…An artist who made history in Korean popular music stepped into the city of Music, Vienna.
He spent his teen years in achieving his dream of becoming a singer, and the red balloons followed him around for the next 10 years. He is the playful, oldest brother of JYJ, talented vocalist and a charismatic solo artist who commands audiences with a single standing microphone at his packed concerts.
He says he is an early riser; he runs to the fitness center at dawn. The shooting began early in the morning. His cheerful, pleasant voice wakes the morning as the staff busily prepare for the shooting. Let us breath in the music filled morning air of Vienna with the professional, Kim Jaejoong.
Movement 1: History of Austria, Schönbrunn Palace and Artist Kim Jaejoong
Starmedia(S): This is your first visit to Vienna. Is there any place particularly memorable to you?
Jaejoong(J): Shooting took place in many locations but Schönbrunn Palace was the most impressive. It was a fabulous, beautiful palace covered with fallen leaves.
S: Your solo album was very successful. And your solo Asia Tour was also a success.
J: It was the music I wanted to do and enjoy, and many of you loved it, too.
S: The genre of your solo album drew a lot of interest and became an issue.
J: Since I made music with the group in mind, there had been many R&B songs. I have to think differently when I go on stage as a group. I am not alone. But rock was the music that I wanted to enjoy on stage in fact.
S: Attempting rock music must not have been an easy challenge.
J: I say this all the time…. It was not an easy challenge for me. I could only do it because many people helped me and encouraged me. There are still many unfinished songs.
S: Your OSTs get a lot of love, too.
J: I never tell myself that I have to sing OSTs because I am in the drama. More like, if they ask me, I say, “Yes,” right away. Drama is drama and music is music. I can’t do what I want. (Laugh.)
S: You write your own lyrics and compose your own song, a singer-songwriter. You have talent in expressing your ideas (with words and melody).
J: I was attempting to write a book as well…(Laugh.) I write lyrics really fast. Most of the title songs I wrote, I think, took me about an hour each on average. Other songs took me months. Normally, I can write lyrics for two to three songs per day.
S: You participated in making almost every song in your solo album WWW.
J: Yes. I composed many and written many lyrics. The songs for that album came out really quickly. I wrote lyrics for two to three songs each day… Once, I had a dream an hour before the recording, so I asked the staff for forgiveness and changed the lyric in an hour and recorded the song. Things were just flooding out of me because I was doing what I really wanted to do. That is why that album is my favorite.
S: You also wrote lyrics for OSTs beside your solo album. Were they made in the same fashion?
J: ‘COLORS’ is a song I co-composed with Yuchun. I just composed the bass part at the hotel room first, and we finished it in about 30 minutes. OSTs for ‘Protect the Boss’, ‘Dr. Jin’ and ‘triangle’ were all written in 15 to 20 minutes.
S: I’m sure there must be pain involved in all that creative process. How do you refresh yourself?
J: I watch a lot of movies when I am off. At home with IPTV. (Laugh.) When I can’t get to sleep easily, I drink a little time to time. But there are times when I can’t fall asleep even after drinking a little. That is when I read like crazy and upload quotes I like from books on SNS. It would be nice to meet up with people and talk. But there are times when you don’t want to meet people. Then, I stay home and drink alone. I tend to drink more that way. Oops, this is not the right answer. (Laugh.)
Movement 2: Actor Kim Jaejoong Speaks with His Eyes in front of the Grand Opera House
Captions in the picture above:
2014 MBC Triangle: Jang Dongcheol/Heo Yeongdal
Kim Jaejoong created ruckus at a restaurant taking his shirt off and ran through the streets with only his boxers on as a street thug Heo Yeongdal. It was a shocking transformation for an idol star.
2012 Movie, Codename Jackal: Choe Hyeon
Kim Jaejoong’s first movie. He was looking for a movie he can film lightheartedly and found the scenario for Codename Jackal. He said, “I went all out. The members even didn’t see me this funny. They will laugh a lot.”
2012 MBC Dr. Jin: Kim Gyeongtak
PD Han Hi said, “I only knew Kim Jaejoong as a young singer. I thought I had nothing in common with him. But when he put on the officer’s costume, he simply became Kin Gyeongtak. I was presently surprised by his acting as we filmed. I think he has instinct for sageuk(historical drama).”
2011 SBS Protect the Boss: Cha Muwon
In the drama Kim Jaejoong was a so-called, the exemplary boss. He took the role of Cha Jiheon’s cousin and tangled in a love triangle with him and No Eunseol, the secretary. He received praises from the veteran costars, Park Yeonggyu, Cha Hwayeon and Kim Hagyun.
2010 Japan Fuji TV Sunao ni Narenakute: Bak Seongsu
A drama set in Tokyo, Shibuya about 5 young people who met through Twitter. In an interview he said, “Since the character I played was not as sharp, I tried to look more nice, making my eyes rounder. Hahaha.”
S: You made shocking choices as an actor, and seems like they are working.
J: I started acting in an unusual circumstance. I usually attempted the fields I was attracted to first. Acting was not one of them I never thought I had what it takes to be a great actor.
S: Then, tell me the details on how you started.
J: That was the way that I could come out on TV under the circumstance I was in. I did it not because I wanted to but I had to. But as I was doing it, I fell in love with its charms. I enjoy it more as I do it more. Now, I can’t give up on acting just like I can’t give up on music.
S: If you started out as an actor, would you have tried to become a singer?
J: Yes, I would’ve. (Laugh.) Isn’t it a trend now days? Doing both acting and singing to show multiple sides of the artist. Trend is meaningless to me, I mean.
S: What do you mean by meaningless?
J: What I mean is… You may think that once someone becomes popular as a singer and has many fans, he or she may not have to try other areas. If one acts and sings at the same time, sometimes there can be confusions between the image as an actor and a singer as various images and concepts overlap. But I thought I shouldn’t stay still. I had to challenge myself to try new things.
S: You also acted in a movie. Do you watch any particular genre of movies as part of research?
J: I enjoy all genres except horror. I live alone, remember? (Laugh.) I can’t watch alone. Only if someone watches with me.
S: Musical stage requires someone who can sing and act. Do you have plans to try?
J: I’m turning 30 and can’t say am young. But if you look at life as a whole, 30 is still very young and lively age, I think. (Laugh.) I want to challenge myself with as many things as I can. For musical… I think I can try even in my 40s and 50s. I want to focus on what I am doing now.
S: Is there a role model for you?
J: As a solo singer I want to follow the footsteps of Hydo. And as a singer/actor, Fukuyama Masaharu. He is so cool. Maybe it is the trend in Japanese entertainment industry, but many lose balance and focus on one thing. But he is really well-balanced and show great acting and music at the same time as he grow. I want to learn his tenacious attitude and want to age gracefully like him.
Kim Jaejoong got up earlier than the staff and finished his exercise before the shooting began. Spending all day contemplating on the poses as he changed clothes hundreds of times under a very tight schedule, he still managed to produce fabulous pictorials using his extraordinary focus. He was a real pro nonchalant in front of his blue-eyed fans who followed him to every shooting location.
If there were a reality program with a unique platform, “Survive in a place where nobody has gone to,” Kim Jaejoong would ace it with his volubility. Seeing him does what he had to do without a word under harsh circumstances made me think that he would be perfect for a survival variety show. So I asked. “How many days do you think you can survive if you were put in an uninhibited island alone?” He thought about it for a moment and answered, “Honestly, if I just had a knife, I can go on forever.
He was not just his word. Kim Jaejoong kept his pace as an artist whatever happened around him. “Tenaciousness,” “Viability,” “Self-sufficiency” are his assets. There had been numerous bumps and curves in his life but he never gave up and was able to maintain his life at a steady speed because he had the firm determination that kept him in this difficult course.