Iconic Korean artist G-Dragon will arrive in Australia for three shows next month, all part of his ACT III, M.O.T.T.E. world tour. Ahead of the visit, G-Dragon sat down to talk about what we can expect from the tour and give us more insight into the man himself, and his time with K-Pop super group BIGBANG:
What would be the difference between G-Dragon and Kwon, Ji Yong?
G-DRAGON is a fancy person. People doesn’t expect the upright images of G-Dragon and so I’ve less pressure on what I do and can act freely. That’s what I’m good at, and that’s the images people love about G-Dragon. On the other hand, Kwon Ji Yong is an introvert, and has lots of things going on in his head. I have been hearing about how I am different from on-stage to off-stage. It was my first time to show Kwon Ji Yong itself to the public and felt that G-Dragon’s image has a lots of difference from person Kwon Ji Yong.
It has been four years since the last solo album, what is the biggest difference in between G-Dragon now and G-Dragon four years ago?
I’m worried that I’m getting more mature as I age. Just until last year, I didn’t feel the need to take on full responsibility for every little detail, but rather thought “if I do well, then everything else will just fall into place.” With this kind of mentality, I actually did enjoy working a bit more than when I faced hardships and obstacles. Unfortunately, hardships led to negative thoughts. I can’t say for fact that having negative thoughts necessarily mean I’m getting more mature, but I really am thinking about things now that I’ve never thought of when I was younger.
As a solo performer and solo as the leader of Big Bang, you have visited and performed in many countries. What are the biggest differences between Korean fans and overseas fans? When you went on your first world tour, did you expect to see many excited fans overseas?
There isn’t much of a difference between the fans here in Korea and fans overseas. No words can describe how thankful I am for their support. I gotta say I really was surprised at my first World Tour. It was amazing to see what we’ve always dreamed of, right before our eyes. It was an amazing experience overall to realize we have fans supporting us from places that we visited for the first time.
The concept for this tour is ACT III, M.O.T.T.E (Moment of Truth the End) is what I know, what do you want to show your fans from your show?
I approached working for this album a bit differently from the rest of my albums. I realized there are so many things I don’t know about myself – things I never got the chance to find out about myself and memories I’ve lost over the years. That is why I’ve spent time looking over my past albums and thinking about my past years.
Starting end of last year, I’ve been writing down words that come to my mind, which I’ve incorporated into the lyrics and the overall concept of my World Tour.
I’ve turned thirty this year and am going through an important phase in my life. Instead of focusing on showing a trendy, new look and sound, I’ve worked for this album as if it’s my last.
You were on the tour from 2012, 2015, 2016 as a member of BIGBANG and this tour is your second solo tour after 2013 solo tour. What is the biggest difference when you are on stage with other members and on stage alone?
The biggest difference will be stamina. Instead of having five people performing for two hours become to one person performing the same time. I feel lonely a bit but it also becomes a factor to help focus my concentrated entirely in the show.
You must have prepared a lot for this tour, is there any special part you really focused on? How do you relive your stress when you are stressed?
I am usually positive and optimistic. If I get stressed or the result is not so good, I let it go by thinking as “Oh well, it can be better next time”. I don’t worry a lot, or in other words, I don’t try to be to serious on every matter. Everything must have freedom, music too.
Is there a reason fans should watch ACT III, M.O.T.T.E?
It could be the first and last show to reveal myself as Kwon, Ji Yong instead of G-Dragon.
Is there any special reason on having your album name which is your real name?
I wanted to show the result that does not require to be modified rather than to be explained differently. It might have been a test for me but I thought it was the right to the people and felt that I should do so. So I changed my album name to Kwon Ji Yong which I originally planned to name ‘30’.
This is more like a present for myself. As I mentioned earlier, I wish I can recall my past saying that I had done a good job when I was 30 yrs old, and I have achieved something meaningful. And when I recall that memory, I don’t want that person to be G-DRAGON.
I feel the necessity of introducing Kwon Ji Yong officially to the audiences. Not that Kwon JI Yong is the name of the singer ‘G-DRAGON’ but ‘G-DRAGON’ is the stage name of Kwon Ji Yong. To me, Kwon ji Yong has bigger meaning to me. If Kwon ji yong has been acting as G-DRAGON, now G-DRAGON is acting as Kwon Ji Yong.
As a leader of BIGBANG, what is the reason of having the group last for 10 years? What does ‘leader of BIGBANG’ means to you?
When I recall the times, BIGBANG always did their best to bring out the best result every moment. We have achieved a lot of works, concerts, albums, TV programs, commercials….a lot of works. Especially, all of our members are really greedy in music aspect. That’s why we did our best for the best outcome, even though it takes a lot of times.
You have gained success as both group and solo artist. Did this fact gave you a big pressure on preparing your album?
In fact, I attended most carefully and seriously for this solo album. BIGBANG is 5 and has already been 10 years so we have a certain frame. I couldn’t be personal as I have to think together and write songs for BIGBANG, not me. It’s also a group that shouldn’t be personal. BIGBANG is much more popular group to audiences. Therefore, we had to write songs that can gain sympathy from the audiences, which was easier to me. This time I was really worried as it is my personal album. It was a fun, but difficult job.
You have just kicked off your second world tour. How do you feel?
People who have been watching me working for the album say that they feel much relieved after the album is released. However, I strongly feel that I’ve just started with the result that I’ve been preparing. It’s the beginning of the World tour, which is the extension of the album.
Everything has heavy meaning especially the aim of this solo album is to show KWON JI YONG, not G-DRAGON.
G-Dragon plays Sydney’s Qudos Bank Arena on 5th August, the Brisbane Entertainment Centre on August 8th and in Melbourne on Saturday 12th August at Hisense Arena. Tickets and VIP experiences are on sale now. To get your hands on tickets and more details, head to the Live Nation website.
Photos and images supplied by Live Nation and YG Entertainment.