With the Big Bang fan meeting/concert just 3 days away, we have officially started our countdown and are super excited for our first music event in Hong Kong. Music is known as a universal language that isn’t restricted by ones geographic location or spoken language. However, each individual relates to music differently because, at its core, it is a form of expression. Since this week is all about music for us, I thought it would be fitting to dedicate this post to my relationship with music, as well as a little bit about Big Bang and their music.
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Music has always been a big part of my life. I grew up in a home that always had all sorts of music playing. My mother loved to sing and dance – she even taught dance right into her 7th month of pregnancy with me. Naturally, I was born with an acute sense for rhythm. My mother often said that when I cried as a baby, I would instantly stop crying and smile when she turned on the music. I think it was then that music became my friend.
Most Canadian-born Chinese identify more strongly with the western culture; I am a rare exception. My parents mostly listened to Chinese music at home, so that was the kind of music I was exposed to as a child. I can now identify and sing a wide variety of Chinese songs from the 80’s and 90’s, but my knowledge of English songs of the 80’s is surprisingly limited. Throughout my childhood and teenage years as a dancer I was exposed to a lot of ethnic sounds, and it is due to this influence that I listen to music of different cultures. My introduction to western music didn’t come until my last years of elementary school, when I was at an age where I started picking and choosing the kind of sounds I wanted to listen to. From there I started listening to a diverse mix of pop, hip hop, R&B, dance, electro, techno, house, reggaetone, soca, jazz, folk, and various types of latin music.
As I said at the beginning of this post, everyone relates to music differently. The first thing that catches my attention when I listen to a song is its beat, followed by its rhythm. I often listen to instrumentals of my favourite songs because I enjoy them just as much without any lyrics. In fact, there are many songs that I dislike but have fallen in love with their instrumentals. Once I’ve established a connection to a song I tend to turn to the visual aspect of its music video and live performances. The choreography, fashion, lighting, the use of special effects, and the editing of the video itself, all play a role in how I interpret the music, so these elements become crucial. I guess my years of performing on stage has made me very critical about all these elements that make up a performance. Lyrics are secondary to me because I associate the art of using words with poetry more than I do with music. I think it is precisely this reason that I can enjoy music from different cultures in different languages, including Japanese, Korean, and Spanish.
So how did Big Bang enter my life? I had started listening to K-pop while in high school, after my friend Lily introduced me to Korean music and dramas. She was my main source for everything Korean-related during that time. After we graduated, I listened to other genres and only listened to K-pop when I would occasionally come across a good song when downloading music. That was how I discovered Big Bang. I downloaded Forever With You by fluke and fell in love with its beat. The song had just been released not too long ago and, since I didn’t know Korean, I didn’t have access to a lot of information about Big Bang in English. When I saw the video to the song, I remember seeing something really special about one of the rappers – he turned out to be G-Dragon, the leader and creative force behind Big Bang’s sound and image. If I am a huge fan of Big Bang’s music, then I am an even bigger fan of GD’s artistry and style. As a songwriter and producer, he is super talented. As a singer, he is a complete natural on stage; his every move and facial expression is effortlessly cool. And after watching numerous interviews of him, one can see that he is a true artist at heart.
A few months ago, I introduced my boyfriend to Big Bang. To my surprise, he has become a fan of the group as well, which is why we’ve been listening to a lot of Big Bang. When we found out that they were coming to Hong Kong, we jumped at the opportunity to go see them, but we knew getting tickets would be a challenge because in Hong Kong everything sells out quickly. We prepared for the mad dash for Big Bang tickets by setting up a desktop computer and two laptops. At 10am that morning, when the tickets were released, the online ticketing website was so overwhelmed that it was near impossible to access the site. With our 3 devices running simultaneously, we were extremely, extremely lucky that one of our computers was eventually able to access the site, allowing us to purchase the tickets by 10:20am. A lot of people spent hours in front of their computers and were never able to get through. Luck must still be on our side because one of our tickets also won a pass to attend the send-off event after the show. I will never know how we got so lucky.
I won’t go into a lot of detail about Big Bang because you can easily Google them, but I will leave you with my top 10 favourite Big Bang songs (including their solos) for anyone who is interested in their music. In no particular order…
FOREVER WITH YOU (2006)
The first Big Bang song I ever listened to.
BANG BANG BANG (2015)
If you’re going to listen to only one Big Bang song, let it be this one. In one word…EPIC.
BAD BOY (2012)
Love the overall feel of this song and music video. A song that I can listen to repeatedly and not get bored of.
FANTASTIC BABY (2012)
“I wanna dan dan dan dan dan dance…”
(To get a real sense of how they are on stage, click here for one of my favourite live performances of this song.)
GOOD BOY (2014)
Absolutely LOVE the beat of this song, as well as the choreography.
HARU HARU (2008)
It’s an old song so the quality of the video isn’t very high, but the catchy song and the twist at the end of the video makes this one of my all time favourites.
The song that put Big Bang on the map.
A more mature and refined version of Big Bang, in terms of music and visuals.
MICHIGO (2013) – GD solo
I have a strange obsession with this song. The video is so off the wall it’s insane.
EYES, NOSE, LIPS (2014) – Taeyang solo
Last but not least, a slow song that is extremely beautifully written and sung. Click here to hear the song as a duet. (I might actually like the song even more as a duet.)