Releasing his first solo album in 8 years since his debut, Kim Junsu said he has both senses of responsibility and excitement.
Kim Junsu said at the press conference at the Lotte Hotel in Sogongdong, Seoul, on May 16, “I thought my trump card would be doing music different from established, existing music. On the one side, that put some burden on my shoulder. On the other side, my heart was aflutter in anticipation of doing and making the music that I wanted to do.”
Kim Junsu composed 8 songs out of the total 12 songs in his album, which includes various genre from dance music to ballad and hip-hop to hands-up electronics. In addition, He showed his flexible attitude toward music in the collaboration with GaeKo, Flowsik, and Bizzy.
Kim Junsu is scheduled to hold a two-day concert in the Jamsil Stadium in Seoul and to tour 7 other countries.
Q and A with Kim Junsu.
Q. How do you feel about releasing your first solo album?
A. First, I released an album with the name XIA. Making the album was difficult for me because it was first solo album in 8 years. Most of all, it is fairly burdensome to fill every track only with my voice. Yet, it was a pleasure to sing music genres that I hoped to do. Not a single day has passed without pressures and concerns but, on the other hand, everyday my heart flutters because of my anticipated album.
Q. Did you do anything to keep in shape?
A. I’ve kept my body in shape not because of the solo album but because of the musical Elizabeth. I lost 6kg. The idea of releasing a solo album came out during dialogue with my agency. I lost my weight for the musical. Previously, I thought if a song is good, that’s enough, but that might not be right. I didn’t expect to bare my body so that I didn’t do anything special to keep in shape. The original concept was to lightly bare parts of the upper body with unfasten some buttons. Yet, during monitoring, I felt so hot that I unfastened every button. The director, then, suggested me to go that way. I thought it was not bad and did it that way.
Q. Your Japanese solo single was XIAH but now it is XIA. Why?
A. There’s no particular reason. Ending with the letter A gave me a sense of conclusion. And considering the nuance, I thought XIA is better.
Q. Did you feel some pressure from the album?
A. Of course, it was a pleasure making the album. And surely it was also stressful. I thought deeply over and over. This is my first solo, and, the first step among JYJ members. I know I should step off on the right foot.
Q. Please introduce your title song Tarantallegra.
A. It is also difficult for me to pronounce “Tarantallegra.” It is partly in line with the spell “Abracadabra.” “Tarantallegra” is a magic making people do quick dance. Music, fashion and everything can be integrated into one music. It has been 8 years since my debut, I thought I must not do the established music. Thus, I tried to make differences, added streaming to dance music, and used the timpani under the influence of the musical plays.
Q. Please introduce your album.
A. It includes 12 tracks. 80 percent of which I composed. So, it was somewhat burdensome. Yet, I tried to pursue diversity and music genres that I hoped to sing. And, at this time, I did collaboraton works. My agency fully supported me, and I worked with GaeKo, Flowsik, and Bizzy.
Q. How do you feel about touring seven Asian countries?
A. It’s my first solo concert. Indeed, I experienced lots of concerts but I’ve never performed in full two hours by myself, so I need to adapt to that. One of my concern is whether I could lead two-hour concert with moving the audience. Other is keeping balanced pace. I’m preparing for the concert and feeling it is hard. But I’m also looking forward to the concert. I hope to show a Xiahtic concert. Asian solo tour gives me tension and I’m doing my best.
Q. What is the meaning of the musical to you?
A. With being as a singer, I will participate into the musical. The musical is attractive because I can live other’s life. And the musical inspires my music.
Q. The 4th track was composed and directed by Kim Jaejung.
A. He was very busy but made time to direct it. We’ve been directing each other’s songs so that was a familiar process. The song became better through the combination of his and my ideas. I was more nervous when Jaejung directed because he is a member of JYJ.
Q. Do you prepare any performance especially targeting each Asian country you will tour?
A. There aren’t big differences between performances at home and abroad. I plan to learn the language of each country and to use that amid the concert.
Q. Which country was the most passionate when JYJ did its 1st world tour?
A. Every country was passionate and enthusiastic. Especially, Latin America. It was surprising for us that they know and enjoy our music.
Q. Despite few, if any, chances of appearing on TV, you are popular. What do you think the reason is?
A. Despite few chances of appearing on TV, I think, I have many routes to promote my songs via the Internet. It was very costly to film the current music video. If I had considered the Korean music field alone, it would have been impossible. Because I thought the MV could spread all over the world via the Internet it was possible for me to film such costly MV.
Q. The reason of using XIA in your solo album.
A. XIA, XIAH JUNSU, KIM JUNSU. All are okay to me. The reason I used XIA is that it is my solo (music) album. In case of the musical or drama, the original name Junsu may be good. (considering Korea’s custom – in translator’s thought).