The first member of Big Bang aside from G-Dragon (Real name: Kwon Jiyong, 23) and Taeyang (Real name: Dong Youngbae, 23) to be mentioned was TOP (Real name: Choi Seunghyun, 24). But YG Entertainment’s President Yang Hyun Seok thought his chubby demeanor made him unsuitable to join the group.
”TOP hyung exercised like crazy for six months and returned after losing a lot of weight. I asked ‘Why have you lost so much weight?’ and he said ‘I exercised really hard because I wanted to join YG’. He redid his audition and of course he made it this time.”
Next came Seungri (Real name: Lee Seunghyun, 20) who was eliminated in the last round of an Mnet programme called ‘Battle Shinhwa’, then Daesung (Real name: Kang Daesung, 22) who was chosen for his bright smile.
”Hyunseung, who is currently a member of Beast was originally one of our members too. The 6 of us including Hyunseung practised together and lived together for a while. At first it was difficult at first to have six people who had led completely different lives to live in one house; our personalities clashed and there was a lot of intimidation. But during the happy times, it really felt like we’d become a family.. I think it took about a year and a half though. I think it’s thanks to those times that we can understand each other just by looking at each others’ eyes now.”
They overcame the bickering to build teamwork, and plans for Big Bang’s debut were launched. The company decided to create a ‘survival’ documentary showing the candidates for Big Bang. They planned to show the existence of the group and gain fans by airing ‘Real Docu BIGBANG’ through Gom TV.MTV Korea, which turned out to be a success.
”As well as the uncommon fact that YG was making an idol group, the survival-style documentary programme seemed to interest fans too. Since that was back when there weren’t any ‘real variety’ shows. It was before our debut so we all felt really pressured at the time. We were being watched by millions of people and we didn’t even have our own song or dance as a group! People at YG would always look at us and say ‘What do we do with them?’, and soon our group’s nickname became ‘What do we do’. (laughs)”
Hyunseung was eliminated in the end, and the remaining members received a huge shock. However they concentrated on making an album as fans watched and waited, and slowly created the image of Big Bang.
Translated sjay.x @ bbvip