The five members of BIGBANG, did not travel much over the last year. They spend most of their time in a studio at the YG building. When people experience ups and downs of life, they become feeling longing for something and at some time they begin to gain depth in their lives. For BIGBANG, this depth was all about music. Over time, they worked fiercely and without any complaints, to put their true voices in the music. Various feelings such as love, longings and pain were all put into melodies. These very melodies and music were gathered and at last, ‘ALIVE’ was created.
The accomplishments and high level of BIGBANG’s latest 5th mini-album, ‘ALIVE’ were competitively covered by numerous news articles. The album swept various music charts and the sales were in the first place. The sales for only the first half of the year recorded 260 thousand and the sales difference between the second place album was as many as 100 thousand. BIGBANG makes music what they truly want to make and their music is recognized by so many people. This tells us that their style is well accepted by the public. BIGBANG commented that they are absolutely confident in their music and announced that all of the songs, ‘Intro (Still Alive), BLUE, LOVE DUST, AIN’T NO FUN, FANTASTIC BABY’ will be promoted as title tracks. Also, the genres have become very diverse with ‘BLUE’ being a very sentimental and lyrical piece and a song like FANTASTIC BABY that instantly makes you want to move your body to the beat was also included. The music industry gave a wide diversity of opinion and reviews for this album but after all, the public was rooting for BIGBANG at the end. All these fans’ support helped BIGBANG further advance their skills.
As BIGBANG’s comeback became imminent, there was one more thing the fans were anticipating for. It was their new style which has been always something bigger and more surprising than fans expected. BIGBANG has always been extraordinary and futuristic in their styles. Time wise, BIGBANG needed a more unique style in this new album and the fans openly expressed their expectations.
BIGBANG’s new style was revealed one by one through online. The first revealed image was a shocking image of TOP. He has had many different styles but the new, mint-colored hairstyle of TOP was simply refreshing. This was only a beginning. GD’s hairstyle was even more extreme. Looking at their poker faces and sharp looks, it was clear that they were determined for this new album. Also, with the new icy style, BIGBANG looked as if they had been locked in ice for years. Another thing was the oxygen masks they were wearing. The frozen looks were combined with oxygen masks and BIGBANG looked like infants born straight out of ice. It gave a somewhat refreshing feeling and perhaps the new birth, resurrection of an original music was what they were aiming for through those styles.
BIGBANG’s new styles were very meaningful. The styles were refreshing enough to signify the new beginning of BIGBANG after many ups and downs in their career. BIGBANG’s new journey has just begun and with all these new surprises they have brought, it will be an interesting experience for the fans to watch them evolve into something different.
YG’s One and Only, Special Promotion
Behind the great success with the latest album ‘ALIVE’, there was YG’s one and only, special promotion strategy. To match BIGBANG’s superb quality album, they needed something unique to go with the music. The ‘interview’ concept has made for the promotion after considering what ‘answers’ BIGBANG can give to the world when they broke the silence and finally come back to talk. Before releasing the album, each five members made teaser television commercial with their Individual ‘answers’ in them. Also, to highlight their accomplishments and confidence in this album, by making all of their songs as title tracks, they showed the process of making and practicing each song through these television commercials. For 13 days, total of 13 episodes were made and this unique, unprecedented attempt clearly let the fans know about their big comeback.
Another surprise was the pre-listening service provided by the new collaboration promotion with Naver. For the first time in the industry, fans were able visit Naver Music Web and pre-listen to the tracks for 30 seconds on the day before the official release date. Fan’s expectations reached their peak as the pre-listening tracks were being released one for each day.
Naver and YG Entertainment collaboration was a successful one between high quality music contents and the most influential web platform and it not only strengthened the BIGBANG’s voice in delivering their ‘answers’ but it also marked a beginning of a new marketing model.
Something Unique They Have Never Done Before
BIGBANG Special Edition ‘STILL ALIVE’
YG X HYUNDAICARD PROJECT
There were some of the wonderful songs that were left out due to limitations of a mini album. As usual, BIGBANG considered making a repackage album. However, they wanted something more unique in putting their true colors into this album. Fortunately, as it happens, Hyundai Card got In touch with BIGBANG. Hyundai Card who puts brand value as their top priority had been keeping eye on BIGBANG’s brand values. And as a result, STILL ALIVE, the continuing project from the previous ALIVE, was created in a different style than other ordinary repackage albums.
BIGBANG’s special repackage, ‘STILL ALIVE’ is the result of a somewhat unusual collaboration between an entertainment company and a financial firm. Both brands wanted a groundbreaking attempt that was unprecedented and focused on making synergic effect between two brands instead of on celebrity marketing. Three ideas came out of this collaboration. First, for the repackage album title track, ‘MONSTER’, they wanted to create a true collaboration piece instead of a simple PPL advertised work. For example, during a ‘MONSTER’ music video, Hyundai Card logos are nowhere to be found. Two brands expressed their commitment, “instead of concentrating on publicity, making a good piece of work is where we put our priority.” And as a result, they have created a spectacular but very controlled music video. Secondly, BIGBANG’s brand identity was reinterpreted with Hyundai Card’s exquisite know-hows. BIGBANG was broken down into each members and a brand guidebook that included their unique individuality was made for each members. The design that perfectly showed the aesthetics of minimalism was the result of Hyundai Card’s special branding skills. Lastly, two brands attempted to do another great thing for the sake of Korean music industry’s growth. It was ‘RE-MONSTER PROJECT’. It was a sort of an auditioning project to discover talented yet obscure musicians in which any underground musicians could submit their own style and interpretation of ‘MONSTER’ to Hyundai Card Music. The winner of the contest will be given an opportunity to produce a digital single and music video at YG Entertainment. Numerous talented musicians of various genres, ROCK, R&B, HIPHOP, etc applied and 5,000 of those applied songs were downloaded.
A tie-up between YG and Hyundai Card was not only an ordinary investment or publicity project but it was a truly meaningful collaborative work. They respected each other’s strengths, made up for each other’s weaknesses, created a piece of art and sincerely worked for advancement of Korean music industry. This will be remembered as a meaningful collaboration between a financial firm and artists.
“BIGBANG has continuously applied rock, Hip-Hop and various genres
in their music and now their music is not just ‘K-POP’. It’s the ‘Universal Pop’.”
- Harrison, pop music critic
STILL ALIVE Album Review
After the ‘ALIVE’ album, the ‘STILL ALIVE’ also received a lot of attention. The innovative styles and visual concepts as well as the music were extremely popular. Only in the first of the year, the album sales were 110 thousand and considering the short period of time, this was a tremendous outcome. Only with 2 albums, the sales in the first half of the year were 400 thousand. ‘Still Alive’ was created because there were so much love and s for a full version after listening to the intro ‘ALIVE’ in the last 5th mini-album. The strong determination expressed in the lyrics will be the most noticeable aspect of the song.
Monster : ‘Monster’ has BIGBANG’s unique, sad mood and a beautiful piano melody on a house tempo is combined with an addictive chorus line. The music video captures the strong, monster-like images harmoniously. The lyrics express the desperate emotions of men who do not want to be monsters for the loved ones even when all others criticize them.
Feeling : Germany’s famous DJ, ‘BOYS NOIZE’ and G-Dragon and TOP worked together for this song and its rhythmic sound gives out BIGBANG’s unique, free-spirited energy.
빙글빙글 : ‘Bingble Bingle’s most remarkable part is the lyrics. It’s about a guy asking daringly to his lover for honesty and to be upfront rather than making him go around in circles. Its wild voices and exciting beats are amazing and the song also gives some retro feelings with electronic guitar reefs.
Ego : ‘EGO’ has that unique balance between metaphorical lyrics and addictive melody line which BIGBANG’s is excellent at executing. It’s a groovy, electronic-pop song that tells about feelings of a guy who has fallen in love.
Where All the Biggest Stars Gather
BIGBANG ALIVE GALAXY TOUR
BIGBANG’s latest journey, ‘2012 ALIVE Galaxy Tour’. From ‘ALIVE’ to ‘STILL ALIVE’, BIGBANG finished their official Korea schedules and begun their first world tour. This world tour will be on 16 countries, 25 cities beginning from Asia first and to North America, South America and Europe. From the beginning, this tour was a special project because it was Live Nation, the world’s best concert production company who first suggested BIGBANG for a world tour.
Live Nation has done some promotional works with Korean artists and helped out with one or two large-scale concerts but BIGBANG will be the first Asian artists to work with Live Nation in full scale. Live Nation’s cooperation meant that BIGBANG was now a world level artists. The staffs that will be participating on this world tour are brilliant as well. Laurieann Gibson who worked with Lady Gaga’s The Monster Ball Tour, and choreographed her hits Poker Face will be joining the world tour as a head director. She also previously worked with stars as Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson, Beyonce and Katy Perry. Leroy Bennett, who worked with Madonna, Paul McCartney and the Eagles, will also join as a stage and lightning designer and Ken Van Druten, a world-level sound engineer who was in charge of the sound for Eminem, Jay-Z and Linkin Park concerts will be part of the team as well.
This is without doubt the best line up of staffs for a world tour. To create Korea’s first world tour at the best quality possible, world’s No.1 brand Samsung will be sponsoring the tour.
This collaboration between a world-level company who leads and sets the trend of smartifacts industry, and a world-level idol group who represent the popular ‘Korean Wave’ became the hottest topic of the year.
The recent concert held in China was simply earth shaking. Airport was almost Inoperable with nearly 2,000 fans welcoming BIGBANG and as BIGBANG moved some fans even followed them zealously via taxi. The concert seats were surely sold out and the fans were going wild with BIGBANG’s appearance. Considering that this is BIGBANG’s first concert in China, it was a huge success.
After a successful concert in China, it will be an interesting thing to see the impact BIGBANG will make as they take their next move on the ‘2012 BIGBANG ALIVE GALAXY TOUR’.
* To find out about a detail tour schedules, please visit BIGBANG’s official Facebook page. ( alive.ygbigbang.com )
BIGBANG’s 5 Secrets to Success
1. Powerful Commercial Influence
2. Concert Successibility and Dominating Energy
3. Almost Only Ability of Music Composition and Lyrical Skills
4. Endless Challenges, Challenging the Taboo
5. World-Class Trends, Fashions and Performances
(Dong-A Ilbo, Jeong Ho-Jae)