Local entertainment insider Ricky Lo recently had an exclusive phone interview with former 2PM leader, Jay Park as part of the promotions for his upcoming Fan Meet Tour 2010 here in the country.
In his column, Ricky Lo described Jay Park as “friendly, accommodating and engaging unlike recent visitor Rain who was aloof, distant and ‘unreachable’.”
Here is the transcript of the interview portion as published in Ricky Lo’s column Funfare, which I think reveals much about Jay Park’s character.
RICKY LO: How has the tour been so far?
JAY PARK: You know, we’ve been to only two cities, Seoul and Singapore, and it feels great. There’s been a lot of energy and we’ve been doing a good show.
RICKY LO: How do you keep up with a hectic schedule like this?
JAY PARK: Oh yeah, yeah. Very hectic, going back and forth. You know, I’m trying to do my best. I’m getting a little used to it.
RICKY LO: Weather varies in every Asian country. Doesn’t it affect your voice?
JAY PARK: I don’t think the weather affects my voice. But lack of sleep does…a bit, and jetlag. It makes my voice kind of a little hoarse.
RICKY LO: How do you take care of your voice?
JAY PARK: I just get as much sleep as I can. I try not to strain it before a show. I don’t refrain from talking, it’s not like that. I rest my voice by not singing a day before the show.
RICKY LO: Some singers don’t take a full meal before a show. Do you do that?
JAY PARK: No, I don’t do that. I dance a lot so I need to eat to have energy.
RICKY LO: Why did your band 2PM break up?
JAY PARK: You know, there was some miscommunication. So we had to part ways. I mean, there’s nothing to love from my side. That’s all I can say about it.
RICKY LO: You are coming to the Philippines with a new dance group called AOM.
JAY PARK: Yes, AOM means Art Of Movement. They’ve been my crew since I was in high school. The members are my friends.
RICKY LO: Some of the members are Filipino, right?
JAY PARK: Yes, one is Daniel Jerome. I met him back in Seattle. He’s been my friend from way back. There’s also Andrew Baterina, my choreographer.
RICKY LO: What have you heard about the Philippines from these two guys?
JAY PARK: Oh, one of them was in the Philippines when he was very young and the other has never been there. They’re really excited to go. But I know that the Philippines has very good dried mango. Also, that the food is very good, like lumpia. I had two Filipino friends back in high school and I’ve tried eating Filipino food back at their homes.
RICKY LO: You were born and raised in Seattle. Is that where you started your singing career?
JAY PARK: No. I started my singing career in Korea. But I started rapping and dancing in Seattle for fun. The actual training began when I got to Korea.
RICKY LO: Of course, you know that K-Pop is very popular in the Philippines as it is in other Asian countries. To what do you attribute its popularity?
JAY PARK: I think it’s the catchy songs, the upbeat tempo, teh style of dancing – the way they are packaged.
RICKY LO: Your fans love you for your well-maintained body, aside from your unique style. What sort of diet do you follow? What workout do you do?
JAY PARK: You know, I’m naturally very skinny. I do a lot of weight training. I don’t really watch what I eat but I try not to eat after 8 p.m. I dance a lot and it’s a very good exercise.
RICKY LO: You sing, you dance, you rap. How do you find time for all that?
JAY PARK: It’s kind of hard to maintain a balance. I just do one thing at a time. If you do things that way, you can’t help but get better at everything.
RICKY LO: In Korea more than in any other country, competition is very stiff. Do you feel too much pressure because of that?
JAY PARK: No, I don’t really feel like I’m competing with anyone. I’m just kind of going where life takes me – I’m just having fun.
RICKY LO: Tell us a bit about your family.
JAY PARK: I grew up in Seattle. I have one brother, younger than me. I have a dog named Peatry. My parents are Korean. I can’t speak Korean very well but I can understand it. I love Korean food. Although I don’t know Korean culture, I know what it’s like.
RICKY LO: How would you like to do a Korean soap which is very popular in the Philippines?
RICKY LO: Just two weeks ago, Rain was in the Philippines for a shoot and a show. Have you met him?
JAY PARK: Yes, I have.
RICKY LO: Did he give you some tips?
JAY PARK: You know, I haven’t really talked much with him. But he’s a great guy. He’s very talented and he works very hard.
RICKY LO: Tell us about your new album.
JAY PARK: Oh, it’s not really a full album. I just came out with a remake of Nothin’ On You, it’s called Count On Me. Coming out is Beastie, a song that I myself wrote. It’s like hip-hop and it has rap. It’s a fun song. Another one is entitled Demon.
RICKY LO: Give us an idea about your concert on Oct. 3.
JAY PARK: It’s my first time in the Philippines and my first time to meet my Filipino fans, so I’m very excited about that. it’s going to be a fun show. I’m going to sing all my songs. I have some guests with me. AOM and I will do a special number. We’ll have games with the fans.
Thanks to the Philippine Star and Ricky Lo for the interview transcript.