As usual, I translate the answers and sum up the rest.
Gummy (Park Ji Yeon, 33) came back with her second mini album “I Loved… Have No Regrets”. She recently held an interview with Starnews and they talked about her wish to become an actress and the new direction in her music career.
“I wasn’t able to talk about it with my CEO yet, but it is true that seeing that this agency has so many actors kind of giving me the pressure to try to take on this challenge.”
Gummy debuted in 2003 with her full album “Like Them”. She’s known as a strong vocalist, but she never revealed that she dreamed of acting. It seemed that the person from his agency that was with her for this interview was also surprised as if it was the first time he heard it too.
“I’ve been thinking about acting ever since I started singing. I think acting and singing both require to show sincerity in the moment. I never talked about it before because I had many complexes about my appearance. That’s why I’m being cautious about it.”
Gummy said she was very impressed by the acting of the late Jang Jin Young in the movie “The Unbearable Ligthness of Dating”.
“Instead of a bright role, I want to play a role to display my emotions with honesty. A couple of days ago, I talked about it for the first time to my agency’s director while we were in China for my scheduled activities. He laughed at first and told me to talk about it to the CEO. It’s only a dream, so there’s no precise plan about it yet. It can end up to stay just a dream,” she said with a smile.
“Choi Min Shik-sunbaenim said that a singer should be held in honor because every art is related to music. He praises me by saying it’s great that I get recognition from the public.”
He usually monitors her whenever she performs on TV and “he tells me “you’re the best”, “you have no rival”. He says I’m the greatest. He doesn’t it say just like that, he sounds very sincere,” she added.
“I Love… Have No Regrets” is Gummy’s first album in 4 years since the mini album “Loveless” in 2010. It’s also her first official release since she left YG Entertainment to join C-JES Entertainment. Except for JYJ, CJES is better known as an acting agency which Gummy believes is an advantage because they have a different approach of the music world. Ahead of the release of her song, her agency uploaded a video with several in-house celebrities wishing her the best.
“Some people feared that it wouldn’t be a good thing for me to be here because this agency has more actors than singers. However, they helped me a lot. When singers release an album, they give practical advice. Of course, it’s helpful, but actors judge things from an artistic point of view and they’re respectful. There are times when this can be a better inspiration.”
Gummy is turning 34 this year. She’s slowing changing. For this interview, she had short hair and a short sleeved t-shirt. “It’s the fashion and hair style that I’ve been showing quite often, so I think it left a strong impression on people who see me more feminine.”
With this album, her explosive high notes are still the same, but the music has warmth and sensuality.
“It’s not a music that makes the listener uncomfortable because there are too many high notes. I wanted to create music that people would feel comfortable to listen to often, even without paying attention to the lyrics or the melody. Once the song was released, this was what people around me often said. I think it’s a big change and it seems that people see this change in a positive light.”
She said that the change she went through between her 20’s and her 30’s was a natural process. Her ideal type changed. Instead of heartbreaking stories, she said her song is more about being more pleasant to the ear. Her title track was composed by Kim Do Hoon and the lyrics were written by Wheesung.
“What I expressed before and what I express today through my music are songs about breakups or love stories. There are a lot of them, right? If my music before was about being in hurt by love and being antsy for not being able to overcome this pain, I think my music today is more about saying that things will be okay as time goes by, it’s more peaceful.”
Park Yoo Chun is featured on the song “Let’s Play”. It has a reggae sound that matches the free-spirited lyrics that are about being ready to have fun wherever and whenever with your lover.
“I usually don’t travel a lot. I must have the time and be in the right set of mind to travel, so I didn’t have the guts to do it because I had this kind of fixed ideas.”
As she’s been a singer for 11 years, Gummy always tried her best to never loose her “pride”. Just as releasing an album is about risking her reputation, her preparation was nothing to be ashamed of.
“There were big expectations for me since the beginning. Every time I release an album, I have yet to hear “Gummy was disappointing”. I don’t think that having only critically acclaimed music means that your music is nothing to be ashamed of. Being a popular singer means that the public must find quality in my music too.”
With hits such as “If You Come Back”, “We Should Have Been Friends”, “Childish Adult”, Gummy is considered as one of the best Korean female vocalist. After spending 11 years with YG Entertainment and having Yang Hyung Suk as a mentor and producer, she switched agencies last year and joined CJES Entertainment. Why?
“YG feels like home [t/n: she means home as a married woman’s parents’home]. It’s like when a daughter is doing well, she must get married and leave. I realized that the opportunity to release music decreased as the number of singers in the agency increased. I felt that I might have regrets if there was a misconception about my life as a musician in the future and if didn’t try to do what I can do at this age. I thought that switching agencies might bring me more opportunities to take on new challenges and try, even if there was no certainty about it.”
On June 19th, she will hold a concert at the Coex auditorium to celebrate the release of this new album.
“I will go for the acoustic style with this concert. It will be my first time arranging a performance with such a simple set with a band and I’ll be closer to the public. I hope the public won’t find me or my music complicated. More than doing music that I’m the only one to enjoy, I want to make music people can relate to. I’ll sing hard. Please look out for me.”
Random thought: My queen is back. She sounds so happy which makes me happy. I actually wrote a long note about how I find her vision of music similar to what Taeyang has been saying these days and what Yoon Mirae used to say a couple of years ago about her third album… But that was just me rambling. Ain’t nobody got time to read all that. XD My queeeeen.