JYJ member Kim Jaejoong. When I met him, he was cheerful, his voice full of energy. He revealed that he “drank a few glasses of alcohol” during the interview just before this, and he plans to go for a “second round” during this interview.
His previous interview ended in a café on Seoul Shinmun Road. We then moved on to a pub located in where he used to live in, Samseong-dong. In the car on the way to the location, in an effort to ease the tension, he started off with the recent concerns he has, which are the misunderstandings and truths behind the Japan earthquake and radiation, even backed up with his knowledge on the matter. “Do you read a lot of news articles and books?” When asked, his reply was, “I learn more from people than from books”.
After we arrived at the pub, he laid out several mobile phones on the aluminum table. There were 6 mobile phones, including those used in Japan. There is no differentiation between which phones are for work and which are for personal use. He deleted many of his phone contacts as well, which accumulated to more than 1000 at one point.
“Ever since I walked my own road with my own abilities, one by one people distanced themselves away from me. What is regretful, is that because of the disappointment I felt, I did not keep in contact with them, and now it seems that I have lesser people around me… but I still have the members and fans.”
Kim Jaejoong’s words encompassed a kind of complexity. His Twitter profile reads “JYJ from TVXQ”, and on the day of the interview he tweeted the letters “JYJ.” Is this the fusion of the past and the present, of dreams and reality? “TVXQ was my beginning, this is a fact that is obvious and will never change. There really isn’t any special meaning; same as with tweeting “JYJ”, it was just that when I woke up in the morning, I realized everything in my life involves JYJ, just this feeling. And the full stop at the end? Mm, this really has no other special meaning… haha”.
On this day, he mentioned that he revealed personal stories like ‘The 4 Girlfriends I’ve Dated Before’ in previous other interviews. He also revealed about his complicated family history, but what he really wanted to talk about, was music.
“I learnt a lot as I directed the Thailand Concert. From then on, the flowery term “Concert Director” has many troubling connotations attached to it. If everything goes well, it is all thanks to the joint effort of all staff, and if anything goes wrong, it will be because of me, this is something worrying as well. Since I have made up my mind, I will want to bear all the responsibility. Before the performance, I made it a point to do a detailed check on everything, from the stage layout to the mobile passageways. Fortunately everything ended smoothly, in actual fact it’s all thanks to Junsu and Yoochun. Haha”
JYJ met with more than 22 000 fans at the “World Tour 2011” in Bangkok’s Impact Arena on 2nd and 3rd April. Kim Jaejoong worked with the staff on every aspect of the concert, from lightings, wiring to costumes. In order to match the timing for the shifting of the stage for the next layout, he was busy holding the stopwatch under the stage.
“Because I am a singer that sings, I will always have concerns like ‘What will happen if it was done like this?’ If I am able to direct often in the future, in order to present a more complete stage, shouldn’t I be producing it in such a way?”
This world tour will make its way around Asia and main cities in North America, and then finish in Korea on 11th and 12th June. Kim Jaejoong is an amateur director, but he is confident of improving one step at a time. The revelation of JYJ members’ self compositions is also a special present for the fans.
“Fans should be able to sense, that our recent music direction is slightly differing from previous. There weren’t songs like ‘Fallen Leaves’ in the past. In fact, we want to be able to produce songs without a beat in them. Because I want to keep pursuing change, I am now learning about harmony. To produce songs, it is important to have theory foundation.
As time passed, and the glasses of soju being emptied, compared to the joking words previously, his words now exposed the inner feelings he hid. He talked about his feelings towards the issues with his previous company, colleagues and juniors who are changing little by little, as well as the emotional barrier he learnt to build to resist the hurt he faces. He repeatedly mentioned that he wanted to try everything, just like his members, engaging in many different kinds of activities.
He also revealed the hope and anticipation he has of being able to regularly meet his fans through TV broadcasts after the problems with his previous company dies down. But this dream has not been realized. The image of him, who would sometimes tear during fanmeetings, came to mind. When asked if he was lonely, he answered with laughter instead.
“Where and how do I meet the fans? To tell you the truth, this is what has been troubling me the most recently. I believe everything will be fine. I plan to sing forever, so I must never be worn out, haha.”