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Jay Park: “Work Hard, Play Hard”

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Jay Park Live in Singapore 2013

Jay Park indeed worked hard and played hard in Singapore on the 18th and 19th of January 2013: firstly working with the media in The Butter Factory for a press conference, and then playing hard with his fans in The Star Theatre the next day. For a highly sought-after idol, this is an exemplary show of work and life balance, and it is no wonder then that many have already been infected by Jay Park’s enthusiasm both on and off stage.

Check out the following interview with Jay Park in Singapore below:

This is not the first time you’ve been to Singapore, so what do you have to say to your fans once again?

“I love coming to Singapore, and that’s why I’m back again! I’ve probably done the most shows in Singapore other than in Korea. I love coming back!”

Your first album, titled New Breed, was released last year.  You will be coming up with another album and but the title is for now “To Be Advised”. You wrote on your twitter as well, saying “I do not know what to call my album”. Are you anywhere close to getting any inspiration for the title right now?

“I still don’t know. After getting all the songs together, I’ll probably listen to them and see how I feel then, and probably name it then.”

What can fans expect at this concert?

“I won’t call it a concert. I will call it a long showcase, a showcase where I can showcase my skills and my performances and entertain you guys for a long period of time. It is more like a preview for a concert. You can expect me to rap, sing and dance and I will sing my heart out for Singapore (laughs).”

What is the food you like the most here in Singapore?

“I have tried chicken rice, beef rice and fried rice. But I still like chicken rice best.”

Kpop is now very popular here in Singapore. What advice would you give to the youngsters here who want to break into the Kpop scene?

“If you like dancing and singing, enjoy it and work hard at it. If one works consistently, I think that person will be bound to succeed someday. It is, however, of utmost importance that you enjoy the process.”

Resolutions for the new year

Is there anything is particular you want to achieve this year, in terms of album, work, love life?

“I want to put out a very very good second album. And after that, I would like to venture out and do some things in the States, and though I cannot really say much right now, if it is finalized it will become big news.”

You are 25 years old now, where do you see yourself in another five years’ time (when you are thirty)?

“By the time I am thirty, I will be an established artiste everywhere. I hope people around the world will know my music and I hope to get a chance to perform in countries I have not performed in, for example, South America, Africa, Europe-I have not been to Europe yet-and hopefully be the same guy, but much more established.”

 Collaborations

You are a self-professed YouTube freak. You have done collaborations with Clara Chung and Ryan Higa, who was here in Singapore last year in September. We do have some local YouTube celebrities as well. How open are you to doing collaborations with them?

“I’m definitely open. I did one with Dennis Yin in Malaysia. If I get the chance to meet them, and if they are cool, I’m definitely open.”

A couple of weeks ago, a picture of you and BIG BANG member G-Dragon caused an uproar.  Some of the reactions to the picture:

 Oh my god, Jay! Are you guys going to sing together?
Please have a collaboration!
I love you guys!

Would that be happening?

“Yea, hopefully it will! I’m definitely open to it, and he’s open to it. We just have to get the right song together, and hopefully it will happen in the near future.”

Are there any other artists that you are looking forward to collaborating with as well?

“Definitely. I met up the producer of Primary, so there will be something on their album. I’ve also been doing some stuff with Cha Cha Malone, Dok2, The Quiett. I am also writing some (songs) with E-Sens from Supreme Team and also with Jeon Goon. These are the people you’ve seen from the first album and there will be many more.”

Would you do collaborations with fellow Americans or Canadians K-pop stars like Ailee?

“I’ve known Ailee for three, four years already, even before she came to Korea and became a K-pop star. She is very talented and I am a big fan of her works. I definitely collaborate with her, and actually, I was trying to get her on this album and have been trying to talk to her company. I did collaborations with G.NA with her on her album, so, sure, I’m open to doing these collaborations with anyone.”

Jay Park’s take on television and acting

Episode 4 of Jay Park TV was broadcast on the 3rd of December last year. When will the next episode be out? When can we expect it?

“As of now, I’m doing more music. I’m trying to plan and shoot a lot of music videos this time. I have a free song coming out soon, and we’ll be shooting a music video for that. I’m focusing more on music and bringing out content music videos rather than going around and doing shows.”

Can we expect some of the experiences in Singapore to be on Episode 5?

“Definitely! I brought my cameraman and he’s been filming and you can definitely expect to see some of it on episode 5.”

You recently hosted SNL Korea. Can you tell us how the experience was like, and why you decided to go on it?

“I was watching it, and there is no show like SNL Korea in Korea. It pushed the limits, it is very edgy so I wanted to go on it and show my comedic side. It was very good experience, but it was really hard. The preparation was crazy, we only a couple of days to learn all the lines, to rehearse and to memorize all the characters and all so I had a new-found respect for the cast members in SNL as they do it every week. Having to do it for just one week was difficult for me, it took a lot for me to do well on SNL. But it was a really good experience, and I had a lot of fun in the meantime.”

Would you consider venturing into acting in the future, in the same way other artistes are doing?

“Well, definitely focusing more on music right now. I want to put out music in English and Korean, and that’s already much more work to do for me. I won’t rule it out, it’s definitely a possibility. I enjoyed my time on SNL a lot, but for now, it’s music.”

Your SNL Korea appearance brought in a new high viewer ship rating. How would you rate your comedic performance on SNL Korea? Did you have a hand in scripting the parodies and deciding on what was done?

“SNL did a good job of giving me characters that I could portray well, and they did not gave me that many lines as I’m not too good with memorizing lines. I don’t think I did too badly. I did my best, and focused a lot. I wrote in a song, oh..well I wrote in a different song actually and submitted it, but they said it was too much for TV and changed it. For the characters, there was one which I did not really script, but I made up the character in some way.  He was not originally supposed to chew gum, but I tend to chew gum and so it just came out like that. Other than that, SNL gave me a script which I could do well with, so I’m thankful.”

Can we expect to see you on more comedic shows next time?

“Yeah, well you might see me again on SNL!”

 The New Album

Since you are in the midst of producing your new album, what is the creative process like when you write new material? Do you do a lot of homework, for example, listen to hundred songs a week?

“I do listen to music, I don’t listen to music just to get inspired, but I do get inspired while I listen to music and it definitely helps. Lately I’ve been going to the studio with Jeon Goon, and we’ve been listening to beats and writing songs together. But for the most part, I do it at home by myself, catch the little [beat] that might me going on (in my head) and make melodies and write lyrics right there. Right now, it is progressing well. I have only started working on them for a couple of months, but I have eleven songs done so for, and I plan to do another five or six more.”

Last year, your last album achieved the Top 10 best-selling albums in Korea. Do you wish to achieve this feat again this year?

“Yes, of course! It’s funny though because there weren’t many solo artistes in the Top 10. I was very honored and very surprised that I was given the Top 10, as I produced the whole album myself. Just to have that accomplishment meant a lot to me. Hopefully this time, with the music being better, and with much more content, much more music videos, people will pay attention to each and every song and appreciate the variety of the album. Hopefully, it will get better sales and better reviews from people around the world.”

Work hard, play hard: the singer, rapper, producer and humble guy

You achieved so much in two years, what is the motto you live by which has got you this far thus?

“YOLO? (laughs) Basically, for me, I try to enjoy what I do and work hard. Back then, I would just “work hard, work hard” and wasn’t really having fun, I was really serious and work all the time. Right I’m trying to keep it cool, keep it relaxed. Basically, it is “work hard, play hard”.”

Do you have any pre-show ritual that you do in preparation?

“I drink Red-Bull and sort of..hop around? I also do vocal exercises and maybe say a little prayer for the show to go well. I don’t do anything specific. Just basically little exercises like that.”

You move around a lot due to your busy schedule, what must you have around with you in your bag wherever you go?

“It depends on where I am going. I have my cellphone and wallet everywhere I go. Sometimes, I’ll have protein shakes with me when I work out, my laptop when I’m going to the studio as my lyrics and all are in there. Basically, that’s it. That’s all I need.  I don’t have things I must bring with me regardless of where I go.”

What is your regular day like when you are not busy with training?

“For me, it’s not really training. I don’t have the company telling me “you have to record, you have to dance, you have to do that do that do that”. I do everything on my own because I enjoy it. I work out, and I get stressed out if I can’t work out for more than a week or two. I try to work out often. I tan to make the muscles look good, but lately I didn’t get a tan, so I’m really pale right now.  I practice with the guys b-boying, I enjoy b-boying. I practice splits at night, as I have to incorporate it into my b-boying and on the stage. I write songs and raps, I do YouTube stuff. Basically I can’t stay still.”

How do you think you have grown, as a singer, rapper and producer?

“I haven’t been doing this for very long, and it has only been two years that I have been solo. New breed came out in 2011 so I have only been producing songs for two years and I’m definitely getting a feel of it-every song I make and every person I meet and every song I listen to-and time will tell (how I’ve grown). If you listen to the new album when it comes out, you’ll definitely see how I’ve grown as an artist. Even with New Breed, the writing the rapping the singing was way better (than I was before).”

As a songwriter, are there songs you wish you had penned?

“Yeah, of course! Well, all the number one hits! (laughs) There are songs I enjoy as of late, and there are definitely songs I wish I had done. Chris Brown’s type of music-I wish I had done it first. If I could write all those songs, I would have, but I’m not there yet.”

Since becoming a musician, is there anything that, if you could, you would have changed?

“You can’t change the past. What happened happened. You become who you are because of those events. I would not want to change anything because I wouldn’t be who I am because of those events.”

When did you get your first tattoo? How many tattoos do you have now, and which was the most meaningful?

“I don’t know how many tattoos I have, and I’m too lazy to count. I got my first tattoo in 2010, when I was 23 or 24. I have a lot of tattoos, as you can see, on my whole left arm. The most meaningful (tattoo)? A lot of my tattoos have meanings – my music, my family, my crew, what I stand for, my morals.”

What kind of person do you want friends to remember you as?

“I want them to remember me as an artiste, an artist who puts out great music but also as a humble guy, laid-back, just a regular person. I am well-known, but I’m not a celebrity – not the kind of guy people exclaim “OH MY GOD, IT’S JAY PARK!” at, but elicit a “oh! Its jay park” response. I’m like your friend, almost.”

Any last shout-out to fans?

“I’m probably going to meet you guys in a bit, thanks to those who came down to the airport at 1.30am last night. Hope to see you guys there and I hope you all enjoy the show!”

Jay Park Live in Singapore 2013 recap:

From the opening bow to the ending bow, Jay Park did everything possible to sweep his audience off their feet. Flashing his impish grin, playing with the microphone stand like a rock star, making heart signs, blowing kisses, flexing his biceps and emphasizing how his fans “make [him] strong”, b-boying, rapping and serenading the crowd for about an hour and a half, Jay Park clearly demonstrated why he remains a big favorite here in Singapore.

Performing hit songs Nothin’ on you, Girlfriend, Star, Do What We Do, I Love You, Carefree, Enjoy the Show,  Jay Sean’s Down, Usher’s You Got It Bad, Up and Down , Body2Body and many more, Jay Park dazzled his fans not only by dancing with his crew Prepix, but also by giving sneak previews to his abs, which he promised would be upgraded after he works out more and “returns like Arnold Schwarzenegger”.

Fans held out the “Work Hard Play Hard” sign to pay homage to this one incredible singer, rapper, and producer. Using Singlish to address the crowd, Jay Park had jokingly warned, “Don’t play play”. Indeed, when one knows how to play as hard as one works, this person is a force to be reckoned with.

We caught up with one winner of hellokpop’s contest, Wendy, who was thoroughly pleased with the concert:

“The Jay Park concert was awesome! He totally showcased his charisma through his breaking moves and rapping fluently in his hip hop song choices as well as New Breed album tracks! I also enjoyed the way he tried to engage the audience with his candid speeches! He did not disappoint the fans by ending the concert with a fiery encore and I hope he comes back to Singapore soon!”

To all the Jay Park fans in the meantime, work hard and play hard too!

Event covered by [email protected]

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