ASIA’S NO. 1 DJ CREATOR: SEUNGRI
Q: How have you been doing recently?
Seungri: As the holidays are coming, I’ve been busier than usual. I’ve been focusing on my personal promotions and business but especially, I’ve been caring about NHR a lot. I’ve also been DJing at clubs too.
Q: It’s surprising how you do DJing yourself at clubs.
Seungri: I really like listening to music so I do DJing as I enjoy it myself. I use 4 CDJs so I play it from here to there and if I get excited, even go on stage. It’s not like you can listen to music better if you use 4 CDJs but if I do it like this, I get more excited. It will also liven up the audience atmosphere. DJing is also a type of show.
Q: Among Korean DJs, there is great interest towards NHR. Why did you establish NHR?
Seungri: I wanted to make those who were in a difficult situation as Asia’s star DJs. Last year, DJ GLORY was DJing at my hip hop lounge club Monkey Museum and the music was so good. So I started having a conversation with him and he said he makes music himself. I listened to it and it was so good. I told him “You made such great music but why do you keep it to yourself?” and he said that he didn’t have the opportunity. He likes music so he began to make music himself and do DJing but he didn’t have the opportunity to get recognised. I felt so sad. So I requested to GLORY that I want to listen to all the songs by those who do music and on the very next day, listened to them all. I saw the possibility. From that day, pushed forward and established NHR.
Q: It doesn’t seem easy to raise your artists to become Asia’s star DJ.
Seungri: Electronic dance music festival scene is the fight of DJ booking. The festival is crammed but compared to this, there aren’t enough DJs. In Spring, Summer and Autumn, there are several festivals and on one day, several festivals want DJs. The demand for DJs will continue to grow even more in the future. In accordance at this specific time, I want to make our DJs to become Asia’s star DJ. I exactly know the situation that I’m now either for business or as a Bigbang member, I know enough of the part that I can’t do and I’m not groundlessly optimistic. As I’ve proceeded several businesses, I built up a lot of experience. I felt certain that my goal to make them as Asia’s star DJ in the market is possible to fulfill.
Q: What aspects do you think is needed to become Asia’s star DJ?
Seungri: What do you think is the reason why people go to festivals? There may be various reasons but among all, it is because famous DJs come. Is it really because I play good music that the audience likes my party? No. They like it more because I’m BIGBANG’s Seungri. It goes for the same in the DJ market. Since you’re a DJ so obviously your musicality must be outstanding but you also need to be famous in Asia. I will try my best to help them out in order to become Asia’s star DJ.
Q: In that part, I think the title ‘BIGBANG Seungri’s Label’ has several advantages for NHR.
Seungri: Thankfully, a lot of people come to parties which I hold. At first, they came to see me but after the show, there are a lot of people who became fans of different DJs from NHR. This process helps our DJs to become famous. I think it’s an advantage that it has the role as a platform.
Q: I think you really think and care for NHR DJs.
Seungri: Yes, I want them to do well. After a show, DJ Glory and DJ TPA are wet with sweat even to the bottom of their shoes. They’re really passionate. I believe that people like them need to shine.
Q: NHR artists are outstanding in terms of appearance. When recruiting DJs, do you look for their appearance or star quality?
Seungri: Of course. I’m a person who does business. As my goal is to go beyond Korean star DJ and make them into Asia’s star DJ, I obviously look for it.
Q: Please tell us about the meaning of NHR (Natural High Record).
Seungri: I don’t smoke so Monkey Museumx which I own, is a non-smoking club. Honestly if you go to other clubs, it’s filled with the smell of cigarettes, I wanted to show that you can enjoy enough without cigarettes so I made a non-smoking club. I also named it as ‘Natural High Record’ which has the same meaning. It has the meaning that we’ll make music that can make the audience feel “Natural High’ even without supplements like alcohol or cigarettes.
Q: How did BIGBANG hyungs or CEO YG react to the establishment of NHR?
Seungri: When I first thought of making NHR, I shared it with my agency. I’m an artist under YG and if I don’t share this with my agency and establish a separate label then think it’s not morally right. It has to do with music so they all supported me. They all knew that I liked DJing for a long time. Also our boss was actually a DJ. He is DJing even now.
Q: What is the music genre which NHR deals?
Seungri: I believe it’s meaningless to subdivide genres. We divide genres due to several reasons but it’s all crossovers. Then it’s correct to say that NHR’s music genre is ‘All Kinds Of Music.’
Q: You consistently released music last year.
A: I released 50 songs in NHR last year. I diligently made them. There weren’t hit songs but think this itself was very meaningful. I think that when a DJ owns a lot of songs then it’s a strength. You need quite a lot of songs than you expect for an hour of DJing.
Q: You’ve held NHR parties all over the world. Do you do the party planning yourself?
Seungri: It’s easy to do the planning as I’ve done BIGBANG world tour. After a concert, I always went to clubs when (BIGBANG) hyungs would go into the dorm and rest. So I’m friends with club owners all over the World. With just one call, I can select the venue right away, so it’s not difficult.
Q: Among all NHR parties, which party is the most memorable?
Seungri: The party did in Manila during the Chuseok (Korean Thanksgiving) holidays. When I did parties overseas, I only was able to plan out the schedule for the party. So we couldn’t travel. But for this Manila party, we were able to go sightseeing and we even went to Boracay so the schedule itself was memorable. Of course the party was also really good.
Q: You seem to be very close with the DJs as you went on overseas tour together. There are a lot of photos that you took together on Instagram.
Seungri: Of course. We became really close after going on overseas tour together. Not only NHR artists but also try to stay close without any formalities with the workers from the restaurant I own. DJ DANU was also a part-timer at the cart bar which I owned. I requested why don’t you try this out and that’s how he started DJing. Even when I have different opinions when working together with DJs under this label, I like to discuss together by rather saying my opinion straight away but instead “Won’t the audience like it more if it was done this way?” On the other hand as I stay with these friends, I was able to understand BIGBANG hyungs. In BIGBANG, I’m the youngest. But here, I’m the leader so feel a lot of responsibility.
Q: You must be busy but you still take care of each worker. It’s surprising.
Seungri: I think it’s actually an excuse to say that you can’t do something because you’re busy. For example, since the cart bar is open until late, I can go if I have no schedule and rather than drinking somewhere else, I can go to my cart bar and communicate with my workers and become close. Also, I like to participate in all the store or business work and do it together. It’s a disease. Disease. If I have something that I want to do, even if I can’t sleep, I’ll feel satisfied when it’s done. That’s why I can’t sleep much.
Q: You seem to be passionate in everything. Electronic dance music festivals are popular all over the world so do you ever think of holding your own festival later on?
Seungri: Not at all. The festival market is crammed all over the world and I don’t ever think of jumping into the Red Ocean. No matter how well the festival goes, it’s only held 3 days in a year so it’s difficult to make profit. I want to make a star DJ not the festival itself.
Q: Do you have a label that you consider as a role-model?
Seungri: Firstly, I like Spinnin’ Records. Monster Cat is a Canadian label that mainly does strong music but I really like their music a lot. Please listen to it! Marshmello is also under this label.
Q: Lastly, please tell us about NHR’s future plans and vision.
Seungri: As I’ve mentioned earlier in the interview, my goal is to make a DJ label beyond the Korean DJ label which represents Asia. So, I’m trying hard in various fields, I’ll try to bring good news in the future. Please look forward!
Translated by: KIMJ1WON (Thank you!)
Source: BIGBANGDC Gallery