My Seoul Adventures occured again! I am blessed to have been able to go to South Korea three times in the space of 12 months now- both for work and pleasure. This time around I wanted to get some more interviews for you- coming up are a currently promoting K-Pop group and a well known Youtube duo based in Seoul! For this edition I caught up with my good friend Jiyeon Park- a name that the majority of you may not necessarily be familiar with but with the groups and companies that she has worked with, it’s a name you certainly should keep an eye out for in the future! Hi again! Long time no see! For people who do not know, are you able to introduce yourself and what you do? Hi everyone! My name is Jiyeon Park. I’m a music producer and singer-songwriter from Korea.
So how exactly did you get into your work?
I moved to Japan when I was 20 to study music. While I was there, I had the chance to participate in a songwriting competition at Sony Music. Though this opportunity, I started my internship at Sony Music Japan. I was very humbled and excited to work at Sony Music, especially because I was the only non-Japanese person accepted into the program. I felt so fortunate for the opportunity because I hadn’t even sold a single song yet!
Did you ever consider going down the idol route for music? Although the life of an idol sounds exciting, I have always loved songwriting and producing music. Plus, I’m a little bit shy and have terrible stage fright, so performing isn’t something I think I’d be good at!
So you have never auditioned? If you did, what happened?
When I was 23 I did audition for Bang Shi Hyuk (founder of BigHit Entertainment, where Bangtan Boys and Homme are under) , a singing competition TV show. I mainly auditioned to support my friend, actually, who was also auditioning and asked me to go with her. It was an interesting experience. I was surprised that one of the judges seemed to only care about how I look. He wasn’t interested in my music or singing ability. It was a little bit disappointing, but overall it was a good life experience.
Are you able to give a daily/weekly breakdown of what your work entails?
During the week, I write music in my studio at home. Sometimes I collaborate with other songwriters in my company, or people I’ve met through gigs, other contacts, etc. Depending on the type of equipment, environment, etc. that we need, we either work at my studio or a colleague’s studio. When I’m not writing music, I also teach songwriting and vocal lessons. I teach [K-Pop group] Boys Republic vocal techniques, and also private songwriting classes too. Occasionally I will travel for work, usually to Japan or Taiwan.
What are the hardships from all of this that you come across and what do you find satisfying/rewarding?
Sometimes I have writer’s block and I just can’t write a song. But usually after I distract myself with something else, a song will come to me and I can finally write again. The most rewarding part of my job is when I finally hear a song I’ve written finished! It’s exciting to hear singers singing my songs, and to see them on albums.
You have also composed songs for Got7 under the pseudonym “110403”. How was that process like?
My co-worker Daniel got this great track from the Swedish producer Erik Lidbom. So Daniel and I holed up in the studio for about 12 hours and wrote the lyrics and melody to go along with the track. It’s called “Stay” on the Identify album. We also did Turn Up The Volume” on the same album!
And alongside all of that, you have released your own music as a solo artist! Is this something that you would want to focus on?
When I was living and working in Japan, all my music was in Japanese, so it was a dream of mine to produce a song in my native language. When I moved back to Korea a couple of years ago, I started to think about releasing a single of my own. It was a very fun process—I had the chance to work with some of my best friends on the artwork, music video, and instrumentals. Even my little brother helped out with the music video! He was our driver when we went to shoot the video. In the future I hope to release more of my songs. I just need to make the time to do it! I’ve been busy these days with my work as a producer.
So look ahead in five years- where would you see yourself work and life wise?
In five years I hope I will still be writing songs and singing. And I hope to travel more and have my own family too!
Finally, what advice would you give people who want to work within the Entertainment Industry?
If you really enjoy music, then you should pursue it and do whatever you can. It looks fun but it also requires a lot of time and effort. But it’s worth it! Enjoy every moment and every step of your journey. Good luck!
And that is it from Jiyeon! I hope to meet up again with her soon. In the meantime, follow her on her Facebook page for more of her work and upcoming projects. And there will be another JaK exclusive interview following soon!