Thanks to the coverage of Topp Dogg’s first European Showcase in London on JaK Wave, we were given the opportunity to have a catch up interview with the boys back in Seoul ahead of their October comeback with the really powerful “The Beat”. As the time we had back in London previously was really short, it was nice to actually sit down with the group in a relaxed environment- and they are really chatty!
Congratulations on your comeback! Can you tell us a little bit more about what it’s about and what we as fans can look forward to?
Jenissi: It’s been a long time, because we had a one year break. It’s not that we didn’t prepare well for our last albums, but we prepared even more for this album and I’m sure all the fans will be very anticipating as much as we are. We are also more involved in this album and we especially had put in our own ideas about the concept throughout this album.
Yano: We wanted a good sound but we also enjoyed practising, dancing and making the album as a whole too.
As you mentioned before this is your first comeback in over a year, so how are you feeling about it right now?
Hansol: A year can be a long time or a short time, but for me it was really long. I always wanted to show the fans a good performance and all our talents, so our fans can share the credits. We were always practising our own skills; I was working on my dancing and the other members were honing their own skills and talents so I’m very excited about this album because we’ve been going through a lot of things in this year and prepared well.
Last time we met was at your London show for your European tour. What was your experience of Europe?
P-Goon: It was our first time in Europe and it was very exciting because I’ve never seen this side of Europe before! I’m glad that I’ve seen all the architecture in the different cities- I found it all very beautiful. If there is a chance, I personally would like to visit Europe again to have another tour.
You recently started your own channel on Afreeca TV, which is great. What do you mainly use it for and what do you hope your fans will get out of it?
[everyone laughs at this]
B-Joo: To be honest our company wanted us to do it. But actually there is no true purpose; it’s just to interact more with our fans because we never had this chance to be this close during a broadcast. The main point of this Afreeca TV is to get closer to our fans. And we also don’t get any of those balloons! [laughing again]
Recently there have been a lot of videos gone viral overnight that made the artist popular. If you could choose, which video would you whish to get really popular?
Nakta: Personally I think it would be good if the viral video would be of a guerrilla performance, but to be honest I’d like if those viral videos could be our official videos. For example in EXID, Hani was the only one who got really famous in the beginning and it was only after a while the people started to know the remaining members. But I think all our members have different talents and different characteristics to show, so it would be better if the official videos could show that about the members. I’d rather go with regular steps.
As a group with a lot of members you’re bound to have connections with a lot of different idols. Are there any seniors or juniors in other groups that you admire and would like to get close to?
Sangdo: I’ve been asked this question a lot and I always answer the same! The group I respect the most is obviously Big Bang and since I’m a vocalist I really admire Taeyang. So if there’s a chance to meet him somewhere it would be great and I would love to do a collaboration with him.
Who do you think is the member with the most foreign fans and why?
Xero: In my personal opinion I think Jenissi and Sangdo have the most overseas fans. When Jenissi shows his performance to an overseas audience, their reaction is always really loud and he receives more applause than the other members! That’s why I think Jenissi has the most overseas fans. As for Sangdo, I think his look is appealing to foreigners- if I were a girl from overseas I would like Sangdo.
Apart from your set roles in Topp Dogg, do any members have any special skills or talents that they are proud of and if so why?
Yano: Sangdo and Nakta have some special talents. Sangdo can make a trumpet sound with his mouth and Nakta can make many funny expressions with his face. As for me, I guess I’m really good at dancing. [laughing]
Nakta: [pointing to Yano] His position in our group is a rapper, but he also has potential in arranging music and being a producer.
Yano: And B-Joo can make the sounds of castanets! [I raised my eyebrows, the boys chuckle]
Your cover of Ellie Goulding’s “Love Me Like you Do” went down very well in London! [Everyone made pleased sounds at this] Because I’m British I have to ask this: Are there any other British artists or songs that you admire or like?
Nakta: Of course U2. And Ellie Goulding and Oasis. As for British songs, I actually got inspired by my father because he always listens to music from the UK, so I’ve been listening to those songs since I was young. These artists really match what I’m trying to do right now with my own music and I think, as a group, there are a lot of things we could learn from them.
Let’s say you would be given two days of free time to do whatever you want by your company. Where would you go and what would you do?
A-Tom: I would love to go to Busan, which has a very famous beach in Korea (Haeundae Beach), since we haven’t been able to go there all together yet.
I know that you only just finished your European tour, but would you want to come back to Europe any time soon even just for holidays?
Hojoon: During our European tour we’ve only been to London for a short time. We didn’t have the time for proper sightseeing, so if there’s a chance to go again I would love to have a trip to London.
And is there anything in particular you want to see in London? Any sights?
Hojoon: Where the Queen lives… The Buckingham Palace.
Finally, do you have a message for the fans who were at the showcase and for those who are looking forward to your comeback?
P-Goon: Because it was our first time in Europe, we didn’t expect that much love and that many people to come. We got a lot of energy from them for our comeback, so we prepared a lot and we put all our energy in this album. In the music video there are a lot of cool things and outlooks, so please check it out many times. And please give us lots of energy, cheers and love. We’ll be seeing you all soon. Thank you!
And that was that! It is always a pleasure to be with Topp Dogg and you can’t help but be affected by their lively mood. Hopefully next time I am in Seoul I will be able to catch up with them again. For now, I wish them well with the success of their comeback single and album and encourage you Wave Riders to check it out!
Many thanks to Hunus Entertainment for arranging this interview