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[bnt interview] Hong Dae Kwang, A Singer-songwriter With Endless Desire

[by Woorim Ahn] Hong Dae Kwang finally made his comeback after a 14-month hiatus with his third mini album ‘With You’. Although it took a while for him to face the mass public, he grew up much more than a year ago and became mature in music – more likely to say, he was on a step forward for his goal.

All of sudden, he appeared in Mnet ‘Superstar K4’ and received lots of love after he sang Lee Seung Chul’s ‘Jasmine Flower’ with one of the participants Yeon Kyu Sung. In 2013, he released his first mini album and got a spotlight with ‘Goodbye (with So You of SISTAR)’. Afterwards, he steadily built his career by joining dramas ‘The Master’s Love’ and ‘It’s Okay, It’s Love’ OSTs.

On the following year, he achieved his long-time dream as he held his solo concert. His solo concerts were all sold out and he joined several music festivals to communicate with the fans. He now has his third solo concert ahead, which will be held on June 27 and 28, and he is getting ready to meet his fans in closer distances.

▶ How have you been doing?
▷ I took a break over a year. As I got to host a radio program since last August, I focused on it and it helped me a lot improve my musical maturity. Before I began the DJ life, I fell into mannerism. But, as I communicated with listeners, I became to get out of it and it made me grow more. I would like to say the hiatus was for making my base, not just wasting my time.

▶ Please introduce your new album ‘With You’
▷ Before I released the album, I didn’t expect anything. But, after the album was disclosed, I received much interest and love from the mass public appreciatively. At that time, I felt ‘singers’ should talk to the audiences with songs not anything else.

▶ Why don’t you explain the title song ‘With You’? You participated in writing lyrics of it.
▷ All the lyrics and melodies were completed when it came to me, but I wanted to edit some parts, so I participated in writing lyrics. Unlike the lyricist’s intention, I wanted to say things deviously, so I wrote all the lyrics. At last, we negotiated and here are the lyrics.

▶ It’s pretty obvious that you are quite motivated to produce your album.
▷ I just want to make good songs and I am willing to try many things. Whenever I imagine myself playing in the music, I become so happy. I can produce my album right now, but I want to save it for later. Although my name is not on the album credits for producing, in fact, I’m participating almost in half way.

▶ Tell me about your album’s special track ‘When It Rains’.
▷ I think lifetime incidents help a lot in making songs. When my puppy Tan passed away all of sudden, I couldn’t overcome the grief. So, I started writing down whatever I wanted to say to my puppy and it became a song. This is my first memorial song and it helped me overcome the incident.

▶ Which genre do you pursue?
▷ I like songs with sad melodies. But, I’m trying my best to write bright songs and I don’t want to appeal my charms with sad dongs.

▶ What is your inspiration for music?
▷ I have been inspired by my radio listeners’ episodes mostly as well as all the situation, environments and songs itself. Whenever I listen to good songs, they become my stimulus to write songs.

▶ As a singer-songwriter, what kind of song do you want to write?

▷ I want to make songs that make people feel ‘healing’. I dream about albums that are warm and acoustic. I think my desire should be the priority. I want to try the genre that I showed in ‘No Answer’ with hip-hop beats.

▶ Your album cover photos caught the mass public’s attention.
▷ I practiced the poses at home a lot, so it became more natural than before. I was like a statue, but not now. I didn’t mean the poses became solely mine, but whenever I film something, I got to pose naturally.

▶ You promoted yourself as ‘Hong Dae Kwang living in Hongdae’. Do you still live there?

▷ Yes, I still live there. I think there’s an invisible power in the place, so I think I have to live there until I become Hongdae’s honorary ambassador.

▶ Your song ‘Goodbye (with So You of SISTAR)’ made a mega hit. But, since then, you never did a collaboration work with other singers. Are you willing to try it again?
▷ I personally love collaboration works. It feels like I make more synergy through it. If I get a chance, I want to sing with various vocalists. I like J Rabbit’s Jung Hye Sun, IU and other singers with clear voices.

▶ Your reputation in abroad went up as you participated in drama OSTs. How do you think?
▷ Actually yesterday, I met a fan from Japan and she waited for me at the music program filming site. I only performed less than 10 minutes, but she came all the way from Japan and she went back to her country right away. It was surprising for real.

▶ Do you dream about being a popular singer?
▷ Of course! If I didn’t, I should be on streets for busking. It might be meaningful if I become an influential one, but until then, I think I should make my foundation well to achieve my dream. To show my music, I’m too young. I mean not my age, but my music age. I still need to establish the base well, so I can be more confident to the mass public. But, I don’t want to get stuck in that world for a long time, if it happens, then I will fall into mannerism once again.

▶ What do you learn most through this album?

▷ The thing that I learned most is my opinion is not a right answer all the time. I think I’m still learning right now. Through the album, my music spectrum became wider and broader. Sometimes, I need to be straightforward rather than being devious. If this is a part of today’s trend, I fit it well.

As Hong Dae Kwang showed his face in Mnet ‘Superstar K4’, sometimes his songs gets more harsh evaluations than others. Since other vocalists try various things, I want to do it as well without prejudice.

He left a last word, “Please understand the differences of methods. I always keep a specific core deep in my heart, so please support my activities from now on” and revealed a strong desire for his music. (photo by MMO Entertainment)

Contact: news@bntnews.co.uk

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Write: 2015-06-24 21:02:01 / Update: 2015-06-25 09:17:23

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