[News] Jay Park : "I missed Korea"

"I really wanted to come back to Korea. These days, I am practicing acting with a script written in both Korean and English, but it is easier to memorize the Korean lines.” -Jae Bum

A news reporter recently met Jae Bum (23) -- who was once a member of the idol group 2PM -- twice, once in an office in Gangbuk and once in a recording studio in Gangnam. He has grown more gaunt than before and bruises could be seen here and there on his knees and elbows as if he had hurt himself by practicing B-boying. It was actually the first time that he met a person from the media since he left for America last year.

When Jae Bum had been a trainee of JYP Entertainment, he had talked with his friends in America, and his private messages deprecating Koreans were spread through the Internet. As netizens' criticisms of his messages became more and more pronounced, he had left for his hometown of Seattle last September. Last February, JYP Entertainment announced that Jae Bum would be expelled from the group due to some problems in his private life. Last month, he came back to Korean after nine months away to film the Korean and American film "Hype Nation."

In the first meeting with Jae Bum, his parents, younger brother, and members of the B-boy team AOM, which Jae Bum has performed with together in America, appeared together. He could have feel uncomfortable since it was his first meeting with the media in a long while, but he greeted news reporter pleasantly, and said, “It is very good to be here in Korea. I really wanted to come back. I spent time in America practicing B-boying. When I entered the country, I really appreciated my many fans who came to the airport to welcome me. I actually uploaded video images of my singing and dancing on YouTube only for my fans.”

But, as to the question whether he had gone through distress as he left Korea in shame, he just smiled instead of answering and made no comment regarding that question.

When he was asked about his plans for future activities, he answered, “I made a contract with Digital Media Wire to entrust them with managing my activities overseas, and Ned Sherman, who is the CEO and lawyer specializing in the entertainment business, is controlling my schedule. He might help me to have activities in America. He is really a person I am thankful for. I have never thought about having a management company in Korea, yet.”

His parents, who were together with him during the interview, said that they visited Korea for the first time in fifteen years. Jae Bum was found to resemble his father’s face and his mother’s physique. His father prepared and mixed Bibimbap for Jae Bum, and he was also taking care of the members of AOM one by one. His mother said that Korea has become cleaner than before and she said that she was surprised to find many of Jae Bum’s fans waiting in the airport when they arrived.

One of the AOM members said, “As I have been with Jae Bum for such a long time, I also have a kind of Asian soul in my mind.” He looked very excited about staying in Korea.A few days later, the reporter met Jae Bum again in a recording studio when Jae Bum was recording a song for a singer in Korea. With his powerful singing and rapping ability, which is apparently the same as before, he finished recording in only one hour. He looked very excited about filming the movie "Hype Nation," in which he will appear under the name of "Darkness."

The movie will portray the story of an Asian B-boy group participating in the World B-boy Championship held in Asia and then moving on to have successful lives in America. Jae Bum will play the leader of the Korean B-boy group.

He said, “This morning, I practiced reading the script and dancing along with Jang Kyung Ho, who is the leader of the B-boy team Gambler, for four hours. I am practicing acting with the script written in both Korean and English, but it is easier to memorize the Korean lines. I do not feel difficulty when I am B-boying because I always do it, but acting seems to require much more effort since this is my first try at acting.”

About his participating in vocals for the song “Nothin’ On You,” which was released last month and sung by American rapper B.O.B, he expressed his thoughts by saying, “It was a great honor for me to participate in the recording of the song. It was such a good opportunity. I also thank my Korean fans who love the song.”

From the end of last month, Jae Bum began filming the movie with other cast members such as members of the American hiphop group B2K, new Korean female group RaNia, and members of AOM. He finished filming the scene of the World B-boy Championship, which is the highlight scene of "Hype Nation,” for four days at a performance hall in Seoul. A person in the entertainment industry said, “Compared with other foreign B-boys, Jae Bum’s dancing was much more excellent. Even among AOM members, he was outstanding.”

Jae Bum will stay in Korea for three months and finish filming the scenes to be filmed in Korea. He had already finished recording four songs including the OST of “Hype Nation” in America. Among those songs, the song entitled “Demon,” which was composed by Teddy Riley, a producer for the late Michael Jackson, will be the OST of the movie, and it will be released as a single album in Korea and America prior to the release of the movie.

He also had participated in recording the other three songs in different ways. He had been featured in David Bowie’s hit song "Fame," which Snoop Dogg remade, as well as American R&B singer Brandon’s song "Addict." Jae Bum also sang another song, as yet untitled, together with Bone Thugs-N Harmony, Krayzie Bone and American rapper T-Pain.

A person related to the movie “Hype Nation” stated, “Jae Bum also has plans to release his debut album in America with two songs among the songs he already recorded, as well as other additional songs.”



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