JYJ Kim Jaejoong challenged the ‘Rock’ genre that he ultimately loves. Also, with this latest album, he is holding numerous solo concerts and is receiving great reactions. What is the meaning of ‘Rock’ and ‘solo concert’ to Kim Jaejoong?
On December 17, Kim Jaejoong held a press conference for his Asia Tour ‘Kim Jae Joong 1st album Asia Tour Concert’ at Osaka Jo Hall in Osaka, Japan.
Kim Jaejoong expressed his feelings, “It’s the final stage of Asia Tour. I’m very happy to hold my 2nd concert in Japan in Osaka. I wasn’t really in good condition until yesterday but I think I’m better now. I’ll show my saved-up strength and sing properly.”
“After the concerts in Yokohama, I believed I could hold concert in Japan for the 2nd time thanks to everyone’s support, even though it wasn’t scheduled beforehand. I changed the stage setting and also my outfits, so that even people who already attended Yokohama concert will feel like they’re watching a new concert.”
With fans’ fervent support, SRO tickets were added to today’s concert. Kim Jaejoong’s comment regarding it made the hall burst out laughing, “This is not even a train, SRO tickets were added. How amazing.” He added, “Though it’s an indoor concert, it’s amazing that there are seats for blind people in standing room.”
Kim Jaejoong defined his Asia Tour as a “test for myself”; “How much support will the fans give me for solo concert? How could I draw this many fans into my performances? Especially in Japan, there were 60,000 fans attending my concerts, 1 out of 5 fans was male, which made me shocked.”
In this concert, “except for 1 song, most songs I chose to sing set record for million seller in Japan. The remaining song is a song from about 40 years ago, recommended by my mother who will be 70 next year. She said that it made she think of her youth. The song is called <Makeup>.”
Kim Jaejoong actually tried really hard to differentiate each of his concerts. He directly contributed ideas for outfit design. He worked with professional tattooist to show various form of tattoos in every concert. Not only in the musical aspects, but Jaejoong also cares for the visual. Kim Jaejoong said, “Because it’s my first solo album, I had this ambition to make everything perfect, not only with the music but also with the visual, and having it contain hidden message… Eventually I made a visually strong rock album. What surprised me was that when I gifted this album to my friends and acquaintances, they said, ‘If I only look at the jacket photos, I would think that you can’t sing. But now I got to know that you sing very well.’ Then I realized that the prejudice of ‘the better you look, the worse you sing’ still exists.”
Kim Jaejoong added, “Even so, I still wanted to show my versatile image, not only in music.” However, visual rock led by Japanese singer Gackt has weakened ever since. Usually, Korean idols are specialized in pop or dance, but Kim Jaejoong bravely chose rock. He disclosed the reason, “Personally, the artist I like is Haido (Hyde) of Japanese band L’Arc-en-ciel. I’ve liked him ever since I was little, so I’m strongly influenced by him.” But Haido’s influence doesn’t prepossess the rock born by Jaejoong’s own color. Kim Jaejoong said, “In this album, rock elements are delicately added to Kpop, European and American pop. There are songs that everybody will find familiar, not matter which country they come from. I don’t want to make a music which is so new that people feel repulsed or make banal music.”
“I want to continue to sing rock. What I ultimately wanted to do was rock. However, until now, people who came back as soloist with rock genre didn’t receive good reaction. So I have to be prudent.”
He added, “Whether I should do traditional rock or popularized rock, what kind of image of mine I should show, this was a big worry.” “This album doesn’t contain music for rock fans only. It’s also rock but it’s not filled with strange sounds. It’s an album made of good balance.”
If you’re a rock singer, you need to organize a band. Kim Jaejoong had thought about forming a rock band. “I have been thinking about forming a band since last year. But then I think that I should do it after discharging from military. If I form a rock band, I think I must have positive thought about the fact that everything must be done step by step. I consider the band members I work with in concerts now as a team and I hope that I could take time to carefully choose members to form a band,” Kim Jaejoong disclosed his desire.
“I really want to perform in a rock festival. I think it would be really fun. If I can, I want to stand on stage to perform 10 songs, not just one or two.”
Although a long time has passed, Kim Jaejoong still receives great love in Japan. “Debuted as member of DBSK, I have gained much popularity since I was rookie. At that time I didn’t know but later as JYJ, I could feel it while taking one step at the time. Rather than show dignity as a star, fans will come to you when you approach them with a family-like feeling. As I went through that time, I spent heartwarming times with my fans in a close distance. Every day I think that way. I don’t have regular activities in Japan for 4 years already. Even so, they bought my albums, came to Korea to watch my concerts, watch my movie and dramas. I feel thankful and I think ‘So my activities weren’t in vain. I did well’. There are many hoobaes (junior) making their debut in Japan. Although a star’s dignity is important, since fans are the people who love them, I hope they will approach fans like a family and grow while taking steps slowly,” Kim Jaejoong gave advice basing on his experience.
Kim Jaejoong’s has great explosive power as a soloist but his philosophy about JYJ’s teamwork is also very strong. “In order to keep group’s balance, self-control is needed. If you act/behave beyond each other, it will create bad influence. We’re naturally maintaining our balance.”
Kim Jaejoong who has spent 2013 with his successful solo debut was satisfied but didn’t let it get to his head. “Just to be sure, if there’s anything lacking, when I release my next album, I will come back with a more advanced image.”
In the end, regarding plan for world tour, Kim Jaejoong said, “All singers want to do world tour. But world tour takes very long time. For my next activities, I don’t think I should spend too much time to satisfy that ambition (He wants to do many other activities instead of spend time for world tour). I’m very satisfied with this Asia Tour. Not only me but also my concert team and the staffs, we grew together. It was so nice to work with everyone and find out my own music color. The strength when singing, the sense of direction, etc., I think in my next album, it will be more developed.”