Music Interview: JAEJOONG
Jaejoong is now active in variety shows, showing his fluent Japanese and a friendly character. So we asked him about his current activities, since he just started an Arena Concert Tour for his first full album in Japan.
On April 10, Jaejoong released his first Japanese solo album “Flawless Love”. He made his solo debut in Japan last June, and this album contains a large selection of new songs in addition to the two singles he has released previously. He seems very pleased with this work.
“Since I decided to hold an Arena Concert Tour starting from April 10, I thought it would be good to release an album at the same time. I started working on it since the end of last year. A lot of good songs were provided and I chose the ones that I believed to be the best ones. I think it is a good album, and is rich in (musical genre) variety. There were many requests from the fans, so I also recorded the Japanese version of some Korean songs I made in the past.”
The album contains a wide variety of songs, just as mentioned “rich in variety”. So I asked him about the reason/motivation/mood of listening each song and some secret backstage story of the recording period.
“Ainokage” is a song that we can sing lively together at the concerts. When I heard guide vocals, I had the impression of a light feeling, but when I sang it became a powerful song. On the other hand, “One” has a feeling of loneliness, but it’s a song that contains hope in it and I think it would be better to listen when you are depressed.”
He finished a period of two years in military service then began working as a solo singer. Although he was from the idol group, he was far from being a dancing person. This time he intentionally recorded the dancing songs that his fans had longed for.
“The song I chose was “Sweetest Love” because there were many requests from my fans that “I wanted Jaejoong to dance”. Of course, I also dance energetically at concerts. I have not danced for a long time, so I have some pressure (laughs).”
“Flawless Love” is an album that allows you to feel the diversity of Jaejoong’s vocals, giving the impression that each song is sang by a different artist.
“In fact, I changed the voice tone to match the mood and the genre of the song in question. (Because of that) there was a concern that the album might give a cluttered impression, considering it included a mix of songs from various genres.
I thought that this would be the best way to make the listeners focus on each song individually. So, those who listen to my album at the first time may wonder, “Is Jaejoong really sing all these songs?” (laughs).
The hardest song to recorded was “Beautiful Woman”. The key was so high that I was thinking about a way to lower it many times along way, but eventually I sang with the original song key (laughs).”
The meaning of the album title is “a perfect love”. There is his obsession with the title.
“Each song tells a story about love. The exciting feeling of when a new love begins, the sadness and loneliness felt at the time of broken up. The songs contain several lyrics about love, about how the emotions should be polish so the love can grow, just like diamonds gemstones are polished and become beautiful. During the recording of the album, I happened to watch a movie named “Flawless” (Japanese title: Diamond Rush). The story has nothing to do with love, but as it relates to diamonds I got the inspiration that love might be the same as diamonds.
Jaejoong has long stated that he is a fan of L’Arc~en~Ciel HYDE and X JAPAN YOSHIKI. Last year, he co-performed with the two of them in the Halloween live events (Halloween Party) hosted by HYDE.
“That was unbelievable. To stood on stage with them it was like a dream. For me, YOSHIKI-san is a god-like existence, and HYDE-san is a legend. I could meet a God and Legend at the same time! (laughs) . Because they are also famous in Korea, my friends said, “I’m envious! Now I know you were such a great person to be able to perform with them.” (laughs). I also often talk publicly about juniors and their fellow fans gets delighted. Because of that, ny fans also support them because they are close with me. Is such a good relationship. In the same way, HYDE-san and YOSHIKI-san’s fans support me and I am happy.”
He has become quite familiar/frequent with/in Japanese variety show due to his friendly character, and is gaining new fans. He sometimes does “ego-search” and sees the public response.
(Talking about the type of comments he sees online) “When the person is watching these variety shows and get interested in me, they’ll comment “Who is this Jaejoong?”. Then, when they listen to my songs and comment about their reaction, I get happy that they got to know about me. Starting from the variety shows, I want people to get interested by my music and other aspects of me. Music is my main business, but I also know the importance of name branding/recognition, so I will do my best in variety shows programs. I want people who still don’t know about my existence in Japan to get to know me. Therefore, I’m always nervous on variety shows. I have done (variety show about) unique cultural aspects of Japan, such as Haiku and Ikebana, but if I have no experience (about the cultural aspect), I will study and prepare in advance, and then I will do it.”
He also appeared on a number of shows and actually had a fun time.
“When I appeared in “The Dokkiri GP the celebrities really thought“, Yamauchi-san (Kamaitachi) role played as “Yokai makura gaeshi” (a Japanese specter). It was so funny that I laughed to tears. I knew for the first time that it was so funny that other people waking up (laughs). When I played a charisma clerk role in “Sukatto Japan”, although I took off my T-shirt, I laughed when I thought how that was unbelievable.”
He is very active when comes to communicate with his fans on SNS (social medias). What makes you want to post to your SNS?
“It depends on the time/situation, but I basically post when I feel like posting (laughs). Sometimes, I will post a single photo when it seems that there is no news for the fans to tweet about. Having a new picture as a trigger, my fans will tweet in many ways and try to interact with each other. That’s wonderful and interesting.”
Finally, I asked about his future goals.
“Last year was like a dream year for me. At first, I came to Japan feeling anxious about whether I could work well or not. So I was really happy that I was able to work actively. And all of this is thanks to the support of my fans. I would like to do what I can pay back more to the support this year. Also, now that I am 33 years old, I will be more careful about my health. So I intended to do my best when training/exercising this year, but there was too many work schedules and I didn’t have time to go to the gym at all. But it’s nice to have a lot of work!”