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 oppa (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.
I love these girls.