1 hour and 40 minutes. That’s how long I shared a conversation with the B1A4 members. I couldn’t tell if we were having an interview or met up to just chat, but it was an interview where I didn’t know the time was passing by because of the members’ endless stories that made us burst into laughter.
B1A4 (Jinyoung, CNU, Baro, Sandeul, Gongchan), who are in the middle of promoting their title song, ‘Baby I’m Sorry’, after recently releasing their 1st official full-length album, ‘IGNITION’, are going towards their 1st year since debuting. They have firmly made their place in the music industry during the time that hasn’t been a year yet, to the point where people would say, “I didn’t know B1A4 had this much popularity”.
The five members were extremely friendly and they talked really well, making the interview feel like we just met up to share private conversations. Sandeul, who asked me to pick the album jacket picture that came out the best, instantly turned sulky when I didn’t pick his. After talking about the pictures for a long time, the topic suddenly changed to their food tastes. The members’ criticisms towards Sandeul were continuing on because he eats his food with a lot of salt to the point where he dips ddukbokki (T/N: spicy rice cakes) in salt.
In the mood that seemed almost strange to ask an interview question, I asked the leader Jinyoung, how the opportunity came about for him to joint produce the album and promote with the title song he made.
“This is just what I think, but I studied composing really hard ever since before debuting. At first, I was secretly studying composing, but the company found out. The members and the company found out, so I would make the song and let them listen to it often. I think that they saw my hardworking side and thought it was commendable.” (Jinyoung)
The members were also filled with confidence about the song that Jinyoung made. Sandeul started giving praise by saying, “At first, I just thought, ‘Oh, hyung can make songs too’, but the songs started getting better. After listening to it like that, I couldn’t help but believe in him”, and CNU added, “He has experience of putting in songs starting from our 1st and 2nd mini albums. I think he improved.” Jinyoung wondered if the company had bought his passion and said, “When I would be on the streets and a melody would come to me, I would record it instantly. I have over 300.”
What were the members’ reactions when they first heard the title song? Sandeul cleaned it up in one word and said, “This hyung is crazy.” Sandeul, who said Jinyoung let him listen to this song first, revealed his first thoughts, “I was laying down to sleep, but he told me to listen to it. Once I listened to it, I got goosebumps.”
B1A4 swept all the rookie awards last year. I worried that their beginning focus and hearts would change due to their sudden increase of popularity in such a short time. B1A4, who says they did not change at all, revealed a story where Sandeul received a resolution like this a week before B1A4’s debut. After driving him to a corner, Jinyoung and CNU acted like they were interrogating Sandeul. “They promised to upload a file on the internet if our attitude changed.” The existence of the file, which shouldn’t have been revealed, was thus revealed.
On this day, where I could feel the talk going up into the mountains (T/N: getting off-topic), the members were talking so cheerfully and I think we talked about special characteristics of Sandeul’s body for around 10 minutes. The members seemed to mainly target Sandeul and Sandeul would try to clear it up in a loud voice that resonated throughout. Laughter continuously came out due to their boy-like sides of that age group. But as soon as we decided to talk about music for the last 10 minutes, they turned into a serious manner and stressed about how much work went into this album.
“Although there were many people who thought that it was too early for a full-length album, we took the initiative to suggest it. If we showed freshness during our 1st and 2nd mini album, we grew greed to show more of ourselves so we all personally participated in the composing, lyric writing, and arranging. Through this album, I felt that the members had a lot of passion towards music.” (Jinyoung)
“We recorded till the morning to the point where I was asking someone to save me. Once I went outside, it was 8 AM.” (Sandeul)
“I wanted to show what B1A4 was. The stereotypical view on us was very heavy. I was sad because they looked at us like fresh kids who just did whatever song was given to them.” (Jinyoung)
“I knew that Jinyoung would make a good song, but I was really surprised after listening to it. It felt like I was hit by a hammer. It was different to the point where I wondered how a song could come out like this.” (CNU)
“I also listen to music a lot, but I haven’t heard a song in this style often. I think Jinyoung hyung found his own music style by working on it. When I first heard it, I felt it was like clothes that came out just for us.” (Baro)
“Because I know about the members really well, I can easily think about what clothes match each member.Rather than focus around the melody when I wrote the song, I put an effort in trying to find what matches each member. So that’s why it came out uniquely.” (Jinyoung)
“I thought that it was a color that matched us and confidence rose along with greed. Because our greed increased, we modified it more and consulted each other about it more.” (CNU)
“Whether it does well or doesn’t, I think this album was the stepping stone in allowing us to create our own color. So I thought it would be more fun.” (Sandeul)
The youngest, Gongchan, didn’t say much that day compared to the hyungs. Sound effects were basically all he did, but Gongchan, who said he was like that because his mouth wasn’t loosened up yet, agreed with the hyungs’ passionate stories and quietly gave strength. 1 hour and 40 minutes was not enough to know all the charms of B1A4, who talked a lot to the point where they could talk for 9 hours straight.
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