G-Dragon (real name: Kwon Jiyong, 23), whose heart had been aflutter in anticipation of his album’s release, felt despair. Just a day before its release his title track ‘Heartbreaker’ had been accused of plagiarism. His Me2day, which had thus far been a precious way for him to communicate with his fans now seemed like a cold-hearted and scary place.
”Regardless of whether it really is plagiarism or not, I think having the label of ‘plagiarist’ itself is just disgraceful. On the internet people were fighting about whether ‘It’s been plagiarised’ vs. ‘It hasn’t’; the company said they’d fly over to America to set things straight. It seemed like there was going to be a huge legal battle. Everything was just so hard to handle. It makes me happy to sing and dance in front of other people, that’s all..but the people seemed to only pay attention to the bad stuff, I thought I was gonna go crazy. But after contemplating for a while, I decided that singers should answer to any controversies through their performances.”
He realised no matter what he said, he couldn’t change anything. So like actors speak through acting in cinemas, he thought singers should speak through their performances.
”I think the only place I can take responsibility for my music is through performing on stage. I always told myself that I’d apologize if I showed a disappointing performance to my fans. I think if I try my best to make people happy, they’ll realize the truth for themselves.”
Jiyong is used to being caught up in controversy from a young age. Does he have some strange power to turn little things into huge controversies? But the attention he receives from both fans and anti-fans are a driving force for him.
”If an online news article about me is released, the first comment is always someone bashing me. I’m human too, of course, I check (laughs). The antis always see them first and leave hateful comments. I’m actually thankful in a way. If these people really hated me, they just wouldn’t pay any attention to me at all. I think they keep checking my articles because they still expect something of me in the end. Something along the lines of ‘I hate this guy, but I still can’t help being interested’, maybe. Because of people like that I feel like I have to try even harder.”
Popular singers just cannot be separated from the public. Affection and criticism are just opposite sides of the same coin.
”Rather than thinking ‘Let’s see who wins then’ about my antis, I think I just have to keep trying hard until they disappear. I can’t ‘beat’ the public since artists have to work together with them. It’s like being a student. I feel like I’ve done my homework as a student and now I’m hoping that my teacher will compliment me.”
He’s even got the providence of the public figured out. He may be precocious but he doesn’t try to forcefully hide his pain from others.
”It’s a hundred thousand times worse when you’re in the position of the one being bashed. Korea is a small country so being in that position is really disheartening. I did understand but it still hurt so bad. I’ve just grown wings to try and fly higher; I’ve come too far to fall now and there’s no way back at this point anyway. I’m trying really hard- I truthfully just want people to be more understanding and like me more.
Translations sjay.x @ bbvip