Introducing All Songs from B1A4’s Second Japanese Album 2! The Members Discuss Thoughts About the Songs and the Recording Experience
Posted to Kstyle on March 20, 2014 (Japanese-language)
Interviewer: Nagahori Atsuo / Translated into English by bwun-a4
In January of this year, their most recent single “Lonely” (penned by the leader Jinyoung) ranked #1 not only on 8 Korean cable music programs, but also on 7 online music distribution charts. Having established themselves as a #1 artist, B1A4 is taking the next leap.
On March 19 (Wednesday), their second Japanese album 2 was released. The meaning of the name encompasses a present to the fans, with the hidden meaning of “to you” (e.g., “I’m giving this to you”). The album contains 3 new original Japanese songs and 5 Japanese versions of songs contained in the group’s Korean releases; as such, it represents an intermingling of the B1A4’s past, present, and future.
The members themselves discussed all of the mini-album’s 8 songs in terms of thoughts about the music and lyrics, and shared memories from the album recording.
1. Believe In Love
―On the 2 album, what song in particular stands out from everything you’ve done before?
Jinyoung: Personally, it’s the lead track “Believe in Love”. The vocal mood is completely different from that of B1A4’s previous songs.
Cnu: Same for me. During recording I calmed and quieted my heart, and sang so as to express this feeling. After all, aren’t the lyrics of “Believe in Love” really about going through a breakup and having a lot of experiences to search for love? That’s the realm of a mature person, so I put my all into singing with a tranquil heart.
Sandeul: When I first heard this song, what came to me was the sensation of listening to a movie soundtrack. When you listen to a touching movie soundtrack, even though there’s no visuals, don’t the strong emotions just well up? For some reason, I got the sense of grand, beautiful scenery.
―What emotions did you put into singing this album?
Sandeul: While looking at the lyrics many images came to mind, but I came to feel as though I was out in magnificent nature, and was filled with a calm, warm feeling… I got this feeling, “I want to take in all the happy things, all the sad things, and tie together the full range of emotions” and I took great care to sing with this in mind.
Cnu: Even out of all the members, Sandeul has the richest emotional expression and imagination, and this comes out in his vocal expression as well.
Sandeul: Thanks for complimenting me. (laughs).
Baro: During the recording, I was really busy with my drama shooting. We’d pull all-nighters shooting and in between takes I’d listen to the songs. In the lyrics, there’s this line that goes, “As you come to know tears, you’ll discover what real love is.” We’ve made a little more progress toward adulthood, and I hope that with this album we can send a message about “real love.” It’s a really good song.
Gongchan: As I sang this song, I became saddened. I’d always heard the happy, smiling love songs, but this song has a story of “understanding real love by going through a painful breakup.” Because I have no actual experience, at first I didn’t really grasp the meaning of the lyrics, but I imagined what it must feel like to have sad complications pile up and to learn what real love is.
Jinyoung: The other members already touched on the contents of the lyrics, so I’ll talk a bit about the sound. It’s a medium-tempo R&B song, but the instrumentation has been brought to the forefront to display a different style from before. Like Sandeul, when I first heard it I was taken by a calm, warm, and peaceful feeling.
Cnu: Me too. I was happy that we could express a medium tempo R&B song with our voices, and I think that the fans will take a liking to it. I think the members did a great job expressing the song, and the end result is a great song.
2. Starlight Song
Cnu: Starlight Song also has a Korean version. I’ve loved this since I first heard it. This song is packed with a lot of imagery, and I’m glad we can share it with Japanese fans. This song is not only nice to listen to, but it’s fantastic to sing, and I’d love to perform it at a concert soon.
3. Angel Eyes
―Next, I’d like to ask Baro about Angel Eyes. There is English and Korean rapping in it, isn’t there?
Baro: I wanted to express it freely so I wrote in Korean. In the rap, I wanted to incorporate all the best words for when I think of a girl. So it’s corny, but it’s a rap that expresses a man’s viewpoint, with the prickly feelings of being unable to control passionate love. The members’ singing creates this soothing ambiance like heaven, and it’s cute and charming. This song is a personal favorite.
―Is it unrequited love?
Baro: In a sense, it is. I thought of the words I’d definitely want to say if I were to have an unrequited love, and imagined a pretty girl. With that frame of mind, I cranked out the rap lyrics in about 30 minutes.
Gongchan: I liked this song even before we did the recording. I especially like the “A to the B to the C~” part. (laughs). All 5 members sing this part together, so it was fun to get together in the same booth to sing it. I really hope that the fun atmosphere came through in the song!
―I heard that Sandeul had a hard time.
Sandeul: Oh, right! I remember! (roar of laughter). I kept messing up the last “to the D to the E♭” part. I started wondering if I didn’t really know the alphabet after all! (laughs). I think even children of 2 or 3 years old might like this song, because it can even help to learn the ABCs, but I think it’s so fun that people of all ages could like it.
5. Tried to Walk -Japanese ver.-
―The remaining 4 songs are Japanese versions of songs from your various Korean releases, aren’t they?
Jinyoung: That’s right. Tried to Walk is about feelings toward one’s ex, where you end up thinking, “I wonder where she is now? What could she be doing? What does she think of me right now?” We tried to put those feelings into the song. This song took a lot of time to record, not only the original Korean version but also when we sang it in Japanese. We were particular about capturing subtle details, so we ended up recording late into the night. Depending how it’s sung, this song could end up changing completely.
―I thought that you achieved an exquisite balance: instead of belting, you sang in a slightly restrained way, which heightened the emotional impact.
Jinyoung: Yes, it makes me happy to hear you say that. We really valued that nuance for this song. We thought it would be clumsy to sing in sad voices just because it’s a sad song, so we took care in crafting the vocals for the recording.
6. Yesterday -Japanese ver.-
Sandeul: Yesterday is a song that I personally love. When I listen to it, I compile the images that come to mind. This song sounds like a scene from a sad drama. At first, he didn’t realize how important his girlfriend was to him, but now there’s nothing he can do to get her to come back. The lyrics make the heart ache, and I wanted to express this through the scenes I imagined in my heart. I feel this is true for both the Korean and Japanese versions, but I think that this expression turned out well because I’m a guy. But then, it’s just my imagination, I don’t actually have any experience in that yet… (laughs).
7. What’s going on ~ Why? How? -Japanese ver.-
―(laughs). This song, which was released as a Japanese single, was generated from Jinyoung’s own experiences, wasn’t it?
Jinyoung: That’s right. Some aspects were exaggerated for the song, but back in my student days I did have an actual dramatic experience where I got a call from a close friend saying “Your girlfriend was with another guy.” That experience was quite a shock. To express the situation at the time, “What’s going on!” and “Why? How?” put it best. I think that people with similar experiences will understand.
Cnu: I don’t have this sort of experience, so achieving understanding was difficult, but Jinyoung explained things to me. I did the recording picturing how I’d feel if something like this happened, and putting myself in Jinyoung’s place I imagined talking face-to-face with my girlfriend. But if this did happen to me, I would probably scream “What’s going on!!” (laughs).
8. YOU ARE MY GIRL -Japanese ver.-
―The last song, YOU ARE MY GIRL, is a familiar song from your concerts.
Baro: It’s a well-loved song we sing with all the fans. The lyrics contain a message from us to our fans, and also hold our energy and enjoyable feelings. It’s such a great feeling singing it in front of everyone, and it’s a dear song that reminds that BANA are “MY GIRL.”
Gongchan: To us, the fans are truly precious, truly important, the only indispensable existence. The fans are supporting us whenever, wherever, even if they’re very far away. We’re grateful for that and put those “I can’t go on without you” feelings into the song. I look forward to singing YOU ARE MY GIRL with everyone at Japanese concerts.
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