Tablo from Epik High opens up about Epik High Is Here and how the group have stayed friends for nearly 20 years (Picture: Getty)
Epik High star Tablo ‘thought he had died’ while making their new album but the moment inspired him to write lyrics.
The influential South Korean hip-hop group – Tablo, Mithra Jin, and DJ Tukutz – are back with rheir 10th album Epik High Is Here, the follow up to 2017’s We’ve Done Something Wonderful.
The rapper told Metro.co.uk of a surreal moment in the process of recording which influenced the album opener.
‘I had an outer body experience where I thought for sure I had died,’ he said.
‘It influenced the writing of Lesson Zero because it reset my entire mindset. Thank God I came back into my body.’
The group have been active since 2003, making their debut under Woolim Entertainment before signing with YG Entertainment until 2018.
Now under EN Management, the guys still have a strong bond which is down to, according to Tablo, ‘being each other’s biggest haters’.
‘We will s**t on each other all day,’ he explained, ‘ironically, this somehow binds us closer together.
‘Maybe it’s because not being “yesmen” to one another keeps us honest to ourselves and to each other.’
Reflecting on how the music industry has changed since the early 00s he continued: ‘We’ve had our music go from being released on cassette tapes to CDs to mp3 to streaming. YouTube wasn’t around when we began. Phones were for talking to people.
‘We are grateful to be one of the rare breed of musicians who have managed to survive so many changes and still go strong, and we’re thankful to the fans.’
Creative differences between them are a constant issue, however, but also not an issue.
‘We only have creative differences. The music you hear right now is how we resolved them,’ the Lovedrunk rapper added.
Epik High Is Here includes features from some of the finest musical talent including CL, Heize, Changmo and B.I, formerly of the K-Pop group iKON.
Tablo praised B.I’s writing skills on the track Acceptance Speech adding: ‘He is talented and was instrumental in making the song turn out well.’
The trio are revelling in the positive feedback from fans and critics to this record.
Epik High have been active since 2003 (Picture: Instagram)
‘This is the biggest global reaction we’ve ever had for an album,’ Tablo told us.
‘Seeing our name on a huge billboard in the heart of New York was unbelievable, but it’s the sheer amount of feedback we’re getting from fans all over the world that is taking our breath away.
‘Every album is a fresh start. We’ve Done Something Wonderful, as the title suggests, focused heavily on memories and the past.
‘This album deals with the here and now, with the world today and our lives today, which is why we titled it Epik High Is Here.’
Tablo is focusing on the here and now but also keeping one eye on the future, revealing Epik High Is Here Part 2 is not only in the works but nearly finished.
‘We have a big portion of Epik High Is Here Part 2 already complete, but we’d like to continue chipping away at it until we feel like it’s what it needs to be,’ the rapper teased.
‘I feel like Part 2 will be more introspective and intimate. But who knows?’
Epik High Is Here is out now.