Today’s background music started off with Mikka, followed by Bruno Mars, Taio Cruz, Foo Fighters, Calvin Harris, Adele, Jason Mraz, Wanted, and Jin Hyelim (Kelly Chen).
The playlist was picked by the star of the photo shoot. Recognizable from 100m away, his distinctive husky voice reaches us amidst the background music.
Throughout the photo shoot that lasted over half a day, the one who keeps humming as he drinks water and jokes around is JYJ’s Kim Junsu. He, who will come back soon with his second solo album, has adorned the cover of Marie Claire.
In the meantime, he has been busy. Around this time last year, Kim Junsu’s first solo album has shown his own distinctive color from that of JYJ’s Junsu and scored alarmingly high on various charts such as Billboard and Japan’s iTunes as well as setting off on a world tour that kicked off in Seoul and proceeded towards places like Indonesia, Thailand, China, Hong Kong, New York, Europe, Chile, Brazil, and Mexico.
In addition, he has been pouring his energy onto the stage of musicals. In the midst of the sizeable musicals, Kim Junsu has proved his ticket power and talent, becoming a guaranteed box-office hit in the musical industry. It is astonishing how his musical debut marked the beginning of the expansion of Korean musicals into the overseas market. It is difficult to find anything ordinary about these stories. He, who has always been a star after his debut, is still a star with formidable strength. At the same time, he is a wonderful man who has earnestly chosen his own path and is determined to take responsibility for it. Should we look forward to what path this man chose, and what “events” and “phenomenon” he will create this year? First, we know that there are many who are curious about the upcoming solo album. We will be able to know exactly a month later. For now, one will be able to get some clues from his clear answers.
It’s not that long until your comeback. We are curious about how you feel right now.
When I released my first solo album last year, I was under a lot of pressure. Although it was also a first for myself, because it was the first solo album among JYJ members I wanted to start right for the other members. After coming back from releasing the album and going on a world tour, my thoughts changed positively and I gained infinite energy.
I also gained confidence. What I needed when releasing the first album was courage. But now, my greed is stronger. I’m talking about my greed to create an album that can be parallel to the first album or even surpass it. What I can say with certainty at this point is that this second album will have a completely different feeling from the first one. It’s also different from the single album.
Give us a hint about your album.
I’m disappointed to say that I can’t really talk about it in detail yet. Overall, I’m thinking about including songs from various genres like I’ve done so far, but this album will have more R&B and Hip Hop scores than the first album. I’m also planning to include swing or jazz-like scores. First off, although I made the final decision about the title song after getting feedback from many people, it was a song that I got a while ago and cherished it like a jewel. While I was preparing to work on this album, I suddenly felt like listening to the song. But as soon as I listened to it, I made the decision on the spot. Although I had a good feeling when I first received the song, that feeling felt even better listening to it on that day. It’s a song that suits the summer. It will be an album that feels like a party on a hot summer day. Although it will be less dark than the first album, that doesn’t mean that it will be exceedingly happy or have a light atmosphere either. I think what matters it finding a balance between the two.
If we compare it to your first album that you prepared for a long time, the second album progressed rather quickly. Did you have any time to refresh yourself?
Fortunately, my on/off are clearly different from each other. When I work and when I rest are completely different. I had a 3-month break. During this break, I wrote songs and took a trip to the Maldives. In a group of four men! I’m not proud of it that much. (laughs) But it was fun even though I went with just men.
I practically lived in the water. The color of the ocean was unbelievable. I prefer a resort vacation over a city vacation. I like sceneries with the ocean, a sunset, and palm trees.
It seems like Kim Junsu’s second album is suitable to listen to on a resort vacation rather than a city vacation.
That’s right, that’s right. It’s a song that’s perfect to listen to while sipping on a cocktail at the beach. Fans from hot countries should also like it. Because it’s a passionate song!
When you land on foreign countries, how does it feel to see so many fans waiting for you at the airport?
It’s so amazing. It’s amazing that they know who we are and it’s even more fascinating when we perform. Because they sing along to all the Korean songs. Besides downloading JYJ’s music, it’s difficult to hear our songs on the broadcast. But on the opposite side of the earth, where it’s hard to go on a trip to, when I realize that there exist fans that can follow all our songs, I’m reminded of my determination to not get tired.
You personally chose the background music of today’s shooting, what you said when Jin Hyelim (Kelly Chen)’s ‘Lover’s Concerto’ was playing was interesting.
On a rainy day, on top of that it has to be a rainy day when you feel really good, it’s a good song to listen to in a car. Not just a car either, but it has to be inside a taxi. On the front seat where the foreigner driver is at (laughs), when the rain is falling and you can see the sun setting between the buildings in the city, that’s when the music starts playing. Whenever I listen to that song, I see Europe. I’m at the 8-lan road in front of Paris ’Arc de Triomphe and the street is completely blocked. At one side of the road, it’s all red because of the rear lights of the car that are extremely close to each other. I’m looking at that from behind. The day is getting dimmer and dimmer, it seems good, but also seem sad, and that feeling is what makes me excited.
That’s really specific. (laughs) It’s fun how you approach the song. When you interpret your own songs do you also make an image in that sense as well?
When I first listened to ‘UNCOMMITTED’, the feeling of the wind came up. ‘TARANTALLEGRA’ was a feeling of fire. Fantasy-like landscapes came up in my mind.
What do you think is vocalist Kim Junsu’s strength?
In musical abilities, if there is pitch, timbre, technique, dance, and a sense of rhythm, I think of out of those, my sense of rhythm is my strength. Although it may seem like I’m boasting when I say it like this, I personally think my rhythmic sense is good (laughs). Although there is somewhat of a push and pull in one beat, without being conscious of it, I naturally push and pull as well. It’s fun and comfortable when I do music that can bring out my sense of rhythm. While I was practicing yesterday as well, I discovered a rhythm that my body wasn’t used to. Although I was saying “this beat is kind of strange”, it was also fun. It was a “rhythm I met for the first time’.
To be continued. Part 2 will be posted soon.
Translated by: mindy@DBSKnights.net