By Shim Sun-ah
SEOUL, April 25 (Yonhap) -- Taeyang, a member of iconic boy group BIGBANG, has said watching sunsets was a major source of inspiration for his upcoming individual EP, "Down to Earth."
"During some of my difficult and challenging moments, I found solace in watching sunsets," he said during a media event held in Seoul on Monday to promote the EP.
During the group's practically five years of hiatus, which he said was beyond his control, Taeyang married and became a father of a 17-month-old boy.
The group, which arguably was the most popular K-pop boy group in the late 2000s and early 2010s with a number of hit songs, such as "Lies," "Last Farewell," "Fantastic Baby" and "Bang Bang Bang," had a four-year-long hiatus before returning with a digital single, "Still Life," in April last year, as four of its members had to fulfill their mandatory military services.
After they were all discharged from the military, the pandemic then caused a further delay in the group's return to normal activities.
During the media event, the former artist with YG Entertainment shared how he was able to gather himself and start a new chapter in his career as a solo artist under his current label.
"The thought that the sun always sets every night without any complaint inspired me to find some small task to do, however hard the situation may be, and beautiful ways to overcome difficulties. Such thoughts also helped me remember when I first began."
The 34-year-old singer reminded reporters that his stage name is "Taeyang," a Korean word meaning "the sun," before sharing about how the album began.
So he decided to write whatever he was feeling in his everyday life. He said he mostly wrote on a typewriter to capture an analog sensibility and sometimes with his mobile phone when he was out jogging at night.
"I wrote down words, and they became themes and then lyrics of songs when put together. So, I came to co-write all the tracks that way. I thought I must express my emotions more honestly."
The resulting album, set to be out at 6 p.m. Tuesday, contains the emotions and thoughts he experienced in his daily life in diverse genres, such as ballad, hip-hop and soul.
The EP has six tracks, including the prereleased song "Vibe" featuring Jimin of K-pop supergroup BTS, "Shoong!" featuring Lisa of girl group BLACKPINK and the lead track, "Seed."
He said the song "Shoong!" was created in a playful manner with the help of the producers in The BLACK Label and helped open the way to create other tracks.
The lead track, "Seed," is a ballad song featuring poetic lyrics and melody.
Taeyang believes the song, which is a modern interpretation of 80s and 90s Korean pop music, represents the golden age of K-pop despite the music's global success these days.
However, his challenging experiences had a profound impact on his music.
Rather than focusing on the style or sounds of his music, Taeyang's focus shifted to the messages and thoughts conveyed in his lyrics.
Taeyang said his ultimate goal is to be loved by fans through his music, especially with the release of his new album.
As a member of BIGBANG, he spoke cautiously about his hope of reuniting with his bandmates and working on group projects in the future.
When asked about the chances of the group working together again, he replied: "That's just what I had wished for the most. If all the members work diligently, I believe there will be a good opportunity for us to meet our fans as a group again."
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