet sad song.
10: If one listens to the album, there’s a mix of song genres. Even just in “I Don’t Care” there’s a mix of reggae and hip-hop; how was it to absorb the song.
CL : I think that we’re doing hip-hop at the core. But just like you can see in the fashion these days, just because you do hip-hop doesn’t mean you wear baggy pants and a big t-shirt. I think hip-hop changes with the generation. Because currently in the States, Kanye West doesn’t wear big pants nor do old school hip-hop.
10: I heard that Bom liked Mariah Carey.
Bom: I really liked Mariah Carey and Beyonce. I like music with a beat too. And I want to rap. But I can’t actually rap well. That’s why it’s such good fortunate that I met Chae Lin (CL).
10: You must have felt like the group was complete when you met CL.
Bom: Before debuting as 2ne1, we did a rap feature for each other for fun and [she] was really impressive. Although there was a big age gap, I did think that we were well-suited to each other.
10: How did you get into music, CL? I heard that you got into YG by giving CEO Yang Hyun Suk a video clip with you rapping on it.
CL : Because my father listened to music a lot, I naturally listened to music a lot since I was young. Although my father liked diverse music, I only listened to hip-hop. As I entered YG, I realized that that wasn’t necessarily all. I broadened my mind while listening together to the music that sunbaes listen to, and [now] listen to a lot of diverse music. Nowadays I’ve come to listening to music by muscians such as MIA. I constantly listened to a lot of music before the debut. I’d sing at home with earphones in and then want to dance, so I learned a variety of dance too.
10: What kinds of dance?
CL: Ballet and jazz dance. Hip-hop wasn’t something I [took lessons for]; I just approached dancers and got to know them while translating when they [worked] with foreign dancers.