In this day and age it’s a lot more rewarding for an artist if they are multi-talented. Singer, rapper, dancer and actor Jay Park proves this fact. Park was the leader of Korean K-Pop boy band 2PM, television appearances and performing at sold out arenas cultivated a solid fanbase for Jay. Now, a successful solo artist in his own right, he surprised his fans by posting a cover of B.o.B and Bruno Mars’ Nothin’ On You on YouTube, which has received over 5 million views. The cover’s popularity prompted Warner Music Korea to release Park’s version of Nothin’ On You, which immediately leapt to number 1 on the Korean charts. Jay seems to have everything on lock, his boyish good looks, explosive dance moves and ability to both sing and rap have led many to believe he’s poised to be the next breakout star in the U.S. market.
Hello Jay Park, welcome to Yo! Raps! You were born and raised in Seattle, Washington and in 2005 you migrated to Seoul to gain training in dancing, rapping, singing and the Korean language. What was this experience was like? Was there a big culture shock?
At first I wasn’t used to it. It was pretty hard for me but the whole experience made me stronger in the long term.
In March 2010, you posted a cover of B.o.B and Bruno Mars’ song Nothing On You on YouTube, which garnered 1.5 million views in the first 24 hours. This prompted Warner Music Korea to release your version of the song, which jumped to number one on the Korean charts. Tell us about this whole episode…
It was a song I enjoyed listening to at the time and my fans hadn’t seen me for a while; I always wanted to do covers on YouTube so I did.
For those that may not have heard your music, how would you describe your sound and style?
I like Hip-Hop, Rap, R&B, Funk and nowadays the electro dance stuff is kind of the trend, but yeah I do a little bit of everything. I like to show my versatility!
Are you working on an album? If so, what can we expect to hear from you on there? Will you be rapping or singing or both?
I’m working on a Korean album right now that’s going to come out in April and again there’s rapping, singing, dancing and all that. I did all the vocal arrangements and lyrics and had my homies produce the beats and features on it so it was all done within the family.
As a solo artist, what music have you put or featured on so far?
Well, I put out the remix of Nothing On You, and I also put out a couple joints produced by my homie Cha Cha who’s also in my B-Boy crew AOM. They are called Bestie and Speechless. Bestie is kind of a fun little Hip-Hop joint and Speechless is like a sad R&B song.
As well as being a singer and rapper, you are also an actor and dancer. You’re a member of a B-Boy crew called Art Of Movement (AOM). Tell us about AOM, how many are in the crew and how did you all form the crew?
There’s about 10 members give or take [laughs]. We all met through dancing, practicing in the same spots and seeing each other at battles so we just kind of grew up chilling and dancing together and stuff.
How did your love for this art form begin?
My love for Hip-Hop started when my cousin let me listen to Warren G’s Regulate back when I was in second grade and my love for B-Boying started out as a hobby when I was a sophomore in high school, but once I started, it became addictive.
Has AOM entered any B-Boy competitions?
We enter a lot. I enter whenever I have time and the rest of the guys enter all the time. We entered a jam called Mighty 4 last week in Portland and we won! Shouts out to Paulskee, 206 Zulu and Moon Patrol.
As I mentioned, you are also an actor and have the lead role in the street dance film Hype Nation; you also recorded the track Demon for the soundtrack. Is acting something that you would like to get into more in the future? Do you have any plans to act in any other films?
I’ve only done a couple of acting projects so far and it seems pretty cool, but I don’t know, we’ll have to see because acting is pretty hard [laughs].
What are your plans for 2011?
You’ll just have to wait and see; it’s about to be crazy though!
In the end, let the people know where they can find you online.
You can find me at www.twitter.com/jaybumaom, www.facebook.com/jaypaom, www.youtube.com/jayparkaom, and www.jaypark.com.
- By Jai Boo