IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

Get a big hug from BigBang

This story was first published in The Straits Times on March 12, 2014 

Fans of G-Dragon, Taeyang and Seungri of K-pop supergroup BigBang: wear something bold and eye-catching to their fan meet on Saturday

at the Singapore Indoor Stadium if you want to be picked to join them on stage for a game, a photo or - don't faint - a hug.

Mr Amos Boon, group managing director of Launch Entertainment, which is co-organising the G-Dragon/Taeyang/ Seungri Thinking Of You Fan Meeting with One Production, says: "G-Dragon, Taeyang and Seungri will be randomly picking fans who catch their attention."

However, it will mainly be VIPs (as BigBang fans are known) from the $258 and $228 ticketed areas - those closest to the stage - who will be picked to join the trio on stage.

At a similar fan meet in Hong Kong last month and Taipei last Saturday, fans picked to go on stage got to hug their idols, play dress up with them in cutesy costumes and take photos with them.

Mr Boon says: "I cannot divulge the entire show's programme in Singapore, but there will be one game that's quite exciting and fun. I think a lot of fans are going to be picked to go on stage for it."

Aside from engaging in stage activities with fans, the trio will perform 15 songs, both from the five-member group's repertoire, as well as songs off their recent solo albums.

In an e-mail interview with Life!, the three members jointly say: "We wanted to hold this session because we think that it's time to give back to fans in Singapore who have been showing great love towards us. Unfortunately, T.O.P and Daesung couldn't join us due to their solo schedules."

Rapper/actor T.O.P, 26, is filming a movie, Tazza 2, the sequel to the 2006 South Korean hit film, Tazza. He plays the lead, a food delivery boy who enters a conspiracy-ridden gambling world. The film is due for release later this year.

Singer Daesung, 24, is preparing for a new solo Korean and Japanese album releases, as well as a series of solo concerts in Japan.

All five members were in Singapore in September last year to perform at the Formula One SingTel Singapore Grand Prix Concerts.

G-Dragon, 25, who is the group's leader, songwriter, lyricist, producer and rapper, says that he is in the midst of working on the group's sixth EP, which is due out in the summer.

"I'm still working on it.... Sharing ideas for the new album with various producers."

BigBang's last EP, Alive, was released in 2012. After a 10-month world tour attended by 800,000 fans, the members focused on their own solo activities last year - G-Dragon, Daesung and Seungri, 23, released albums; Taeyang, 25, and T.O.P released singles; and T.O.P also acted in spy movie Commitment.

Still, that did not stop the group from making it to the second spot on Forbes Korea's recently released 2014 Power Celebrity 40 list, after Girls' Generation. BigBang were in fifth place on last year's list, which ranks stars based on exposure, professionalism and domestic and overseas earnings.

G-Dragon, especially, has been making waves overseas, not only with his solo album, Coup D'etat, which featured collaborations with Missy Elliott and Sky Ferreira, but also his daring sense of style, which he showed off at the recent Men's Fashion Week in Paris.

On the attention he has been getting for his love of dressing up, he says: "Fashion is another method of mine when I express myself as an artist. All the attention directed towards my fashion is something I'm grateful for."

On the music front, he says: "I'm really thankful that I'm getting great attention and interest in what I'm doing. With that attention and interest, I could form relationships with many great artists all around the world. I look forward to building such great relationships from now on."

So will BigBang's new album be even more international in its appeal than Alive, which became the first K-pop album to chart on the Billboard 200?

He says: "I don't particularly focus on making a global hit when I'm writing a song. The music that we are doing is what we want to do and what we believe that people would like. Fortunately, our songs are loved by many. We are under pressure that we want to come out with a better album than our previous records."

When asked what they have missed most about performing as a five-member group after a year of solo activities, Seungri replies: "I know this applies to all of us. Whenever I was sitting in the dressing room alone, I missed the days when we were all together in the dressing room, talking and laughing with each other. I didn't recognise it was so valuable when we were all together, but now I do know how valuable it was and how thankful I am for it."

lisa@sph.com.sg

Tickets from $98 to $258 for the G-Dragon/ Taeyang/Seungri Thinking Of You Fan Meeting are available from Singapore Sports Hub. Go to www.sportshub.com.sg.

Category 1 ($258) and Category 2 ($228) ticket-holders are entitled to an exclusive Singapore Fan Meet T-shirt, while stocks last. To collect your T-shirt, show your ticket stub at the Indoor Stadium on the day of the fan meet.

This story was first published in The Straits Times on March 12, 2014

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