Article: “We will quit when our music loses its freshness”
Always evolving, shocking, chart toppers, individuality, always pushing the boundaries. These are all adjectives that follow 2NE1 around. And their new digital single, released a year since [their last work] demonstrates that again.
2NE1 released their digital single, ‘I Love You’ on the 5th [of July] and made their comeback to the public just a year after the release of their second mini album. As expected being the ‘Mistresses of Transformation’ that they are, 2NE1 have once again pushed the boundaries with their trot-infused number. What’s more, they have inserted just a touch of ‘sexy’ to their usually charismatic and powerful image, adding to their appeal.
These girls have captured the public’s eyes and ears through this song with its enchanting melody that grabs a listener’s attention and their eye-catching image. Especially Sandara, who experimented with a hairstyle – shaving part of her head – that would be hard for most girls to carry off and all of them who look absolutely cool in their tiger-, leopard- and zebra-print outfits in the teaser pictures for their new song. It looks like they didn’t disappoint people’s expectations this time round too.
2NE1 met with reporters in the YG Entertainment Building located at Hapjeong on the 6th [of July] and talked about their new single and their recent activities. The girls were dressed comfortably and casually in place of heavy make up. Leader CL spoke first about her feelings of making their comeback a year later.
“It’s been a long time, but we’re back with a single and this time, as always, we experimented and tried many new things. We added in a little trot but did it in our own style; it seems many people like it. We also did our pre-recording for SBS’s ‘Inkigayo’ yesterday; I think we’re off to a good start.” (CL)
That’s right. The most eye-catching point about 2NE1’s new song is that a twist of trot has been added to it. Maknae Minzy has said in many broadcasts that she always enjoyed singing trot since she was young. And so she has played a more active part in this song.
“When I was young, I really liked singing trot songs with my mum and dad. And my grandmother loves old songs so I naturally grew up listening to trot. You usually express trot songs better when you’ve had some life experiences [T/N: Literally, experienced the joys and sorrows of life] but as I learned [how to sing trot] since I was young, it was not that difficult. Because of that, I was given more parts in this song. My favourite [trot] song is ‘Lady Camellia’. I would definitely sing this song whenever I went to the noraebang with my mum in the past. (laughs)” (Minzy)
It’s a very interesting and unique experiment for a song by an idol group to contain a trot melody. We are curious about the story behind the birth of ‘I Love You’.
“Actually, ‘I Love You’ was a song that was composed just for fun. The producer, Teddy Oppa composed it for fun last winter. In his search for something new for us, and while looking for something more impactful, he arrived at trot. After listening to what he composed, it was like, ‘gosh?’ this is really fresh and good. And I felt like because it’s a trot melody, more people would like it and be able to identify with it. Won’t our fans be all over this song; they’ll be sucked into it. Please tell us that. Haha.” (Sandara Park)
2NE1 has always expressed itself through its songs as strong women, such as in ‘I Am The Best’ or identified with the hurts women go through in songs like ‘Ugly’ and ‘Pain’. But ‘I Love You’ is not a typical love song.
“This song is a love song with a slightly different take. It’s, should I say, kind of scary? And a bit stalker-ish. I think this is what makes the song strong. It’s new and carries a flavour that is unique to us.” (CL)
Together with trot, there is something else 2NE1 has tried this time. It’s none other than ‘sexy’. This is charismatic 2NE1’s first experiment [with the sexy concept] and the part that the public was also most eagerly anticipating. But amidst the anticipation, there was also worry that this will take away from the style that is unique to 2NE1.
“Sexy… Haha. To call ourselves sexy is a little uncomfortable [for us]. Actually, the choreography this time was done by one of Beyonce’s dancers; this person’s style is sexy. So the choreography is a little more feminine. And our costumes were also designed to match the choreography. But this is not standard sexy. We kept the vibe unique to 2NE1 so I don’t think it takes away from our style.” (CL)
YG Entertainment has announced that 2NE1 will promote ‘I Love You’ for 3 weeks, after which a new song will be released. We are curious to know, what then is the reason for not releasing a mini or full album.
“We were supposed to release our album earlier, but as we usually put a lot of work into each song, it got delayed. And because we felt it would take too long to release an album; and we were eager to meet our fans again, we decided to comeback with a digital single first. The song to be released after ‘I Love You’ is more 2NE1’s usual style. But as we usually try many unusual (?) things, do look forward to it.” (CL)
2NE1 hopes that through the single, ‘I Love You’, Korea’s traditional pop songs, trot, will be widely known throughout the world. And this has been achieved.
“I experienced this while working with Beyonce’s dancer. The concept of trot does not exist in other countries so it is very fresh and new to them. I think it helps them to understand Korean culture better. As a Korean singer, I’m happy that my overseas fans can learn more about Koreans. Actually, before this, we also tried to do this many times. In music videos or on stage, we would use traditional Korean instruments sometimes.” (Sandara Park)
Finally, leader CL gave a shocking answer about the future 2NE1. It showed the tenacity and strong will of leader CL and also created bigger expectations for the future 2NE1.
“The future 2NE1? To be honest, there could be none. Nobody knows the future. But personally for me, when 2NE1’s music loses its freshness and becomes old, this may be bold [of me to say], but I think we will stop our activities as 2NE1. Because I think that a 2NE1 that is no longer fresh is no longer 2NE1. Having said that, this means that we are all the more determined to develop and express our own individuality. Haha. There is no deeper meaning to what I said [T/N: In other words, don’t read too much into what I said] (laughs).” (CL)
Note: Translator’s notes and expansions have been added in square brackets [ ] to aid the flow and understanding of the article. Items in round brackets ( ) are from the original article.
Source: OSEN, translated by Clism00 @ CL Baddest Female