The most beautiful group when all five were as one. Now, it's not as five; but shared as one or as two. Last June when SS501 whose full time contract with DSP Media was up, did not sign on to a new contract with DSP Media. Members Hyunjoong, Jungmin, Hyungjun turned to stand on sole feet, while Youngsaeng and Kyujong moved to a new agency company as all of them began to shoulder troubles on their own as solo musicians. Without his 4 other intimate members, Park Jungmin has returned alone. As he poured his rythm of his heart, we listened to how he told about leaving the arms of SS501 to stand again alone on his own feet.
Our interview with Park Jungmin continued throughout without a pause. Two hours passed by in a huff with someone who was so affluent in speech. He was just like any other youth chattering on and on about his stories. If there wasn't any time restrictions for interviews, it could have just been like pure comfort listening to someone pour about his personal stories. Though he returned alone, he did not look lonely at all. In fact, even more manly now. Park Jungmin who is a part of SS501 member has came forth for the first time with his solo mini-album titled [Not Alone] as if attempting to make it known officially that he has fought off the word named 'Loneliness'. So how are his thoughts on stepping forth solo for the first time amidst his 6 years of experience in showbiz?
"The album name of 'Not Alone' simply means to want to contain the message of 'We are all not alone. We are all One'. For my case, it also contains the meaning wherein although I stepped forth alone, I will forever be a member of SS501. If you listen to the entire album, you will be able to feel that this album contains only my personal attributes and not as a concept of SS501's continuation of line. Without electronics or instruments, we tried our best to use bands and orchestras to animate the entire feel instead".
In order for Park Jungmin to create only-his attributes, the part that he had put in most effort was in the 'lyrics'. He wrote the lyrics with his imagination and personal experiences. Through the lyrics with a sentence by a sentence, a word by a word, Park Jungmin had obviously attempted to deliver his story there and then.
"When a singer sings on stage, the most important thing is to hold that sincere heart. For the fact that I decided to write the lyrics, it is for the sake of better expressing my feelings. Just like the songs 'Do you know' and 'Every day is Christmas' contained positive lyrics because I wrote them then with a serenic heart. Especially the song 'Do you know' - it was a song featuring the concept of a re-unite with the lover whom you already broke up with. I wrote the lyrics of this song in a puff upon hearing the melody of it a hundred times. It was in the feeling of a phone call conversation. There are also people who asked me if this song was written in view of feelings towards the members or not, but no it wasn't hinting at any one, it's just a story from my imagination (laughs)".
SS501 may be his forever-roots, but still he wants to create his personal character image. For the sake of transforming into 'the solo singer Park Jungmin' and not as 'SS501's Park Jungmin', he's shed 12kg of weight. With his slimmed body, he's managed to create a sharp image. Could it be for outlook transformation only? Still, you could see it as a form of stronger highlight of the feeling as 'solo singer Park Jungmin' who carries with him a rookie heart instead of that as 'SS501's Park Jungmin'.
"I went to watch past SS501 videos when I was preparing for my solo album, and I thought as I watched, 'Ah this won't do ne'. I didn't know that I was so huge in size (laughs). When there were many of us, I couldn't feel it clearly, but since I have to stand on stage alone now, I came to be worried about visuals wise. In order to slim down on my heavy body, I went on diets like diet treatments and exercising. I shed 12kg of weight, do I look different to you? (laughs)".
Park Jungmin's solo debut was full of bumps though. His album was originally scheduled to be released last November, but while he was in midst of preparing it, the North Korea's Yeonpyeong-do incident occurred, to which his album had to be inevitably postponed. There was no choice but to lay down his hands on it because it was to emphatize with the country matter. However though, it turned out that 2 months of emptiness was incurred. If you think of it negatively, you might have thought that this entire matter could almost fail through already, but for him, he thought of it in a positive light and auto-tuned his mindset. He waited, and waited - his higher goals for the completion of his album.
"I felt sad that the release had to be postponed about close to two months. But if you think of it in the opposite manner, there was more time for me to prepare and so I felt glad. The Yeonpyeong-do incident wasn't something to be happy nor laugh about, so I thought that it'd have been better as I emphatize with the country affair with the status of a citizen rather than to carry out my personal affairs. At that time I was in Japan holding my fanmeeting. Was studying alot then as I was preparing for my acoustic band performance. With the incident, it turned out as a period for me to better mature with the name as a musician to carry out activities".
While preparing for the album, the toughest part was to deal with SS501 related conjectures and unfounded rumors. Park Jungmin was dragged into the talk of town as "the cause for SS501's dispersal all around the place". Though that inflicted scars on Park Jungmin, he chose to shoulder all of these on his own. It wasn't something to have in control about where scars turn out to be inflicted on his family members SS501. He who has that strong affection for his family members strugglingly revealed talks of SS501.
"It was all along five of us, and the toughest thing was when we had to be dispersed. All kinds of thoughts came onto mind, but I managed to tune my mindset. There are many others who are more unfortunate than I am. What is mine as compared to really unfortunate matters? That thought crept through me all time long, and no sooner than later, all bad thoughts disappeared. I just want to talk about pleasant matters of SS501".
"We may all be in different agencies, but we made it a must to prioritize this one condition that we have to re-unite under the name of SS501", as Park Jungmin delivered his affections. SS501 is not his rival, but instead his companions who will be walking with him for the whole of his life -- as he clarified it.
"The five of us don't see one another as rivals. All of us must succeed, and when so, that will be the most beautiful graphic is it not. All of us have good abilities, so we're not exactly very hugely worried. All of us are working hard on our own. Results will be different with each of us as per how much sincere preparation we put in. It will be lovely if you could realize that 'Ah so there's a person called Park Jungmin' through this time's album. I wasn't the person who shone to one's eyes at first sight when I was in SS501, and I wasn't superbly outstanding with my singing as well, but now I'm working hard for that, and I want to create good results".
The title that Park Jungmin yearns for is a 'All Rounded Entertainer'. Not just as a singer, but also as an MC and actor, and he dreams to hold results in many multi fields. He also met an agency that could accompany in his strides as they walk the same pace. He moved into the new agency CNR Media which would be his full-fledged partner. CNR Media collaborates alongside Taiwan's Comic Ritz. While for his activities in Greater China region, he chose to sign on with Sony Music Asia. With these, he is now able to fly wider. Soon, he will be starring in a drama with Comic Ritz who produced Taiwan version of 'Boys over Flowers'. Starting from May onwards, he will be leaving the country for Taiwan as he stays there and starts his path as an actor.
"I want to become a person who shows his various profiles as a singer, MC, actor, etc. Not only in Korea but also in China, Southeast Asia, European markets, I will work hard to show these people about a person called Park Jungmin. If I am to summarize my name, it would mean 'a person who sings with his heart', 'a person who acts with his eyes', and then when people recall me in future they would think of these descriptions. I will sprint only ahead bearing these in mind".
Ah his thought - "There are many other unfortunate ones than me" touches the heart. ode shares the same vision in mind. Do you...? Never think of yourself as someone who is poor-off or sickly annoying or worthless. Because every single soul is the best winner to themselves.