Live in London: The birth of VICTOR and evolution of Jay Park
Jay Park. A name that comes with a complex history that most Kpop addicts will know about. Debuting as a solo artist in 2010, Jay already had experience in the business two years prior to that. Seeing him on stage at the Hammersmith Apollo in London on Saturday 21 September only showed off the fact that Jay was indeed a well-trained man in both mind and body. Until you see this man on stage doing his own thing, spitting out his own lyrics, and dancing his own moves, you’ll find it hard to understand the sheer power that is Jay on stage.
Meeting him at the press conference earlier in the day, the media would have no idea that he was sick (tweeting in the afternoon, Jay seemed to suffer from chest congestion, a big issue considering he was going to be dancing and rapping later that night). Honest, friendly and open, Jay answered some questions which fans can check out below.
Press: When are you planning your next release?
I’ll probably release a song or two before I put out the mixtape, but not soon, because you know, the mixtape I put out I think was last year, I did it so quickly. I just did it in two weeks. This time I’m really taking my time so I can shock a lot of people, not just K-Pop fans but everyone.
Press: Is there anything you are working on now?
I don’t know if people know about this, but I have a new label I’m working on called AOMG.
Press: Have you noticed any differences between international fans in general compared to Korean fans?
I feel like the international fans are more, I don’t want to say crazy. Not in a bad way, they are just more like ‘Oh it’s Jay!’ The Korean fans, they see me all the time. It’s not everyday I come to London. Even yesterday, we told them ‘stand back, stand back’ but they just kept coming at us ‘sign this, sign this, oh lets take a picture.’ So like, I think they are more outgoing I guess.
Press: Are you familiar with the UK music scene?
Yeah, I love Craig David. I’ve been a fan of him ever since he done Seven Days I think it was? I like Jay Sean. I know Jessie J, I don’t really listen to her music that much but I know Jessie J. I know One Direction.
Press: You mentioned One Direction. What do you think is the difference between them and the Kpop scene?
I have no idea. I never ever actually heard of any of their songs. I heard about them because I was talking to somebody and I was like ‘yeah, I don’t think there is any real popular boy groups any more,’ and they are like ‘have you never heard of One Direction.’ I’m like, ‘One Direction? Who’s that?’ So I looked them up and saw that their followers and sales are really crazy. But I’ve never actually heard any of their music.
Press: Do you have any messages for your fans?
Of course. Always. Even though I’ve never met you guys before, this is my first time meeting you guys, thank you for your love and support. You know I appreciate that to the fullest. I’ve been waiting to come here for the longest time. I went to Australia last year and I was like when am I going to get to go to Europe and like, the perfect opportunity just came up so I’m glad that I’m here. Thank you for all your love and support and there’s big things going on with me, so look out and hopefully, even though I’m here right now, I’ll be back real soon hopefully.
Press: If you had a superpower, what would it be?
Definitely to fly. Either to fly or have X-ray vision.
Press: What would you use X-ray vision for?
You know what.
The media also had some time with VICTOR, which is a recent boy group who debuted with their mini-album, V-Up!. Unfortunately, there was no time to take pictures of them during the press conference as they had just come off stage from their sound rehearsal, but the boys are really made for video. Telling the media about their constant practices and wanting to gain more fans in the future, the boys came across as lovable and extremely hardworking. Made up of Jun, Gyum, identical twins In and Choo and Bie, VICTOR is a global group with maknae Bie being a Thai-Taiwanese mix. Listening to their backgrounds and stories of hardship before making it to the stage, VICTOR is truly a rookie group that may have almost turned the present journalists at the press conference to become their fans in no time!
As the supporting act for Jay and aware that very few members of the audience at the Hammersmith knew who they were, VICTOR performed a mixture of ballads and dance to showcase what exactly they’re about. Each member also showed off their individual talents (excluding Jun) and they served as a great warm up for the main man himself, Jay.
Seeing him on stage in the evening, fans wouldn’t be alone in thinking that Jay was even feeling his best ever. Keeping the stage simple, it was all about the way he spat out his lyrics at lightning speed as he gave out his best performance he could give under the circumstances. Starting with Nothin’ On You and staying to the ballads, Jay then announced it was time to get turned up as the rest of the evening gave way to Jay’s clear love of Hip Hop and Rap.
Overall, the evening saw the birth of VICTOR with an appreciation for all rookie groups not signed to major labels.The night also came with an understanding of how Jay has simply evolved. He’s metamorphosed into this man who has so much more control of what he says and does. Not to everyone’s liking, his music, his style, his words, isn’t about what makes people happy. It’s about what makes him happy, and if people can enjoy it, that’s great. If they can’t, then he’ll just have to work harder. That’s his attitude and it isn’t half wrong.
Special thanks to Invasian for setting up the press conference and press opportunity and of course, thanks to other press in attendance.
Coverage and Photos: Jess at [email protected]
Photo Editing by Seckvoon at [email protected]