“Success” isn’t determined by others for BTS‘s J-Hope. In an interview with WKorea, he explained he exactly what he wants to get out of being a solo artist with his debut album Jack in the Box.
J-Hope revealed he never considered creating trending pop music just for the goal of charting high. Instead, he only had one goal in mind: To create the music that he wanted to create.
No [I didn’t think about adding what’s in the pop market]. If I thought about the trend even a bit, it would change the album upside down. I hear House music a lot these days, like the one you might hear in a club. Getting on a chart was never an option for me from the start, it was just about being me, doing what I want to do.
The music on his solo album is near and dear to his heart. Heavily influenced by the music he grew up with and danced to when he was young, some of his songs take samples from his favorites as a kid.
When I was younger, [I listened to] definitely boom-bap. Old school and New Jack Swing as well. I danced locking to funk music, James Brown, you know. And Wu-Tang Clan, of course. Actually, ‘What If…’ from this album is the one I sampled ‘Shimmy Shimmy Ya’. Those times I danced to the music naturally built my foundation, I guess. In that sense, the album reflects my ‘identity’.
By creating music inspired by his own vision, he will continue to mature and grow as an artist. Additionally, he revealed that another step in this process was taking on the challenge of Lollapalooza as a solo artist.
I can say it with one word. Lollapalooza is a challenge, a challenge! How can I stay calm? I am working hard and have this huge respect for all the solo artists (clapping). It’s not easy to perform several songs live in a row. I feel the absence of the members, I miss them.
I know I have goals and ambition, but it’s rather close to ‘I want people to know that I exist here’. That is the reason I planned the listening party and joined Lollapalooza. Those are huge events that make me wonder if I can do this. You know I can just call people I know and perform. But the music festival is the place where I can get a sober assessment of the audience. They will jump and dance if I am any good. If I suck, they will not react. I really need to be on the stage alone.
Check out more from his interview below.