CL, now that you’ve acquired your goal as a singer, what are some other aspirations you wish to achieve? 

CL: I just love art as a whole. Right now, I’m pursuing music, but there are many aspects of art. Fashion is art, and everything is intertwined. I just want to continue working in this field, whatever it may be. You know, a lot of people work in fashion, and a lot of musicians get involved in it as well. I think doing that like others isn’t really that fun. I want to get into it, and share similar outlooks with other young people.

Now that you’re officially 21, what do you do for fun?

CL: When I said I’m a boring person, I also meant to say that I stay home a lot. I’m always working, and when I’m not doing something, I just stay home.

Bom: I think we’re all similar in that sense. Not sure why, but we’re usually just home during our off time.

CL: We’ll have to see about Minzy, though. She still has few years left. [Laughs.]

Dara, you’ve had an active career in the Philippines. What was the reason for you to join YG Family in Korea?

Dara: Working in the Philippines was a lot of fun, but since I’ve had huge aspirations of debuting in Korea, I’ve decided to join the label. I started out as a trainee. I knew I had to start all over again from the beginning, but at the time, I came without much affliction. And I wouldn’t say I was distraught when I did come to Korea, but I definitely missed the Philippines.

Bom, I first saw you appearing on a record with GD & Top called “Forever With You.” At the time, I thought you were going to be Korea’s Mary J. Blige. 

Bom: Yes, at the time I was thinking that, too. [Laughs.] But I always wanted to be part of a group. I could have a solo career even as a group. Other members have traits that I don’t possess, so I thought it’d make more sense to debut as a unit. 

Dara and Bom, where do you guys see yourselves in the next five years?

Bom: Not sure if I’m still going to be a singer. But I’m sure I’ll be doing something related to music. I could even be a vocal teacher, and if the opportunity permits, I’ll continue singing.

Dara: Not sure if I’ll still be active as 2NE1, but I want to continue on as a musician.

Bom: Let me just add just one thing. I might still be active as 2NE1.

If each of you guys were to partake in solo careers, what style of music do you see yourselves pursuing?

CL: I like so many different types of music. I think I’ll be making various genres of music. Even if I pursue a solo career, I think I’ll continue to sing, rap, and I really love band music as well. I want to try reggae, I want to try straight-up hip-hop…

Dara: I personally want to do something that’s more bright and lively. It could be pop music, or acoustic music. Since I grew up in the Philippines I’ve been influenced by a lot of the local music.

Bom: I’ve released some music as a solo artist, but if I do get an opportunity, I’d love to do something more like Mariah Carey. Or something that’s more so traditional R&B. Just something with more soul.   

Minzy: Ever since I was little, I’ve always enjoyed R&B, rap, and hip-hop. My idol growing up was Michael Jackson, but I also love Snoop Dogg. 

Were you jealous that Girls’ Generation did a track with him?

Minzy: [Laughs.] No, I wasn’t, but I wish I could do a song with him, too.

What’s 2NE1 afraid of?  

Dara: Loneliness. After leaving the stage, when we’re back at our individual hotel rooms, I think all of us could agree, there’s this sense of emptiness. It’s a little difficult to explain.

CL: I think that applies to anyone who performed for a huge audience. It takes you all day to prepare for the show, and you give it your all on the stage. When you go home after such an ecstatic show, especially when we’re not in Korea, without our friends and family, it feels a bit surreal entering that hotel room. Where everything’s so clean, so organized, and it’s not a space you can claim as your own. You were just somewhere with thousands of people screaming, and then you’re somewhere awfully quiet. That contrast in surroundings, really affects the mood.

But seems like the overall energy of the group is very optimistic.

CL: Yeah, since we’re doing what we love to do. If you think negatively, negative things will happen as a result. So we think of positive things, hoping more good things can happen.

Were there other trainees that you guys knew, who didn’t make the group?  

CL: It was just four of us. [Laughs.] But we trained separately. We were all training to be solo artists. Bom was practicing to be a solo act, Dara was training to be an actress, Minzy was by herself, and I was by myself as well. There were only four us, so we’ve known each other for a long time. We never imagined a group would happen. When they announced it, I thought it was so weird, and so different that it wouldn’t work. There was an age gap, too.

Bom: At the time, Minzy was a real baby. She was very small.

CL: But I think that worked to our advantage. We were short sighted, too. We thought it would only work if we were similar. But looking at it now, it’s better that we’re different.

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