[Interview] Jay Park: ′I Want to Become a First Place Musician′
He lost it all and then, difficultly, found it back again; Jay Park’s stages for his first solo album New Breed is exactly that. Perhaps because of this reason, the meaning behind standing on stage has become different for Park.
The fact it’s a solo album by someone who entered the gayo world as an idol group member is special. Not only is the album his first but over 80% of it was self-written, self-composed and self-produced by Park. For Park, who hasn’t begun standing on stage alone till recently, it’s been a long journey. However he’s happy he is able to do the music he wants to do.
Even Park has self-admitted it may lack a broad mass-appeal but his title song Know Your Name combines Park’s outspoken lyrics and infectious melody to capture the ears of listeners. Will he be able to truly stand alone on stage?
You’re able to make music again. What do you like most about this fact?
JP: Actually I didn’t plan to do music again. I planned to just return [to America] and dance with my friends. When I uploaded singing clips on YouTube the response was very positive. Through it, different opportunities came up which allowed me to come back to Korea and make music again. But when I came back to the stage in Korea, the fact I wasn’t able to do my own songs was embarrassing. So for this album I wrote my music and did the music I wanted to do. I want to place first as a musician.
What’s the positive traits of standing on stage solo
JP: I like it because I can do music freely. I think the biggest benefit is I can do the concept that I want and to the sound and music I want to do. Of course there are downsides too – the fact that I have to do everything on my own, the pressure of potentially failing and the lack of confidence that comes up sometimes. However through the preparation of this album I learned a lot and grew as well.
It seemed you attempted a lot of new things with this album.
JP: I participated in the lyrical composition and song-making for thirteen tracks and produced the entire album. The song selection and featuring request I made directly as well. Without paying attention to the eyes and pressures of others I attempted to comfortably make this album. Though I began as an idol singer, I wanted to let listeners listen to ‘Jay Park-sounding’ music.
Do you have confidence to win first place
JP: Actually if you listen to this album you’ll know but it’s not exactly a mass-public appealing album. Though each track is precious to me, there probably will be tracks that will feel unfamiliar to certain listeners. So I’m hoping through various promotional activities if I make the songs heard enough people will begin to like them. (Laughs).
So do you have plans to participate in variety programs as well?
JP: I enjoy variety programs. I really enjoyed [being in] Immortal Song 2 as well as Infinity Challenge and Star King in the past. If variety programs are willing to take me in, I’m always game!
Hallyu is becoming a major global trend these days. What are your overseas activities plan?
JP: I don’t want to make my music known only to fans of K-Pop. Just as people like Usher or Chris Brown, I want to make my music heard to more people. Of course, since there’s no language barrier, down the road when an opportunity comes up I want to make music in English as well.
This is your first album. What sort of image do you want to give?
JP: First and foremost my goal was to make a great first album. Since I achieved this goal, now I want to open a thorough solo concert. Instead of looking far into the future, I’m the type of person to create and achieve step-by-step goals. It’s true in all cases, but no one will ever do your work for you. I want to work hard for my first album activities and then open a concert within this year to meet a lot of different fans.
Lastly, do you have any advice for those that come to Korea to do music?
JP: For one to succeed, possessing a strong-will is most important. It all depends on what you do however one must have the confidence to overcome loneliness, pain and other difficulties. I, too, had many moment where I wanted to quit but for the music I wanted to do, I held on. Looking back, I think I have quite a strong will as well. (Laughs).
Photo credit: Kim Byung Kwan
- Jay Park 20120224