Big Bang frontman G-Dragon may not have had American hip-hop icon Missy Elliott in mind while he was creating the beat for “Niliria,” but once he realized he needed someone else on the track, the “Get Ur Freak On” rapper and producer became his fantasy collaborator.
At a press conference on Monday at the Cais Gallery in Seoul, where G-Dragon’s new art exhibition “Space Eight” opened the following day, the rapper explained how K-pop’s collaboration of the year came to be.
“First off, I made my version first without thinking about Missy Elliott. The track itself was created last year,” G-Dragon explained, according to the publication eNEWS.
“Because it’s a track that has the motive of using a Korean folk song, I wasn’t looking for a popular artist of today but more of the past, and a female more than a male. In the middle of all that, because I was Missy Elliott’s fan, I hesitantly asked if she could work with me.”
To the Big Bang frontman’s surprise, Elliott agreed and the two began a fruitful long distance musical collaboration.
“During the production process, we didn’t meet and instead worked together through email and telephone,” G-Dragon recalled.
“Due to her own personal issues, Missy Elliott [had been out of the public eye] for a really long time, so she worried a lot about making a feature. When I heard the results, I thought it was well done.”
Yet the rapper says, the most rewarding part of the “Niliria” collaboration was getting to perform onstage with Elliott as part of the two-day KCON K-pop festival in Los Angeles.
“I performed with [Missy Elliott at KCON] in the US a while back and it was such an honor,” G-Dragon said. “I learned a lot.”
The duo’s three-minute performance of “Niliria” became the most talked about moment of KCON.
And G-Dragon, whose new double-album “Coup d’Etat” also features “Harlem Shake” producer Baauer and hip hop artist and producer Diplo, may soon be able to add another A-list artist to his resume of collaborators.
Monday on Twitter, Pharrell Williams responded to a series of posts G-Dragon and the designer Mina Kwon had made mentioning the singer.
“These two are amazing talents, Korean art is vast and next level,” Pharrell wrote back to G-Dragon and Kwon. “Time to collab.”
Perhaps the hottest pop star in the world right now, Pharrell sang on the two biggest US pop hits of the summer, “Get Lucky” by Daft Punk and “Blurred Lines” by Robin Thicke.
“Let’s do it!” G-Dragon responded.