[TRANS] BTS Japan Official Fanclub Magazine - Suga’s Biography
A mischievous kid growing up into a boy who enjoys reading
I was born in Daegu in the South, the third biggest city of Korean, and grew up there until I came up to Seoul. When I was young, I was pretty much an ordinary kid. I loved playing around so my kindergarten teacher didn’t seem to like me. (laughs) I remember being scolded “It’s dangerous!” a lot. I also loved sports and was good at running, to the point of being picked as a relay runner from elementary school all the way up to high school. When it comes to studying, I’m slightly above average.
I used to love playing outside with friends back then, but I changed as I grew up. Even when we went outside, it wasn’t like we did anything, we just gathered at the park. I wasn’t fond of that so many times I just stayed at home on weekends. My mother told me to go outside and meet my friends sometimes. (laughs)
I had a thing for collecting, so I collected a lot of books when I was young. It was a time when I wanted to be a cultured man, wanted to pretend I know things too. Mature stuffs that didn’t suit my age or novels, poetry books, essays, newspapers,… I read everything regardless of genre. I don’t know why but up till middle school, I had the habit of reading books from the back page. I still read books sometimes now. My reading speed gets faster by reading multiple sentences at a time.
Memories of first love from elementary school… I really don’t have any. Unlike Seoul, the provinces are conservative, and my school didn’t have that kind of atmosphere in which boys and girls talk to each other. If I was with a girl, I would become really shy and wouldn’t even say a word.
The encounter with hip hop
Started composing in middle school
I started to be interested in music in 5th year of elementary school, while watching the performance of “Stony Skunk”, Korean artists, on TV. It was the prime of ballad back then so if 18 teams perform on a music program, 10 would sing ballads, 5 would be idols and the other 3 would be other genres. They were one of those 3 teams. It was so cool how they were different from other singers. Up until then, I didn’t have any interest in music, but with Stony Skunk, I started listening to hip hop and reggae music, and was influenced by Epik High as well. MP3 player was starting to come out at that time, but I bought a Panasonic CD player and listened with that.
Along with listening to music, I also started writing music at the same time. It wasn’t like someone told me to do it, I just had the thought of having to do so. I started writing rap lyrics in elementary school and started composing after I went to middle school. Back then, no one around me liked hiphop… It became extremely popular in Korea now but when I first started listening to it, hip hop was a genre once popular a long time ago. I think there probably wasn’t anyone on the streets who raps, except for me. If I rap at the karaoke room, it would just become some kind of sound to my friends. You know the moving hand gestures that are hip hop’s specialty? I was picked on for that too.
Despite that, I still kept liking hip hop and in my 2nd year of middle school, I went on the stage for the first time at a festival. I performed Dynamic Duo’s “Go Back” with a friend. I didn’t like standing in front of people, but at that time, I only felt like I have to do it. I showed the rap that I practice too, although it wasn’t anything great. (laughs)
Actually in middle school, I wanted to go to an arts high school so I composed classical music. But the tuition was too expensive so I ended up just going to a regular high school. I told my father “I have done enough music now so I’ll study hard in high school” and went to that school, but of course I didn’t. (laughs)
Full-fledged activities as a rapper after joining a crew in town
Middle school years was when I composed music to satisfy myself only, on a hobby level. It was after I changed the MIDI software that I started full-fledgedly making music. In 1st year of high school, I showed my song to a person that was like a mentor to me, and he liked it a lot. I was introduced to a hip hop crew called “D-town” and joined. That song had the feeling of new-age music but had hip hop beats similar to Nujabes. For your information, the mentor that acknowledged me studied at Berklee College of Music and is currently working as a movie music director.
I think I started rapping properly after joining the crew. I have been rapping since elementary school, but since there wasn’t anyone who raps around me, I thought I was the best. (laughs)
After that, I came to the Daegu underground scene, and from then, I also got to know that you can’t make a living out of music in the underground scene. Most of the hyungs who made music with me that time was about 10 years older than me, there were also people over 30. They worked part-time jobs and made music at the same time, but it seemed very hard. Even when performing live, it was already a huge deal to have 100 audiences, and I hated that fact. I thought “If I success, could I be the liaison of the underground scene?”. There are plenty of people who make good music in the underground scene, so I thought when I become famous, I want to create a better environment for them, I want to show their music to the world.
Just then, I knew Big Hit was holding an audition in Daegu. I came there knowing nothing but that it was a company formed by composer Bang Shihyuk, but I was told that I was accepted the next day. I heard it later that when he saw me, he immediately thought of letting me pass. Even though I wasn’t good at rapping that time. (laughs)
Coming up to Seoul after becoming a trainee
Different from first thought…!?
I came to Seoul on November 7th, 2010, when I was in 2nd year of high school. I still remember it now.
I joined to company not to rap, but to become a composer. So I thought I didn’t need to dance, and let people who are good at rapping rap, I just needed to follow the producer path. But it became a totally different thing. (laughs) At that time, rather than idols, the company was planning to create a group consisting of rappers, but that changed. The members were Rap Monster, J-hope and me. There were also Supreme Boy, i11even-hyung who is now active in the underground scene and Iron-hyung who made it to the finals of Show Me The Money 3. I think if we debut like that, despite being good at rapping, we would fail. (laughs)
Rapper & producer
The future Suga thinks of as a goal
My 4-year-older brother plays a very big role in letting me be able to walk on the music path like this. He started liking hip hop under my influence, but when I came to the audition, everyone in my family opposed it except for my brother. They didn’t view music activities nicely, even my relatives told me “What music for you, go study.” So I only showed my songs to him. He was the first person I informed that I passed the audition too. Our relationship is so good that we’re like friends. I basically don’t drink alcohol, but I drink it with him only.
My family all support me now, of course. Even the relatives that told me to study ask for my signatures. (laughs)
These days, I have thoughts about wanting to also be active as a producer. I have no greed of being in the center, I just want to make music. I don’t have interest towards the entertainment world too, everyone says they want to act, or to go on variety shows, but I don’t want to do those. (laughs) But still, the first thing is to make BTS get 1st place in Korea as well as Japan. And myself too, I want to be the best rapper, the best producer. I don’t know if it would take time, but I have to try.
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