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“They Will Even Hear Sound of Our Breath”

Posted August. 29, 2007 07:22,   


“Let’s add some more piano to this song.” (Lee Yeong-hyeon)

“This isn’t the arrangement. Take it all out. Let’s just use the drums. And the double bass is tight, so try the accordion instead.” (Lee Ji-yeong)

“Get rid of the beat in ‘Talking to Myself,’ and what if we sang it flowing naturally? It might sound too simple, but it will be so intimate they’ll even hear the sound of our breath.” (Park Min-hye)

“Big” Mama is knocking at the doors of a “little” theater. Big Mama is rehearsing for “The Most Beautiful Day of My Life,” their mini-concert to be held at the SH Theater in Daehakro, starting August 31. Unfortunately, tickets are already sold out for all the shows, and it’s not because it is a small-sized theater; it is the reputation of its guests and “Big Mama.” The tickets went so quickly, Big Mama agreed to give performances even on their 4-day break they had scheduled in the middle of the period.

“Communication has to work both ways”-

“Maybe it’s because we have only performed at large theaters, but it feels like a one-way street. The size of the hall is so big, even when our vocal quality falters or we forget the lyrics, our mistakes are swallowed up by the yells from the audience.

At a small theater, we can see and hear how the fans react. Everything becomes more transparent. I have an overwhelming thirst for two-sided communication and this may quench it.” (Shin Yeon-ah)

Since the beginning of this year, Lee So-ra, Lee Moon-se, Lee Jeok and other musicians made their way to the smaller theaters. Their success played a great part in Big Mama’s determination to scale down. However, for a group that can easily fill the 3,000 seats of a large theater, it wasn’t an easy decision to scale down to the 300-seat capacity of a smaller one.

“It was our first move out of YG to another entertainment agency. That made us feel like we wanted to change some other aspects, too. Of course, the smaller theaters don’t provide large revenues. And we might not have the stamina for 10 performances in a row. Then again, the album industry isn’t doing well monetarily either, so we thought we might as well do what we want to! And we pushed for it. Besides, we were getting tired of performing in gymnasiums! [laughs]”

For the upcoming concert, Big Mama is downsizing the 11-person instrumental arrangement and there will be no visual decorations save the singers on-stage. They kept the bare necessities, however: drum, bass, guitar, and keyboard.

Big Mama also worried, “Since the stage is small, if we move around too much we may fall off!” They plan on keeping their movements to a minimum. As for their wardrobes, each member will have only one outfit. They hope that the extra time allotted will be filled by the audience.

Album Four: Approachable and Mainstream-

Big Mama is no longer a sensational headline; it has become a household name. In a world where female musicians are critiqued by their outward appearances, Big Mama came out blazing with their enormous vocal talent. Unfortunately, it was their “full-figured bodies” which garnered more attention than their music.

The members struggled to fit in and when they released their third album; they lost weight and gained a new look. Big Mama leader Shin Yeon-ah stated, “We heard some female fans retort, ‘They all conform in the end,’ but we felt like the focus on our appearance had decreased and that was a great gain.”

The fourth album is set for a September release as Big Mama prepares to challenge another bias about them. Hit-making composer Cho Yeong-soo took charge of more than half the songs on the album, bringing the group mainstream.

“There were two biases about Big Mama. One, ‘they’re an ugly female group,’ and two, ‘the music’s difficult.’ For our third album, we got rid of the first [bias], so now we want to change the second one. We want to be seen solely for our music.”

Their show will be 2.5 hours long and will include 23 songs. Audience members will be able to hear hit numbers such as, “Abandon,” “Reject,” and “Break Away,” but there is also classic pop thrown in, like “When I Dream,” as well as some French songs. When asked if they will add the “Dalla / It’s Different” song that has been playing on the television in an auto commercial, “Great idea!” they replied. “But only if the crowd asks for it!”

For more information, call 02-3446-3225.