"For eight years after my debut, I have become more mature while I am going through many hardships. I feel that I have finally grown up by experiencing those difficulties. The biggest hardship came from my weakness".
Actor and singer Rain (Jung Ji Hoon, 28), who will release a special album entitled "Back to the Basic" on April 7, emphasized at a press conference held in Yeouido on April 5 that he is going back to the basics, just like the title of his new album says.
He said, "To live as an entertainer, there are many occasions that I have to control myself and many things that I have to hide from others. I had hard times when I had to overcome the difficulties that came from those things, so that there were some moments that I just wanted to give up my life as an entertainer. These days, I have fallen into the habit of looking at the mirror and hypnotizing myself. I have overcome my weaknesses this way and I feel that I finally become more mature and strong through these processes".
Even though he has gone back to the mental attitude that he first had at his debut, he has tried to change his music and his image in this new album.
Instead of a splendid performance with dance music, Rain chose a ballad song entitled "Love Song", which he composed, as the title song of this album. Also, he chose a photograph showing androgynous beauty with bobbed hair and eyelash extensions on the album jacket, instead of a photograph revealing his strong and masculine image, which he tended to use before on album jackets.
Rain said, "You might be surprised that the title song is a ballad. I used to sing dance music as the singer Rain, but I wanted to make a change because I thought that a singer has to show different images to the public as a matter of courtesy. At this time, I wanted to make a comeback with honest music without any decoration. I composed the title song two years ago and I actually have been raring to release this song".
Rain also chose another of his own songs entitled "Hip Song" as the second single for many fans who are anticipating and looking forward to his dance performances, which have been his trademark. By releasing these two different types of songs in this album, he has a plan to entertain his fans by providing both music and dance performances.
Rain was asked about whether he felt any pressure coming from the K pop industry, which is now dominated by many Idol groups, and he answered, "I think I am right at the center of the Korean pop music industry. I have many senior singers such as Park Jin Young, Yang Hyun Seok, Shin Seung Hoon, and Kim Gun-mo above me and I also do have junior Idol groups behind me. I think that the markets are different. I have to advance to the Asian and American markets and pave the way for many excellent Idol groups to follow my way. I rather want to enjoy this time with other singers and musicians together".
This year, he will alternately perform both as a singer and an actor. Now, he is seriously considering the right script for a possible drama role this coming autumn among several scripts, including a drama tentatively named "Runaway" written by Cheon Seong-il.
In this way, he will actively perform in Korea and at the same time, he also plans to go on overseas tours in Asian countries, including Japan in June. He thinks that Asia is the center of the world and Korea is the very center of Asian culture.
Rain has a more cautious attitude about advancing to the American pop music industry. He said, "When I visited countries in Europe, America, and Asia to promote my movie 'Ninja Assassin', I realized that the world is wide and there are many things to do. Even though it was very painful for me when I had to go on a severe diet for eight months to film the movie, I could earn the new title of action star and introduce myself to many people due to those painful efforts".
Also, he said, "I am gaining popularity as an actor in America right now, so I think that I have to release an album in America right after I establish my title as an actor when I become more popular in America. If I just release album in the American market without consideration, I would pay dearly. The American market is not a bed of roses. Success is more important than the timing. First of all, I want to establish myself in America as an actor".
He commented about the current depressed social atmosphere due to the sinking of the combat corvette Cheonan and the late Choi Jin Young's suicide. He expressed his concerns, "I feel sorry that there are many accidents in society. I hope that everybody tries their best to deliver good news to the families who are waiting for good news".
Screening Hopes to Raise Rights Awareness
By J.R. Breen
This Sunday, there will be a screening of "63 Years On", a documentary about the story of comfort women.
Some 200,000 women are thought to have been forced into sexual slavery by the Japanese military during World War II, although there is still much debate o,...More
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