“For this album, the members took turns directing. This kind of direct work with the songs is an excellent method for not only understanding their positions as singers, but also as songwriters.”
Have you seen such bright young people? Even when they’re mixed in with numerous idol groups, B1A4 are not hard to find. They are always unique and free-spirited and through their fashion sense, B1A4 surprised us with what they showed next. However, these five young people look really different, not just in their appearance alone. In both their regular 1st album, “Baby I’m Sorry” and the recently announced 4th mini-album (TN: now released) “What’s Going On?”, the leader Jinyoung, who created and produced the title tracks for both albums, prominently displayed B1A4’s unique color. Fashion or music that’s already been done before with the same formula is boring. The perfect B1A4, who did not borrow anything from anyone, is now in front of us.
After 5 months, you’ve made a comeback with the mini-album “What’s Going On?”. How do you feel?
Jinyoung - The blank period between activities felt very long. During our break, we had this desire to perform on stage again. Now that we’ve made our comeback and can listen to music with our fans, and let them see our performances, it feels great.
CNU - This album, compared to our other albums, we put in even more of our hearts. To do that, I think back to the original intentions we had when the members met for the first time.
On May 18, you won first place for the first time on “MBC Show! Music Core”. After waiting for so long, I imagine that this would be really significant to you.
Baro - We didn’t expect our 1st place at all. I thought being put alongside our sunbaes as candidates was a big enough achievement. So, unfortunately, I didn’t prepare something to say. I never imagined actually winning 1st. I didn’t cry and just stood in a daze, and then when I got off the stage, I felt regretful. I thought ‘Ah, I should have said one by one the names of the staff who worked hard for our mini-album’.
CNU, I heard that you cried a lot? (laughter)
CNU - Before they made the first place announcement, I wasn’t looking at the screen where they had the candidates for first place. I didn’t think I could bear looking at it. I only heard the announcement that we had won. I started crying right then, and after a bit, I remembered the memories we spent as trainees.
Jinyoung - Gongchan was actually the one patting his hyungs’ backs (laughter).Usually he acts as the youngest, but in that crucial moment, the maknae showed a stronger side than his hyungs.
After winning #1, did you have a celebration party?
Baro - We ate meat.
Sandeul - I had to get up early the next morning for a schedule, so I wasn’t able to join the special celebration.That was really regretful.
CNU - It was really nice, but while enjoying our success, we realized that we still have a long road ahead of us.
The title track, “What’s Going On?” was also written and composed by Jinyoung. I heard that you originally intended to have a strong rock sound in the beginning.
Jinyoung -At first we discussed doing a rock sound, but we realized trying to show that during a performance on stage would be difficult. It was also a bit exhausting listening to it, so I changed it to a softer feel. It was a choice directed towards making the public more comfortable while listening to it. We also could not ignore the stage.
How did you other members feel when you first heard the song?
Sandeul - It was very unusual. From the beginning, “Hey, you, tell me the truth”,it’s surprising, and doesn’t feel typical. It also seemed like something we could have fun with onstage.
Baro - Jinyoung hyung’s song is the type where the first time you hear it, you say “What kind of song is this?” and the more you listen, the more attracted you are to it.It’s similar to the experience of eating a new food and wondering “What is this?”, but you want to keep eating more. Because it’s an unpredictable type of song, we discussed it and thought it was good.
Jinyoung’s the one who produced the entire album. I’ve heard that he is a strict director.
Jinyoung - I am one of those who sees the whole story for each song, so I listen for things that were too out of place, similar to in acting, if a line interrupts the flow of the script. So because I wanted the songs to flow well, I had the members do it over and over again.
Who do you think suffered the most while recording, and why? (laughter)
Jinyoung - Actually, because the other members also wanted the best for the album, they worked hard themselves, although the one person that did suffer was Sandeul because he had a lot of parts.
Sandeul -While doing it, I felt very ambitious.Even though Jinyoung said that itwas okay, I said “Let’s re-record!” because I wanted it to be the best it could be.
Given the task to give feedback to each other, it’s important to agree with each other what is the best.
Jinyoung - So for this album, the members took turns directing. This kind of direct work with the songs is an excellent method for not only understanding their positions as singers, but also as songwriters.
Gongchan - While directing I became more focused. I was able to notice missing parts when recording. For the songs I searched for my own feelings and thoughts.
Baro - The best thing is being able to produce something of high quality in a short amount of time. It was difficult to come to a consensus with Jinyoung directing by himself. For example, from a singer’s standpoint when you record a hundred times over it sounds like you’re just repeating yourself, but the director keeps saying “That’s not quite right”, and they both become exhausted. As we took turns directing, naturally we all thought “how are we able to sing this in a unique and tasteful way”.
“What’s Going On” is the type of song that requires a very playful stage performance. It doesn’t seem like an easy task to stay energetic even if you are tired.
Baro – Before performing, somehow I always manage to conserve my stamina. (Laughter)
Sandeul – Onstage, everyone’s strength seems to come out, like Superman.
CNU – Even if we couldn’t sleep, ultimately when we go on stage, the enthusiasm comes out.
Jinyoung – Before going on stage, we have a group ‘Fighting’, and this helps us to concentrate again if our focus strays. If there is no time, we do it on stage even.
None of you seem to have a particularly anxious nature.
Baro – I like being on stage, to the point where I don’t like getting off. Onstage when I look at the members, they don’t act like ‘even if we’re tired, we still have to do this’. Instead, the look in their eyes instantly changes.
CNU – I think songs that you can have fun with on stage fit us. From the start, because B1A4 has that kind of image, we sing those kinds of songs, and onstage we want to be able to show our real selves.
Sandeul – Anyhow, when you sing, it should be fun. While doing music work, it was always enjoyable, so I strive to maintain that good feeling.
Last year you held a solo concert in Korea and Japan. Were you able to do everything you wanted to show?
CNU – We were all able to do individual performances, but there is still a lot left to show.
Jinyoung – We will still continue to do concerts, so one by one we will be able to show everything.
I heard that you guys presented your debut story through a musical.
CNU - Our story which we presented by putting together music is not something common. Because the fans were able to experience our story, the members felt reminiscent.
Jinyoung - Anyhow we thought a lot about the past. While practicing, we kept having moments where we’d remember things and say “oh we did this back then”.
But the main attraction was dressing up like SNSD, right? (Laughter) Apparently Gongchan promised in an interview that you guys would crossdress.
Sandeul – I never once imagined dancing in high heels, but even so I figured I should do it properly. Everyone had a position that they practiced. I was Tiffany. (Laughter) Honestly, I do have confidence in my body, but I was quite surprised when I saw CNU. He was really pretty.
CNU – Since the reaction was okay, I was able to let out my breath. In my opinion, Gongchan did the best.
Do you happen to have any more promises?
Gongchan – From now on I think I’ll have to talk with my hyungs first. (Laughter)
Sandeul - I had promised that I would pour water on myself, but because of the microphone and risk of electrocution I couldn’t do it. So if there is a specially prepared stage where I won’t get electrocuted, I want to attempt it.
CNU - Ayoo, even if I don’t get electrocuted, who’s going to clean up the water? (Laughter)
Won 1st on a music program, held a solo concert, Bonsang award at the Gayo Daejun… now that your last year’s goals have been achieved, have you come up with new goals?
Sandeul – Because everything happened so suddenly, we weren’t able to think much on what steps to take next. We’re in the middle of worrying about it now.
Jinyoung – I do have something that I want to try. A national concert tour. We constantly do performances around Seoul. There are a lot of fans of different areas that want to see us, and I want to share both our performances, and our stories.
Baro – For me, an all night concert. Coming at evening and lasting until morning, continuously going without sleep.
CNU – When I was a trainee, I went to see a DJ DOC performance. It was a concert starting from December 31st to January 1st, and I thought it was very compelling how all the fans celebrated the New Year together. I really want to do that kind of thing.
What are your thoughts, Gongchan?
Gongchan – I want to try doing many overseas performances. I haven’t once gone near Europe or the United States. A world tour would be great too.
Sandeul – Let’s go to Hawaii or Bali first! (Laughter)
CNU – We have achieved these goals, but I think working hard so we don’t get worse is more important.
Nowadays your individual activities are gradually increasing. What are things that you want to try personally?
CNU – I want to do a lot of things, but firstly there is a lot of work to do as B1A4’s CNU. When the opportunity comes to do personal activities, I think I will have to do them.
Gongchan – I agree. I think I have to establish myself in B1A4 more.
Jinyoung – I feel like in the future, Gongchan will burst out with something big. I’m really curious what kinds of things he will show us from now on. Anyhow, now is the time for B1A4 to really change.
Jinyoung is filming tvn’s “She’s Wow” alongside B1A4’s activities, so there must be a lot of burden.
Jinyoung – The members constantly cheer me up, so I’m not aware of how difficult it is. Coming into the dorm after filming, they ask me things like “how was today?” and give me massages. The fact that there are people to welcome me makes me happy.
Sandeul – We treat you like how we would massage our parents. (Laughter)
You guys seem like a real family, you can depend on each other.
Jinyoung – A feeling like a father coming home from somewhere and the kids are waiting?
Sandeul – For us, while we are waiting for hyung, we think things like will he come with red bean dumplings, or sweet potato? Or will he bring chicken?’ (Laughter)
Source: firstlook.co.kr, translations by Hobak of FLIGHTB1A4
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