Sunday, April 1, 2012


April 1, 2012 Interview 

I do not want to follow the system of normal K-pop stars.

Jay Park, returning with a new album after releasing his first solo album, Take a Deeper Look, last year, was full of confidence. He composed 13 out of 15 songs on the new album, New Breed, and produced the entire album himself. From collecting tracks to organizing the album, there is not one area that has not been touched by Jay Park.
The unconventional album art is also his idea. “One side shows my normal side, while the other shows my wildness when I make music. I wanted to show the two sides that reside in me through this album.”

Jay Park started his story with the topic of the conflicting two sides, his duality. “I want to do things that the fans want as well as the things that I want. Sometimes, I can’t fulfil their wish and other times I can’t do what I want. Those times are shown transparently in my lifestyle and my music work.”

For the last year, the most evident change in Jay Park’s appearence is the amount of his tattoos. “This, the fans don’t like. Neither does my mother (laughs). But this is definitely a different way of showing my emotions and my inner thoughts. As if to refute logically against the question, “why do you keep getting tattoos?”, Jay Park began to explain the tattoos that symbolize singing, dancing, family, friends, fans, determination etc., one by one.

This conflict is most obvious musically. “Most people said the songs were too hard when I made the first mini album. They meant that they were too similar to foreign (American) songs. But that was the kind of music I wanted to make. But I know that not many people will listen to them if I kept going with this style. Since I am a singer, I want to play my music to more members of the general public. The title track, ‘Know Your Name’, has both of these aspects in mind.”
Rapper Dok2 was featured in ‘Know Your Name’. To Jay Park, he was the rapper that could best express the American style of hip-hop. This is another reason why the two are tightly keeping their musical partnership for so long.

His greed for composing is laid out in a similar way. “I have always wanted to give my songs to other singers. Recently, I gave a song that I composed to Brian sunbae. But I don’t think I will be able to give my songs to just anyone, nor do I want to. The person must really want my music, and the song must also suit the person well.” The way Jay Park is heading is definitely not along the lines of becoming a professional composer/producer and raising rookie singers.

Thoughts about debuting internationally is another conflict. “SNSD are really amazing and are doing well, I think. It’s really a big deal to appear on the Late Show in America. I envy Korean artists that are able to promote abroad. However, if I were to promote in America, it would not be the same way. First, I don’t want to do K-pop music. I also want to promote in a different way. I want to make a demo and release it on youtube, then perform at clubs and go from there.”
Actually in foreign countries, “K-popness” of the songs has quite a big influence on their popularity. There is definitely a difference between the melody and the style of K-pop from the pop music of English-speaking countries. This difference is accepted as “uniqueness” in other countries. A normal way of debuting in other countries these days is to follow this trend of K-pop popularity. Jay Park is for sure a K-pop singer, but states he does not want to follow the system of K-pop singers.

The conflict between the wishes and the anticipation of Jay Park and the slight variance between the two seem risky at times. However, they are significant; the two are creating an alternative plan for Jay Park.
Reporter Lee Hyun-Woo



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