Featured, Interviews

Epik High’s interview with Sports Donga [Part 2]

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Source: Sports Donga

Part 1 , Part 2

Translation keurimjanee @ icaruswalks
please credit when re-translating/reposting

During Epik High’s 9th album ‘We’ve Done Something Wonderful’ celebratory interview, we talked about their working process, behind stories of recruiting featuring artists and the controversy surrounding part of their lyrics that can be seen as derogatory towards women. Tablo expressed his gratitude to the featuring artists by saying: “Luckily it seems like many of those artists think working with Epik High is a different and fun experience, so we’re thankful for that”.


* Love Story (feat. IU)

The chart-sweeper ‘Love Story’ is a song dedicated to people who are suffering from memories they wish to erase after a break-up; an emotion that anyone will have gone through at least once, told in Epik High’s characteristic sensitivity. IU’s vocals also adds to the song’s charm.

“We’ve been fans of IU for a long time. We always loved her timbre, but we could never bring ourselves to try and recruit her because we didn’t think we could get her on board. However, we ended up appearing as guests at her concert and before we knew it, we asked her to feature on our album right there in front of the crowd, and she made us the promise. I think it was a new experience for IU as well.” (Tablo)


* Home is Far Away (feat. Oh Hyuk)

The second title track ‘Home is Far Away’ is for people whose hearts are hurting due to dreams they can’t fulfill. It centers around the moment when you can’t catch a taxi and the way home is long, and many people of today who are exhausted by everyday life can relate to Oh Hyuk’s charming timbre.

“I do most of our casting. It’s easier for us to get our intentions across if we do it ourselves rather than through our agency. First of all, getting in touch with Oh Hyuk is difficult in itself. He doesn’t pick up calls and usually takes at least 3 days to text you back. I even emailed him. As soon as he heard it, he responded “It’s such a sad song. I’ll get going right now” and we got to work on it immediately.” (Tukutz)

“I experienced something new with Highground. I experienced office life a bit late, and so I developed this wonder about office workers. Talking about dreams in your late thirties is a lot different than talking about it in your twenties. In our song ‘Fly’, we talked about it is a bright, hopeful and exciting way, but at this age the word ‘dream’ has a great weight to it. I think many people can relate to that.” (speaker unspecified)

“I’m the main character of the music video. When I monitored myself after the shoot I kept going “look at that guy~ he’s amazing”. It made me want to try my hand at acting, too.” (Tukutz)

“I guess he’s lost his mind.” (Tablo)

* No Thanxxx (feat. Song Mino, Simon Dominic, The Quiett)

“Through ‘No thanxxx’, we satirized social conditions that are upheld by extremely subjective and careless judgment. We went for a message of urging others to try to find themselves. As you said, there was a controversy about part of the lyrics, but nobody had any intentions like that.” (Tablo)

“I don’t think we’re in a position to talk about misogyny in regards to hiphop lyrics. What do our thoughts on the subject matter? That is up to the artists themselves. Every artist has their own direction, and we as Epik High have our own aim as well. I don’t think we can speak for the whole hiphop scene.” (Mithra)

“There were other featuring artists on ‘No Thanxxx’ that we didn’t reveal. One of them is our senior and seems like could mean the words ‘worried about me? No thanks’. The other person is our junior by many years but they also seem like they could put their heart into ‘worried about me? No thanks’. The last one is a friend of ours. I asked the three of them for that favor… and it’s true that the first person is PSY.” (Tablo)


* Here come the regrets (feat. Lee Hi)

“Lee High’s voice is so charming. Tukutz produced this song and it’s very unconventional, but the vocals are just ‘wow~!’. From a songwriter’s perspective, we want to work with people who can make the song their own no matter what we throw at them.” (unidentified speaker)

“Also, we made this song when we worked on Kanye West’s songcamp. We worked on this song for 3 days about 2 years ago, and Kanye said this song was so good that he wanted to call dibs on it. We were extremely jealous of Tukutz, and at the same time we were worried that he might leave the group if Kanye appeared on an album Tukutz produced. But when Kanye’s album came out, this song wasn’t on there. We couldn’t wait around any longer, so we included it on our album instead. If Kanye says something about it, we’ll apologize. (laughter)” (Tablo)

“If Kanye scouts me, I intend to just go for a little while and then come back. My English isn’t good enough to explain Epik High.” (Tukutz)


* People scare me

“Tukutz did the sampling on this track, and we recorded our vocals to sound like they came from an old LP. Our friend Chancellor did the singing and he’s a great musician. We also worked with Docs Kim from Seo Taiji band.” (Tablo)


* Bleed

While ‘Home is Far Away’ is a representative track in regards to our musical sensitivity, but as I was writing ‘Bleed’ I felt that writing lyrics in itself is becoming more difficult, so those are the emotions I put into this song. I felt I have less to say and kept getting confused about what to say.” (Mithra)


* Lost One (feat. Kim Jongwan of Nell)

“This song tells exactly what I feel. It started from me hearing juniors say that they dreamt of becoming singers after listening to Epik High. I always tell our juniors a lot of positive things, but I felt sorry that I couldn’t only tell good things to the artists who dreamt of this after seeing me. Because they will get hurt if they walk the same path as I have. But I also felt that it could become a great comfort to them instead, and if our kids ever express a wish to walk the same path as us when they grow up, I’m going to play them this song. To be honest, I still think I lost my father because I chose this path. That’s the story ‘Lost One’ tells. Sad advice.” (Tablo)

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