South Korean singer-actor Seungri has a funny story to share about a recent trip to Singapore.
When he was in a taxi here, he noticed that the driver was singing the song, “Bang Bang Bang”, the 2015 hit tune performed by his band, Big Bang.
It was obvious that the driver had no idea that one of the singers was sitting in his car.
Seungri, 27, who was born Lee Seung-hyun, tells The Straits Times in English with a grin: “I asked him, ‘How do you know this song?’ and he said, ‘I don’t know. It’s by some K-pop artist, but I love this song.’
“So I asked, ‘Do you know how many members are there in this group?’ He said, ‘Maybe two or three.’ That was so funny. I couldn’t tell him that the song was my song.”
Seungri was in town last Saturday at the launch of the Spring/Summer 2019 collection by leather goods brand Braun Buffel at Marina Bay Sands.
He was in Singapore last month for another press event and is known to make personal visits to the Lion City several times a year.
“I have many friends in Singapore, so I love to come here. I’m always in Orchard Road because some of my friends have stores there, so I support them.”
He adds that the locals have been friendly. “They’ll say, ‘Are you Big Bang’s Seungri?’ I’m like, ‘Yeah. I’m just here for a holiday.’ They’ll ask, ‘When are you coming back with Big Bang?'”
The other four members of the boyband—T.O.P, G-Dragon, Daesung and Taeyang—are serving their mandatory military service in South Korea. It is believed that Seungri may enlist some time next year.
Before that, however, he will be holding a solo world tour.
He released his solo album, The Great Seungri, in July and followed up with two sold-out concerts in Seoul a month later.
“I’ll be going to South-east Asia and the United States. I just want to say hi to all my fans worldwide. So, I’m planning to do that until March. Of course, I’ll be coming to Singapore too,” he says.
When asked about the boastful-sounding album name, he explains that it translates to “glorious victory” in Korean.
He says: “It means I’ve made it. Like finally, I’m growing up – in terms of my music and my personality.”
Besides his music, he is also known for doing everything from acting—he was the star of Netflix’s mockumentary YG Future Strategy Office earlier this year—to appearing on variety shows to managing his businesses.
He owns a Japanese ramen restaurant franchise in Seoul and runs several bars and clubs, among other ventures.
He says: “I’m not the relaxing type of guy. I’m always energetic. That’s why I think people love me.”
Text: Yip Wai Yee / The Straits Times / December 2018