“Yes, for once, with Ahn Young-Mi. I myself directly selected the two to work with YG. About what YG should do with these two… I’m now thinking about how YG can make these two more successful.”
Q: You support HIGHGRND label, too.
“I believe that making musicians see a bigger world and create a better market for them is very important, rather than making them have cut-throat competition in a small fishbowl. EPIK HIGH has had a lot of overseas concerts after they joined YG. Of course that was possible because of the team’s good music, but YG’s existing infrastructure and system also played a significant role for such global expansion and positive outcome for the team. Singer’s job is to create good music and label’s role is to establish the system on which singers can realize their full potential in a comfortable environment. I was not involved in TABLO’s establishment of the new label and I will not do so in the days to come, too. I told TABLO, ‘As you have established HIGHGRND now, maybe it’s better for you to move to that company.’ However, TABLO said he wanted to stay with YG. TABLO himself is a veteran singer and has seen a lot of pending problems and ineffective systems. Maybe he thought such problems have been solved to some extent after he joined YG. I hope TABLO will discover a lot of new talents through HIGHGRND. I believe that he is the guy who can do so. Just like the old saying that goes ‘Don’t just give fishes, but teach how to fish’, I’ll just let him do his job on his own. I’ll just give some words of advice when necessary.”
Q: Did you know about HIGHGRND’s scouting of Hyuk Oh?
“Yes, I heard the news, but I didn’t know about the details. I have never seen Hyuk Oh personally. I’ll just continue to support the band as a fan.”
Q: Some think negatively about YG that it is now eating up even the indie music scene.
“I understand that kind of perspective 100%. I think such point of view comes from kind of vague hostility against a major label. The reason why I’m interested in the underground music scene is because the lives of underground musicians are actually much more difficult than what you may imagine. There is a fixed idea that underground musicians are always financially difficult, but it is not that they should live a difficult life to create a good music. I believe they can create better music if they can invest the time and energy put in making ends meet for their music itself. In fact, Korea’s major music market itself is so small and the underground music market is even narrower. We call it the underground music scene, but in fact, those musicians seldom have the place to perform or the market to sell their music. Musicians are the child of a family, the boyfriend of a woman, and the breadwinner of a household. So, they also wish to do their job, music, without worries about living. Of course, they also have ambition to make their music be listened by more people. I myself began my musical career in the Hongdae area, so I’ve always thought about how I can help those underground musicians. I personally wish more musicians with unique colors and characters can be produced, rather than those similar idol groups. I’ll keep thinking about what I can do and continue to work hard to support the indie music scene.”
Q: There were rumors that YG tried to scout Yoo Jae-Suk?
“Oh, really? I met Yoo Jae-Suk only for once about a year ago, to have dinner together with Yoo Hee-Yeol, but never seen him again since then. Indeed, no entertainment company would refuse Yoo Jae-Suk. However, I didn’t make any proposal about Yoo’s joining YG when I saw him for the first time. That is awkward, and impolite, to do so.”
“I feel alive when I get up in the morning and think about the new beginning. No matter how much money I got, I don’t wanna buy a yacht now to go and play in Malibu. That is not something that makes me happy. The funniest thing for me now is to promote the excellence of Korean contents throughout the world, and that is what I really wanna do.”
Q: You seem to be busy as a bee. How many hours do you sleep a day?
“When my artist releases a new album, I sometimes cannot sleep for a few days, but usually, I try to sleep six to seven hours a day.”
Q: You’re so busy with your own tasks in YG, but is still doing “K-Pop Star” show consistently. What is the reason?
“In fact, from season three of the show, I thought that season would be the last one for me to do. The reason why I could not quit was because I well understand the desperateness of the kids who do not even have an opportunity to show their talent. Seo Taiji & Boys performed for four years, and now I’ve been doing ‘K-Pop Star’ for five years. Still, I have a lot of tasks to care about YG artists.”
Q: YANG HYUN SUK is a very smart man. That’s what people think.
“I have never thought like that. I’m rather foolish in areas in which I’m not interested. I myself think to myself sometimes, ‘I didn’t go to college, I had a difficult life when I was young, but now I got this thing called success. This is weird.’ You know, Park Jin-Young talks a lot about musical theory in ‘K-Pop Star’. I think he is a good learner. He sometimes even says that he wanted to be a teacher. It’s obvious that I’m not that kind of person. I usually don’t remember the title of a movie I saw, neither the names of actors acted in the movie. It is maybe because I don’t wanna remember the names. I don’t like books, so I can read only one or two pages. I think I’m the kind of person good at using what I know, rather than at learning something. I think I’m good at arranging and organizing things. One day, I was deeply impressed by a remark of an insider of Apple, which goes ‘We don’t create new things, we gather good things already existing in the world and combine them into the thing people need the most.’ So, it’s about the methodology of making others like what I like. That is a very attractive job, I believe, and I also think my ability of utilizing what I have is the right aptitude for a person who produces singers and music.”
Q: I’m curious about your child-rearing?
“I always say this. I will not send my children overseas for study. Of course, they will have to learn English, because I have faced a lot of difficulties in my life because I’m not fluent in English. The reason why I had my children is to live with them. When parents pass away, what children remember is memories with their parents, not how their parents educated them. I believe true education is not about reading books at school and cram schools, but making children see and learn the right way of thinking and disciplined everyday life practiced by parents themselves. Rearing my children to have proper way of thinking before teaching them how to success is more important. Thus, I don’t have any intention to live separately from my children.”
Q: What is the thing in which you have the least interest in the world?
“That’s politics. Politics is the least interesting thing in the world for me. ”
Q: Is it true that YG is extending its office?
“It was five years ago, I guess. When I first built the YG office building, I thought it would be enough for the next five years, but YG went public after that. In a year since then, a lot of new staff members joined the company so now they are working at four different buildings. I really wanted to work with all my staff in the same place and YG has added a lot of new businessesss, so I purchased a big land beside the current YG building. The new office will be completed about three years later. All the staff members who are now scattered will gather together then, to work more efficiently.”
Q: What should young people do first to be successful like YANG HYUN SUK?
“First and foremost, you must find the thing you like the most. You cannot win a person who does the job he loves. You can be crazy about your job only when you love it, and you should be crazy about your job first to do it well. Secondly, when other people recognize what I do well and when they like what I like, that could be called success.”
Source: Ilgan Sports via YG LIFE