“There exists an unjust world that people can’t see”
- His lawsuit comes to an end in 3 years… His first solo album in 10 years
JYJ’s Kim Jaejoong (27), who we met at the Seoul Plaza Hotel on the 21st, seemed to be cautious of his words. When we asked him how he felt about his recently ended lawsuit, he seemed to shake a bit before he spoke up. He said, “I’m really happy,” and “You probably don’t know how big my smile was when I heard the news.”
The lawsuit of JYJ (Kim Jaejoong, Park Yoochun, Kim Junsu), who broke away from TVXQ in 2009, against SM Entertainment ended in November last year with a settlement. The group also won their exclusive contract invalidity and indemnification for damages lawsuit against Japan’s biggest music agency AVEX on the 18th. AVEX signed a contract with JYJ in February, 2010 to help them with their Japanese activities, but then announced that they would be halting all of their activities in September. The Tokyo District Courts gave the verdict, “Avex can no longer claim that they are the sole management agency of JYJ.” AVEX must pay 7.8 billion Won (660 million Yen) to JYJ for the indemnification for damages charges.
“In our point of view, this was something we knew would happen, but we were frustrated because it was taking so long to resolve. The three of us told each other ‘It’s been rough, but we got through it.’”
But there’s a disappointing note to all of this. Kim Jaejoong said, “Unjust things. They’re not limited to the laws and contracts,” and “There’s an unjust order that people can’t see, there exists a world where such ridiculous things are accepted.”
As soon as their lawsuit began, it became more difficult for JYJ to appear on TV. He stated, “Whenever PDs or screenwriters say, ‘Why don’t you appear on TV?’ I say to them, ‘Muster the courage to be the first to call us in.’”
The situation isn’t that different in Japan. When they borrowed a concert venue, they would be blocked in various ways. He said, “Most of all, I really want to hold a concert in Japan as soon as possible.”
Though JYJ have been faced with so many obstacles, they have collected a string of achievements. Kim Junsu and Park Yoochun have been shining in the musical and drama industries respectively. Kim Jaejoong, who took on the role of the stage director for JYJ’s world tour, released his solo album on the 17th and has stepped up on his individual activities. He has always filled JYJ’s albums with emotional compositions, and he has now put his all into his own solo album.
The theme of the album is ‘rock’. Of the five tracks in the album, ‘MINE’ and ‘One Kiss’ were created through a collaboration with rocker Kim Bada, who took on the melody while Kim Jaejoong took on the lyrics. Kim Bada also helped direct the vocals and chorus of the songs.
Kim Jaejoong said, “I know that it’s dangerous for a singer with roots in an idol group to sing rock songs. Kim Bada was also concerned about this,” and “Regardless of this, I really wanted to work with great rock musicians, and I wanted to create an intense, rock-inspired performance.”
He has always introduced a rock element to JYJ’s world tours, creating songs with rebellious messages. Regarding his title song ‘MINE’, he explained, “It’s a story about my small domain, and it’s a song that warns others not to take even that freedom away from me.” He added, “I was worried that underground artistes would reject my work and say, ‘A kid who doesn’t know the first thing about rock is singing rock’. But there were a lot of people who gave me good reviews,” and “I think it’s because I mixed K-pop with rock, instead of fully going the traditional rock route, or because of Kim Bada.” The other two songs ‘Comfort for Myself’ and ‘All Alone’, sincere and sophisticated songs, were composed by Kim Jaejoong.
Kim Jaejoong made his debut as a member of TVXQ in 2004 and it has been 10 years since his debut. He said, “I couldn’t fall asleep yesterday (20th) so I listened to all the songs I’ve sung till now, and I found that there are 120~130 songs,” and “I looked back on the past 10 years by listening to all the songs, and I found that the good memories came to mind before the bad ones.” He also smiled and said, “This is my first solo album since I made my debut 10 years ago, and it makes me happy to feel like I’ve become a rookie all over again.” Kim Jaejoong will be focusing on his individual activities in the first half of the year and will resume group activities with the rest of JYJ in the second half of the year.
(Damn JJ stop torturing yourself)
More on the writing & recording process, working with Kim Bada, singing Rock and future plans
JYJ’s Kim Jaejoong is a positive person. Instead of being afraid of changes and failures, he’s filled with excitement for new challenges. His smile didn’t fade throughout the interview.
At a cafe located in Apgujeong-dong, Seoul, he appeared with a ‘Hello’, bowing and greeting me. About the release of his first solo album, he said, “I feel so good because this is my first solo album. As it’s my new attempt, I hope that people will listen to it with a tender mind.”
Kim Jaejoong chose Rock for his first solo debut. The reason is simple. Rock music is what he always likes and is happy to sing.
“I chose it just because I like rock. Maybe I came to like it because I was so happy singing rock when I was little. ‘I’m a rocker to the bone’, I didn’t make the album with that mind. However, I never thought that I’d receive songs from great seniors and work with them. I really feel honored.”
“I didn’t attempt a transformation to fit the existing rock to my style. Instead, I tried to digest authentic rock as the way it is. I think it was time for me to learn how to express emotions and vocalization when singing rock.”
In order to make his first solo album that contains rock genre which he had been pursuing, Kim Jaejoong worked on the album in collaboration with Kim Bada, Sinawi’s vocal.
Kim Jaejoong’s choice was excellent. Husky yet gentle vocals of Kim Jaejoong in harmony with an intense rock sound in One Kiss made the song top real-time charts of Bugs, Cyworld Music shortly after released. Not only that, it also swept #1 in iTunes music charts of 9 countries such as Japan, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam, etc., showing off the power of ‘Rocker’ Kim Jaejoong.
“It was really hard to record ‘One Kiss’. It’s way different from usual singing methods. Especially the treble, I had to learn the vocalization on stage. I felt like I was learning deugeum (T/N: vocal techniques in Pansori, a genre of Korean traditional music. Deugeum literally means “to acquire the vocal sound”, and refers to the intensive training that singers have to go through to attain the perfect stage of the superior, advanced quality of vocalization techniques) Haha. It was like I came back to my rookie times.”
“He (Kim Bada) respects me and thoroughly taught me about rock music. I think he tried to find a more suitable way to express rock for me. It’s not that rock music colors me but rock music and I become one. He taught me that feeling.”
In the meantime, Kim Jaejoong has participated in JYJ’s albums and Kim Junsu’s album as lyricist and composer. He wrote lyrics for this whole album ‘I’, which has proven once again his competence as a singer-songwriter.
Toward the praise of the reporters that ‘the lyrics are really good’ Kim Jaejoong burst into a hearty laughter. “I also think that I did write well indeed. I usually write lyrics very fast. I would take long to imagine and write but if I just barely write down, I can finish it real soon. I usually trace back in memory to write lyrics. In case of drama OST or such, because there is defined writing material or synopsis, I finish the lyrics more quickly.”
Rather than care about the ranking of the album, Kim Jaejoong is more curious about the reaction and evaluation relating to his album. “If I go to the fansites, I often read the post where they write about my music. The most memorable was a post from an Indie band active in Hongdae, saying ‘We hope that more singers would attempt rock music’. When a pop singer sings rock, I think rather than being hostile, they hope that rock music will be popularized through more attempts.”
Kim Jaejoong’s first solo album. At first glance, it might be viewed as another challenge to test his competence. However, if you look more deeply into Kim Jaejoong, you can easily surmise that ‘I’ is an album of the fans, by the fans and for the fans.
“I think, in the meantime, because I was focusing on drama and movie, they couldn’t hear my music. Although there are people who like JYJ, there are also people who like the vocals of each member. The biggest reason of releasing this album was that I didn’t want to let those people wait longer.”
“I don’t have exact plans yet but if I have a chance, I also want to greet overseas fans. There is not many songs in the album but I want to meet the fans and let them hear my songs directly.”
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Jaejoong was told what one needs to be a rocker is ‘Harsh Breathing – See-Through Outfits’
JYJ’s Kim Jaejoong ended his first solo concert in success.
With 16,000 fans attending the two concerts on the 26th and 27th at the Ilsan KINTEX, ‘Your, My and Mine’ was a fanmeet and mini concert put together.
Ticket sales for the concert began on the 7th of this month, and broke the record of the longest server crash and sold out all 16,000 seats for the two concerts. The anticipation for the concert has been explosive even before the concert actually began.
A concert representative stated, “The solo concert attracted 16,000 fans and proved the power of Kim Jaejoong yet again. The line for Kim Jaejoong’s official goods was over a kilometer long and was quite a sight to see.”
The concert involved a great deal of participation from fans with a quiz, rock, paper, scissors game and a cooking segment. In the corner that used answers taken from fans four hours before the concert, Kim Jaejoong had fans laughing at the interesting answers that were given to the question, “What does Kim Jaejoong need to transform into a rocker?”
Fans gave witty answers such as ‘Harsh breathing’, ‘Break a guitar and rip your clothes’ and ‘Wear leather underwear,’ and Kim Jaejoong said, “It’s not going to be an outfit made of plastic, but I have a shocking outfit prepared for the mini concert portion of my concert.”
In the corner that reenacted memorable scenes that his fans had chosen, Jin Yi-Han, who was loved for being part of a couple with Kim Jaejoong on ‘Dr. Jin’, came on stage and reenacted a historical version of a scene from ‘I’m Sorry, I love you’. Kim Jaejoong and Jin Yi Han took So Ji Sub and Lim Soo Jung’s lines and reenacted them in a historical tone, showcasing their great chemistry.
In the mini concert that took part in the third act, Kim Jaejoong prepared a top-quality performance for his fans. He stood on stage with a live band and showcased his wide vocal range and perfect vocal skills with a total of ten songs.
Kim Jaejoong also had a video conversation with JYJ’s Kim Junsu and Park Yoochun, showing off their close friendship. The other members answered the calls in their houses and were initially surprised and flustered, but then went on to talk about their daily lives and played parts of songs they had been working on.
Kim Jaejoong said, “I’ve been so happy to have spent the past two days with you all. And I was so moved by all the love you gave me, and I will take those feelings and create better and more music. I will repay your love with my own and I really want to thank you for everything.”
Meanwhile, Kim Jaejoong will be kicking off a very special Asia tour in Thailand in February.
Jaejoong Sells Out 120,000 Copies Of His Album
Tops the album sales charts with his first mini album… A total of 20,000 additional copies to be made.
JYJ’s Kim Jaejoong is showing off his success as a solo singer.
All 120,000 copies from the first printing process of Kim Jaejoong’s first mini solo album ‘I’, which was released on the 17th of January, have been sold out. According to his agency C-JeS Entertainment, a total of 20,000 additional copies are set to be printed. His album topped the real-time, daily and weekly Hanteo Charts in five days, and this popularity is still going strong.
Kim Jaejoong’s rock album was created through a collaboration with Sinawi’s Kim Bada. With a total of five tracks that include ‘One Kiss’ and ‘MINE’, the album has been receiving positive reviews for emphasizing Kim Jaejoong’s vocal talent through an intense sound.
A representative of C-JeS Entertainment stated, “It’s not easy to sell albums in a time where online music sites are popular. We hadn’t expected for all first edition copies to be sold out, leading to the need for additional copies,” and “Kim Jaejoong’s unique color has been recognized and we think it fits well with the general public’s tastes.”
Jaejoong’s ‘I’ Becomes The First JYJ Album To Appear On The Oricon Charts In 2 Years
The solo album of JYJ’s Kim Jaejoong has entered Japan’s Oricon Charts, signaling a green light on JYJ’s Japanese activities.
According to the Oricon Charts, Japan’s most respective album sales charts, Kim Jaejoong’s first solo mini album ‘I’ entered the weekly album charts (January 4th~20th) in
Setting aside the album sales and rankings, the fact that his album showed up on the Oricon Charts is a feat itself. Kim Jaejoong’s album is the first JYJ album to enter the Oricon charts in approximately two years since March, 2011. JYJ’s albums have been excluded from the Oricon Charts since their lawsuit against the Japanese agency AVEX began. However, their lawsuit ended on the 18th of this month, and it has become possible for their albums to be included on the charts again.
Not only this, but the fact that he was able to sell close to 10,000 copies of his album in two days, without any promotions in Japan on an album that is entirely in Korean, proves that he is still being loved by his Japanese fans, regardless of the 3 year hiatus.
Kim Jaejoong’s first solo mini album has sold over 67,000 copies in Korea, according to the Hanteo Charts, though it is only a mini album. It has topped the iTunes rock charts in nine overseas countries and has been sold out in various album stores in Japan, proving Kim Jaejoong’s explosive popularity overseas.
Meanwhile, Kim Jaejoong held his ‘Your, My and Mine’ concert on the 26th and 27th at the Ilsan KINTEX. The concert ended in success with 14,000 fans cheering him on. Kim Jaejoong will soon be kicking off his Asia Tour in February.
kyunghyang + TV Daily + sports donga + enews24 - Translated & Shared by dongbangdata 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 | Nate - Translated by: Hannah @ PrinceJJ
I was going to include the pictures from the concert but that post will have to wait. It's almost ready though. I've finally sorted out everything.