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(Yonhap Interview) iKON's Bobby shares softer side in slumber-friendly solo album

2017/09/14 17:05

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By Chang Dong-woo

SEOUL, Sept. 14 (Yonhap) -- Bobby of K-pop band iKON said Thursday he aimed to write music that is comfortable to listen to while falling asleep for his first full-length solo album "Love and Fall."

   "I tried to write songs that would be good enough to listen to before falling asleep. It wasn't easy because it was different from the music that I used to make," Bobby said during a group media interview in western Seoul.

The Korean-American singer-rapper, whose real name is Kim Ji-won, first gained the spotlight as a contestant in the 2013 TV audition show "WIN: Who is Next," competing against other trainees for the chance to debut as a group. Two years later, he debuted through iKON under YG Entertainment.

In this photo provided by YG Entertainment, Bobby of boy band iKON poses for the camera during a media interview on Sept. 14, 2017, at a cafe in western Seoul. (Yonhap) In this photo provided by YG Entertainment, Bobby of boy band iKON poses for the camera during a media interview on Sept. 14, 2017, at a cafe in western Seoul. (Yonhap)

iKON is known for its scrappy, raucous attitude and sound. But Bobby has revealed a more personal and intimate side of himself in the new record. He'll promote the self-produced record with "Runaway," an upbeat song about teenage deviation, and "I Love You" as the album's double title tracks.

"I wrote 'Runaway' in 2015. I didn't write the songs necessarily with the goal of putting out an album. I just wrote songs for pleasure since then like a hobby," said Bobby.

The 10 songs in the album were mainly about love and romance, with many inspired by other forms of art. "I Love You," a song about a painful break-up and was inspired by Hyeono's webtoon "Man and Woman" and the Hollywood film "La La Land."

   Bobby admitted he had a particular complex when it came to recording -- a self-admitted pronunciation problem. He explained that he took extra care in making sure that his lyrics would be delivered properly to listeners.

"Pronunciation was the biggest problem. It was difficult to rectify it and I took a lot of time doing so." The singer said he played his initial vocal recordings to fellow iKON members and other YG colleagues for objective assessments.

Bobby further explained, "I'd ask people 'is it audible?' If they didn't understand, I'd run to the recording studio to revise the audio. Pronunciation is a sensitive subject for me and I worked hard to improve upon it."

   iKON made its long-awaited comeback in May with "News Kids: Begin" but failed to make a strong impression then. Bobby said he and his bandmates are currently working hard to make up for their lackluster performance, hopefully by releasing a new record by the end of the year.

"It's true that iKON's latest album was received poorly. We accept it and are working hard to present a good image as soon as possible." Bobby also said he's indifferent to whether his solo album outperforms iKON's recent record.

He also addressed the recent boycott of all YG-produced iKON merchandise by fans who accused YG of being negligent in promoting iKON.

"The boycott itself is a sign of fans' thirst (for iKON). Ultimately its due to our insufficiency as a team so we're working harder, accepting (the boycott) as a scolding," Bobby said.

In this photo provided by YG Entertainment, Bobby of boy band iKON is seen holding a media interview on Sept. 14, 2017, at a cafe in western Seoul. (Yonhap) In this photo provided by YG Entertainment, Bobby of boy band iKON is seen holding a media interview on Sept. 14, 2017, at a cafe in western Seoul. (Yonhap)

odissy@yna.co.kr

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