정용화가 선택한 첫 번째 앨범 : Jay-Z의 [Collision Course]
정용화가 선택한 두 번째 앨범 : Hoobastank의 [The Reason]
정용화가 선택한 세 번째 앨범 : Kanye West의 [808s & Heartbreak]
정용화가 선택한 네 번째 앨범 : Jamiroquai의 [A Funk Odyssey]
정용화가 선택한 다섯 번째 앨범 : Maroon 5의 [Songs About Jane]
Jung Yong Hwa’s ‘Music that makes one feel relaxed’
‘Arriving at the scene like a comet’, maybe C.N.BLUE themselves who debuted in January, can give us a good explanation of this phenomenon. All in neat suits, with great looks and tall builds, singing a catchy song, they climbed to the top of internet music charts as well as radio show music charts. They arrived at the music scene ‘like a comet’. The lead vocal, Jung Yong Hwa, has a lot to contribute to this C.N.BLUE storm. With the drama You’re Beautiful aired last year, Jung Yong Hwa has won a lot of female viewers’ hearts. His new-found fame because of the drama attracted great attention for his debut as a band member in the music scene.
Jung Yong Hwa agrees with comments like, ‘They’re just lucky’ or ‘Birth of a Cinderella’. But he says the biggest power that lets him stand on stage isn’t luck, but confidence. “I have the confidence that I can do better than anybody when I’m on stage. Though I had the head start because of my participation in the drama, I keep working very hard, so as not to lag behind anybody else. Iron that is heated up too fast will cool down very fast, too. In order not to lag behind the many singers who are shining on stage, I think the best thing to do is practice and practice, nothing else.”
What has given Jung Yong Hwa this confidence? It’s the ‘living in the wild’ experience for two years as an indie band in Japan. He went to Japan the first time in 2008. Because Japan is a place where ‘band music is the main stream, all sorts of music styles are found and musicians create freely’. Jung Yong Hwa and his C.N.BLUE bandmates, who began their street performances in June 2009 until late 2009, have done more than 100 lives. Though they didn’t reach their goal of 300 lives, they’ve gained absolutely invaluable experiences. The fact that they were living overseas together has created a strong bonding among them as a team. “Even if it’s their first time seeing foreigners sing in a different language, these Japanese audiences cheered loudly. They just made us feel we should try even harder. We weren’t good in the beginning, but as we kept doing lives, I felt that our skills were improving. And we’ve learned how to breathe together with the audience and how to interact with them.”
Before Jung Yong Hwa debuted as a singer, he gained experience as an actor. This has helped a lot with his stage performance. He can pour feelings into the lyrics and the mood of lyrics can thus be revealed better. “It’s like I couldn’t understand the lyrics before. As I had this experience of studying the drama scripts, I now treat the lyrics as lines in a drama. Then I can immerse my feelings into the songs naturally and I have more confidence doing the right expressions.” With the title, Musician’s Choice, Jung Yong Hwa made this sub-headline: Music that makes one feel relaxed. He recommends the following 5 albums, because he is keeping too many things in his heart and his brain is too full of complicated stuff, he needs something to feel relaxed.
Jung Yong Hwa’s first choice of album: Jay-Z [Collision Course]
“One day last year, I was watching the movie The Taking Of Pelham 123, the background song of the first scene gave me goose bumps. I was very touched. Even after the movie, the song stayed in my head. I became more and more curious about it. Though I could tell Jay-Z’s voice, I wasn’t sure if the co-singer was Linkin Park. Then I found it in Jay-Z’s ablum Collision Course. The Taking Of Pelham 123 left a strong impression in my brain and I became very interested in New York too. Points of Authority, 99 Problems, One Step Closer made by Jay-Z and Linkin Park, are songs that I listen to when I want to relax myself. They are suitable for a car ride alongside the river. When listening to these songs, the scenes of the movies appear in my mind and I imagine life in New York.”
Jung Yong Hwa’s second choice of album: Hoobastank [The Reason]
“Hoobastank has made a lot of great music but I didn’t really enjoy listening to them. Then last year in Japan, I first saw their live performance at Summer Sonic (a rock music festival), I was totally attracted by them. Famous bands like Placebo, B’z and Linkin Park were there at Summer Sonic, too, but I couldn’t stop thinking about Hoobastank after I came back from Summer Sonic. Don’t know if it’s because I didn’t have any expectation from them, I was even more impressed and couldn’t forget what I saw. I think I have learned a lot from them: their passion, shown in their running to and fro on stage with sweat felling like rain, their enthusiastic interaction with audience. Touched by Hoobsatank’s live performance, I went to buy their CDs and listened over and over. Sometimes when I was listening to others’ music, I thought of their live performance and then I went back to Hoobastank’s.
Jung Yong Hwa’s third choice of album: Kanye West [800s & Heartbreak]
“I always like Kanye West. Whenever there’s a new release, I’ll go buy it. Among all Kanye West’s albums, 800s & Heartbreak is my favourite. Kanye West is famous as a rapper but one can appreciate his singing skills in 'Love Lockdown' from the album. Because it’s a song by the famous rapper, Kanye West, one just has this wonderful feeling listening to it. It has the charm that it will make you hum it just after listening for once. So after listening to all the tracks of the album, I was humming 'Love Lockdown' without my knowing. Kanye West is multi-talented. He even designed shoes, collaborating with the famous brand name, Louis Vuitton. What a chic star sensitive to trends and styles! He’s really an awesome guy; he’s the kind of person that I want to become, too.”
Jung Yong Hwa’s fourth choice of album: Jamiroquai [A Funk Odyssey]
“When I was in elementary school, I first knew Jamiroquai through my cousin. I was watching the music video of ‘Supersonic’. It had this great impact on me. Now when I think about it, ‘Supersonic’ is too difficult for an elementary school boy and it’s actually a frightening song. Though I just watched it briefly when I was small, the name Jamiroquai began to stay in my mind ever since. I particularly like the jazzy track, ‘Picture of My Life’, in the album A Funk Odyssey. With the unique accompanying music, they ‘play’ with the song in their own way. I love this feeling to death. When in C.N.BLUE, we’re much influenced by Jamiroquai in our practice times. Though we’re inspired by Jason Mraz too, I really like Jamiroquai’s free and wild style of music. Jamiroquai’s music is the kind that I knew so long ago. Though I almost get tired listening to them, I keep having new feelings listening to them each time, just awesome. Their music has a special and wonderful charm.”
Jung Yong Hwa’s fifth choice of album: Maroon 5 [Songs About Jane]
“Maroon 5 is liked by all C.N.BLUE members. Maroon 5’s music may be considered poppish but it gives impression that it’s of higher level and well-knit. When one listens to them carefully, one will think: What great arrangements, just wonderful!. Though ‘She Will Be Loved’ doesn’t sound sad, it’s a very sad song. When I listen to it at night, I can’t help staring at the night sky. I don’t know if I can say it’s a great song for night time listening. The lead vocal of Maroon 5 has a voice with character. I always listen to Maroon 5 when I practice singing. ‘She Will Be Loved’ is the most difficult song among all, so it’s best for practicing. As I’m the lead vocal of a band too, I want to create a singing style of my own, like that of Maroon 5.
Lively groom of We Got Married, Leader of C.N.BLUE
Jung Yong Hwa is now experiencing marriage life in a TV show about fake marriages. The young 22-year-old, with his 20-year-old bride who belongs to the ‘national little sisters’ music group (the maknae of SNSD), is both admired and envied by ahjussis all over the country. Smiling and showing his white teeth, he says, “Though I have lived away from home for some time, marriage life is a totally different thing. It feels wonderful and interesting. This can be a great lesson on life for me.”
Jung Yong Hwa is now busy working with the next C.N.BLUE album. As I’m a Loner is a big hit, they have much pressure when making the new album. He hasn’t had much rest all this time. He says to look even more confident, he can only give ‘power to himself by himself’. Though confidence may be misread as ‘arrogance’, he says he has to be like that for he wants to be ‘a newbie who doesn’t look like a newbie’. He wants to be like a chameleon, showing people his different sides each time he shows up. He wants to be the kind of person who never makes one feel bored but seen as getter better and better.
[English translation by klaritia@soompi, based on Chinese translation by SonoTriste@PTT]