Daesung: From BIGBANG Superstar to J-pop Balladeer

YG Entertainment has been fairly generous with its BIGBANG solo projects. Seungri did an EP, Taeyang did both an EP and an album, and G-Dragon did two solo albums (with another on the way!) and a joint album with T.O.P as part of the GD&TOP sub-unit. The only member who has yet to fully go it alone is Daesung, who has so far had to settle for one-off singles and the occasional solo track on BIGBANG's albums. That's finally going to change on February 27 when Daesung releases his long-awaited debut disc, D'scover, in Japan. Why Japan and not Korea, you ask? It probably has something to do with BIGBANG's recent success in the lucrative market: last year, their Alive album was certified Gold, marking the end of a long line of J-flops for the band. Now that BIGBANG's got a little heat in the country after failing for years, it only makes sense that YG would want to keep the flame burning with some new music.

For D'scover's lead single, "Utautai no Ballad," Daesung's gone down the ballad route (in case you couldn't tell from the title alone). The song is a cover of Saito Kazuyoshi's 1997 hit of the same name (did we mention that D'scover is an album of J-pop covers?), which actually covered by popular J-diva, Beni, just last year. It allows Daesung (or D-Lite, as he calls himself in Japan) to really show off his strong vocals, which is something that the BIGBANG stans have been wanting for years.

Daesung's Japanese pop-rock ballads probably won't impress international fans as much as G-Dragon's clubby electro-pop or Taeyang's radio-friendly R&B grooves, but you've gotta give the guy props for breaking out of the BIGBANG mold and doing something outside of the band's usual musical realm. While all of the BIGBANG solos have varied from good to excellent in terms of quality, none of them strayed far from the group's signature sound; so far, Daesung is the only one to really do something different.

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