Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Jay Park Gives Complex the Exclusive About His Life Since 2PM

Jay Park interviews with Complex about his life from the moment he first debuted with 2PM and where it’s brought him now.

Everyone knows about the moment that Jay Park became the leader of 2PM. The group was instantly popular but soon it was followed with a scandal the shook the core of the Kpop boy group. Suddenly he was practically exiled from Korea for comments he made before his debut via his Myspace. Something that he hadn’t expected, but he took that time to disappear from the spotlight to reflect on his life.
Rumors circulated about the real reason Jay Park left 2PM while he remained quiet and out of sight. Especially after JYP announced the termination of his contract, letting the fans know he was not returning. After a little more time, Jay Park started to rebuild himself not as Jaebeom the 2PM leader, but a solo artist.
Now that he’s back in the spotlight he gave Complex the exclusive on 2PM, his return to Korea with the new mini-album, and what he plans on doing in the U.S. industry. So check out some of the interview below.
Complex: First, the latest news: Last week you posted a new public apology to JYP and 2PM. Why now?
Jay Park: Well, it’s kind of hard to explain why now, but it’s for a lot of different reasons that will become clear as time goes on. I just want to move forward with my career in a positive way.
Complex: Does this leave the door open for future collaborations with 2PM?
Jay Park: Just give me the word and I’m down. I don’t know how they feel, but as for me, we all struggled together, came up together, and that’s something I’ll never forget. So, as for me, those dudes are still my boys. I’m down whenever.

Complex: How closely have you followed the K-pop scene as of late?

Jay Park: I don’t follow the K-pop scene very closely to be honest, ’cause I’m busy doing my own stuff. I look at the charts every now and then to see who’s on top, but that’s about it. As for songs, I like 2NE1′s stuff, and I think Secret’s “Shy Boy” song is hella cute. [Laughs.]
Complex: Your latest K-pop appearance is a cameo in the video for the new group 5Dolls. How did that come about?
Jay Park: I did that right before I came back to Seattle the last time. My company set it up—my company is close with their company. We shot it for three days straight without any sleep. Right when I got finished, I went to go pack, and then I went on a plane and came back.
Complex: We last met almost a year ago, when you were performing with your crew at Rutgers. Back then, it seemed like you were still readjusting to your post-2PM life. Since then, how have things been going?
Jay Park: As of right now, things are going good. Basically, I have more freedom to do what I want as an artist. I can work with the people I want to work with, I write my own songs, and I can bring my crew along to shows and have them be my dancers. So, it’s good.
Complex: Tell me about how that project came together.
Jay Park: Basically, my fans wanted me to put out a full album in Korean. Like, even at my concerts, I only have a few Korean songs of my own, and then I sing a bunch of cover songs, like Chris Brown and Usher. There isn’t a full Korean album from me, so I was like, Alright, I gotta do this. One of my homies from my crew produces, so I got a couple beats from him. I got a couple beats from these underground rappers in Korea. And then I just wrote to them, I did vocal arrangements, or rap, or whatever. I recorded the songs that I thought were classic songs already, and we’re gonna put out a mini-album in April.
Complex: As far as the collaborations you’ve been doing here with Asian-American rappers—with Dumbfoundead, J.Reyez, and Decipher, to name three—how do these collabos come about? Do they reach out to you? Or are these relationships you had in the past?
Jay Park: Dumbfoundead kind of happened really organically. We were just like, “Alright, let’s do a song.” Decipher, I met at Rutgers, actually. And then J.Reyez reached out to me. I’m always down to help a fellow Korean rapper. They have to be dope, they have to be nice, but I’m always down to help someone who has talent.
Complex: The song that you did with Dumbfoundead and Clara C, “Clouds,” blew up on YouTube. Since this collaboration and others came about organically, as you said, do you see any profit from them? Like “Clouds” wasn’t available on iTunes, was it?
Jay Park: Nah, it was for free download—same with the one for J.Reyez. I just do it because I respect them as artists and we’re just homies, and I try to help them out. It’s not for my own benefit.
Keep on reading below, we have a bit more of the interview with Jay Park. He talks about his goal with music and how things have come together for him.
Complex: Last April, there was an allhiphop.com story about your forthcoming American album, reportedly with help from Teddy Riley, Snoop, and T-Pain. The story came out and it kind of went away. Was there truth to that, or were those just rumors?
Jay Park: That was rumors. I did a song with Teddy Riley, “Demon,” and I spit on a couple of tracks over some T-Pain and some Snoop Dogg, but I don’t know if it’s gonna come out or anything like that. It was just rumors. As of right now, I’m definitely trying to do the U.S. stuff, too, but I’m trying to establish my place on top for sure in Asia, and then move on to the U.S. and do all that stuff maybe next year, 2012.
Complex: To that point, you’ve obviously experienced superstardom in Korea and Asia, and you’re looking at next year to jump out in the U.S. From your vantage point, do you think there’s a difference between what makes a star in Asia and what makes a star here? Or is it similar?
Jay Park: I mean, it’s really different. But I think if you have the skills, you’re talented and, you stay humble and cool—if you stay real—people will see that anywhere in the world. When you do interviews, when you do TV, when you do radio, even in your songs, your music videos, if you stay real and you’re talented, people will see that. And you’ll blow up, regardless.

Complex: You’ve done several interviews in Korea over the last year, but you haven’t really done any English-language interviews yet. Do you foresee doing more U.S. press next year?

Jay Park: The reason why is because if I do press stuff here, it’s like: “Oh yeah, he does a bunch of stuff in Asia.” People won’t really know here. They won’t really hear about me, they don’t really know who I am. So, after I come out with something in the U.S., then I’ll do a bunch of stuff here and be like, “You can catch me, I’m doing a show in New York.” Then I think it’s more relevant.
Complex: Right. Because, although you have a sizable fan base in the States, I’m sure you want to reach everybody.
Jay Park: Yeah, I wanna reach everyone. Not just people who like K-pop, but people who like music, and pop music, and all that.
Complex: When you first came back, you were a total free agent. Since then, you’ve signed with managers in the U.S., and last summer you signed with Sidus in Korea. What qualities were you looking for from your new management team?
Jay Park: I mean, even back then, I didn’t really think about all that. It’s not like I was like, Oh, I need to do an album in Korea, and do this and do that. I was just going wherever life was taking me. I was just chillin’, as you saw. Ned [Sherman of Digital Media Wire] and his wife, Tinzar, actually reached out to me. She saw my story and she felt really bad about what happened. They set me up with a bunch of meetings with managers, and then we met Seth [Friedman], and his background is crazy, and he was the coolest guy of all, the most laidback and chill, which is kind of like how I am. I thought it was a good fit. For Sidus, they’re a really established company in Korea, and they really made efforts to reach out to me, so I appreciated that. And then, when we did our contract, I had the freedom to do what I want creatively, which I wanted. So, that’s why I chose to work with them.
Complex: You filmed your first movie, Hype Nation, over the summer. Did you see the finished product yet, and in your mind, was the experience a success?
Jay Park: I haven’t seen the finished product. There’s not really much word about Hype Nation right now. Even back then—again, I didn’t do it because I thought it was a good career move for myself, like, Ooh, if I do this movie, it’s gonna blow up. It didn’t really seem like it was gonna be like that, to be honest. I just did it because I asked if my crew can be it. [The producers] said they could be in it, so basically I split my share that I’m getting paid with my crew. And they flew us all out—me, my crew, my family. First time ever that my whole family, my whole crew, was all going somewhere together. So I did it.
Complex: I noticed that the recent chatter among your fans is about the tattoos you’ve been getting recently. I think they’re scared you’re gonna start looking like Weezy or Wiz Khalifa.
Jay Park: [Laughs.] Well, basically, I got a couple little ones. And then I started looking into the mirror, and my body started looking empty. [Laughs.] So I went tattoo crazy for a little bit, for like a month or a month and a half. You know, if you get a whole bunch of tattoos, it’s not really good for your image, and you can’t come out on TV. But for me, I don’t really care if it’s bad for my image. If you’re a good person, it doesn’t matter what you look like, you’re a good person. I stopped for now, but you never know what’s gonna happen. I plan on getting more throughout the years.
Complex: Big entertainment groups from Korea are still recruiting in the U.S. to search for, basically, new versions of you. As someone who’s gone through the entire “trainee” experience, what advice might you give to a teenager who is in the position you were when you were 17 and getting sent to Korea?
Jay Park: Back then, I didn’t have any friends, I was really new. The food, the language—couldn’t speak the language. It was like culture shock. They did things way different than the way I did it. So, I was really not open to all that, and I was really negative. I’d say, just to make your experience more enjoyable and to get better: Be open to anything. And just enjoy your experience. In anything. Even if you don’t like it, enjoy it. You’ll learn from it somehow. You’ll better yourself somehow. That’s all I can say.
Complex: Given all that’s happened, do you have regrets? Or do you think all of this happened for a reason?
Jay Park: Definitely, everything happens for a reason. All the controversy after I came here, I started working at a tire shop. You know…I saw my friends and my crew and my family two weeks out of the year before. Even when I was doing all that, what I really wanted to do was be with my crew and see my family a lot. And finally, I can. I’m traveling places with my crew—it’s like a dream come true, basically.
Complex: With some recent talk-show comments by JYP and then your latest public apology, there is still media curiosity about exactly what led to the break from 2PM. In the future, do you foresee a time when you will want to really explain your side of the story, like write a tell-all book or something? Or, do you feel that this chapter should be closed forever?
Jay Park: I mean, I feel like people [write tell-all books] because they’re falling off and they want to get a buzz. Why would you want to stir up a whole bunch of controversy when things are going well? Nothing good can come out of it. For me, I’m just doing my thing. I’m just trying to get my skills up to par, please my fans, be with my crew and my family, and bring us all up.
Complex: What’s next for you? How would you want Complex readers who aren’t familiar with you to get to know you?
Jay Park: I worked with a whole bunch of producers when I was in L.A. I worked with Greg Ogan [Britney Spears, Rihanna], Stereotypes [Ne-Yo, Justin Bieber, Far East Movement], Dre from Dre&Vidal [Chris Brown, Usher], so I have a whole bunch of tracks that are pretty dope. I have a couple R&B tracks, a hip-hop track, some electro-dance stuff. Once all that comes out, they’ll see what I’m about. As of right now, I just want them to think that, even though I do all the K-pop stuff, I’m still a b-boy, I’m still a rapper, I’m still an entertainer. I’m just a cool dude that chills with his friends and goes around doing shows all over the world.
Complex: Finally—with your Korean album coming out soon, are you at all still concerned about what the public perception of you is in Korea right now?
Jay Park: Not really, because I’ve just been trying to be a nice guy, trying to please my fans, trying to take care of everybody around me. And if they think that’s horrible, what can I do. I’m just trying to make good music. Hopefully, they’ll see that. Hopefully, when my [Korean] album comes out, they’ll be like, oh, this guy is really talented, he wrote his own songs, he can dance, he can sing, he can rap, he can do it all. And he did it with all his close friends. So, if it blows up, hopefully they’ll see I’m trying to help everyone around me and that I’m a nice guy.

Source: Complex
Written by: nikkiepop@Kpoplive.com

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