Thursday, October 21, 2010

[INTERVIEW] Jay's Marie Claire Interview

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CREDITS : DCInside ; jamie . (SOURCE); JinaStar@2ONEDAY.COM (TRANS)

Park Jaebum's withdrawal from 2PM was rather shocking. It was because 2PM hadn't even reached their 2nd anniversary and had been one of the top idol bands at that time, and Jaebum was also one of the most popular members. It is true that the people who weren't interested in K-Pop was curious about his reason for quitting. Rumors grew thickly, and many kinds of assumptions were made. This was bitter because we realized that the truth was that the singers 'grown' by their companies had to leave their groups whatever their will was and this was also like confirming the dark shadow that drifted behind the flamboyant appearances of idol groups. He was sometimes shown through internet blogs after almost leaving to America like he was fleeing. He went back to the times before he entered Korea at the age of 17 as a trainee, such as having a part-time job at a tire shop, and dancing with his bboy friends.
I had predicted that he would have had more of what was so-called the 'time of reckoning and repenting' and coming back with more pizzazz. However, he returned a bit earlier than I had expected, and chose a rather flat comeback rather than a fancy one. After announcing a remake of a song from B.O.B., 'Count on Me', and then appearing on the stage a few times, he wasn't seen again for a couple of weeks. The music video which only showed Jaebum just singing was too modest in comparison in ways of announcing a grand beginning. Then, a day before interview, he proclaimed another song called 'Bestie' and then walked into the studio with his crew. "I came back after a fanmeet in the Philippines. I visited Singapore, and I also had something to do at my home in Seattle, so you might have those kinds of thoughts. I didn't think, from the beginning, that I had to fancily show myself through a comeback. I wanted to rest a bit in America. I got a request that asked if I could appear in a movie called , and I said that I would do it if my friends could do it along with me, and I ended up participating because they accepted my proposal. I didn't have a 'comeback' that people are thinking about. I just had an opportunity and left life as it flowed. Right now, I'm just touring with my friends and meeting fans, and I like performing and things. More than having some kind of concept and showing a music video, I think that I'm just going to show the music I like. Bestie was also recorded without thought. I set the beat up with my friends and put in melodies (ChaCha, an American of Philippine descent, is a composer and dancer in Jaebum's crew) and it was all right. So that's why I just showed the song."

Jaebum's friends took out a laptop as they watched his filming. They play music they like and are making, and exchange opinions and dance together. This was not the Jaebum I was expecting. "Then what had you been imagining? (Laugh)" "Well, I was thinking being very tense over your new comeback or a slightly put-down self? A situation where you're carefully choosing between things that you have to say and can't say, as well as a manager sitting by your side, surveiling you and asking to put these kinds of words in and take those kinds of words out? A young man who bows down to 90 degrees, being extremely polite and careful, showing a very repenting self and trying desperately to successfully promote his comeback? The appearance of a solo singer that has been upgraded 'more like an idol'? Something like that." "I don't know. At the time, I was just very sad. There were many people I'd disappointed and they'd been in sorrow." In reality, before his withdrawal, there was a 'MySpace' controversy that had driven him right to the middle of gossip articles. I mean when the netizens had determinedly found and attacked his writing during when he was in his 10s and a trainee, saying 'I don't like Korea' on his blog. The antis had stuck onto Jaebum's back afterwards and is fretful if not able to harass Jaebum. "There are still many antis. I don't really care about them since they're just going to cuss me out in whatever I do. I'm the sort of person who doesn't really care about how people see me. Those people don't actually know me that well. They're just judging me based on only what they can see. I can't do anything about it. And that's just through the internet, the people I actually meet in real life welcome me. I pass the issue over, since they can't see me through the internet so they're just bombarding rough words onto me. Whoever wants to waste their time like that can do it. I don't really care. If you pay attention to those kinds of things, you can't do other things." However, afterwards, he closed down his MySpace. Isn't it that he has become afraid of the internet? "So I didn't technically close it down. The trend these days isn't MySpace (Laugh). I go on Twitter routinely, and sometimes post up a new song on YouTube. I wasn't really afraid of the internet or the netizens. I said that when I was young and I have completely different thoughts compared to back then. I don't think that they were that harsh, either. If a mistake is made, the public will obviously react. It's just that it's important I shouldn't make the same mistake, and then learn from the mistake."

I'm sorry to say this, but I was proud of him (Fans won't be mad at him that I have this kind of feeling towards him since I'm a staggering 10 years older than him, right?). He didn't curl up on himself and repeat, 'I'm sorry about the events during those times'. Maybe it's natural that he says that he admits his mistake, will forget bad memories, and create a life he wants, but it's a hard thing to do, keeping your pride yet break through the negative comments and scandals with a face-to-face attitude in the Korean entertainment industry, where the politeness of a celebrity is demanded overly, under the pretense of them being a 'public figure'. However, he chose honesty and confidence. "I didn't really come back with a big will and a grand plan. It's more right to say that I don't really have a plan, if I had to say a goal I have, it'd be being good towards the people around me and be good towards the fans. And show good music, too. The dream of going into a music program and getting the honor of 1st place and things disappeared completely." "Yes, before, I had a greed for that. Doing really good and having a lot of fans and being the best and all that, but a lot of things happened, and I've realized a lot of things from that. I think only about satisfying the people who trust me through good music. I know, it's an over-said, tiring answer. Before, I just said it because I had to, but now, when I'm in this situation, I really know what kind of mindset that entails. I realized the truth of it."

Park Jaebum's current music style is very free like a musician starting in the underground. Many cases were seen launching into a business environment from a non-business associated place, but it's hard to imagine the opposite. From the perfectly trained idol singer, he became the musician that makes songs with friends and if he likes the songs, he introduces them himself. "If I thought that I wanted to make money, I wouldn't be able to call my friends over to Korea like this and travel with them. I don't really have much want for money. I don't think that having an exact schedule, and releasing the music at an exact time like before is a bad thing, but I think the lifestyle I have right now suits me more. Before, I had a pessimistic view on things. I think that made things harder on me. If a person tries to turn optimistic, they really do turn optimistic. So if you keep asking me about the past events, I'm not actually trying to, but I really can't remember much and don't know about it (Laugh)" "Before, if I had to sing a song that someone else chose for me and had to sing it by the rules someone else set, nowadays I write songs I like, and make songs in the melodies my friend made and choose a beat together and things, it's ture that I'm more free. Someday, an album will come out, but I don't want to really rush things right now."
His new song Bestie doesn't blend into Korea's K-Pop trend, but it flows in a more free way. Personally, I did like his kind of songs a lot more, but it might be that the original fans wanted a different kind of thing from him. "That kind of music I can do later. It's not like I'll end with just this song. There are a lot of genres I want to try. R&B, dance, hiphop. There's no reference or anything. If we have a good beat, then we're just going to stick a melody onto it and write lyrics and the rap and make a dance."

My mind was very comforted, as I had gone to meet him with numerous useless thoughts and perceptions. Though he had received a lot of pain compared to his age and had to leave 2PM with those wounds, he realized a way to find his happiness much faster than others through that. Maybe he won't be able to become Asia's best star, but he might be able to become Asia's most happy musician. However, since happiness and honor aren't antonyms, it's not like that he can't grab the 1st place in music charts because he chose happiness. He's just preparing a new start again. Isn't he still a young man that's only 24 years old?

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