Stardom Entertainment granted OneHallyu the pleasure of interviewing Topp Dogg, their biggest up-and-coming act! Topp Dogg is a twelve-member group comprised of P-Goon, Jenissi, Gohn, Hojoon, Kidoh, Sangdo, Nakta, Hansol, B-Joo, Zero, A-Tom, and Yano. The group debuted in 2013 with “Follow Me”, showcasing a strong image and synchronization that set them apart from other rookies. They’ve been very active since debut, already showing us performance variation and consistent high-quality releases. We asked them about their influences, aspirations, and relationships. To prepare you for their answers, I will say one thing–these boys are incredibly charming.
OH: For those that may not know you, could you please introduce yourselves?
P: Hello. I am Topp Dogg’s leader P-Goon.
J: Hello. I am Jenissi. I rap in the group. I like basketball, bicycles, and reading^^ Please treat me well!
G: Hello. I’m Topp Dogg’s singer-songwriter Gohn^^. I love everyone who loves my music and the group’s music.
HJ: Hello!! I am Topp Dogg’s Hojoon. I am in charge of talent in the group, both vocals and dance.
K: I am Kidoh, in charge of producing and rap.
S: I am Sangdo, in charge of vocals in Topp Dogg. A lot of people didn’t think I was Korean when I debuted, but I am a pure Korean^^
N: Hello. I am Topp Dogg’s Nakta! Please give a lot of love to Topp Dogg.
HS: Hello. I am Hansol from the cool, sexy, cute Korean group Topp Dogg. If you see me, you’ll probably fall in love with me immediately. Because I am a person who is overflowing with love!
B: Hi. I am Topp Dogg’s bubbly and sexy B-Joo.
X: Hello. I am Xero and I’m in charge of rap, dance, and charisma in Topp Dogg. I was born on February 3, 1994. I really like the color black and I have a cold image but once you get to know me, I’m a very warm Xero.
A(A-Tom): I am a ‘95er in charge of rap. pow pow~
Y: Hello. I am Yano, Topp Dogg’s maknae in charge of rap.
OH: Since you have such a large group, what are your living arrangements like?
P: I think every day is very dynamic. It’s fun.
J: We usually act and talk in very entertaining ways so daily life is never boring and always busy and fun.
G: We actively do music. Whenever we have free time, all the members want to give our fans better music so absorb ourselves into our work.
HJ: Wow! It’s so fun. Every single day is loud and chaotic. Every day feels like a field trip.
K: We have a lot of members so on stage we shine but our preparation time is longer so there are times it’s inconvenient.
S: At first, it was chaotic and it was hard to adapt to but now, I don’t even think we have that many members.
N: As part of a big group at first, I worried that there were going to be a lot of different troubling things here and there but after living together, it’s not like that at all and we are all like brothers.
HS: There are good parts to it but there are just as many bad parts^^ For example, at night, there are members who are like Beagles who bother us, and in the morning, you have to wait a long time to take a shower. These trivial things make it difficult for us.
B: It’s really so much fun but there are times my mind can’t focus.
X: Because there are so many members, some trivial things are inconvenient but there are many more good parts to it.
A: At first, it was hard but now it’s a little more stable.
Y: We have so many members so there are times it’s hard but I like that I’m never lonely.
OH: You guys have been promoting frequently since debut and have put out many great songs. How many members take a creative role in the production process (compose, write music, concept brainstorming)?
P: Pretty much all the members are studying writing and producing. For the concept brainstorming, we all collaborate together.
J: When it comes to our choreography, B-Joo, Hansol, Hojoon, and Xero are the ones who are active with it. The other members are involved with completing the writing or production of the songs.
G: Most of the members play a role. The rappers tend to participate in the writing, while when it comes to composing, although only my and Kidoh’s song have been revealed so far, you will gradually be able to hear songs composed by the other members as well.
HJ: All the members have very different roles. We all work together and consider each other’s opinions when we’re writing, composing, or choreographing.
K: The members are participating in everything from members who write songs, members who design the choreography, and other diverse areas.
S: Up until now, Kidoh and Gohn have been known as the members who participate in producing songs, but we are all preparing to release songs with each member’s input and try out new things.
N: All the members are constantly thinking about concepts and songs for the group! But I think Kidoh and Gohn are the members who have the highest understanding of music.
HS: In terms of writing and producing, most of the members are participating in it or are just working on it individually. In order to continue showing unique music and concepts to everyone’s eyes and ears, we aren’t going to stop being involved when it comes to music.
B: Rappers write their own parts and there are hyungs who produce songs, so the group’s wizard line participate in the choreography and also talk a lot about our concepts.
X: In the case of composing songs, Gohn and Kidoh have produced songs, but other than that, the other members are preparing to write songs.
A: All the members think about it a lot. We want to be involved in many different ways.
Y: All the rappers write, and all the members get together to talk about the concept. Not just Kidoh and Gohn, but all the other members are studying how to produce music as well.
OH: Now that Kidoh has, do any of the other members plan on releasing any solo music?
P: I think slowly, each member is going to be releasing a solo album.
J: I want to release a digital single album early next year^^
G: At this moment, we don’t have any concrete plans, but there are a lot of members preparing for solo albums.
HJ: We don’t have any plans yet, but if the opportunities comes up, all the members want to try it including me. I think we can all do well.
K: Not sure yet, but all the members are practicing hard.
S: No concrete plans yet but all the members are so talented that I think the possibility is high.
N: There’s no concrete plans. But there are a lot of members writing songs so if something good is made, I think it can be released.
HS: Personally, once I get a bit closer to a perfect Hansol, I want to release a solo album. All the members in Topp Dogg think this way, so we’re all practicing hard.
B: No plans yet.
X: There aren’t any plans yet but if the chances comes up, we all want to do it!
A: We all want to do it. Please wait!
Y: I do have plans to release a solo album when the time is right. I wish that day would come sooner…
OH: Do any of you have any other talents that you would like to show outside of music, such as acting or modeling?
P: I learned acting but I want to try it again properly. I also go to the gym and play soccer to exercise a lot.
J: I don’t know if it’s because I enjoy writing, but I’ve been told often that I’m very witty. After speaking and sharing stories with a lot of different people, I think it’s a talent to be able to understand others well^^
G: I don’t have any remarkable talents outside of music, but I really enjoy and am good at exercising.
HJ: Dance, kendo.. I also like exercising.
K: Studying. When I was young, my mom would force me to study a lot so I have a lot of talent in studying.
S: Maybe impersonating sounds. I also want to try acting.
N: I’ve always studied and enjoyed reality shows and variety programs. I know what may seem boring in real life actually seems really funny on TV, so when it comes to that, I think I have a very strong understanding.
HS: I choreograph. My hobby and talent is in choreographing, and recently, I worked with EvoL member Say on choreographing EvoL’s dance for ‘Get Up’. I choreographed some of their other non-title songs as well. Other than that, I’m putting in everything into the dancing and the performances of Topp Dogg’s Wizard line. I’m also interested
B: I want to try acting in a sitcom. I also want to do variety shows.
X: Fashion and aegyo.
A: Not a talent, but I like exercising. Especially soccer!
Y: I did study acting a bit but I want to study it more.
OH: Who do you look up to the most in the music industry?
P: Chris Brown and Omarion. They are artists whom I dreamt of becoming and respect.
J: I like all of August Alsina’s music, so I want to take music lessons from him.
G: Brian McKnight and Eric Benet have been artists I’ve liked since I was young, and I am very influenced by them musically.
HJ: Chris Brown, Usher, Big Bang, and many more. They are good at everything and their performances make your heart race, they’re really cool.
K: Kanye West is good at writing songs and raps well, so I respect him.
S: Eric Benet, Maxwell, John Legend, Bobby Kim, Jong Up, and more.
N: HA:TFELT and Benzino, Frank Ocean and N.E.R.D. I respect that they all seem to have their own identities.
HS: There are so many artists that I respect but Justin Timberlake and Rihanna are the hottest and coolest to me! Their music is good too but more specifically, I love the overflowing energy that comes ut of their performances.
B: I want to learn performing skills or vocal skills from Chris Brown.
X: Big Bang’s G-Dragon. His own personality is really distinct and it’s really cool to see him having fun on stage.
A: Chris Brown. He gives off a very big energy.
Y: Pharrell Williams. I really like his fashion and music.
OH: Which member spends the most time in the practice room?
P: We all tend to spend a lot of time in the practice room.
J: Hansol. He really practices diligently.
G: I think it’s me. I usually don’t come out once I enter the room. When I’m writing, I get completely absorbed in it so in that sense, I think I’m like a hikikomori.
HJ: Everyone works really hard but if I had to choose… I don’t know. Everyone works hard.
K: I think everyone’s about the same.
S: There are a lot of members who really train passionately, but if I had to choose one member, I’d pick Hansol. He’s really a practice bug.
N: Hansol and Yano. They practice very early in the morning and I often see them spending a lot of time developing themselves and writing.
HS: I think since I like singing while holding a microphone and dancing while looking at myself in the mirror more than the others, it might be me. I also think I’m fairly behind when it comes to making my own music and I’ve always liked the feel of practice rooms ever since I was young, so I think I spend the most time in the ‘mirror and microphone’ rooms. We all tend to have our own practice rooms, so if we’re not all practicing together, the other members are usually in their own rooms. That just shows you how passionate we are about music. Including me.
B: We tend to practice all together more. Most of the members spend the most time in their individual practice rooms.
X: It depends on the situation, so we’re all around the same.
A: Hansol. He spends a lot of time in the dance practice room. He loves dancing and he really works hard.
Y: All the members!
OH: In what ways have you improved since debut?
P: We’ve learned so much about broadcasting that our lives have improved and our ear for music has developed.
J: The ability to copy and act as each member during their parts!
G: I originally was really bad at dancing, but I think I’ve gotten better recently. Even if I’m not that good still..
HJ: Everything. I’m serious!
K: I think we’ve grown a lot musically.
S: If anything’s improved since debut, I think it’s the trust and collaboration between members. I also think our dancing has improved a bit!
N: Our quick wittedness, tact, and perception. We’ve learned a lot on how and what to do ever since we debuted.
HS: After standing on stage many times, I notice a difference between standing on stage and practicing on my own. I’ve gained a lot of experience in figuring on the interactions between the fans and the stage and what parts of me I need to improve and work on. I still have a long way to go.
B: I think our ability to spot the camera when we’re on stage has improved.
X: Our composure on stage and our ability to enjoy the broadcast!!
A: Everything has become more composed.
Y: We are more composed on stage and our individual skills have improved.
OH: You have showcases scheduled in America. What does it feel like knowing that you have dedicated fans that far away?
P: To people who give us love even from far away (we) sincerely thank you. We will work harder in the future to be worldwide (famous) singers.
J: We are truly thankful that there are people who love Topp Dogg from so far away. We want to work harder to become global artists.
G: We are so so grateful! I think we need to work even harder not to disappoint them.
HJ: So thankful. I still can’t believe that there are fans who like and recognize us even if countries far away.
K: Passion! Love! It’s only because of you all that Topp Dogg exists.
S: I was really grateful and shocked that they watch and love us from just the internet and TV. I want to meet them!
N: I think there is a lot of areas in which we are still lacking. We are really thankful that there are devoted fans and we want to work to become a Topp Dogg you could be proud of.
HS: I can’t think of saying anything other than that we are thankful. We are so apart so I don’t know what is it about me that you like me. We have no thoughts other than that we will truly truly work hard and pay you back with our performances.
B: We are truly thankful that there are people who even from so far away are interested in us. We really want to meet all of them.
X: Fans from foreign countries send us letters or fan videos to support us, so we are preparing that much more. My heart flutters at the thought of meeting fans at a showcase.
A: We are thankful and we will work harder.
Y: I was really moved by them supporting us even from so far away. I will move you with my performances at events.
OH: Since you are becoming so known internationally, are there any foreign artists that you would like to collaborate with? If so, who?
P: Ariana Grande. I really love her voice. If the opportunity arises, I really would like to be on the same stage as her.
J: Chance the rapper. I really want to collaborate with him. I think it’d really be an honor.
G: Bruno Mars and Ariana Grande. I’m a big fan.
HJ: Chris Brown, Trey Songz, Usher, and more. If they’re willing, I’m always down.
K: Kanye West.
S: Eric Benet, Maxwell, Musiq Soulchild, Craig David.
N: I want to collab with N.E.R.D. They’re a band I like.
HS: I want to collab with a foreign choreographer Koharu Sugawa. She gives me a lot of influences when it comes to dance. If I get a chance someday, I really want to dance with her.
B: I want to act with Amanda Seyfried!
X: I want to make an extravagant performance with Chris Brown.
Y: Pharrell Williams
OH: Where do you see yourselves in five years?
P: Nominated for #1 on a music show?! I also want to do a world tour so I can spend time with fans from all over the world.
J: Our house^^ Come play. I’ll get you a cup of coffee^^
G: Hmm.. I’m not sure but maybe performing at a concert in the country of the reader reading this interview right now?
HJ: Right in front of your eyes!
K: I think you’ll be able to see me in an underground hip-hop concert or on TV.
S: Personally, I hope we’re performing at a concert overseas and meeting fans.
N: You’ll be able to see us on TV.
HS: I think we’d be on TV, no? Whether we’re doing music or something else, I think I’ll be able to show you all my dreams becoming a reality. I guess I might be coming to you with a solo album too!
B: We’d be meeting a lot through the TV.
X: On stage.
A: I hope you’ll be able to see us frequently on the music charts.
Y: You’ll be able to see us on TV shows or award shows, all over the world.
OH: Which members are more likely to borrow from other members without asking?
P: Hmm… When members borrow my things, they always ask me.
J: No particular member. There’s only times when we’re in a rush that we have to use each other’s towels.
G: Hansol and me? We are comfortable with each other that we just use without asking.
HJ: None. We always ask before borrowing.
K: I don’t think there’s a member who is like that.
S: I haven’t seen a member do that yet. I’m sure there isn’t.
N: B-Joo. There isn’t really a member like that, but a few days ago, I saw him using another member’s towel so I pick B-Joo.
HS: I don’t think there’s a member like that. If a situation comes up where a member needs something from another member, he always asks.
B: There isn’t. They’d get in trouble with me!
X: There isn’t.
A: There isn’t. Everyone respects each other.
OH: Who is the most uplifting member that keeps everyone energized?
P: All the members work to help each other. This is one of the advantages of having a group with so many members.
J: I gain strength just by looking at the dongsaengs. These members are my hope.
G: I think all the oldest hyungs give us the most strength. The fact that there are hyungs in our team whom I trust and lean against gives me hope and comfort.
HJ: Rather than just one person, all of Topp Dogg gives hope and everyone helps move Topp Dogg.
S: Family members, employees of the company, and the members all give each other strength.
N: I think it’s more so the fans than the members. Whenever we’re performing, they chant for us very loudly which gives us strength and gives us more hope.
HS: I think it’s the oldest hyungs. There are times when it gets hard and everyone gets dispirited when a performance doesn’t go so well, but Jenissi and P-Goon act like nothing’s wrong. Jenissi calms all of us down and P-Goon jokes around and changes the mood.
B: I can’t pick one single member. All of Topp Dogg give me strength! I love you Topp Dogg!!
X: P-Goon and Jenissi hyung! The two oldest hyungs give me a lot of strength. Leader P-Goon acts indifferent but he actually asks us if we’re having a hard time and like a man, he gives us strength. Jenissi is like a mom and worries about us, thinks of us as precious, and looks after us.
Y: Nakta and Gohn.
OH: Would you please say a few words to your fans reading?
P: We will be much more cooler singers, and we will try to get known (and receive love from people) all around the world. Please give us attention and love.
J: Hello. I am Topp Dogg’s Jenissi. It’s that time when high school juniors are taking tests and workers are preparing their taxes. I think I’d be thankful if you all, even if you don’t know us that well, laugh after watching our ‘Annie’ performances, or if you have any memories of our old LPs, or even young kids looking at an LP and thinking, “What is that big CD thing?”. This winter, we will be continuing to run forward passionately and fervently. Finally, I truly love you all, ToppKlass!
G: I am always thankful and moved by your warm support and interest. We are really practicing and working hard to repay you back for your miracle-like love. I love you.
HJ: Everyone! We are working hard promoting Topp Dogg! To make sure you’re not disappointed, we will pay you back with our cool music and performances. Please continue looking after us! I love you all.
K: Please continue showing lots of love for Topp Dogg.
S: International fans! Thank you for seeing us through the internet or the television!! I hope we get to see each other soon~~ I love you~~
N: To all the fans, Topp Dogg and Nakta will become your energy pill!
HS: Thank you for knowing who we are. We will become a cool Topp Dogg that always makes you happy whenever you see us, so please look after us. We will continue growing! Let’s go!!
B: To all the international fans of Topp Dogg! I am living each day being so grateful. We promise to constantly evolve and make your eyes and ears happy. I love you!
X: Everyone! First of all, I am truly thankful that you have given Topp Dogg a lot of support and love over this past year. There’s still a lot we haven’t shown you yet, so please continue trusting us until we are at our peak. I hope you all take pride in being Topp Dogg fans. I love you ToppKlass!
A: I really want to visit and perform for wherever you are all at. Even if I’m far away, I’m thankful and we will always show you an improved side to us!
Y: I hope you continue showing interest in Topp Dogg and Yano, and I will become a better Yano. Please anticipate!
Getting to know such a lively group was very rewarding. I feel like through just a short interview, I was able to get a lot of detailed and thoughtful answers that paint a picture of what the members feel is the essence of Topp Dogg. Topp Dogg has members that are both wise and articulate, showing a mature side of them that not everyone takes the time to find. With twelve unique members, they’re able to reach a broad audience, showcasing a number of additional appeal, which have made me a fan. After this, I hope to watch them more closely and see them gain more fans, because it’s obvious that Topp Dogg has a lot more to show us!
We would like to sincerely thank Stardom Entertainment for giving us the chance to interview Topp Dogg! We see a lot of good things in Topp Dogg and hope you guys succeed together!
Thank you to Topp Klass for giving me their burning questions and for supporting Topp Dogg so well!
And of course, thank you very much to john for translating the interview.
All images and videos belong to Stardom Entertainment. Please credit OneHallyu for the interview and translations.
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