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[Herald Interview] Boy band B.I.G aims to deliver message of hope through ‘Flashback’

Entering ninth year in 2022, four-member act hopes to bask in belated music chart success

Dec. 29, 2021 - 15:58 By Jie Ye-eun
Boy group B.I.G poses for photos during an interview with The Korea Herald at The Korea Herald’s headquarters in Seoul, on Monday. (Park Hyun-koo/The Korea Herald)
K-Pop boy band B.I.G has returned after a two-year hiatus with its single “Mr. Big: Flashback” in November. Unlike the band’s previous hits “Hello,” “Are You Ready?” “Taola” and “Aphrodite” feature rhythmical sounds, the title track “Flashback” focuses on hopeful lyrics.

“‘Flashback’ is a trendy upbeat EDM-based house genre song. The lyrics are not only filled with our story but also contain a message of hope for those who are going through hard times. We say ‘flashback’ at the chorus part, which is (like a magical spell) to reflect on the past,” B.I.G member Heedo said during an interview with The Korea Herald on Monday.

Resuming their activity after a long break, the four-member act put a lot of thoughts on what type of song to return with, the group said. Heedo took part in writing the title song, conveying the group’s sincere feelings and desire to grow bigger and encourage others by telling them “you are a special person who has a great influence on someone else,” the boy band added.

“Flashback” is the first part of its single series “Mr. Big.”

The latest single means more special to the band since it marks B.I.G’s comeback as a quartet, following the departures of vocalist Benji and rapper Minpyo, in 2020 and earlier this year, respectively. Member J-Hoon also made his comeback through the single after being discharged from the military. 

“The image of team has been changed a lot. Although two members left the group, and Jinseok has newly joined in 2019, its vibe has become much more natural. ... At the initial stage of group activities, we did performances out of a sense of obligation. But we became more fervent recording songs and performing on stages with all our hearts,” the group’s leader Gunmin said.

J-Hoon agreed. “I was quite passive, doing only what I was told to do in the old days. But since ‘Flashback’ marked my resumption after a four-year break, I motivated myself a lot,” he said. “I didn’t want to disappoint (the rest of group) by not doing my best, so I staked myself on it this time. I didn’t want to make any pretense as an idol, either. Rather, I‘d like to show the true face of myself.”

Having debuted in 2014, B.I.G has gained its biggest success through its “Global Cover Project,” in which the group went viral with renditions of Arabic pop songs such as “La Bezzaf,” “LM3ALLEM,” “Boshret Kheir” and “3Daqat.” It created a huge fan base for the group in Arab countries, and the group released Arabic versions of its songs “Hello Hello” and “Illusion.”

President Moon Jae-in invited the group for a special performance at Cheong Wa Dae in 2019.

“Among K-pop artists, I heard we were the first group to cover Arabic songs. It is difficult for Koreans to sing in Arabic, so other artists are probably hesitant to even try it out,” Heedo said. “We’ve gained a lot of attention because we were the first to kickstart it, and I’m pleased to receive positive feedback and responses from many global fans over there.”

The quartet has many global fan groups in Japan, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Brazil, among others. But due to the pandemic, the group had to halt activities abroad. 

Boy group B.I.G poses for photos during an interview with The Korea Herald at The Korea Herald’s headquarters in Seoul, on Monday. (Park Hyun-koo/The Korea Herald)
If entry restrictions are eased by the end of January, B.I.G will go to Japan for a while for concerts there, the group hinted.

Jinseok, who is called “Arabian prince” by other members, said he has received messages from global fans on social media, asking to “hold a performance ASAP.”

He felt sorry about the pandemic situation, and promised to work harder to improve his singing and performing skills before future releases and concerts.

While gearing up for more active performances next year, the group aims to “climb up to the top of music charts with songs from past albums,” like Brave Girls did with “Rollin’” earlier this year.

“Through ‘Flashback’ or other upcoming albums, we are hoping to enjoy the spotlight and a lot of cheering from the public,” the group said.