JYJ’s Kim Jaejoong and Kim Bada (formally) from Sinawe. An unexpected pairing yet there is no awkwardness between the two. Kim Jaejoong released his first solo album “I” which was co-produced by Kim Bada as well as Shaun of The KOXX. It is the result of an equal blend of things that he likes, things that he is good at and things that suit him. With various labels such as a member of JYJ and rookie actor, he probably feels the burden of these titles. However, as he releases his first solo album, his top consideration was simply wanting to try to do it because he liked it, and wanting to try to do it (for his fans) because they liked it. Kim Jaejoong, whom we met for a round interview on 21 January, spoke frankly about singing rock without “the pressure of it being something (he has) liked since (he was) young”, and about his feelings of wanting to “fulfill the wishes” of the people who have supported him all this while.
- You chose songs from the rock genre in your first album.
Jaejoong: I’ve been singing rock songs a lot since I was young because I like it. Even during our group activities, I would always cover Korean rock songs for my solo stages during our concerts, and a solo single I released in Japan was also a rock single. Although there were many opportunities for me to showcase little bits of rock through that way, I didn’t expect that we would go with rock when I ended up making my own album. I just had a lot of thoughts of wanting to try doing it. Fortunately, many outstanding people such as Kim Bada welcomed and helped me, so we were able to produce a good album.
- It seems you were a little worried about doing rock.
Jaejoong: Because it’s not I have done rock from the start, there was the pressure regarding (people’s) prejudices and preconceptions. But I am relieved that everyone looked at it with a very open mind. Rather, the thought of having make rock fans or the general public go, “Oh, it’s a good song” when they hear my song was very helpful.
“This Album Itself Is My Message”
- Since it’s your first solo album, you would definitely have a lot of things you want to show people, but what is the thing you focused the most on?
Jaejoong: I think this album in itself is my message. Because it holds the stories I want to share through a genre that I have liked since I was young. “One Kiss” is a metaphorically expressed love story, “Mine” bluntly expresses the message of the experience of difficult times, as well as the courage and (the want) to sprint forward that comes at the end of it. “Comfort For Myself” talks about things that may happen to anyone in love, and “All Alone” is and expression of emotions. I wanted to express my thoughts through different ways like this. I think that people who have bought and listened the album would notice that each song has a different voice and way of expression. My voice can be customised (laughs). I think that vocal trainers who believe it is best to sing without embellish your voice will really dislike my type. But it is my wish to sing using a voice that is required by each individual song. I hope everyone will be able to listen and feel the difference for yourself. I also hope that the lyrics will be able to touch the heart of the listener.
- Beginning with Kim Bada, who composed “One Kiss” and “Mine”, The KOXX’s Shaun and Pia’s Hullang also participated (in the production).
Jaejoong: I didn’t know Kim Bada and the musicians who did the band sessions personally. I met them by chance through a friend, and we’re now good acquaintances. In the beginning, I asked Kim Bada if he could please write one good song for me. I thought that he might not be willing to, but he really did write it for me. The first song he wrote for me was “One Kiss”, but the moment I heard it I knew I wanted to sing it. From what I know, Kim Bada has never written a song for someone as young as me, and who is doing rock for the first time. But he was really active in helping me.
- What kind of advice did Kim Bada give you during the recording?
Jaejoong: It was very different when we were working on “One Kiss” and “Mine”. For “One Kiss”, he helped me grasp each of the vocal tones. The vocalisation was different from when singing regular pop songs, there was vocalisation, techniques and expressiveness required for rock songs. He taught me all of those so I learnt a lot while working on it. On the other hand, for “Mine”, he left me to do the things I wanted, the way I wanted to. This is why for “One Kiss” there was a little more weight and a more solid image, whereas there was more change in my voice for “Mine”. When I told him that I wanted there to be more change, going between Bel Canto (T/N: “beautiful singing”) and a huskier voice, he very readily agreed that it would be good. Hence, recordings went without interruptions and it flowed like that of a live performance.
- It seems difficult to learn such techniques in a short span of time.
Jaejoong: I kept practising my vocalisation inside the recording booth. It was hard because Kim Bada wanted a vocalisation with a lot of “scratch” to be shouted/screamed out, but I couldn’t make my voice come out in that way. It felt like during my rookie days when I met a really scary composer while recording my first song. Actually senior (Kim Bada) did not come off as scary at the start. He really tried to make me feel comfortable, and perhaps because I’ve always seen him on MBC’s “I Am A Singer”, he seemed like someone I had met a lot. But after that when I met him in the studio he was a little scary. I didn’t know he had so many tattoos on his body (laughs). However, even though the recording process was difficult, when listening to it after we were done recording, everything was resolved since the result was good.
- On the other hand, we are also curious about Kim Bada’s reaction when he first met you.
Jaejoong: At that time, because I wasn’t able to wash up properly before that, my appearance was a little…(laughs) Although it was our first meeting, it was not awkward at all. While “One Kiss” is clearly different from Sinawe’s songs, I feel that in some ways it has the dreamy feeling similar to (the songs from) senior (Kim Bada’s) other group, Butterfly Effect. As soon as I heard the song, I gave a very big reaction because I really liked it. Kim Bada responded with a soft smile. From then on, all the walls were broken down (laughs).
- As with the direction that you wanted to work towards as compared to what Kim Bada (had in mind), there must have been time when the ideas of the different people participating in the production had to be put together. Who took the initiative when decisions had to be made?
Jaejoong: Kim Bada played the role of the leader. He really participated very passionately, even with the different bands that came in to play. Usually he leaves once the time is up, but after hearing the band play, he kept asking them to go again, saying, “No, this won’t do, we have to do it again.” Even when representatives from the agency said it was really outstanding, he would said, “No, we have to do it again.” (laughs) I feel like such good music could be produced because of that passion of his. It was my first time experiencing a production process like this one. Usually the process is such that there will be a demo instrumental, and the vocals are fit in perfectly before we move onto doing the (band) sessions. But Kim Bada does the (band) sessions 100% perfectly, before the vocals are added in. He thinks of the instrument playing as extremely important. Because of that there was also some pressure to handle the vocals perfectly as well. As the instruments were so well played, I get goosebumps just listening to that.
“On stage, I will deck myself out, something I’ve been holding back on till now”
- With the exception of “You Fill Me Up”, you wrote the lyrics of all the songs yourself. Was it burdening to be talking about your own stories?
Jaejoong: There was no pressure. I think the direction for the entire album this time was formed by coincidence. As I wrote “All Alone” myself, my emotions were naturally included in it. Although “Mine” and “One Kiss” were composed by Kim Bada, he encouraged me to write the lyrics myself since he said that expressing yourself freely is very important in rock, and it would be best for the person singing to sing a message that he himself wants to send.
- In the title track “Mine”, there is a line that goes “Don’t come here / This is my ocean (T/N: bada)”. What does that mean?
Jaejoong: I’m not saying that Kim Bada is my ocean (laughs). It refers to a particular field/realm, but I likened it to an ocean because of the depth. Although there’s also the sky and the ground, it is difficult to portray the depth through those. The ocean is an apt expression for it. The song begins with the line “You’re like a person who’s been struck with a terrible illness. Poison spat on a flood mixed with screams, a poison I am already used to”. The part about the sick person doesn’t literally mean a sick person, it means something like a zombie. Someone who loses rational sense and merely keeps chasing (after me). “Poison spat on a flood mixed with screams” expresses the feeling that ‘Although I am really working hard to move forward, the poison that keeps coming at me dirties and pollutes’. This is why i wrote “poison (that is) spat”. ‘But no matter how hard you spit poison, I’m used to it and alright. So don’t come shouting around in my world.’
- From the lyrics to the music video, “Mine” seems to be the most intense song in the album. Did you hesitate when choosing it as the title track?
Jaejoong: I really thought about it a lot till the end, right before we filmed the music video. Thoughts that perhaps “One Kiss”, which would be more easily accepted by the general public, would be a better choice. Conversely, as “Mine” is a very strong song, people will either love it or hate it, so I also thought it might be a little risky. However, considering that the music video will be filmed for the title track, I thought that aside from the music itself, the song with more colours that could be expressed through the video was “Mine”.
- Crows and snakes appear in your music video, it seems as though the overall concept of ‘Mine’ is connected to the situation you’re currently facing.
Jaejoong: Well, I guess so. Having snakes across my body represents something that is constantly strangling me, while running through a flock of crows represents confronting and overcoming something dark. The dog barking, is just what it is. (laughs) But it also means that no matter what, I’m okay. It is also an expression of confidence in my courage. Although my world is small, I am happily and freely alive in it, so don’t mess with me. It’s not about feeling injustice or that it’s hard to bear. Since the song is a strong one to begin with, the lyrics came to me naturally. “One Kiss” on the other hand had to be edited. I had to completely rewrite what I had written.
- You are also working as an actor now, so do you worry that the strong image that you present with your music will lead to a prejudiced opinion about you?
Jaejoong: Actually, this is something that I worried about. However, I decided a little hastily, to put out this album for now, for the sake of those who wanted to hear the voice of Jaejoong as a singer. With a long period of solo activities and not with JYJ, I felt that I wanted to present music to the fans from Korea as well as overseas who have been waiting for a long time. Therefore, it would be fine even if it wasn’t a full album. 3 to 4 years is a rather long time, isn’t it. I thought that they would probably be hoping for new songs instead of listening to the same songs, so I was honestly in a bit of a hurry. Naturally, as I work on projects one by one, an image of (Jaejoong as) an actor is formed, so there will be people who question whether there is a need for me to show such a strong image. Of course, there is probably no real need for this, but if I have an “outfit” as an actor, and an “outfit” as a singer, once I dress in each of the outfits people will focus on one (of the 2 roles). If the colour of the music were such (e.g. rock), yet i were to wear a formal suit, i would not be doing the song justice”
- We’re all really anxious to see the rocker side that you will probably be showing at your upcoming concert, but do you have any “secret weapon”?
Jaejoong: Ah no, actually we haven’t made a decision on how we should do it. Honestly, all this time I haven’t been wearing many accessories, or dyeing my hair, and trying to live a life with as much self-control as possible. This is because I feel like it would be better not to deck yourself out as an actor. When I get a new project and start acting out that role, I feel so exposed, as if there are no embellishments, but I’ve found that I really like it when I realize that, that is me, giving everything I have. However, for this album, I want to show the fans a stage that is a feast for the eyes and ears, so I will deck myself out on stage with everything that I have been holding back until now (laughs).
“I’m Envious Of Junsu, Who Did A Solo World Tour”
― In the music video you wore a horn-like headpiece, which left a great impression. How much participation did you have with regards to the concept and idea behind the styling?
Jaejoong: I personally gave a lot of ideas. However, the director of the music video Lee Sang Kyu also prepared a lot of small props for me. When we were first deciding on the theme, I asked the director if he could read the lyrics and think about what would be suitable (for the music video). And the next day, he brought with him themes such as imprisonment, repression and freedom, and the dark angel, vampire, locks, horns and masks came out with it. I think he prepared a lot of things that really managed to express the song lyrics.
― After the release of the album, what has been the most impressive reaction that you have seen or heard so far?
Jaejoong: It was the comment “This music video has every concept that I had thought I wanted Jaejoong to do.” that someone had left on some website after watching the music video. This is because I really wanted to live up to the expectations of those who love me. Actually, there are many different things that the fans want to see from me. There are people who came to like me for my appearance, those who became fans after watching my drama, those who have liked my voice from before. And then there are those who like me slimmed down, and those who liked me for my previous muscular self. Therefore, I really wanted to fulfil each and every one of those hopes, and I think I managed to do so with this album. All five tracks are songs that both people who like quiet and calming songs and people who like intense songs that pull at the heart can listen to. The music video shows a variety of images so what should have taken a couple of years has been cut by a whole year.
- What if you had to choose a song that you liked the most (from this album)?
Jaejoong: I like all the songs but, hmm… among them, I’m especially attached to 2 songs, “One Kiss” and “All Alone.” Actually, the song I’m listening to the most now is “All Alone.”
If I listen to it before going to bed, I can sleep better (laughs) To be honest, ‘All alone’ made me sad, ever since I started drumming the keys on my piano. It is a song that isn’t so concerned with vocal techniques,tones or rhythm, but focused on communicating the emotions. “One Kiss” is a really great song, but it was really difficult to record, and the lyrics were the hardest to write, and it gave me a headache. I usually write songs at night, and this was the first song that I wrote in the daytime. Although saying this may be so embarassing that I won’t be able to bear it (laughs), it was one afternoon, I was in my studio and I totally couldn’t write any lyrics so I closed my eyes. I could feel the rays of sunlight from between the curtains falling on my face. Then, even with my eyes closed, I could feel a black object going through the space between the curtains, and it was as if a hand had been extended out from the sky. At that moment, I had a “ping!” moment in my head and could write the lyrics smoothly.
- What were Junsu & Yoochun’s reactions to the album?
Jaejoong: Junsu likes “Mine” and Yoochun likes “One Kiss”. Yoochun said that when he went to China, he felt like drinking immediately after hearing “One Kiss.” And Junsu said (to me), “Wow hyung, this is really great.”
- Junsu released his solo album first, and his world tour was a great success. We’re interested in how you plan to do your activities this time.
Jaejoong: I’m really jealous of Junsu. The fact that he was able to hold a solo world tour successfully is amazing by itself. I wanted to try to do the same thing, but since there are only 5 songs in my album this time it isn’t enough.
- It isn’t just the Korean fans, but also the Japanese fans that have been waiting for you. Since you (JYJ) have won the lawsuit against Avex for the nullification of the exclusive contract and compensation requests, I’m guessing there will be some changes with regards to activities in Japan.
Jaejoong: The first thing we would want to do is to meet with our Japanese fans via a concert, and show them our performance. With the ruling of the lawsuit, if we are able to distribute our records without restriction, we would want to release an official Japanese album. I’ll be happy if we can appear on TV shows as well.
“The Reason I Don’t Use The Name ‘Hero’…”
Kim Jaejoong, the emotional and talented vocalist of JYJ and the actor who has appeared both on TV and on the big screen, is taking on a new challenge as a solo singer.
Trying out a new genre that he hasn’t sung before, Kim Jaejoong collaborated with Kim Bada to create a song
that carries the traditional rock genre with a unique color that accentuates his powerful vocal talent.
Putting all the emotions and untold stories of the past ten years as a singer and actor into the lyrics of his first solo mini album, Kim Jaejoong is full of anticipation for the new challenge he faces.
There’s a negative view on idols pursuing a musical career in the rock genre. This is one of the reasons why Moon Hee Joon had so many anti-fans when he began pursuing a solo career after H.O.T disbanded.
“I took those negative views into consideration. Because rock is a completely different genre from the styles that I’ve sung till now, I tried really hard to get rid of the habits I’d formed over the years, and I learned how to sing and express my emotions in the traditional form of rock.”
Though he was nervous about taking on a new genre, he was determined to overcome any difficulties and succeed. Instead of an excessive transformation, he worked hard to absorb the traditional form of rock and thanks to the help of his fellow musicians, he was able to successfully create an album.
“When I first chose rock as my preferred genre and set out to make an album, I didn’t think I’d be working with such great seniors who directed me and wrote songs for me. I received such great help and I was able to learn so much about the genre I’ve always liked.”
Kim Jaejoong’s collaboration with Sinawi’s vocal Kim Bada has become a new learning experience and discovery for him. From the genre’s specific vocalization to changing his singing style, Kim Jaejoong had to go through an intensive training procedure to get to where he is now.
“It was really hard to change my singing style. If you listen to my mini album and compare the voice from the first track and the last, doesn’t it sound like two different people? ‘One Kiss’ has a lot of high notes, so I felt like I was in another world (laughter). It felt like I was back to being a rookie, but I didn’t throw away my original style to fit the rock genre, I just worked hard to find a way of changing my style slightly to go with the genre.”
Kim Jaejoong participated in the song- and lyric-writing process of his entire album. Kim Jaejoong wrote down all the emotions and hidden stories of his life as a singer and actor in the lyrics of his songs and showcased his extraordinary talent yet again.
“I tend to write lyrics pretty quickly. It might have taken me a while if I was writing something where I had to create a story, like in a novel, but since most lyrics aren’t that embellished, I write them pretty quickly. It took me around 15 to 20 minutes to write the lyrics for ‘I’ll Protect You’ from the ‘Protect the Boss’ OST and ‘Even When I’m Alive, It Feels Like a Dream’ from the Dr. Jin OST. But it took me three days to write the lyrics of ‘One Kiss’. I think that’s the longest time it’s taken me to write lyrics.”
The music video of ‘MINE’, the title song of Kim Jaejoong’s mini album, as left a deep impression on many for its use of top-quality production equipment and intense visuals. Kim Jaejoong starts the music video with a mysterious and innocent image, moves on to being chained down and in pain, and finally transforms into a surreal character, perfecting a bone-chilling image in each scene and mixing in a grotesque edge to his music video with outfits from the famous designer Song Hae Myong.
“I asked the director to get the theme of the music video from the lyrics of the song, and he came back to me the next day with a variety of concepts that we implemented in the music video. It felt as though he had done a lot of research on me beforehand. We stayed up for two nights to film the music video, and it came out to be very artistic and I’m personally extremely satisfied with the end product.”
What reaction did the members of JYJ, who are famous for their strong friendship, have to Kim Jaejoong’s solo album? When asked this question, Kim Jaejoong gave a content smile.
“In Yoochun’s case, he listened to ‘One Kiss’ for the first time in China and said, ‘I feel like having a drink right now. This song is really good. If I said that I liked it better than Junsu’s ‘Tarantallegra’, he’d start sulking at me, right?’ Yoochun has always preferred emotional songs over dance tracks, and I think that’s why he felt like having a drink when he heard that song.”
“Junsu really liked my title song ‘MINE’. In the past, when we were active in Japan, I once released a single called ‘Maze’. Ever since then, Junsu’s been telling me, ‘If you ever release a solo album, you have to do a rock song. You have to do a song with a strong, rhythmic beat.’”
Though he is a member of JYJ, Kim Junsu has kept his title of ‘Xia(h)’, the name he used when he was a member of TVXQ, whenever he partakes in any solo activities. But Kim Jaejoong is cautious about using the name ‘Hero’.
“Junsu must really like ‘Xia’. (laughter) Junsu believes that when he’s a musical actor, the name ‘Kim Junsu’ fits him best, and when he’s a singer, the name ‘Xia’ fits him best. And I think I agree with him on that. For me, because the title ‘Hero’ is a name I used when the five of us used to be together, I’ve decided to refrain from using it as much as possible now.”
Kim Jaejoong chose ‘fans’ as the biggest reason for the release of his solo album. He knows that since creating JYJ and starting his individual activities, he’s been more focused on his acting than his singing career.
“I’m sure that there are people who like JYJ as a group, and people who like the vocals of each member. I didn’t want to make those people wait too long, so I wanted to bring my music to them quickly.”
Through his upcoming activities for his album, Kim Jaejoong plans to visit his international fans as well. Though there aren’t many tracks on his album, this is his first solo album and he is in discussions with his agency for the possibilities of a solo world tour in the future.
As JYJ have won their lawsuit against the Japanese agency AVEX, many are predicting Kim Jaejoong to pursue solo activities in Japan, but he has a different idea.
“Personally, I’d like for all three members of JYJ to be together when he resume our activities in Japan. I think it’s our duty to go together as a trio and perform for the fans who have been silently waiting for us in Japan for the past four years. As for the possibilities of a world tour, I’d like to go on one if my songs are able to live up to the high-quality that a world tour performance demands.”
Kim Jaejoong, who has started off the year as a singer, plans to continue his acting career as well, on TV and on the big screen. With JYJ activities scheduled as well, 2013 is set to be a very special year for his fans.
“My Hobbies Disappear When Winter Comes”
When we see this man, this is what comes to mind. A cold exterior hides the light inside that is as hot as fireworks. That is Kim Jaejoong.
Kim Jaejoong has released his first solo album ‘I’, full of the emotions and happenings that he has felt and faced. The stories he tells as an individual, not as a member of a group, ring in our ears.
We’re curious of who Kim Jaejoong is as a normal person, not the man who sings and acts. We are sating that curiosity on ‘Lee Jung Ah’s Celebrity’.
# You were extremely busy last year and it feels like every day is full of happiness for you. Do you have any concerns?
“I don’t know. I think my biggest concern is my health. I haven’t been able to sleep that much these past couple of days because of insomnia. I tried to pretty myself up for today, but I think I look a little haggard.” (Not at all!! He was the epitome of a cool city guy, with sophistication flowing from him from head to toe!)
# You’ve released your first album. How did the other members react to your choice of genre?
“(Park) Yoochun said that he felt like having a drink after listening to ‘One Kiss’. He said, ‘I need to drink today’, and that it is a song that calls for a drink… isn’t that great? There are songs you listen to when you’re sad and are hoping to be comforted, and there are songs you listen to because you want to feel sadder. And to say that it’s a song that calls for a drink… I really like that. (Kim) Junsu really liked ‘Mine’.”
# We want to know what you do as ‘a regular guy’ when you aren’t working.
“My hobbies disappear when Winter comes. (haha) I really like riding my bike, so I go biking every day when the weather’s nice. I rode my bike so much and used my pelvis so much that I suffered from an inflamed pelvis. I also like running on the treadmill at the gym. I had to go to the hospital because I had hurt my pelvis from all that biking and running. I haven’t ridden my bike since then, but my pelvis is still inflamed. So I don’t run or bike that much anymore. When I ride my bike, I’ll go all the way to the Han River and back, and I always feel like I’m going to die on the way back. (laughter)”
# Hong Seok Chun recently posted a tweet of support for you on his personal Twitter account and became a hot topic for it. You have such a wide circle of friends.
“I would say that because Seok Chun has such a wide circle of friends, I should be seen as just one of his personal connections rather than him being my friend. The people I’m friends with all know Seok Chun too. I saw his words of support and I was so grateful that I went to see him as soon as I was done with work.”
# You’ve been showcasing ‘great visuals’ in your music video and in your album jacket. What’s your secret?
“I don’t know. Maybe it’s because I’m doing everything I can to do everything I could possibly do as someone in their late twenties. (laughter) I feel like I’m using up all the energy I possibly could before I turn 30. I need to work harder!!”
#Kim Jaejoong. Are you really ‘happy’ these days?
“I’d say I’m half and half. There are times when I’m really happy, but there are moments when it gets to unbearable that I can’t believe emotions like that could possibly exist. I have a life that others can’t experience, so I have to experience things that no one else can. But…. I’m… happy.”
Jaejoong Hears That Jung Tae Se Has Arrived In Korea, “We Should Go Out For Karaoke”
Kim Jaejoong showed off his friendship with his close friend Jung Tae Se.
During an interview in Apgujeong on the 22nd to commemorate his first solo mini album ‘I’, Kim Jaejoong drew attention for saying, “If I meet up with Tae Se, I want to go out for karaoke with him.”
The friendship between North Korea’s top striker Jung Tae Se and South Korea’s top star Kim Jaejoong is already famous. Their friendship began in June, 2011 in Ho Chi Minh City when they attended Park Ji Sung’s charity match as a player and a performer respectively. Ever since then, they have kept their friendship going.
When Jung Tae Se landed in Korea wearing his Suwon Bluewings uniform, he said that he really wanted to attend Kim Jaejoong’s solo concert, which will be held on the 26th and 27th at the Ilsan KINTEX. But unfortunately, his wish will not be coming true. This is because Kim Jaejoong’s concert and Jung Tae Se’s overseas training session overlap.
Regarding this, Kim Jaejoong jokingly said, “I told him not to say such nonsense. As if he didn’t know his own schedule.” This is the kind of joke only close friends would say to each other.
He continued to say, “I recently talked to Tae Se on the phone, and I told him to come to Korea soon so we could hang out. I asked him when he’d be getting here, and he said that he didn’t know. We had a chance to see each other in Germany once, but I was in East Germany and he was in West Germany,” and “This time, we decided to meet up as soon as we could since he’ll be in Korea now. When we meet up, I want to go out and karaoke with him.”
K Style News + StarN + etv sbs wstarnews | Translated & Shared by : dongbangdata.net
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