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Posted : 2008-07-14 17:05
Updated : 2008-07-14 17:05

Big Bang Members Branch Out as Soloists


From left: G. Dragon, Tae-yang, T.O.P., Dae-sung and Seung-ri, the five members of Bing Bang / Courtesy of YG Entertainment

By Han Sang-hee
Staff Reporter

Boy band Big Bang seems to have it all, from loving fans, stylish fashion trends, easy-to-memorize songs and the members' distinctive characteristics. Now, the ambitious group is expanding their talents in other fields including movies, musicals and even television, but not under the team Big Bang. The members are going solo for the time being.

Other pop groups, including now disbanded g.o.d. and Fin.K.L, and the still running Shinhwa, Girls' Generation and Super Junior, have already pursued individual careers in the entertainment business. Big Bang, having colorful members who each hold their own specific talent, have joined this ``trend'' and started to heighten their individual image, which will hopefully contribute to the team as a whole.

Dae-sung recently released a trot, or traditional Korean pop genre, album ``Gui-soon, Look at Me.'' The 19-year-old singer will also perform in the internationally famed musical ``Cats.'' He will appear as Rum Tum Tugger, a sexy yet rebellious character. He is also currently appearing in a television show ``The Family is Out!'' with comedian Yu Jae-suk and singer Lee Hyo-ri.

Tae-yang, on the other hand, has been busy with his mini-album ``HOT.'' The 20-year-old topped pop charts on public and cable music channels with his song ``Only Look at Me,'' proving he can work his way up to the top alone. His first solo concert ``HOT'' is scheduled on July 20 at the Melon AX Theater.

Band leader G. Dragon also recently released his single album ``Only Look at Me Part 2.'' The 19-year-old singer-rapper actually remade fellow band member Tae-yang's song ``Only Look at Me.'' While Tae-yang's version is more focused on melodies and lyrics, G-Dragon mixed his signature rap into the hit number. Being a talented composer and producer, he helped produce pop star Uhm Jung-hwa's new album ``D.I.S.C.O.''

While G.Dragon offered his producing skills to Uhm, fellow member T.O.P went further and appeared in her music video as a rapper. Along with his solo rapper debut through Uhm's new album, YG Entertainment recently announced that the 20-year-old singer-rapper was going to appear in the drama ``IRIS'' with top actor Lee Byung-hun (``All-in,'' 2003).

``T.O.P. already proved himself as an actor in the drama `I Am Sam' and so we have decided that the drama `IRIS' would be a great opportunity to go further with his acting career. He will play an assassin from a secret agency who is after Lee's character Kim Hyeun-jun,'' said Yang Hyun-suk, the president of Big Bang's agency YG Entertainment, through a press release.

Another member is gearing up for acting: Seung-ri. The 18-year old member is busy preparing for the movie ``Why did you Come to our Home?'' (working title) starring actress Kang Hae-jung (``Old Boy,'' 2003). He will play the first love of Kang. This is Seung-ri's first movie but he has already proven his acting skills by appearing in the musical ``Sonagi'' early this year. The movie will be in theaters this November.

Big Bang made its debut in 2006 with the single ``Big Bang'' and instantly became a hit with songs like ``Lie'' and their trendy fashion styles. According to their agency, the group is planning to release its next mini album later this month, which will carry songs that will support South Korean athletes competing at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

sanghee@koreatimes.co.kr

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