B.I makes a comeback with ‘TO DIE FOR’: K-pop artist shares personal journey of inspiration, emotions, and growth


Throughout his career, B.I has taken on many roles: dancer, rapper, singer, songwriter, and producer. The 26-year-old started in the industry at just 11 years old, and since then, B.I has grown, changed, and evolved, not only as an artist but also as a person.

Over the last decade-plus, B.I has successfully tackled various genres and projects and hit high achievements, including being awarded “Songwriter of the Year” at the age of 22.

On June 1, the South Korean artist released his second studio album “TO DIE FOR,” which delves into the themes of love, youth, and resistance. We had the opportunity to speak with B.I about his music, inspiration, and personal growth since his debut.

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Who is B.I? Kim Han-bin, known as B.I, is a South Korean rapper, singer-songwriter, and producer. Born on October 22, 1996, in Cheonan, B.I has become an influential figure in South Korea’s music scene.

B.I has competed in music television shows, written and produced music for himself and others, debuted as a solo artist, and served as a label executive.

For B.I, making music has become second nature. “Music is part of my life. I started when I was 11; it’s more than half of my life,” he said.

B.I was awarded “Songwriter of the Year” at the Melon Music Awards in 2018. Since then, he has become a full member of the Korea Music Copyright Association, with 104 songs registered under his name. B.I’s credits include songs for himself as well as notable artists in South Korea, such as Epik High, Blackpink, PSY, and LeeHi, among others.

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In 2021, B.I made his debut as a solo artist under his self-founded label, 131 Label. His first studio album “WATERFALL” was released on June 1, 2021, with the title track “illa illa.” The music video for the song broke the record for the most viewed debut music video by a Korean male solo artist in its first 24 hours.

Since then, B.I has released an EP, a half album, and his latest studio album, along with numerous singles. His single “BTBT” featuring Soulja Boy and DeVita reached No. 1 on iTunes in over 40 countries and has garnered over 104 million streams on Spotify.

B.I’s second studio album ‘TO DIE FOR’ released on June 1

“TO DIE FOR” serves as a continuation of B.I’s half album “COSMOS.”

The studio album comprises 15 tracks, incorporating various genres such as rap, rock, electronic, and dubstep, with six tracks also featured on his previous half album.

“For each song, I valued the message and the lyrics the most,” B.I said.

B.I aimed to explore resistance further, which is evident in tracks like “Beautiful Life” featuring Korean punk pioneers Crying Nut and “Wave” featuring Kid Milli and Lil Cherry.

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“I’m trying to put more variants and diverse genres and styles of music on the album,” B.I said. “I think it’s more experimental than before. It has more power than the other songs that I have.”

The writing and creative process of ‘TO DIE FOR’

B.I strives to create something new and exciting with each song. “It’s difficult,” he said. “I’m trying to put all my energy into it and put a lot of effort into it.”

B.I draws inspiration from movies, poems, and his own experiences. His creativity has also been influenced by comics. “MICHELANGELO” contains a few lines from “Fullmetal Alchemist,” he said.

There is a cinematic nature to B.I’s music, and this is exemplified in the compilation video for “TO DIE FOR.” The six-minute music video features excerpts from the album’s tracks.

“You know that it was youth only when time has passed,” B.I said. “I wanted to make it like a short film where you remember by the scenes.”

Growing up and the loneliness of love, youth

B.I’s experiences have helped him grow and mature. “A lot of things have changed,” he said.

While his desire to create music has remained consistent, B.I has noticed shifts in other aspects of his life. “I tend to stay home more now than before. I don’t know why,” he said. “I didn’t intend it, but I’m making myself lonely.”

However, B.I finds solace in this solitude: “I like that feeling. I like that emotion.”

In his album “TO DIE FOR,” B.I reflects on the loneliness experienced in love and youth. He acknowledges that love isn’t always balanced, and one person may end up feeling lonely.

What’s next for B.I?

B.I is currently planning the concept for his third album. Although it’s still early to discuss it in detail, he simply wants to continue telling stories through his music.

He expresses immense gratitude to his fans, known as IDs, for their continuous love and support. B.I hopes to share his music with his fans globally, expressing his readiness to showcase his style in the United States. He dreams of visiting the U.S. and meeting his fans there someday.

B.I’s musical journey is marked by growth, versatility, and a commitment to creating music that resonates with his audience. As he continues to evolve as an artist and person, B.I’s passion for storytelling through music remains unwavering.