Ahead of his solo album release Jack In The Box, BTS‘s J-Hope held a huge listening party featuring some of the biggest names in the Korean music industry.
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One of these names was ZICO, the rapper, record producer, singer-songwriter, and former Block B member.
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Before they partied together, J-Hope and ZICO actually sat down for a brief interview. So, J-Hope became the first guest on ZICO’s new online series Give me a minute.
During the interview, ZICO mentioned how they were preparing for the listening party and that it would feature the full-length album.
ZICO: After this, you’re holding a listening session. Full-length, too.
J-Hope: 10 tracks.
ZICO: A full album, all 10 tracks. Then…
J-Hope added that not only is it ten songs, but it is all him. There are no other featured artists, which is unlike him, considering he is part of BTS, and even then, they collaborate with other artists.
J-Hope: No featuring artists.
ZICO: Wow, all alone.
J-Hope low-key revealed that featuring other artists is more of a trend, and he wanted his first official solo album to reflect himself truly.
J-Hope: The reason I decided to do that is… Following trends and stuff is not a bad thing, and it’s something I can do. But I want people to see that I’m someone who is capable of doing what I want. That, I’m that kind of artist.
ZICO: You wanted your individual identity to shine in this album.
J-Hope: That’s right.
Yet, J-Hope’s reasoning behind not featuring other artists is incredibly wise. He felt that it was crucial that he uncover and showcase himself as an individual artist first before anything else.
J-Hope: I thought that was necessary before taking the next step in my musical journey. I think you’ll understand since you’ve been making music for a long time.
ZICO: What a great mindset. That kind of mindset definitely differs from trying to make a hit.
J-Hope: Yes, that’s right.
ZICO definitely could relate to what J-Hope was saying. It’s kind of like the expression, “You can’t break the rules until you know what the rules are,” or artist Pablo Picasso‘s “Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist.”
ZICO: Just show who I am. After that, you can take steps in your way.
J-Hope: That’s right.
ZICO: It’s like putting your shoes on for that.
So, it was important to J-Hope that he establish who he is as a solo artist before anything else, including featuring other artists. And it showcases what a great mindset he has.
J-Hope: If you try to leap forward before doing that, you leave people thinking, “What’s he about?”
ZICO: Building up the foundation.
J-Hope: Yes. Working on the basics.
ZICO: Going back to the start and taking steps from there… J-Hope, the mind state of a winner.
Previously, J-Hope explained to Variety why there are no featured artists on Jack In The Box. Filling the entire album with only his own personal color and stories, the album is a true representation of exactly what J-Hope wants to convey.
There are no featured guests in my album; all the tracks are filled with my voice only. Because I wanted to convey my own narrative, my own story as an individual, I thought that featured guests are not necessary in this album production, and I believed that filling all these songs with my own voice only would make this album very authentic.
You can read more behind his reasons below.
Watch J-Hope’s interview with ZICO below.