[2013 October – Grazia] MFBTY – Live good, Feel hood – Interview

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MBTY - Grazia

It would have been good if Jordan (Yoon Mirae and Tiger’s son) were also here today.

Yoon Mirae: He would have been trouble. As he’d take a picture of himself, he’d go wild and break the camera. He might have been out of control. His mischeviousness would have been out of place here.

It seems that Jordan likes Black Eyed Peas. I saw him dancing on “Boom Boom Pow” in a documentary video and he sang along too.

Tiger: I didn’t know either he was even able to sing the lyrics. That’s why if I have a song these days, I make him listen to it first. I realized he only reacted to songs popular on the international scene. Most of the songs Jordan likes, I’ve come to like them too. When he doesn’t listen to a song at all, I get rid of it. Fortunately, he listened to all the songs on this album.

It might be a bit late to ask this question, but I’m curious about the first time Yoon Mirae and you met.

Yoon Mirae: I don’t remember how for sure, it was when I was doing activities with “Tashannie”. I met my father-in-law by chance on a freeway rest area. He bragged about his son and said “my son is a hip-hop singer too. He’s in the US right now”. Compared to today, I really couldn’t speak Korean back then and Father’ English was very good.

Tiger: My father was a music critic. I remember him coming to see me and bragging about how he met Yoon Mirae. After that, I saw her around a few times. I met her officially for the first time when recording a compilation album.

Was there “chemistry” like in your lyrics?

Tiger: I have this vague image of going like “she wants to make music”. What was really awesome was that we realized we liked the same music and the same movies.

Movie?

Yoon Mirae: We both liked mafia and crime movies.
Tiger: “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” is one of them. I really like this movie, so I wanted to use this concept for this interview. Even now, I feel like my world is like Jack Nicholson’s world in this movie.
Yoon Mirae: I [He?] said the concept wouldn’t work just for a solo photo shoot.

Tiger JK is like a cat in front of Yoon Mirae.

Tiger JK: True. But that’s because I can’t really see her these days. I work all night until dawn and Mirae and our kid go on with their daily schedule when I’m sleeping.
Yoon Mirae: We almost never fight. If we fight, oppa usually the one who gives in. He puts up with me a lot.

The three of you keep promoting together. Are the three of you “Drunken Tiger” now?

Tiger: It’s a bit vague. Bizzy started helping me out as DJ Shine was leaving. After that, we worked under the name “MFBTY” as we were invited overseas at the Midem or music festivals [?]. We just naturally became a group now. Our work connected to Drunken Tiger is planned in a way so there could be also an album for Yoon Mirae and an album for Bizzy.

It’s just that we mostly worked on the concept I made this time, so it was released as “Drunken Tiger with Yoon Mirae & Bizzy”. It was also written in English on the album. It’s just that the name “Drunken Tiger” is a bit bigger, though.

It’s the first album released through Feel Ghood Music since you left Jungle Company. Looks like you don’t really leave Uijeongbu.

Bizzy: I also moved into Uijeongbu about a year ago. It really feels like a family. Wherever we go, they give us discount. Even at the beauty salon, they just say “it’s done, just leave”. One day, an ajumeoni saw me eating in a restaurant, she hit my back and said “aigo, why don’t you come to my restaurant?”.

Yoon Mirae: We also did today’s photo shoot as Uijeongbu ambassadors.

You founded a company together, there must be some hard stuff to deal with. (Yoon Mirae is the CEO of Feel Ghood Music, Tiger and Bizzy are directors)

Tiger: We’re just into music, so we thought it’d be just about releasing albums and there were many things we didn’t know about. We didn’t know how to get in contact with broadcast stations, with journalists. We’d shoot a video and put it on youtube real fast, but we didn’t know how to get them on TV. It was suffocating to look at the calendar and think about all the things that needed to be done.

In the name “Feel Ghood Music”, I thought the “Ghood” was a typo, but is it a mix between “good” and “hood”?

Tiger: It is. You probably know the meaning of “good”. I don’t know what a fair translation would be for “hood”, but can it be “tough neighborhood”? Hip-hop began in this kind of neighborhood. Just like there’s good and evil, there’s night and day, “good” and “hood” are two sides of the same coin.
Yoon Mirae: If the song “The Cure” in this album is the “good side”, the song “BizzyTigerYoonmirae” is the representative “hood side”.

Yoon Mirae, you said that making money is the way to focus on doing nothing else but music. Is Feel Ghood Music the foundation for this?

Bizzy: I have big expectations (laugh).
Tiger: If the opportunity comes, we’re thinking about recruiting others, but we’re just at the beginning. We started this with no idea about what a business is, so we can’t go on TV yet and we haven’t performed on stage either. Just like before, looking at the kids waiting in line, being backstage in the broadcast station and feeling a bit nervous, that’s the way it should be.
Bizzy: They said the reaction was good. I heard the song ranked number 4 on a music show today.

Not a lot of people know Bizzy. You majored in sound engineering, so you must have been in charge of many things for the mixing phase.

Bizzy: I was a major in sound engineering. I started as a DJ. I got to work with Dong Geun (Yang Dong Geun) and we released an album. So I knew I had a pretty good ear, but Tiger-hyung is able to hear things I can’t hear.
Tiger: To be honest, I was also planning to accept songs at first. We’re not really known, so they don’t give songs to us and it’s expensive, so I wanted to rap on my own and I ended up creating. There was really no concept behind it. I’ve been doing music for a long time, so I could hear things here and there. It was like reciting practice makes perfect. (everybody laugh)

You said this album was about family matters. You spent the Chuseok taking care of your father.

Tiger: My father was diagnosed with cancer. He’s being treated for it. He’s the one who wrote “The Cure” characters you see on the album jacket. We wanted to make something together for us, for my father, and this album came out. Although you might see it today as something calculated, this album wasn’t prepared and wasn’t planned.

I heard your album preparation took a sudden turn when your father was diagnosed with cancer.

Tiger: It did. I was working on my full album and it suddenly turned into a mini single. Because I wanted to be with my father. (On his 7th full album, Tiger also released a song called “8:45 Heaven” he made as he thought about the day his grandmother passed away)

As you think of this album as “self-centered/selfish”, isn’t each song something selfish?

Tiger: It is. We’re selfish.
Yoon Mirae: Fate must be good since we’re able to do things this way because it’s the music we want in our agency. This agency is ours. There are three of us, so we can do the music we want with freedom.
Bizzy: To be honest, this album was made in a difficult situation (looking after Tiger’s father) and it’s about a positive message called “cure” to a sad heart. After the album was released, I received a tweet from someone overseas saying “I was really having bad thoughts, but listening to this album made this bad thought (maybe it was suicide) go away”. When I received this message, I felt that this album was made out of our selfishness, but we were able to convey something that was also meaningful for someone else.

For the final question, which album would you pick as your best album?

Yoon Mirae: My hip-hop album “Gemini” that was released in the early 2000’s is my favorite album. It’s out-of-print now. After Tashannie ended, I wanted to do real hip-hop music, but I couldn’t really promote it. At that time, hip-hop wasn’t popular, so my agency was more like “do what you want”.
Tiger: As a female rapper, then as a solo act, no one else but her was able to release a true hip-hop album. She sold 50,000 copies in Japan. It’s been said for awhile. Mirae is the best hip-hop musician.
Bizzy: Music fans say that Yoon Mirae is the “ultimate queen”.
Tiger: If we’re talking about me, I guess it would be my 7th and 8th full albums. If you can find my style in the 7th album, you can feel more freedom on the 8th album. My 7th album was warmly received by hip-hop fans because it managed to conceptualize the image of me they already had. For my 8th album, I freely expressed a different image because I had started by showing my wicked side.
Bizzy: I don’t know if it’s a self-centered answer, but I like this album. Our working process felt natural and not planned. It’s a meaningful album, so I feel affection for it.

Original article: Grazia
Translation: @onesunnylady

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