iKON, YG’s first runner to comeback in 2018, have released their 2nd official album ‘RETURN’. In the official album released in 2 years, the group once again promised to “focus on promoting in Korea” for the fans.
B.I and BOBBY have unique rapping skills. JAY, SONG, and JU-NE with harmonious vocals, and last but not the least, the youngest CHAN who completes the team lineup with his strong visuals.
Thanks to iKON, blessed are our eyes and ears this 2018.
How was the pictorial shooting.
BOBBY: I liked the drowsy concept. I felt like the concept was better portrayed under the sun rather than stage lighting.
SONG: It wasn’t my first time, but it’s not a concept which members of iKON are used to. We usually do pictorials with a strong vibe, so it was special.
It’s your reunion with ‘@star1’ in 2 years since March 2016.
JU-NE: Right. I enjoyed watching OnStyle’s ‘Korea’s Next Top Model’, so I remember I was surprised to see photographer Cho Sunhee at the shooting scene.
SONG: We actually have the photos right in front of us and we prefer the deadly facial expressions in here (Laughs). Please think of us as becoming more versatile on diverse concepts.
How would you describe your new album.
B.I: What I can say is that the new song is really different. You’ll understand when you get to hear it. Nobody ever said they didn’t like the song (Laughs).
JU-NE: A musical-like song? You’ll be humming the melodies even if you only heard it once.
The music video was also impressive.
CHAN: It was the first time we filmed with motion control cameras (MCC). It was both new and interesting to film the same motions again and again based on the camera’s beat.
BOBBY: The filming process was fun so there will be a lot of interesting elements in the video. The choreography is also stylish and cool, so the camera angles and the mood during our choreography will feel special to the viewers.
Some fans were waiting for a song with an emotional melody, like ‘MY TYPE’.
B.I: Fans who liked ‘MY TYPE’ will like our new song. It has an easy melody.
BOBBY: Right. Anybody will feel comfortable while listening to the song, which is just like ‘MY TYPE’. The song fits not only winter, but all 4 seasons.
SONG: I feel like I have the most public ear among other members. It was a song I can easily hum the melody, so the other listeners will probably think the same.
YANG HYUN SUK even called it a ‘legendary new song’.
B.I: It’s a ‘legendary’ conjunction. We feel grateful that our president expects a lot and cheers for us.
Will you be keeping your promise on ‘focusing in Korea’.
DK:We know how long our fans have waited for us. So, I hope this album becomes a great start of iKON’s activities in 2018. We missed our Korean fans as well.
CHAN: I felt sorry for the fans who felt disappointed or sorry that we weren’t on many TV programs or stages. We want to meet and communicate with the fans at a closer range, so they won’t feel that anymore.
You focused on the Japanese market last year. What did you learn?
BOBBY: We learned to communicate with the fans on stage. We got more natural and experienced. But we still have a long way to go.
SONG: I used to be nervous before going on any type of stage. Now I feel fluttered with joy (Laughs). Nervous to excitement, that was probably my biggest growth.
B.I: We didn’t get to perform a lot in Korea. We would feel really happy to meet the Korean fans through a lot of performances.
How did you spend your free time in Japan.
SONG: We have two groups, a gourmet group and a ‘stay in the room’ group. The gourmet group spend time in search of great restaurants, while the ‘stay in room’ group spend free time in the hotel. BOBBY and B.I are usually in the ‘stay in room’ group.
JU-NE: I personally wandered around listening to music. I felt like I was traveling while seeing and hearing a lot of things. We’re all adults, so sometimes we’ll get a beer, and have small talk.
I wonder who’s the most popular member among Japanese fans.
CHAN: JU-NE and JAY. I wouldn’t say most popular but they are fluent in Japanese. They communicate with Japanese fans very well.’
The group starred in JTBC’s ‘iKON PICNIC’. Which member found their hidden variety senses.
B.I: I don’t have any memories of a school trip. So, the program felt like a new experience rather than a shooting to me. I felt like going back to my teenage years and having fun with my friends. SONG is the best in variety senses. He was amazing.
JU-NE: Right. SONG finalized his character through this show.
B.I: SONG accepted our concept proposal we made for him. And he did it right.
SONG: You’re making fun of me (Laughs). We had very young people star in the show with us, so we filmed with responsibilities as older brothers.
Q Now what does iKON’s youngest member think of his brothers. Who would you introduce to a younger sister.
CHAN: (Laughing) B.I. Some people think he only looks smart, but he’s a pure person. If I had a younger sister, I’d like to introduce her to a pure person.
The filming for ‘iKON PICNIC’ took place in Jeju Island. How was it.
JAY: I was born in Jeju Island. So, I didn’t get what people think of Jeju Island as a place of travel, but now I’m starting to. It felt more like a place of living to me. Now I feel comfortable and my mind heals when I think of Jeju Island. Even more so after the shooting.
What variety programs would you like to make appearance in the future.
B.I: Every program, if I get a chance (Laughs).
JU-NE: tvN’s ‘Life Bar’. I like the mood of sincere talking while having a drink.
JAY: SONG is specialized in variety programs using self-cameras (Laughs). He’s a good cook, so a ‘mukbang’ program such as Olive’s ‘One Night Food Trip’ would suit him as well.
SONG: I have a very frank character. I can’t lie. When I taste something I don’t like, I just say it. That’s probably why they’re recommending me a cooking variety program. I would like to suggest a survival variety program for JU-NE and JAY. I want them to go through a hard experience, like they do in SBS ‘Law of the Jungle’ (Laughs).
JAY & JU-NE: Hahaha.
Who’s the best chef among members.
CHAN: SONG is the best. He often cooks for us when we’re by ourselves, and it tastes good.
SONG: They all like it. BOBBY doesn’t like seafood, but no member has contrasting opposite taste. They all enjoy my food (Laughs).
Audition variety programs are popular these days. How do you feel.
JAY: We’re audition experts. We’ve all been tested many times.
B.I: Right, audition experts. JAY and JU-NE took auditions four times.
BOBBY: My parents feel empathy. They think of me when they watch audition programs. However, I don’t feel a lot of empathy. Everyone has different circumstances and environments. I just hope everything works out well for everyone.
DK: It reminds me of old times. I feel empathy when I watch contestants suffer. I feel like I’m watching the old me.
B.I: When I was in a survival program, TAEYANG told me, “You’re having your best time”. I didn’t understand back then but now I do. It’s not like I want to go back, but the passion and spirit back then became a big help.
Are you confident enough to win if you try out for another audition program.
B.I: No. There are so many talented people these days. It scares me just to think about how I would compete with those people (Laughs).
JU-NE: I’m confident (Laughs). If we must try again, I’ll put my everything and try my best to get results, as I always have. It’s not out of conceit, but since I still remember and keep my first intentions.
Is YANG HYUN SUK like himself in JTBC ‘MIXNINE’.
JU-NE: He laughs more. He got brighter.
SONG: He used to feel scary, but now he’s like a father. I almost shed tears when I recently met him. He warms my heart from the inside.
B.I: It’s probably because you’re kind and have a lot of tears. Our president really laughs more often these days, not just in the program.
It’s already 2018. How would you evaluate last year, 2017.
JU-NE: Well, we’ve been through a lot. Sometimes I feel like I should’ve done better. I would like to make improvements in those aspects in 2018.
JAY: 2017 was a year with a bit of frustration. I want 2018 to become a year we get closer to our dreams.
BOBBY: We’ve done a lot of tours overseas, so I feel like we grew a lot.
B.I: We could’ve done better.
DK: I got a chance to look back into myself. I’m really looking forward to this year.
CHAN: In a broad sense, there were many unfortunate incidents in Korea. It hurt my heart and hope that in 2018, everyone stays happy and healthy.
SONG: Unlike 2 years ago, 2017 was a year of healing. We had some time off while performing a lot of concerts. It became stepping stone for a more successful 2018.
What kind of determination does iKON have for 2018.
B.I: Be ‘iKON’, as always. We hope 2018 will be a year we pursue our dreams with spirits of youth and freedom rather than chasing materialistic results, while staying healthy.
Lastly, say something for the fans that have waited for iKON.
JAY: We’re excited since we will have more opportunities to communicate and show ourselves in front of fans in Korea. Please look forward to it and continue to support us. Thank you as always.