In a February issue of InStyle Korea GOT7's Jackson talks about busy schedule, fencing, a desire to try acting, future goals and his parents.
Jackson who has a command for four languages; Mandarin, Cantonese, English and Korea said he now dreams of unusual dreams in a mix of the four languages. “My head is fully cramped that now I have difficulties remembering new words.” It’s his sixth year of being a foreigner living in Korea. Up till his life as a trainee, (his life) was of such significance that you couldn’t possibly imagine it. He stopped the fencing he did in Hong Kong in his teens and through the JYP auditions, he met (became) the 7-membered idol ‘GOT7’; GOT7 is right now on the way up. Last year, they released ‘FLY’ and ‘Hard Carry’, they are gradually showing off the group’s color. For Jackson, whose name was first made well-known through variety shows, he spreads a unique brightness and positive energy. The amount of fan support he receives too, is extraordinary. He prefers listening to DJ songs over musicians, and the Jackson whom works on (making) tracks as soon as he gets down time, would like to approach fans with a serious outlook as compared to the side of him seen on variety shows. On the day of the filming, he wasn’t felling too good. Even so, the three-four hours spend with him during the filming and interview made the time especially memorable, and it’s solely because of his will.
INSTYLE (IN from hereon): You described yourself as a ‘real man (tough guy)’ but looking at you at today’s filming site, the side of you that we see is extremely tender/affectionate.
JS: I have that side to me too. But still, me in itself is a tough guy. (laughs)
IN: Your Instagram feed too, is extremely kind/friendly. You make someone more curious as to the type of person you are.
JS: There are many overseas fans, and they too are busy (people). I see them translating each and every Korean message. That’s why I upload (my posts) in Mandarin and English too.
IN: At the previous end of year ceremony, in MAMA, GOT7 won the Worldwide Favourite Artist. It seems like that would have re-established the resolutions you and the members have.
JS: We have yet to even start. And we’re in the process of climbing up. I want to go slow and solidly grow, and I think (the definition of) succeeding would be promoting for a long time.
IN: You would have been busy with the broadcast shows but was there no simple party done with the members for the end of the year?
JS: No, we barely had time to even prepare for the end of year stages that we barely slept for 1-2 hours. For example, if we end all our schedules at 11PM, it’ll be 12MN when we reach the dorm. After we shower and get ready for bed, we get to sleep for only 1-2 hours. However, the managers don’t get time to sleep. After I cut my teeth*, I began to see the people around me who work hard.
*It’s a term to mean that one has matured up.
IN: How do you know the term ‘cutting one’s tooth’?
JS: I came to know about it somehow. Actually I’m still in the process of maturing up. Back when I was really immature, the emotions of the people I worked with didn’t really matter to me. Because I was tired, I don’t see (notice) the people around me. But at some point, I realized that my thoughts are wrong.
IN: Seems like there was a point of opportunity (realization)?
JS: As I’m living in Korea as a foreigner, I’m reminded of the things my parents said to me in the past. Especially when I was an adolescent: “In this world, there is nothing that is definite”, “You need to know how to be thankful”, “The higher you go, the lower your head should bow”; things like that. Back then, I didn’t know what those words meant.
IN: We heard that even when you were a fencer, you could dance well. Do you think you are born with a gift?
JS: Rather than dancing well, it was just me liking dancing. If you like the things you’re doing and you fall in love with it, you work hard at it. Even when there is no one next to you saying you need to work hard, you will do it on your own accord. In the end, your skills are developed and you become good at it.
IN: Your dad was a fencing athlete and your mother was a gymnast, wouldn’t your talent/gift be something you inherited from them?
JS: Fencing especially influenced my life a lot. Fencing is moving chees. You are judged (based) on a really short period of time and a decision has to be made. It is also a mind game. It helped my life a lot.
IN: To rise even higher, you need to taste failure, don’t you? As you fenced, was there a time when you hit your limit?
JS: I started fencing when I was 10 and quit it when I was 17. I had a good record too. The time when I did the best was when I was the world’s 11th placing. But from a time on, my skills wasn’t getting any better. Before that happened, my skills developed at a fast rate and I was improving. The 60 people in the top ranks have roughly similar skills but what influences the game results would be that particular day’s body condition and mind game. I was young and it was a situation where it was hard for me to endure. In addition, the European athletes’ average heights are over 180cm. I was the shortest of them all. Physically, I was not at an advantage.
IN: Wouldn’t your time as an athlete be the reason why you are able to draw out such huge energy now?
JS: The attitude of athletes is exactly that. ‘There is nothing impossible’, ‘You can always do it’; those thoughts. You can’t say you cannot do something/is bad at it until you actually attempt it. But even if it’s only the midpoint, it’s the people who have attempted it that know how difficult it actually is. And we set goals up high. If you train for a score of 80, you can’t score beyond 80 but if you set your goal as 200, you might be able to score beyond 100.
IN: For GOT7 who are just starting now, what are your goals?
JS: I think of myself as walking on the path in which I can’t see the path ahead. The path is definitely there. I’m going over (walking on it) firmly. But I don’t see the road’s end or point of arrival.
IN: Something Park Jinyoung PD said that left an impression on you?
JS: “You can make it because you work hard”, “Because you guys work hard, you guys will make it”.
IN: We hear that you have a lot of interest in composing and writing lyrics. There are already song(s) of yours that are released right?
JS: I’m always working on songs. I always listen to the songs I made. One day, I’d like to put them in an album and release it.
IN: Is there any artist that you are influenced from when working on songs?
JS: Usually hip hop or R&B, classic and others; I don’t go by genres, I listen to all types of music. Honestly, rather than musicians, I like DJs more.
IN: Out of the GOT7 members, would there be anyone who possesses a charm or talent that you do not have?
JS: Um… Each of them have those. For the pure Yugyeomie, although he’s the maknae, he shows a leadership attitude. BamBam thinks of everything positively. I always look like I’m happy but honestly, I’m the type to worry 24 hours a day. For Jinyoung, he’s a real actor and he’s someone who possess good greed. He has the initiative to do the things he wants to do. For Mark, his charm is his ‘mystery’. He has a charm that makes people think ‘I don’t exactly know what it is but it seems like he’s someone who thinks a lot’. For JB, he behaves like a knife. If he says ‘From here to here’, that’s exactly what he would do. Youngjae is cute to a point where it cannot be described in words! He’s not the maknae but he has a cute side of him that behaves like the maknae.
IN: What kind of outlook/side does Jackson seek?
JS: People first know of me through variety shows. I have an image where I’m always bright and filled with energy. I showed many really ruined and honest sides of myself. However, I’m not high (happy/bright) for 24 hours throughout. Essentially, I have a side of myself that is serious too, and I want to show that.
IN: What will you show in the fan meeting in February?
JS: The definite hint that I can give is, it’s not a concert but a fan meeting. A present for the fans.
IN: Is there any episode that stuck with you from the Canada fan meeting that happened last November?
JS: There was an opportunity to go sky diving but because of my condition, I wasn’t able to so it was regretful. I haven’t been able to try it even once.
IN: Looking at it earlier, you don’t eat carbohydrates?
JS: Because my stamina is a little weak, instead of eating something stimulating, I eat mainly soft food. I drink organic green tea and eat lots of vegetable and fruits.
IN: You received your driver’s license recently; if you buy a car, where do you want to go?
JS: I want to give my family a ride um… I want to drive to Busan. Not for work but for a trip/vacation.
IN: What do you like apart from music?
JS: I enjoy watching comedy movies. Stephen Chow. And Andy Lau whom is like an uncle to me, I watch (his) movies a lot.
IN: Do you have any thoughts of acting like Jinyoung does?
JS: Yes, if it could be Jackie Chan’s actions (movie), it would be great. It would be great to do a movie in my homeland right?
IN: What dream would you like to realize in your 20s?
JS: I hope many people will know about Jackson. I want to make those people happy.
3 HIS FAVORITES
[IF YOU DO (2015)] The beat is great. It’s a song that suits GOT7, it’s the one I like best. I like the manly styling too.
[FLY (2016)] It’s a song that made me think that we finally found something we do well in. GOT7’s concept!
[HARD CARRY (2016)] It’s a song with a touch of hip hop. It showed off a lot of our colors. It’s a song that received a lot of love.
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