Thursday, May 10, 2012

[INTERVIEW] Jay Park: getting better as an artist with 'New Breed' album

By JONATHAN HICAP, Manila Bulletin
MANILA, Philippines - K-pop star Jay Park feels that through his new album "New Breed," he has now improved as a singer and songwriter.
Jay Park wrapped up his "Jay Park Live" album signing and showcase events in Manila on May 6 with a performance at Lucky Chinatown Mall in Binondo. He kicked off the event, presented by by Megaworld Lifestyle Malls and MCA Music, last May 4 at Eastwood Mall Open Park, followed by a show at Venice Piazza in Fort Bonifacio on May 5.
(Left) Jay Park holds a copy of the Manila Bulletin containing my news story
about his arrival in the Philippines. (Bottom right) His new tattoo. The interview was conducted at Eastwood Richmonde Hotel

Bulletin Entertainment and other members of the media interviewed Jay Park regarding his new album, his career and other plans for the rest of the year.
For him, producing "New Breed" helped in his development as an artist.
"The previous album is a mini album. [With 'New Breed'], I feel like the music got better, the singing got better, the rapping got better. My songwriting improved a lot. It's more easy to listen to," he said.
Together with other artists, the 25-year-old singer, actor and dancer wrote 13 of the 15 tracks in the album, headlined by the song "Know Your Name." He and Kim Kyoung Hwan produced and directed the whole album.
Jay Park said he gets inspiration from a lot of things when he writes a song.
"I listen to a lot of music inside my car. I buy a lot of albums. Because I'm in the car a lot [of times] driving to schedule, I listen to a lot of music, good songs, good live performances. [I also get inspiration from] just everyday life, conversations," he said.
He said his favorite track in his album depends on his mood.
"They're all my favorite. It depends on what mood I'm in. It it's like a nice sunny day, 'Girlfriend' or 'I Got Your Back.' If it's like I'm in [an] aggressive or hip hop mood, I just do the rap. If I'm gonna go out, it's 'Know Your Name'," he said.
He said he put a lot of effort in composing "Know Your Name" since he "knew it was going to be the title track. It wanted to make it good so a lot of people can hear it."
When it was released in February this year, "New Breed" topped iTunes and Korean music charts, and entered the Billboard charts.
Since the album's release, Jay Park has been very busy with the promotion, appearing on TV and touring in different countries. 
Despite this, he makes sure to time for himself. Last April 25, Jay celebrated his 25th birthday with his family. "I recorded some songs and I just ate dinner with my family. And then I watched 'The Avengers,'" he said. 
He thanked fans for giving him gifts on his birthday.
"They're all my favorites," he said, adding that he was surprised to receive big portraits and drawings of himself from his fans.
Asked about his most embarrassing moments, he said he's gotten used to experiencing these in his career.
"I don't really get embarrassed a lot. Life goes on. I mean, I fell on stage one time. I tripped over myself. My voice cracks sometimes," he said.
For his Manila shows, fans praised Jay Park for his professionalism as an artist. Even executives at MCA Music were all praises for his kindness, down-to-earth and professionalism. A few technical glitches happened during his shows but Jay continued performing on stage, even doing so a capella.
He thanked fans for supporting him in his Manila shows.
"They showed me so much love. [For instance], it was raining [last May 4] and [there were] technical difficulties but still they cheered for me so loud," he said. 
Since debuting as a solo artist in 2010, Jay Park has released several singles and mini-albums. "New Breed" is his first full-length album.
When compared with American hip hop artists, he humbly said, "My solo career hasn't been that long. I'm still like a rookie. I feel like I have a long way to go."
Recently, Jay Park wrote a song for boy band U-KISS. Asked if there is a chance of him collaborating with YG Entertainment artists, Jay said, "I would love to collaborate with 2NE1. They're my favorite group. I have a lot of respect for Big Bang. They're very talented. We have mutual respect because we both do the same genre of music."
Recently, fans noticed Jay Park's new tattoo on his left shoulder. “I was in Korea for about a day and I got this. It was supposed to be like the whole thing. It means 'The World is Mine'," he said.
He has different tattoos on his body representing his b-boy crew Art of Movement (AOM), family, and fans. "They're all specific and special," he explained.
Jay Park will be very busy for the rest of the year.
From the Philippines, he said he will do shows in Indonesia and Malaysia. After that, he will go back to Korea for a day to do a photo shoot and then leave for the United States the next day.
In the US, Jay Park will headline the Asian Pacific American Heritage Month 2012 concert tour in Washington D.C., New York City, Los Angeles and San Francisco this May. 
He will come back to Korea in early June where new endorsement deals await him. He is also scheduled to go to Singapore on June 15 for the "Boyz Night Out" K-pop concert.
"I think I'm doing some more concerts at the end of summer. If that pushes through, I'll do a little ‘New Breed’ concert tour," he said.
Jay Park will be in the Philippines until May 8.
(Note: This article was first published on May 7, 2012)
Link to my original article:

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