Park “Jay Park” Jae-bom is one of South Korea’s top artists. Each album release tops charts not only in Korea, but throughout the world. Throughout Park’s success he’s continued to rep his hometown of Seattle.
Park’s Early Days
Born in 1987 in Edmonds, Washington, Park had always been interested in the Hip-Hop scene. In 2003 he made his first move in the scene, joining Seattle-based b-boy crew Art of Movement (AOM).
AOM has traveled the world performing in competitions and gathering fame. In 2005 Park decided to make his next move, applying to JYP Entertainment and getting a spot in Korea’s Hot Blood Men TV show to pick the members of a new boy band.
Park’s natural stage presence and charisma won him the leader role for the new group 2 PM in 2008. The group’s popularity grew to be one of the top groups in Korea, and so did Park’s. He branched out his solo career by writing songs for different television shows in Korea, including Conspiracy in the Court and other large dramas. This helped bolster his solo career even though he was apart of a large boy group.
However, in 2009, he resigned from the 2 PM group after despairing messages about Korea had surfaced through his old MySpace account. Missing home, he decided to come back to Seattle and start a new. He would continue to link up with his AOM team at events around Washington.
Career Outside of Korea
Park would continue his solo career through YouTube, releasing a cover of B.o.B and Bruno Mars’ Nothing on You. His video would reach two million views within 24 hours.
The original song featuring Mars sold over $300,000 dollars after the video was posted. B.o.B later featured Park in a special Korean release of the song which sold a total of 5 million copies in South Korea. This release brought Park back into the limelight and prompted him to continue following his music career.
Jay Park released his first EP titled Count on Me, which reached #1 on the Gaon chart, the Korean equivalent of the Billboard Top 100. This opened new opportunities to have park centerfold in Korea, as he starred in the massively popular drama Mr. Idol in 2011. After this move, his career trajectory was only going up from there.
Back on track in Korea
Park’s next musical work, his mini album titled Take a Deeper Look topped #4 on the Billboard Worldwide Charts in 2011. At the end of the year, he released a three-song EP New Breed: Pt. 1 to tease his first full album. This also reached the #4 spot on the Billboard Worldwide Charts.
These moves culminated in Park’s first LP New Breed reaching massive success in 2012. After just a few weeks his album went multi-platinum and reached the #3 spot on the Billboard Worldwide Charts. He would then tour around the world including a full Asian tour and trips to Sydney and more.
Since 2012, Jay Park has continued his rise to fame and took his place at the top of Korean media. He’s often found as a guest on multiple shows such as SNL Korea and Dancing 9, a Korean dance competition. He’s released three more albums that claimed Billboard spots such as Evolution in 2014, and the 19-song dual Korean and English album Everything You Wanted in 2016.
Park’s Influence Now
After all his successes, Jay Park became the first Asian-American artist to ever sign with Roc Nation in 2017. He released his first Roc Nation album the same year titled the Ask About Me Ep. The titled boasted features such as Vic Mensa, Two Chains and Rich the Kid. In the same year, he also became the third judge for popular television show Asia’s Got Talent.
In 2013, Park created the “Above Ordinary Music Group” or AOMG. The group bolsters superstar talent such as producer and singer Gray, singer Loco and longtime AOM dance team member ChaCha Malone. To this day, AOMG has become one of the top Hip-Hop and Pop labels in Korea.
In 2018, Park’s hard work and determination seems to have been noticed in Korea. Park was named Artist of the Year at the Korean Hip Hop Awards 2018. This is his second time winning the award, winning it back to back in 2017 and 2018.
Jay Park has made a living off of the culture he’s been in love with since he was a kid. The Hip-Hop scene has always been around him, and he found a way to create a culture all his own through transcending borders through his charisma, music, and dancing.
We can only expect his career to continue to grow from here.