Tablo’s interview with Magazine B

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Please consider buying Magazine B , you can buy the Issue where Tablo’s interview is in , available  both in English and Korean.
English Issue
Korean Issue

About Magazine B 

B is an ad-less monthly publication that introduces one well-balanced brand unearthed from around the globe in each issue. Between its covers, B not only shares untold stories behind the brand
but also its sentiment and culture that any readers interested in brand marketing and management can leaf through with ease.

About the Apple Music Issue

In this edition, we spotlight Apple Music, the music streaming service launched by Apple in June 2015. It’s a fascinating endeavor – on a micro level a streaming service, and on a macro level a vast ecosystem, depending on how the user views it. And as is clear from its name, Apple Music is about more than harnessing the technology of streaming. Longtime users of Apple’s hardware and services, from the iPod (Apple’s take on portable music players) to iTunes (the company’s platform for purchasing and collecting digital music), will no doubt notice this. On the Apple website, Apple Music is grouped under the “Music” tab of the main menu, along with iTunes and the iPod, as well as music accessories like headphones. On the iPhone, which comes with Apple Music installed as a default application, Apple Music’s display icon is a single musical note rather than the Apple Music logo, and it’s labeled “Music.” And this attention to music runs deeper. According to the numerous books that have been written on Apple, founder Steve Jobs often sought inspiration for the creative process from musicians like the Beatles and Bob Dylan. Such inspiration has infused Apple’s products, services and advertising. If the Apple brand is the company’s hardware, music is its soul.

Tablo’s Opinion 

Q. I understand Epik High is making a new album

Tablo : That’s right . We’re in the third year of working on our ninth album. That’s a relatively long time , considering today’s market trends. In the past, we’ve released two to three albums in a single year. That’s because back then we had so much to say. But after more than a decade of making music, creating an album started to feel like a massive burden . The longer we do it , the harder it seems to get, since we already told so many stories in our past albums. Our ninth album is – how do I put it – something people in their 30s can relate to. The way I see it if hip-hop can be summarized in one word, it’s probably ‘youth’ . With this album however, although parts of it may reach listeners in their teens or 20s, I think people in their 30s and 40s will find it much more relatable.

Q. What kind of music has Epik High made throughout the years and what kind of music will it make in the future?

Tablo:  We’ve been active since 2000, so that’s 14 years of creating our unique brand of music. To be honest, I’m no longer sure about what labels you can put on us. We started with a simple vision of being a “hip-hop group” , but I later found out that overseas listeners refer to us as “alternative hip-hop”. There are a bunch of other labels as well. So I have no idea what genre we belong to. I think I’ll just go with an elegant description, like we’re a singer-songwriter group that makes the music we want to create in our own way (laughs).

Q. The current music market is surely different from when Epik High debuted

Tablo: When I look at the beginning of my career compared with the present, it’s not just a few things have changed – the whole world has changed completely. They’re no longer around today, but when we debuted, people still released albums on cassette tapes . I think we made cassette tapes up to our fourth album. CD sales also massively affected a group’s popularity . But now, streaming is the mainstream, not CDs

Q.The way that artists distribute their music has also changed immensely. What does it  mean for an artist to ‘release an album’ in today’s market.

Tablo: I think albums are still important. I once read an article that claimed that Steve Jobs and iTunes have destroyed the value of an album.It adopted a very bleak outlook arguing that releasing music in albums is going to become meaningless as streaming services allow people to select titles according to individual preferences, so the act of listening to an entire album from beginning to end will become increasingly rare. To be honest, I couldn’t help but agree at the time. I was part of the generation that grew up listening to albums instead of individual tracks , and concepts like streaming and iTunes were new to me. Now,however, those transformations  are the established norm , and I actually think that the importance of the full album is resurfacing in today’s ‘playlist era’ . To the artist , the track that precedes or follows a song is extremely important. Yet no matter how perfectly you craft an album, it’s impossible to predict how today’s listener will rearrange the tracks. Thus, the album today operates more as an optimised listening sequence recommend by the artist.

Q.  Recently the hip-hop artist Drake released an album titled “More Life” , interestingly enough, he described it not as an album but as a “playlist”

Tablo: Yeah, I think Drake expressed it very aptly. Musicians who have consistently released their art in the album put serious thought into the sequence the sequence of their tracks. For instance , if one track is very heavy in content you could have it preceded by a ‘warm up’ title and follow it with something soothing, like a desert. Epik High is no different when it comes to album
[note we have receive the english mag to continue with the interview – process of doing if you receive it before us and want to help us finish it let us know^^]

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