So Hot, So Cool, So Sweet
Kim Jaejoong’s 1st Album Asia Tour in Seoul
WHO WHEN WHY
WHO: Rockstar Kim Jaejoong (feat. 14,000 viewers)
“Let me grab a drink of water before I welcome you all.”
Having finished the opening numbers, Kim Jaejoong looks confident with an air of experience. Yet, he has only just finished two songs, “9+1 #” and “Butterfly.” One wonders if all the fans have healthy joints and excellent stamina for as soon as Kim Jaejoong walked onstage, everyone stood up and sang along – a sight that would make any editor’s pupils dilate. He shocks all by wearing nothing on his upper body except a black fur coat, making the atmosphere hot and exciting. “It’s too hot in here. Doesn’t everyone want to see me take this off? Then you need to take some clothes off too. Why should I be the only one?” he asks. And then as he decides to sing “Rotten Love,” one understands that the singer has committed to this show in full force.
He continues with “Kiss B,” wearing a clinging knit tee and sitting crookedly on a sofa, knowing full well he’s taking over these women’s souls. It’s difficult for both the performer and the viewer to deal with such an overt show. But it seems as if the fortunes are in his favor, for his experience speaks for itself. After showing off his confident voice with “Now Is Good,” a song widely popular because of his collaboration with Yoon Do Hyun, he moves on to “Don’t Walk Away,” further raising the excitement. Especially with “Don’t Walk Away” B2ST’s Yong JunHyung comes up on the big screen, reprising his part along with Jaejoong. At this point one realizes why Jaejoong has brought along a towel. With the heat in the air, he needs to get his perspiration under control.
WHEN: 2004~2013 and Progressing
After giving up his “idol” image of a decade, what does the word mean to Kim Jaejoong? It seems as if the term “idol” could be a burden to a star who has transformed into a rocker. But he gives a clear answer. He doesn’t mind if the description lasts forever. Even as time goes by, he doesn’t want to shed the image of an idol because the word brings back images of youth and enthusiasm. And though he wants to date, the ones he wants to lean on the most are his fans, and therefore they’ve had to go through some “training” as well, to get used to his rocker image.
The balance between playing hard to get and pulling people in takes time. As luck would have it, the stage was first shared by Jaejoong’s drinking buddy, Noeul’s Lee Sanggon. Then Lee Sanggon, who did a duet with Kim Jaejoong on “A Good Sunny Day” presented the song “Proposal” to the girl that Jaejoong will marry someday. After Lee Sanggon’s showing, Jaejoong goes on with “Brighter” and “Glamorous Sky,” only taking the climax further up. He takes the revolving stage for a spin, making eye contact with all the viewers. He further elevates the good feelings by showing real footage of the backstage happenings. Kim Jaejoongs combines different drinks together to make a “Jaejoong drink” comprised of Soju and beer. Taking a sip, he looks over the previously aforementioned “pure or impure” apparel for the night. At this point, Hong Sukcheon who had been sitting in the auditorium stands up and gives him a light kiss /on the hand saying, “Don’t feel it up too much, baby” to an uproar of laughter.
WHY: Because the possibilities are endless
He takes a breath for a bit but now it’s time to bring in his “company peer” Gummy to support him in belting out “Luvholic.” And though it has been a while for Gummy but the singer shows her innate singing skills when singing “Grown Up Child” and “Snow on Branches” – Kim Jaejoong responds to her skills with his version of “I wish I was friends with you.” His fans only make one actual request that evening, and it’s “Gwiyomi” He responds bashfully that he can’t do math very well and it seems as if he won’t give in, but he caves and uses his hands to go up to “7+7,” very quickly captivating his audience. An embarrassed and blushing Kim Jaejoong goes on with the upbeat number “Modern Beat” and the album’s title song “Just Another Girl” and disappears. It’s no surprise that chants for an encore arise and he re-emerges. His first encore song is the title song of his last mini-album, “Mine,” a song composed by Kim Bada. His second song is his last of this show in Seoul: “Paradise.”
“We had a crazy night, a night that makes you crave a drink. ‘Paradise’ is a song for you all that’s begging you not to go. I know you won’t really be leaving me anyway. Listen to it with your ears, your heart and I’ll bid you farewell to you in paradise. Good bye.”
He ends with the introspective statement. Kim Jaejoong has come a long way from 10 years ago to now with his rockstar image but you can still sneak a peek at his amazing possibilities. While sometimes working tirelessly at one’s possibilities can mean a death sentence, it seems that Kim Jaejoong has made reservations for a long career up ahead.
You released your first official full album
This was my first-ever full album, and therefore a new experience for me. I was involved in the directing of the album, and overall it is a rock album, but it was not completely devoted to rock. When people think of the genre of rock, they think of harsh sounds and melodies and can be burdened but the album is burden-free. Pop, punk, hard rock, even soft familiar ballads are all included. That’s why my album isn’t difficult but more approachable.
On this album you wrote 10 songs on your own. What stories did you want to tell?
Before production of the album, my plan was for all tracks from #1 to #13 to tell one story. That story’s theme became “love,” something that everyone has gone through and can easily understand. If you think about it, doesn’t “Who When Why” point to three words that refer to the origin of love? When you think of love, you first need a “someone.” Then you have the “place” where you meet, and “why” you fall in love with the person is also important. All these different ways of expressing love I showed in the different songs. Some of the tracks will go about it in a roundabout way, while others are more straightforward.
Out of all the themes to choose why the common theme of “love”?
“Love” says a lot of different things. The fluttering of your heart at love’s beginning, the passion when you’re in love, and then the sadness and loneliness from separation, and even the feelings of betrayal after love. Everyone experiences love and can sympathize with those dealing with love issues, and that’s why I chose it as my main theme.
What does love mean to 28-year-old Kim Jaejoong?
Something I always want. It’s hardest for me to talk about the topic of love. Perhaps because it’s hard to love when you start to think about separation. Or because so many times it ends in more of a brief curiosity and less progress. But when I’m working on my music I take even the unpleasant feelings out of the box; when the work is done I go and grab a drink.
You got great reviews from iTunes charts in 12 countries. What appeals to fans worldwide about Kim Jaejoong?
First off, it’s flattering that I made it onto the charts of these countries that I’m not familiar with. In my opinion though, I think people interested in the genre of Rock are generally more interested in it in a worldwide context. I think that’s why they listened to this “ Kim Jaejoong,” bought the music, and gave good reviews.
Other artists attended the show. Any advice for maintaining friendships?
Kim Bada, Yoon DoHyun, Ha DongKyun, Yong JongHyun, etc. These people are wonderful about helping common artists, both younger and older. For example, Ha DongKyun, my senior who sang “Luvholic” with me, was worried at first. The song is a fast-paced tempo pop-punk song, but he’s accustomed to singing ballads. But the song, of course, went well and he was worrying unduly. Takuro I got to know through a concert that JYJ did in the Tokyo-dome and he gave me the song “Modem Beat.” There really isn’t a specific piece of advice for maintaining these relationships. You have personal relationships with your industry peers, and check in on how they’re doing – that’s about it. Time has passed and I’ve maintained those relationships.