(INTERVIEW) CL’s Interview with Vogue Korea July Issue


CL, who has come out declaring “I am the best” with her solo track of “The Baddest Female”, has demonstrated her distinguished presence and confidence. This is the magnificent uniqueness of a girl who enjoys her dizzying, fantasy-like life to the fullest.

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Before K-pop is what it is right now, and before it has gained a place on the global stage, CL has always been rapping on stage.
“I Am The Best.” Who else can be so confident like that? The K-pop virus has spread throughout the Americas, Europe, and other places. As that virus was spreading, singers from YG Entertainment were not at all similar to typical K-pop figures. Instead, they make news for their own reasons. Will.I.Am said, “I was surprised to see a group like 2NE1 who is trendy, full of confidence and stylish amongst singers in Korea.” He has already worked with them three years ago. Jeremy Scott and his ‘My Girl’ CL, has been here and there for his parties and shows, even having a pictorial together in a foreign magazine (i-D). They also have outfit collaborations and share stories with each other. Among the girl groups in Korea, 2NE1 has the most fancy music, sounds, and performance. Among 2NE1, CL is the member who emits confidence and presence the most. Leader CL is 6-7 years younger than Park Bom and Sandara Park. Nevertheless, she emits confidence like the person with the most experience in the group. CL who is fluent in English, Japanese, and French appeared and talked on BBC News when she was 20 years old. Last April, she performed (with 2NE1) at PSY’s concert at Sang-Am World Cup Stadium, where she rapped and dropped her mic on the floor before dancing wildly. Last May, with her solo track, “The Baddest Female”, she shows everyone what confidence is really all about. Through all of that, one can’t do anything but acknowledge her abilities.

Why is it that in ‘I Am the Best’ CL says that ‘when talking about value, I’m a billion dollar baby’.

2 weeks before ‘The Baddest Female’ was released, YG kept it a secret as to whether it was 2NE1′s comeback or CL’s solo. That was carefully planned move by YG. It was to keep everyone on their toes so that when they are finally given the opportunity,  they will proceed carefully. At that time, CL was already working hard for a solo, but YG artists do not know when, and who will be doing album promotions, and thus they always nervous. 2NE1 has been recording their album since last year. One day, CL was given an unexpected opportunity to record her first solo.

CL: “Of course I’ve always dreamed of having my solo. However, I wasn’t greedy about releasing it quickly. For me, a meaningful solo is more important than releasing it fast. The biggest part of that “meaningful-ness” is the ‘fun’ part. Be it pictorials or whatever work it is, if it’s not fun, I can immediately quit doing it tomorrow.”

Watching the MV and stage performance for “The Baddest Female” makes people think that “CL is digging her own grave.”

CL: “I’ve heard things like ‘she’s making a fool of herself’ ‘she’s like a crazy person’ etc. (Laughs) But if these are their reactions to what I look like on stage in my performances, then I’ll accept them as compliments.”

CL says things like, “That’s right, I’m strong” and “Someone like you cannot handle me” while wearing hip-hop pants. She even wears ‘gold teeth’ which carry a meaning of saying ‘bring it on’ to her ‘enemies’ all while rapping with ease. She also puts on a luxurious body suit (which has sparked comments such as ‘Why is she dancing in her underwear’ from netizens) while singing “I’m the proudest/the most self-assured”. The beauty mark that she has at the corner of her lip was also originally covered/made lighter (with make-up) when she had her debut but nowadays it is emphasized with make-up.

Being from a girl group and even doing hip-hop as a soloist, it’s been 15 years in the making for YG. Big Bang’s 1st album was entirely hip-hop and then they slowly formed their music through their personality and trends. But now there is even someone (CL) who wears training pants to dance and releasing a debut song that features strong beats and dances to them among all the other female singers promoting right now. In Korea, female singers who do hip-hop are especially prone to being ignored. If someone would like to commit to properly staying away from the ‘mainstream’, there has to be trust and confidence between the artist and the entertainment agency built over a period of time.

CL: “Including me, YG Family always does things that we like and things that we think are cool. Also, whatever music it is, we always create it with the hopes that the public will listen to it. I definitely like rock and R&B. However, I’m a rapper. The blood that runs in me is hip-hop. Because of that, whatever genre it is, I always end up mixing it with hip-hop.”

Before liking or disliking a female who likes hip-hop and has a ‘strong’ image, CL would like everyone to consider what they personally like and to understand themselves in that sense. This is because she believes that only those who wears clothes that matches oneself and only those who does what they truly like, are ‘real’.

For the pictorial, the fun style that was decided during the meeting was a very feminine outfit but it was a style with a different kind of element. It was chosen to display the unusual fashion that CL can easily pull off with her female charms and charisma as a rapper.

CL: “Not too long ago while I was cleaning my closet, I found lots of old jeans that used to be popular. I put them on and liked them. Whether in music or clothes, I like things with an ‘old feeling’. I like to take this sense of ‘old’ and to mix that with things from the present time. Today’s pictorial is very interesting because it is a mix of high fashion, funky elements and a location that has an atmosphere of  the olden days.”

The pictorial location is the Daelim Contemporary Art Museum which is an ‘empty house’ that has been abandoned for many years. The ‘empty house’ was a 2-story house with a garden, veranda, bar, and personal rooms. We guessed that it used to be a house of a rich person. In that house where the light doesn’t come through well, and where the dust was mountain-high, CL sat in her dress while make-up was put on her and came up with stories of ‘the self-indulgent woman who waits for a man in an empty house’ and ‘the woman who is unable to get out of the fantasy of the past even after everyone has left (the house)’.

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CL had those different scenarios in mind while shooting the pictorial.

CL: “I have an addiction to imagining things. (Laughs) I like leaving reality and dreaming away. Whenever I see very realistic movies or news, I get so surprised that my heart starts beating fast. There are times when I listen to music and before I know it, I can’t hear the music any more because I’m too immersed in my imaginations.”

CL had just watched ‘The Great Gatsby’ the night before the pictorial. The background music of choice for the entire day on location was also the OST of ‘The Great Gatsby’ and the songs of a rapper that CL likes, A$AP Rocky.

CL: “I have no such thing as an ‘ideal type’. However, a while back, I fell for Leonardo DiCaprio’s  bad guy look after watching ‘Django Unchained’. Of course I also really really liked ‘The Great Gatsby.’ I really liked the unrealistic feel of the movie. Director Baz Luhrmann came too, when 2NE1 had our concert in the US.”

CL who couldn’t escape the world of the movie she watched last night (in her mind) recalls the atmosphere of the great party that was held at the Gatsby mansion throughout the photo shoot. She considers the possibility of the presence of a lady with a mysterious aura in that party. (T/N: And so she is acting the part of that lady out in this pictorial)

CL: “Uhm, but with this style that I have on now, doesn’t it seem like I should be lying on top of the piano and singing a song? (Laughs)”

Many say that ‘CL would not match well with women with a strong personality’ and that is because CL herself is a formidable girl with a strong personality.

CL: “Honestly, I’m not ‘strong’. I match really well with strong unnies (older women). From when I was little, I hung out with my aunt and unnies most of the time, and I think I matched well with people who are older than me. I even do aegyo in front of unnies sometimes.”

I was so surprised when CL described her youngest aunt. She’s a known figure in the alternative art community that runs an art gallery and is a well-known (art) director even from more than 10 years ago. CL’s dad, a physics professor who draws and publishes his books of his illustrations must be an interesting character too.

CL: “When I was little, I went to a friend’s house and was shocked. I ate dinner and watched the TV with my friend’s dad, who came home wearing a suit. My parents also worked, but they just wore jeans and sneakers. When we played together, we’d listen to music  and draw. At that time, I was so shocked at the thought of our house being ‘different’ from others in all ways. But as time passed, I came to think of it as something special. Because of a dad who taught me to think of the ladybug on the window as a friend, and an aunt who has interest in indie things, I am able to appreciate and give meaning to the little things.”

When CL was in her early teenage life, she managed her own bank account. Her parents also told her, “it’s your life,” and let her decide whether or not she wanted to study.

CL: “I grew up as a child who made her own decisions at any time and in whatever things.”

Now, to CL, the presence of  YG producer Teddy is like that of a tall uncle that is ‘well-made’ for CL and with the presence of such a reliable and strong support in the form of Teddy, CL is able to be directly involved in all aspects of her own music.  From the very beginning, YG’s training system has been developed to show that ‘idols’ and ‘artists’ can be one and the same. It is because of this that we now have the amazing 20-somethings like CL and GD.

Last year, 2NE1 went to 10 cities for their world tour. After the world tour, and when she got home, CL cried buckets of tears.

CL: “I didn’t want to stop. I wanted to give back the energy I received from so many people. Be it recording or anything that I want to do, it’s frustrating because I have to stop. I said this a while back too. It is fine even if I don’t sleep, not even for a bit, I just want to keep working. I don’t want to look back. I just want to keep on moving forward.”

Now, young singers in their mid-20s are known to be really ambitious, and when you think of CL, it is undeniable that (many think that) she will definitely enter a larger market than Korea.  Thanks to the road paved by PSY, who is signed under the same company (as CL), there has been even more talk of 2NE1 and CL’s ‘advancement to the global market’. CL’s response to that is rather calm.

CL: “I don’t differentiate the markets. I believe that even if I release music here in Korea, people from around the world can still listen to it. It’s not like I will be changing the music and fashion that I like according to wherever I am. Wherever it may be I will still be me. I do go overseas for performances and other work-related matters (already) anyway.”

Because of the ‘news,’ Will.I.Am, American producer Swizz Beatz, Interscope Records, and others have heard of 2NE1 and CL. CL’s attitude comes from the YG atmosphere that is careful and prefer doing things manually. However, the people of this new generation say “why bother when we live in a world with the Internet and Youtube”.

No matter what, I think the state of K-pop will reach dizzying heights in the future. While designer Jean-Charles de Castelbajac was interviewed for a Russian Magazine, he said that “Kanye introduced CL to me” (and in response to this, someone asked Castelbajac if this ‘Kanye’ is ‘Kanye West’ through SNS and received an affirmative answer). Anna Dello Russo, fashion consultant to Vogue Japan also tweeted screen caps from ‘The Baddest Female’ MV. In conclusion, even though CL releases songs in Korea and performs at SBS ‘Inkigayo,’ anyone from anywhere can still listen to her songs. Also, CL is ever diligent; going to other cities in order to play, get inspiration, to perform, and attend parties.

CL: “I want to be someone influential. Through my fashion, music, make-up or whatever it is, I’d like for anyone to have fun and gain confidence from them. I want to live feeling alive. Of course, I’d like to enjoy life (as a woman) too some day*. There’s a reason to why I was born as a woman, don’t you think so?”

(*T/N: CL means that she’d like to do all the things that she can’t do now due to her career like getting married, having children, etc)

‘The Baddest Female’ who has been enjoying a life of fantasy like in ‘The Great Gatsby’ ever since the start of her 20s,  what kind of life will she be leading as time passes? That is still hard to imagine right now. With that said, CL is a woman that is faithful to the present. And for now, we are waiting for 2NE1′s comeback.

Source: clmygoddess.blog.me , Via : CLtheBaddestFemale.com

Trans by: KellyJane @CLtheBaddestFemale.com

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