Shared by Nicole @ BAPYESSIR.COM
- To be translated in all languages available (see the list)
Debuting impressively in Korea in 2012 and receiving many awards from various countries. In 2013, recording smash hits in America and Germany and experiencing a world tour; 6-membered group B.A.P who has astounded everyone with their global promotions comes to Billboard JAPAN for the first time. They shot to the top scene in no time even when they debuted here in Japan in 2013. To them who are releasing their new single “Excuse Me” on September 3, we asked them to talk about their own sound and performance, and goals and hopes as well.
B.A.P’s charm that gathers global attention
－－In 2013, B.A.P has recorded great hits in America, Germany and such with “One Shot” and “Badman”, garnering immense global attention. What do you think the reason for that is?
HC: I think it’s due to everyone from different countries accepting our manly strength. Creating powerful dances and dramatic stages and such…. Also, I think people around the world watching our MV through youtube plays a big part.
DH: The other day we held a fanmeeting and more people than ever before had came. Keeping in mind that we now have people welcoming us at the airports when we come to Japan, we want to work even harder.
－－Were there any changes on your impression of Japan when you actually came here?
DH: Previously, Japanese fans would come to Korea and at that time I thought they were very gentle and kind, and a little reserved (laughs). After that when we were able see them often when we had activities in Japan, I thought that they were changing to match our style. For example, during a performance, they would usually be sitting down and just listening, but recently they would stand up and enjoy the song when it starts playing. Seeing fans stand up and be captivated becomes motivation for us and allows us to have a more spirited performance.
B.A.P’s sound that incorporates both hardness and catchiness
－－ B.A.P is a group that incorporates both hardness with their danceable bets and sounds, and catchiness with unifying melodies and vocals to a high level. What do you yoursleves think the charm of B.A.P’s music is?
YJ: Personally I think it’s the sound and the lyrics. Starting first with sounds that contain strength and a ‘weight’ to them, and then adding in charismatic lyrics. I’d say these two are the main points of B.A.P’s music.
DH: To convey a strong message.
ZL: I think it’s about the performance. Yes it’s about six people dancing cohesively, but there’s also our each and own character that shining through. Conveying a message through the lyrics and showing drama and powerful choreography; I think that is what attracts everyone’s eyes and ears.
A bright and happy party tune, “Excuse Me”
－－Your new single “Excuse Me” that was released on September 3 was a song recorded on your Korean mini album, and was already performed at Japanese events in Spring this year. What was the reaction from the guests at that time?
YJ: This is actually one of the reasons why we chose “Excuse Me” as our 4th single, but Japanese fans seemed to take a liking to this song and sing along to it at performances. Therefore we discussed about using “Excuse Me” for our next single.
－－The horn section [T/N: Himchan’s “Let’s gettin’ high” part] is a memorable party tune, and compared to previous Japanese releases, it has a strong bright and happy image.
DH: Himchan-san’s part just after the chorus ends is a part where it’s easy to sing together and is great because you can really enjoy it. The rap is easy on the ear as well. Still, I hope you can take a look at the lyrics.
ZL: When listening to this song “Excuse Me”, I hope you can have fun as well watching it. With a performance expressing a hiphop attitude and message, there are dance moves that fans can happily join in to, so it’s a song where you can enjoy it visually and aurally.
The difficulties of Japanese and the things B.A.P should do
－－The key with Japanese grammar and pronunciation is that there are few words that uses little letters unlike Hangul which is similar to English. What were the difficult areas when singing in Japanese?
HC: This is just a generalisation, but I think there are words used in everyday life and words just for lyrics. We still are unfamiliar with lyric-words so that’s pretty difficult.
ZL: Hearing the rap in Japanese, I’ve found many words with cool pronunciations. However, whilst we do have members who are familiar with Japanese, I myself am not, so I always worry and think “am I pronouncing this correctly?”. I’m relieved when I get told “it sounded like proper Japanese” after the recording, but I realise that I need to put in effort for the pronunciation of this word especially.
YG: It’s a fact that Japanese isn’t our mother tongue so it will definitely be difficult and have areas where we’re not familiar with, but I think working hard to overcome these obstacles is a thing B.A.P should do.
The formal fashion of the music video is also a highlight
－－The footage in this music video had a strong street style and included more formal fashion than your previous releases.
DH: In the “Excuse Me” music video footage, there are solo cuts for each member and we bring to life our own feelings and senses so I want everyone to watch it. Individually there were parts where we danced happily in white clothes on a dice-shaped set, and in reality we enjoyed ourselves while filming those scenes so it would be nice if you could check them out!
JU: Like Hyung said, initially, performance was going to be the main aspect, but adding to that, our concept was decided this time to be slightly dramatised. “The six of us are gonna do something huge!” was the sort of atmosphere we were in so I hope you can enjoy that part.
－－By the way everyone, is street fashion or formal fashion closer to your original self?
DH: Himchan-san is someone who likes fitted suits, but in general all of us like to wear fun clothes (laughs), so we prefer street fashion.
ZL: Recently I’ve been attracted to suits. What I’m wearing right now is a little different, but I think casual suits are nice too.
－－Your fashion is reported about, for example your airport fashion when you travel overseas; do you feel any pressure from that attention?
ZL: As you said, many fans come to the airport so we can’t exactly not care about our appearances, but we don’t really mind that much so we often go to the airport in our everyday clothes. I usually think this and that about fashion already, so conversely if I consider “what should I wear” to coordinate my clothes, it seems like extra effort.
HC: I want to be a presence with endless possibilities
－－The coupling song in the Ultimate Edition and Type B version, “Coffee Shop”, is a famous number and has a comfortable ‘day-off’ atmosphere to it. Do you have any days off?
HC: We were busy, but after the tour completed we had a break period to a certain degree and we were able to enjoy the break time.
DH: Okinawa! I want to go to Okinawa! And Sapporo too!
HC: Although we’ve been to Japan many times and visited many places, since it was for work, we couldn’t really have fun at the places we visited. That’s why we look forward to wherever we go.
－－Now finally, please tell us B.A.P’s goals and aspirations.
DH: Since we promote mainly with concerts and performances, we will work hard to give it our best to realise a dome tour.
HC: ……And, I hope the group B.A.P will have no end (laughs).
－－To live on forever?
HC: I want to be a presence with unlimited possibilities so if we could continue promoting then why not is how I feel.
© Billboard Japan | Translation © cassie_babyz