The leader of the K-Pop phenomenon discusses the group's next album, her solo ambitions, and goals that go beyond music
While 2NE1 and her labelmates PSY and BIGBANG have proved that good music can find support no matter what language it’s in, CL still hopes to record music in English.
“I want to so bad,” she says of her hopes, which almost came to fruition with an English version of “I Love You,” which ultimately never saw the light of day. “Once the song is out in any language, it’s hard to make it that good in another one. It takes so much energy and time to make one song perfect. But putting that into another language? It’s the same thing, but even more difficult because it has to have the same energy.”
CL does add that the group’s producer, Korean-American Teddy, writes their music in English first and then translates it into Korean. She also mentions there is a 2NE1 song already in English, possibly to be recorded in Korean, which could stay in English. Additionally, while it was unsure months ago, it looks likely 2NE1 will make the cut for a feature on will.i.am’s “#willpower” album when it is released.
As ambitious as CL is with her group, she has possibly even more ambitious plans for herself as a solo artist.
“I’m planning to have my solo album out this year, after 2NE1,” she says. “I was looking back and thinking, ‘I want to have something personal for me.’ With 2NE1, it’s not personal because it’s not only about me; it’s about all the members. We’re more about influencing the world. But I have so many things I want to say. I have this other side of me that people didn’t meet in 2NE1.”
She expresses her wishes to have a full album (rather than the usual introductory single or mini-album approach for new artists or projects) because “that’s a stamp. That’s a footprint for me and my life. I want to keep it personal.” The project will most likely involve Teddy, but CL hopes to write music for the project too. Though she doesn't listen to other music while she's in artist mode, so not be influenced, she adds that she loves hip-hop and rap most.
Still CL’s goals go further than just music. While she said 2NE1 influences the world, CL hopes to change stereotypes regarding Asian women. “I want to represent Asian women. I want to break that typical Asian female stereotype. There’s this standard where they’re all calm,” she says excitedly. “I want to break that. I want to tell the world that there are some badass Asian female girls and that we can be cool. That we’re nothing different. I want to break that standard and stand up for all the girls.”