BIGBANG’s T.O.P shares future plans: Debut album, record label, wine company and more

BIGBANG's member and soloist T.O.P for Prestige Hong Kong (Image via @choi_seung_hyun_tttop/Instagram)
BIGBANG's member and soloist T.O.P for Prestige Hong Kong (Image via @choi_seung_hyun_tttop/Instagram)

As the Kings of K-pop gear up for a comeback after four years, BIGBANG member T.O.P has his future plans chalked out too. In an interview with Prestige Hong Kong for the cover of the March Art Issue, Choi Seung-hyun, better known as T.O.P, opened up about a lot of things in his life. The idol spoke about the legendary success of the group, what he has been doing on hiatus and where his thoughts are leading him next.

Writer Nathan Erickson’s words rightly pointed out one influential thing about the group. Before BLACKPINK, Squid Game, or Parasite brought international fame to Korean content, the YG Entertainment boy group had global fans starstruck soon after its debut in 2006.

The group’s last release was the single Flower Road, released as a goodbye before the start of their hiatus in March 2018. The single sold 2.5 million copies in both South Korea and China.

“I’m fully proud that I am T.O.P of BIGBANG”: Veteran K-pop idol opens up about future plans

Unleashing his idol, model, and actor personality in Prestige Hong Kong’s colorful and suave photoshoots, BIGBANG’s T.O.P is finally ready to talk about things he experienced while on break. The idol has stayed away from the limelight since 2017 and is now gearing up for both a group comeback and a solo release.

YG Entertainment announced the termination of T.O.P’s exclusive contract last month and revealed that he would still be a part of BIGBANG’s activities. The idol and actor will be broadening his scope of individual activities.

Speaking to Prestige, the 34-year-old idol and art collector shared how proud he was of being a member of the legendary K-pop group.

“From the beginning, I’ve always shared with my fans that I’m fully proud that I am T.O.P of BIGBANG, but in the last few years I was starting to think that maybe this was the end, and maybe there won’t be T.O.P of BIGBANG for a while.”

The thought of not promoting himself as an artist arose during the five years he was on hiatus, which he calls his “worst moment.” He shared that he “was going to seriously stop making music,” but it was music that kept him going through tough times.

T.O.P wrote more than 100 songs over the five years of his break. Some of them will come to fruition in his upcoming solo debut album.

“You’ll be surprised, because I’ve been recording continuously during the hiatus, and there’ll be a lot of different genres included in the album. All the songs are from my pure heart — I spent a lot of sweat and effort to make this album possible.”

The idol even added that the album “will be created as a feature film” with a global team beside him.

The 34-year-old has been in the game for 16 years and now plans to open a new record label. Drawing from personal experiences, T.O.P said that he wants to change “the K-pop system,” particularly the harsh trainee system. While he was fortunate enough not to go through the notorious trainee system, many aren’t.

“I myself am fortunate that I only spent less than a year as a trainee before I debuted — a relatively short time — but after, I saw all the trainees, the boys and girls, they’re under a very harsh system. They’re told what to do and trained just like robots… I don’t want to be a robot maker. I want to make a real artist and help real artists. I’m positive about making a group that’s completely different from BIGBANG in the future.”

T.O.P also plans to open his own wine label, which is something his fans know he's passionate about. He wants to make them as affordable as possible, while a portion of the profits would go to an art foundation. He will be collaborating with Japanese artist Kohei Nawa for the label.

BIGBANG debuted in 2006 with five members and soon held the status of one of the most influential groups in K-pop history. Now a four-member group consisting of G-Dragon, Taeyang, Daesung, and T.O.P, the group will make a comeback after four long years this spring.

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Edited by Danyal Arabi
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