H.How do you get back on your feet after losing your position? That’s the question singer-songwriter BI has been asking herself every day since 2019. BI (real name Kim Han Bin), the prodigy-turned-idol and later leader and main producer of the K-pop group iKON, has seen it all, allegations of drug purchases that year put his hard work in vain. became. As a result, he left the group and temporarily withdrew from the industry to enter a period of reflection, which continues to this day.
But from the ruins a new way of existence emerged. BI is the soloist.Armed with the fearlessness that is possible only in the past, he “A waterfall that begins with falling” on his debut studio album, 2021’s Waterfall. That same year, he also released the first half of his second album, Cosmos, and the 2022 EP, Love or Loved, Pt. 1” allowed him to find new success with the enchanting “BTBT”.
Last week, BI finally unveiled the second half of “Cosmos,” “To Die For.” Described as an exploration of love, youth, and resistance, the record contains everything from experimental hip-hop to club-ready anthems, hopping in the same effortless dance moves while an artist increasingly accustomed to new skin. is depicted.
Incorporating movies, comics, and personal experiences into his lyrics, he creates a prism of possibility, allowing him to reinvent his past, present, and future. “Love to death / You might think it’s crazy”, he challenged Jessie for the single “Die For Love”. But when you see it through the eyes of someone who’s seen his entire world fall apart and still comes back, it’s understandable that the idea is just that, just an idea. “Cool way”.
During a late-night Zoom call NME On the day of the album’s release, BI is more like a lake than a waterfall. He has been studying English until he is fluent, and his words have the same poetic rhythm as the tone of a song or rap, with each sentence leading to the next. BI is slowly starting to ground himself through one of his greatest loves: music.
Congratulations on your new album! ‘To Die For’ will be the sequel to 2021’s second studio album ‘Cosmos’. At the time, you said both albums were completely finished, but you recently shared that this second half was scrapped with all but one song and started fresh. why?
“The old songs… were literally old. I didn’t mean to do that, but I put all the strong, impactful songs on Cosmos. So the rest was pretty weak and unsatisfying.”
Which song survived being cut?
“‘Dare to Love’ featuring BIG Naughty. It’s a song I made in 2019, and it’s the first song I made for this album. It’s catchy and easy to sing, so I wanted to keep it. ”
Instead of releasing a music video, they released an “episode film” that was like a soundtrack to the short films on the album. And as before, it references many other films in it. the perks of being a wallflower and forever Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. What other references did you come up with?
“There are many. Do you know the movie drive?I love that movie.?and again Charlie Countryman.and fight club, clearly. “
“To Die For” has collaborated with many artists such as Jessi and BIG Naughty. How was the process of choosing the characters to feature and the songs that fit them?
“I am about to [chose] Emotionally, intuitively. I thought that all the voices of the performing artists were suitable for the song, so I sent them a DM. I don’t have many celebrity friends, so I DMed him, but he was very kind and did his best. It was a very good experience. ”
I hope you will consider them friends from now on.
“We are getting closer to it.” [Laughs.]
Have you been in the industry for a long time and find it difficult to make friends?
“Yeah, but you know I’m very introverted. And I don’t have that many friends. [in general].it’s pretty hard [make] It was so hard to send them a DM. ”
The theme of this album is very similar to the previous EP Love or Loved, Pt. 1′, but this EP is from another series of discography and will be completed later. These two works of hers talk about the same subject, what’s the difference?
‘Love or Loved, Pt. 1’ is literally about love. There is “resistance”. They have a resistance and a love of youth. “Love or Loved” has no resistance.Probably “Pt. 2” is going to be “liked” [more]And be filled with sad songs. ”
As you said, this album is about youth resistance and love. In your press release, you said, “Youth is the most shining moment in life.” why do you think so?
“Because youth is short. [they are] beautiful. That’s why such things are worth it, and that’s why I think youth is the highlight of life. ”
Do you feel like you are still living your youth?
“I’m trying to stay young, but you know, I have a lot of responsibilities and reality makes me grow up.”
Doesn’t age define “youth” for you?
“I don’t think age matters. Youth is determined by experiences, feelings and emotions, and the more pain and suffering you have, the sooner your youth will end.”
Do you think working on this album has changed your view of love?
“On ‘Loved or Loved’, Pt. I have too many different answers in my head.they all have different [meaning]. To be honest, I still don’t know what love is. ”
So have you never had the feeling of actually being willing to die for love?
“Um…for the fans. [B.I pauses for a second, and then laughs shyly.] Was it too obvious?
Overall, what do you think has improved since starting your solo career?
“I don’t know. I’m just trying to evolve myself. For example, playing on stage, singing, rapping, dancing, making music…especially playing alone. Filling the stage. It was quite a challenge to make it, but we keep experimenting and researching how we can please the audience.”
What do you think is missing?
“Honestly, I need more hits. It’s very important. I have to speak English better, better than I do now. Have to.”
Who is BI as an artist now? And as a person?
“As an artist, I think I have more passion on stage and in the studio.
Introverts sometimes need to make an effort to get out.
“Yes, but it’s not that easy. It’s really hard.
Also, why do you think you’re lazy? You’ve worked hard.
“Well, but that’s what I do as an artist. As a human being, I don’t want to leave my bed. Just relax and watch a movie or read a comic book. That’s all I want to do.”
I think I can relate. Music motivates you to get out of bed, but was there anything else that pushed you out of your comfort zone while preparing this album?
“Just… send someone a DM? I’m learning all the time, but I haven’t learned anything in particular with this album. I’m always trying to make something new, that’s the standard. One of the things I learned was that the DMs and featured artists were very kind.”
Like we said, you write a lot about love. Are there other themes you would like to explore in the future?
“I want to explore heartbreak. Or childhood. I want to.”
You’ll be performing at Lollapalooza in Berlin in September. Are there any other future activities you’re looking forward to?
“I really don’t know. My team is always the first to find out and when something is decided they just share it with me. But I think we can cross the Pacific this year.”
BI’s new album “To Die For” has been released