Bi: My music is a combination of different styles. I don’t stick to any particular style or genre. My music is for everyone – people of all ages from children to adults to even the elderly. If it’s possible, I would like to create music that older people can enjoy – not just the younger people.
The last time I was acting, I was also preparing for my second album. During those three months, I probably averaged an hour of sleep a night. At the moment, I’m just focused on what’s ahead of me.
I like the freedom here (USA). I also love the variety of clothing because in Korea, the sizes are too limited and the clothing is too small for me.
APA: What are you expecting from the Los Angeles concert?
Bi: Of course I hope that it turns out well and that the audience members will enjoy the concert. I hope that there will be a good vibe there. I want people to acknowledge that I am good at what I do. That’s all.
I want to represent Korea as a performer and I want to let the audience know that I’m as good as American musicians.
I wanted to be a fashion designer in the beginning, but since I’m a singer now, I’ll put that goal on hold. Once I accomplish everything I want as a singer, I think I’ll go back to designing.
APA: What are your goals for the next ten years?
Bi: I think that I have pretty much achieved everything that I’ve planned. I know that in the future, I will come across obstacles but I am prepared to handle those. My first goal was to become a singer and I have achieved that. My second goal was to win an award for Best New Singer and I have also achieved that. My third goal is to receive the Best Artist Award, and I am working towards that right now. In ten years, if I have gained everything I’ve wanted, I think that I will become a fashion designer.
If there was anything that people would notice about me is that I was a bit tall. I was always the third or fourth tallest boy in the class. Then our school held an event that suggested us to dance. Since my classmates didn’t tend to it, I told myself to ‘show them something’ and danced the dances I saw on the TV and street without a second thought. There was a burst of clapping hands as my stage was over. I felt the fulfilling emotion for the first time, and a thought crossed my mind suddenly. It said, ‘Yes, it’s dance.’
Although they took my money and clothes, I followed them because I had to learn how to dance. There was a time when we got caught by the police and taken to the police station while we were practicing at the park near Hongik University because we didn’t have anywhere to go and practice dancing and people around us pointed at us saying we are disorderly students. But since I was so tired out dancing that I slept during the examination without solving the questions. Frankly, I was also shocked by the results. My father didn’t even treat me like his own son. He told me to leave home and didn’t even look at me. If my father had beaten me or gotten extreme with me, I could have become perversed, but I gave myself a lot of thoughts seeing my father like that. As I came to talk to nobody in the family, I fell into a depression and there were time when I even felt the urge to kill myself. So I worried myself sick over it and decided that I need to go better in studies than this, so I committed myself to reading and could recover my scores to a degree.
Although I hung out with scarey boys to learn how to dance, I promised my father that I will never smoke and do bad things. Our dancing team practiced hard, and entered the national amateur dance competition held at Lotte World, Jamsil, Seoul to confirming our talent. We didn’t receive any award though.
Then it came the last year of junior high and I started to worry about my future. Since I didn’t know anything about acting, I went to the book store, bought all the acting related books and read them all before the entry examination of Angyang High School of Arts. The people who knew me disagreed with me, saying that ‘acting is not your thing,’ but I worked hard and passed the examination proudly.
As people came to know about my dancing, I came to enter various talent shows as the representing competitor and I grabbed the attention of girls as well. Every morning when I go to school and open the locker, there were presents from unknown people. The presents were mostly milk, cakes, flowers and letters. I regret that I didn’t try to find out who they were but I was too busy dancing that I didn’t have the time to think about girls.
In my freshman year, I tried to adapt to acting to a degree, but during the early sophomore year, I came to hate acting classes so much so that I couldn’t bear taking it anymore. So I was late for school more than on time and kept my seat during the morning session only, and slipped out during acting training class. So, there I was, indulging myself into dance, and I got ‘stamped’ as a bad boy.
When I went to Anyang High School or Arts, I beat the buttocks of my teacher because of dance. As I concentrated on dancing and skipped acting team sessions, the senior students started to hate me. They took me to the backyard of the school and beat me up and rebuked me that I shouldn’t break the team work. So I changed my mind and decided to ‘concentrate on acting than dancing.’ But suppressing my desire to dance didn’t go too far. One day, I couldn’t stand it anymore and ran out of the classroom. The next day, the teacher who was teaching the class came in with a stick. Then, he said, “Beat me with this stick. If you don’t, I’ll beat other students.” There were so many conflicts of thoughts in my head at that moment. Many girls were in the same class and here were only good kids in there. So I thought about what I’m going to do for a bit and beat the teacher’s buttocks with the stick. There was nothing I can do at that moment. It was only days before our graduation when the teacher told us about this incident frankly. He said that he never thought that I would really beat him. He used the same trick when he was teaching at another high school for arts, and when teachers play this trick, the student mostly say they are so sorry and cry but we were such a formidable foe.
In 2000, the two biggest incidents of my life happened. I met (Park) Jinyeong, who lead me to be a singer, and my mother passed away. My father had been in the trade business but after repeated failures, he left us a letter saying that he will return when he’s settled and left for Brazil. So, my mother, who had been suffering from diabetes had to support the family. I couldn’t understand my mother who kept on working when she was so unwell. I feel that I had been foolish and inconsiderate at that time. I indulged in dance even more as I started to feel dissatisfaction about my parents.
“After my wife passed away, my son and I did not talk for a period of 2 years. Except for some routine daily exchange, we did not know what to say to each other. Both understood the pain that each other was going through, and they did not want to remind or be reminded of it. So subsequently, the words became lesser. As a father, my guilt grew daily in the face of a silent son. After my wife left the world, the family spilt up. I worked at somebody’s millhouse, while Bi stayed at the hostel provided by JYPE and led his life. It was later that I heard he was eating instant noodles every day for months and practicing his singing and dancing like crazy. It was heart-wrenching for me. When he needed his parents by his side most, I did not give him any help. On normal days, he will visit his mother’s grave alone once a month. (Every time he has a new single or after his promotional activities, he’ll visit his mother’s grave and report to her.) When I look at my son and compare him with other young men of his age, he is much more matured. Missing his mother so much, he has every reason to blame me. But recently, he has been keeping me company a lot when I’m at home alone. “Don’t cope up alone at home. Go visit your friends or go exercise,” he’ll say. My son can’t stay at home and rest for even one day. He’ll usually come home only at 3 or 4 AM in the morning. Seeing how hard his son is working to death trying to achieve his ambition, Appa Jeong feels that it is not untrue to say 10% of his achievements come from his talents, and 90% from his hard work. When he sees how hard his son is working, he wishes he could help a little. But his son always finishes he own stuff and think of what he needs to do in the future. When I was young I didn’t work as hard as my son. Sometimes I want to lead my own life, sometimes I want to have fun with my friends. This is the normal characteristics of young people. But my son, he keeps thinking of the future. Sometimes when he is resting at home, he’ll keep saying he feels unease and then runs off to his practice studio again. I can’t even stop him. This is when my heart aches for him. Last year when he had to film his drama serial, I was so bored at home I actually fell sick! I never used to watch TV, but I watched every episode of Full House without fail. From then, TV became my life! (laughs)
After receiving the award, Bi went straight to his mother’s grave at Gyeonggi-do. Even when his schedule was packed, he will put work aside during festivals or the anniversary and go to the grave with his family to visit his mother’s grave without fail. When I think of my wife, it’s impossible for me to think of remarrying. I didn’t know of how dangerous diabetes was at that time, and went working abroad leaving her here alone without enough to cover her medical expenses…my son has never talked about this topic. Although I don’t know how life will be after my two children get married, but there is no such intention to remarry now.”
Park Jinyeong walked into the office. That room was the office of Jinyeong’s JYP entertainment. Jinyeong saw me, and asked “Can I possibly ask what you do?” I answered, “I dance” and he asked me to send a video tape so he can audition me. ‘Wow, will Park Jinyeong, the producer who trained god and Park Jiyun train me to be a singer?’ I was so happy at the moment and I sent the tape for audition to him as soon as I came back. He said, ‘let’s release a record’. While I was absorbed in happiness and working to make my dream come true, my mother’s illness worsened severly. My father, who had left for Brazil just like that, came back to Korea after a few months without adapting to the local conditions. My father wandered from region to region even after he had come back, and there was no one to take care of my mother. Jinyeong and his wife came to the hospital to stay with my mother. Although so many people helped, my mother fell into a coma, and passed away just like that. My mother said her last words as she passed away. She told me to look after my sister well, and I promised her to do so. When my heart breaks I recall how I neglected my family while I could have been really good. Nowadays he often says “great or good job” but in those days, he used to discourage me, saying “how can someone like you dance? It will never work.” That was his way of training.
“Mother is my religion. To me, she is God, the meaning for me to carry on living. Mother, I’ll earn a lot of money now. When I eventually meet you, I’ll buy a lot of delicious food for you. I love you, Mother!”
When Jinyeong couldn’t train me because of his music works in the US, I had to fight against loneliness. I stayed at the studio until late after everybody’s gone home to compose dances and practice and at times, I was really lonely and depressed. So, the method I came up with was to practice singing and dancing in the subway and buses. I had to sing automatically whenever Jinyeong waves his hand, and I repeated singing the same song almost a hundred times a day. Each time, I got hit on the head because I “get the wrong notes again”. Getting hit in the head sounds like nothing but being hit on the same spot again hurts quite a bit. My album was postponed to November again. I held onto practicing singing in uneasiness as I had nothing else to hang onto. I wondered if I’ll ever release my own album after all these hard working for 2 years and that I was growing old for a dance singer. Although I didn’t make any particular mistake, I was tense and couldn’t move my body freely. But I told myself ‘it will be the end if I don’t do it right this time’ and faced my fans contiuously, and I gradually gained self-confidence.
The comment that made me feel the worst since I started to perform as a singer was “why aren’t you singing live?” Since I practiced singing so hard, I was sure that I can sing live. But since I wasn’t experienced much and being a newbie, I had to lip-synch on stage more than not. I was left distressed until I sang live at of MBC TV in end of June. People complimented that “I thought you danced well, but you sing well too” and they were surprised on the other hand. Hearing compliments after singing live was the best memory I have until now. And my greatest wish is to become a singer who sings live well.
It’s been only three months since my debut. I was known by the song and its succeeding song is getting even more popularity among fans. I want to show my all-round talent that sings and acts well, and later, I want to succeed as a fashion designer. My biggest dream now is to stand tall as a successful singer in 10 years, and by then, I will start design studies. And in 20 years from now, I want to be acknowledged as a designer too. I thank all the fans for reading the star story of a three month old newbie singer’s star story.
Having received countless awards, Rain confessed that the first is still the most memorable. “At the moment when the emcee announced that I had won the “Most promising newcomer” award, my tears just started flowing.” With this, Rain expressed his gratitude to his mentor JY Park for discovering him.
Singer Park Jin-young, who heads the entertainer management company to which Bi belongs, once told a radio show that “I was always wondering whether [Bi] understood what I told him because he never replied even when I scolded him. One day I entered Bi’s room, and ended up breaking into tears.” Bi, who was then an aspiring singer, was poor at expressing his emotions verbally to his older colleague; He was a tiger who was about to starve to death, he came from the poorest of the poor.” . But what Park discovered in Bi’s room was a wall covered with “post-it” stickers. Every single sticker was filled with notes of what Park had told and advised him. Bi had written down every single piece of advice his older friend had given him, and had been doing his utmost to correct his mistakes and improve his skills.
Rain’s family was very poor. There is a story where Rain was drinking some water at night and when he turned on the light, he saw that there was a cockroach in the cup. Rain’s mother died from an illness that could have been treatable if the family had money. In fact Rain recalls that one of the last meals his mother had before she died was an instant packaged meal. Rain regretted such moments and the death of his mother has become his primary motivation in life. He strives to do the best at everything he can. In fact, Rain is always dreaming for bigger and better things and therefore he can never rest.
In the drama Sang Doo, his role kept switching between the present and the past; now he’s a gigolo; the next moment, he’s back to becoming a student. Hence his hairstyle was always changing, sometimes up to 6 times a day. No wonder he’s losing his hair… * … After that issue, I saw the two at the filming site. Suddenly it occurred to me that killing Sangdoo alone is indeed very cruel… * … But during the filming, Rain kept crying. I didn’t indicate in the script for him to cry, but he was totally into the role, so he couldn’t help but sob. He was crying so sadly he couldn’t speak properly and had to stop filming for a while.
Singing, acting–I don’t want to give up either. I guess I’m fortunate in this respect: when I get tired of acting practice, I can always work on my dancing, and if I get tired of that, I can go practice my singing.
“This is where we cook in our house! Yes, it’s the kitchen.
What could be in the fridge? Nothing.”
“This picture I shouldn’t make public but the two women…the one of my left is my noona who takes care of things for me in the US and the one on my right is my coordinator noona. Aren’t
they both pretty? They don’t have boyfriends. Introduce them to guys you know please”.
His first solo concert in Japan last summer, entitled “Rainy Day Japan” and held at the Tokyo International Forum, was so popular that all the tickets were sold out 30 seconds after going on sale. And the tickets for another of his concerts in Taiwan were sold out the moment they became available.
During one of his concerts in Japan, Bi enthralled his fans with a powerful and masculine performance onstage. But when he chatted with fans after the concert, he surprised his fans by displaying a boyish and playful demeanor, earning him the label “Kawai,” which means “cute” in Japanese. He is known as a powerful man onstage and a “cute” persona offstage. It is this characteristic that makes his fans crazy about him.
This is the girlfriend selected for the second concert in Hk. She is a Hongkongness, otherwise, fans would be mad..hehe…when bi asked her age…she replied 20… and Bi couldn’t believe it and asked “really? really?” and then said “you look young….” silly Bi…hehe… in Hongkong… after girls pass 20… they are 20 forever… kekeke… reluctant to tell people the real age… apparently… the girl is over 20, close to 30 i guess…
After Bi’s Nan perf, he covered up his body and acted like he was shy cos it’s bare. yeah u guys already know this. But the funny thing was, he tried to put his wet shirt back on! He was inserting his left hand inside the wet shirt! But ofcourse he couldn’t cos it was already wet! this just goes to show that Bi really was feelin a lil conscious at revealing his bod.
Also, when he took her hand to place the ‘engagement ring’ on her finger, she was reluctant to give her hand. When she did give her hand, we instantly knew why: she has a wedding band on her finger.
It’s also kinda funny that when Bi hugged her at the end of the song, he was actually hugging the bouquet of flowers, not the girl.
During that time, Rain told reporters while making “love that deserves to die”, because he only slept 1 hr a day, he had nosebleeding problem. In the drama he plays a K-1 fighter. He spends all day learning fighting techniques. It is rare to see such hard training for role as professional competitoner, making him tired. In reality, Rain often gets excited and trains hard to bring out the character. Its understandable outside or inside the drama, he often doesn’t sleep well.
Some fans in HK said…the dancers chose another girl instead of the forever 20s at first… but she had quick leg, rush into the dancers… so she was taken onto the stage… For the Korean girlfriend on Oct 08… there is a story also… a lot of chinese fans were mad that a Korean girl was chosen in HK concert… nobody take sympathy on her when she lost purse after the concert. A HK fan claims the Korea girl is her sister’s friend. She told others she doesn’t like bi in the past… From what we have known… what a waste to choose those two as bi’s onstage gfs…
At one point when Rain was dancing with a sexy female dancer whose accessory on her dress was hooked onto Rain’s belt buckle, both of them struggled a while before they could get separated, Rain at this time revealed a cheeky and oddward smile. She had to use her hand on his lower body to adjust it, making Rain ticklish and so he giggled non-stop.
He loves to show his perfect body to his fans but maybe you don’t know he has a little tricks that he always did in the concerts! It’s covering his breast by crossing his hands over his breast!
Rain, who has stated ambi-tions of being the first Korean act to crack America, has been named best Korean artist at a string of MTV awards shows across Asia this year.
The third album from singer Rain, entitled “It’s Raining” has recorded sales of over one million copies in 7 Asian countries, including Korea.
Bi: This is the most memorable mistake I made. Since I really like to dance, I was a backdancer for Pak JinYoung before debut. I have always liked to jump up and come down so one time when PJY was bending down, I jumped up (on a 2 floor stage) and then I was thinking, “I should have landed by now” but I haven’t landed yet. And when i’ve looked down, I realized that the stage height came to be 3 metres. So I thought, “oh I should come down now” and came down but as I landed my knee collided with my nose. And I have to continue dancing, I just can’t stop so with my fingers I blocked my nose. If I just plug my nose, the blood will drip down to my hand so as I blocked my nose(holes) with my fingers, I danced with one hand.
Reporter: You are much more handsome in person.
RAIN: Ah, Thank you!
Reporter: I believe many have told you so?
RAIN: Yes. I hear that… not often.
Reporter: Do you know why I dressed like this today?
Reporter: In our last news report I saw you fighting against 13 thugs. You were attacked so terribly. So, I dressed up like this to protect you from those thugs. Do you feel safe now?
RAIN: Now…I…feel…quite safe…yeah… (Laughs)
RAIN: Well, Youngjae in full House was…really introverted, very cute and very sweet. But this Kang, Bokgu is very tough, manish, dedicated lover, and protects his lover with everything he has. A real melodrama hero will he be.
Reporter: I envy her…
RAIN: Well, you don’t need to…
“Once, I was taking a relaxation after reaching the house. I felt something runny on the face and touched it with hands. But it was a nosebleed,” Rain introduced himself, “As others say like a joke, I am so dedicated to filming my scenes as to have my nose bled”
Reporter: You look thinner due to the busy schedule.
RAIN: (makes a funny face to show his becoming thinner) (laughs)
Rain continued acting in new drama after Full House, KBS TV’s “love that deserves to die”, will air next week. Yesterday afternoon, Rain and casts from the drama, including main actress Shin Minah attended the press conference.
Recently, every time Rain appears, he dresses surpisingly. including last time’s fish net hat and after wearing checkered suit. This time he appears wearing black with purple design. Rain expresses for this new drama’s fighter role, he lost around 16 pounds. Besides following a special meal plan, every day he exercises alot. His daily routine of 2 hrs of boxing practise increased to 6 hrs. He also practises akido. Every morning and evening he does 500 rope skipping.
KBS 2TV’s mini series “A Love to Kill” ended on December 20th with a relatively low viewer rating. A reception was held on December 20th at a restaurant in Yeoido to celebrate the ending of the drama production. At the reception, Rain(acting name by Jeong Ji-hoon) said, “I will never be able to forget the drama ‘A Love to Kill.’” Rain also said, “I tried my best to not make even a small error in the lines that the writer had written on the script. I’ve learned a lot through the dialogues I had to act. I wasn’t really care a lot about the viewing ratings, but it was an opportunity for me to learn that there are things in life that I can’t really make a big difference even though I worked hard.” The television series “A Love to Kill” was written by Lee Kyung-hee who had received great response from viewers with works like “Kkokji,” “Let’s Go to School, Sangdoo” and “I’m Sorry I Love You.” With Rain starring as the leading role, the drama “A Love to Kill” had caused high expectations that it will record high viewing ratings. However, the overall audience rating for the drama stayed in the mid-10% level, lower than the originally predicted figure. To alter his physique for the role, he told Korean journalists, he was jumping rope 2,000 times a day and eating only chicken breast and mackerel.
Bi: It was for Pak Jin Young’s song, ” But I already have a girl”. Sometimes when you’re dancing you forget so when I was using my right hand to stop the bleeding, I forget and use it to make a dance move then wipe with my other hand. And a dancer beside me told me that I was like a true professional.
BaekGga: So we were going to watch a movie but Bi said, “Hyung. I don’t feel well. I’ll come back from the pharmacy.” So he comes back from the pharmacy with a face mask. I thought that since people would recognize him, the mask is a disguise so I understood. Usually when you put on a mask to disguise yourself, it covers your whole face except your eyes. But Bi wore it under his mouth and on his chin. So as I was waiting in line to buy tickets for the movie, Bi was walking around nearby. And then someone would say, “Excuse me, are you bi?” and he would immediately reply, “yes, you’re right.”
Yoo Jae Suk: It’s okay, when you’re a new singer, it’s understandable.
Dongwan: It’s okay, we’ve done that too.
BaekGga: And then once inside the theatre room, he takes off the mask saying it’s hot. I remember that event clearly.
Bi: Whoo….No..I mean..No.. wait I’ll start over. I’ll explain..I have never wore a mask in my life.
BaekGga: That’s a lie.
Bi: I mean truthfully I can’t remember well..fine..let’s just say I wore the mask. Okay I wore the mask
Yoo Jae Suk: You didn’t wear the mask, you just let it rest on your chin. So you didn’t lie about never wearing the mask.
Bi: And when someone asks me if I’m Bi, I have never said, “Yes, you’re right.”
Yoo Jae Suk: Then what would you say?
Kim Won Hee: That is correct.
Bi: Yes..Yes..Yes you’re right..I mean!
Kim Won Hee: It’s okay, you are unhappy when unrecognized.
Yoo Jae Suk: That’s right, it feels good to have people recognize you.
Embarass Bi – laughing.
Q: Do you see each other often?
JYP: I think he visits me only when he wants songs from me.
RAIN: Yes. I visit him only when I need him. (Laughs)
Q: We heard you’ve recently had an operation.
RAIN: I wasn’t aware of the seriousness. But I had breathing difficulty when I was singing and sleeping at night.
When I’m fully recovered, I would feel more comfortable with singing. Double eyelid surgery is not on my list. (Laughs)
JYP: Shall we have it done together? Then we might get a discount. (Laughs)
Bi has a puppy and Bi says that the puppy must know about music because whenever he hears “It’s Raining” he starts barking and running around, and whenever he hears “Familiar Face” or “I Do”, no matter what he was doing before, the dog will sit down and be still. So cute!
Question: “There is something about my personality that I don’t like”
Bi: Yes. When he gets angry, no one can calm him down. Tries not to get angry and hold it in. When he was younger, he would throw anything he could get his hands on. Nowadays, the cost of the item flashes before his mind when he goes to grab something, so he has gotten into the habit of only throwing things that won’t break (the DJ and Bi are laughing very hard during this part). Kicking his car in anger– when he was younger, he didn’t care and did it anyways. Now, the cost of fixing what he damages flashes in his mind so he is not as carefree with this either. During the filming of FH, when there were scenes where he had to throw things, the director was wondering why he was only throwing things like his jacket, hat, etc. when there were other things around him that was more breakable.
Question: “I don’t spend a lot of $$”
Bi: Yes. Says he father usually takes care of his money, and also, he probably doesn’t have as much $$ as people think. DJ and him talk about the cost of different things as an entertainer, etc.
He told a reporter that he offically had 2 gfs before. The first one is a high school girl who is higher one grade than bi, they liked each other, but both were shy to tell. A common friend
help them out to be together. When bi joined in JYPE half year, she dumped Bi for a rich boy, even bi begged her to stay, but she didn’t want to wait. You may find this story from bi’s song “famous”. Heard the girl came back to his concert later…however bi turned his back to her…
Lost his first love Bi got hurt a lot ,then he met another girl who also seperated with bf. They had the same feeling and shared the same pain, but didn’t work out. Bi said the girl didn’t want to open her heart… This is bi’s past romance.
Another fan said, her friend also said that Rain acts like a big kid, very cute… because her friend said that Rain seldomly sleeps on the plane, instead, he tends to play video games a lot… and he always looks all around, just like a little kid…
After the program ended, when the staff was taking Rain away, Rain unexpectedly turned around and bowed to the other HK singers expressing his goodbyes. Even the singers were a bit surprised by his action… Also, a staff member dropped some files and Rain immediately helped him pick it up. It’s really hard to believe that someone as famous as him would be so friendly and polite.
Reporter: I think your activity in Asia started less than a year ago.
RAIN: Yes, it was less than a year.
Reporter: But you already have a label of “world Star.”
RAIN: Yes. Oh, it’s an over-praise. I thank you for that expression, anyway.
In fact, the effect of my album and drama seem to have been big. And, actually I’ve been really lucky to have a lot of love from fans.
Reporter: Do you know what is your attractive point to HK people?
RAIN: No, I don’t.
Reporter: Yes you do.
RAIN: Is it the way I smile? (Laughs) I’m sorry.
Reporter: It’s your eyes! Single eyelid eyes!
RAIN: I knew it! I’m telling you that it’s the time for rather fatty eyelids. It requires fatty eyelid to be…
Q: In order to be the best?
RAIN: In fact, there can be a person who is a better dancer, better actor, and better looking than me. Then, if I want to become better than that particular person, I must sleep an hour less than him/her, read a good book, many books, I think.
RAIN: (His backup dancers are ‘backgrounding’) Yes, now we have finished the Concert. And we are at the party which is hosted by the HK production. Please watch us having the party. One, two, three, fighting!
RAIN: (on the deck, drinking something) To me this is having a good time. It’s better for me this way than going out to other places to shake off the stress. I think it is fun to mingle with the staffs and have a good time.
Q : Thai fans are really interested in your style of dancing. Then, we’d like to ask how much do you have to practice ?
Rain : [Laughs] If I’ve got a free time, I practice for 7-8 hours long. On working days, I usually do it only 1-2 hours per day. (Rain laughs as he’s been answering this same question to our media for uncountable times. )
“People are always looking for the next thing that Rain will come up with, and they can be like “Eh, that’s all?” But the thing is, before I came out with my second album, people were telling me, hey, that’s it for Rain. That’s what they said. If I think back on it now, sigh…and more than I was afraid, I was like, “Hey, is this all you’ve got…Ji Hun, hey how embarrassing is that? Let’s show them.” I didn’t leave my house for a month. Even when I went to the US, I didn’t go out, I kept thinking about the wall I needed to break down…how would I break the stereotypes that people were used to from me, even with my dance moves. That’s when it came to me, “Ah, why did a dance singer always have to dance? I can be a mannequin. I’ll sing while standing. Let me put on some sunglasses, put on some clothes and create a visual using my name to succeed. In turn, I will only perform live. If I cough up blood, catch a cold, or keel over and die, I’ll do it on stage. That’s when I started wearing sunglasses and standing still. Thank Gudness it matched the style of music, and the results were Gud. But I was still longing for more, even though I got to this level, there was so much more and the road before me seems impossibly long.”
“I dance according to how I feel the dance. Not, ah, this is how I should dance here, but I dance whatever comes to mind while I’m singing. I don’t plan the dancing out so that I’m like, oh, I’m tired here, and so I can rest a bit here. It’s all depends on the flow of things. The same goes for acting, it’s all the same. My acting will change depending on how my partner is approaching me, it all changes with the flow of things.”
“Acting…was a “job” that I really wanted to do. Dancing, dancing is just me. Singing is something that allows me to dance on a wider scale…how can I put this? It’s my spirit. I release the stress I get from acting, by singing; and I release the stress from singing, by acting. No one understands the charm of this. People who do both should understand me. It’s not like I have a preference for either one, or the other, but what I want to do, me myself; the fact that I need both to create enough energy to be able to carry myself.”
“Instead of being a part of the Hanryu trend, I want to be in a class of my own. What I mean to say is, I’m Korean, and I have great pride in that, but I think that when I’m in Hong Kong, I’m a Hong Kong artist, and when I go to Japan, I’m a Japanese artist. I want people in other countries to just see me as another artist. Not a Korean one, or a Japanese one, but I want to be the person that advances Asian Culture. I hear that Baek Ji Chang came to the show tonight, and that there were many other Hong Kong stars here last night; they all said that they’d never seen such a performance before. So, they all think I’m crazy (smile) since I’ll suddenly tear my clothing, suddenly stop dancing and singing to laugh hilariously (smile) and act out a scene; I think those unusual things were refreshing to them. I want to use those different sides of myself to bring about a sense of newness to Asians. I want people to be pleasantly surprised as if to be like: Ah, look at that character that’s come out of Asia. There was never anyone like him before, but now there is…”
“Those who want to criticize me go ahead and criticize. I’m letting it all out on the line right now. I got most of my influence from Michael Jackson. I really appreciate Michael Jackson. I’ve never imitated Michael Jackson, nor have I ever imitated Usher. However, there may have been some similarities in my work. Something of Michael Jackson’s choreography or this particular dance move…those are things that have inspired me. On the other hand, in the US, Usher and Justin Timberlake are also harshly criticized. That they copy Michael Jackson too much. The stage… depending on how you use it, when you try and come up with ideas for that particular stage, it is possible to come up with similar ideas. Of course, there can be a specific motive for that as well. But I don’t make any excuses. I have confidence, and follow my pride; I can say truthfully to those that call me a “fake Usher…” that my work is not the same, as they perceive it to be. Even if I was right next to that person, I would show a completely different performance.”
“As a celebrity, I hold my tongue about a lot of things, and the things that get me upset, irritated, and ready to lash out on are… rumors. They take absolutely ridiculous rumors…they saw something, they heard something… then they talk about it behind your back, I wish that they would just say it. Then, if I really did make a mistake, I would say, “Ah, I’m sorry. I’ll make sure this never happens again.” Or, I would take whatever punishment I deserved. But to not have even been there to see it, but to have such little disregard for someone and just read something and go post that they had personally seen something, heard something…that…just hurts. I try not to worry about it…but that’s what I think. I’m trying my best to entertain all these people and this is how they perceive me…”
If there was something that you really didn’t want to give up, but had to, and something that you just are not willing to give up on?
Bi: My pride. My self-respect. The confidence that when I’m on stage, I am the best. Off the stage, I believe I’m more lacking than others. I’m still like “Wow~” when I see other celebrities today. That’s how lowly I see myself. But once I get on that stage, I believe that I am the best. What I need to let go of quickly, and this could be a paradox…but when I talked about how I didn’t want to act just for monetary reasons; popularity, acclamation, to make a lot of money with CF’s…it’s all Gud. But all those things leave you at one time or another. I want to be able to, not just leave those things alone to get away from them, but to choose, on my own, to leave them and get myself in order to say “Ah, Ji Hun Jeong is a great actor. Rain is a Gud singer. He dances well.” That’s how it should be. How much money did he make? He’s really popular. These aren’t the important things. I think I need to forget about those typical star characteristics.
Then, the one thing, in a normal life, that you had to give up?
Bi: A girlfriend.
Yes. Then, lastly, this is a personal question. This is for us normal 20-somethings who are curious; what personal dreams could someone like yourself, who can be considered to be at a summit in life, have left…?
Bi: (laughs loudly) To be a businessman. I really think that I can be successful at it. The reason I’m learning English is because of the work that I do, it does have to do with the fact that I want to achieve great things through that, but when I get to that certain point… when I feel that I have nothing more coming out of me and I need to earn a living, then if that was the end for me, I can put out a few more albums and still earn a living. But, there’s can be a limit to that and what if I happen to fail; I think that I need to run a business. That’s why I’m learning English, and reading marketing books lately.
OK, and then lastly, let’s play an association game. When you hear a word, say the first word that comes into your mind. Hong Kong.
Bi: I like it.
Bi: Ah, I like them.
You like them?
Bi: Yes, I like them (laughs)
Ji Hun Jeong.
Bi: Ji Hun Jeong? No idea (or “Jeong Jihun? He’s a fool”?).
A word to your fans.
Bi: I always hope you remain healthy, please watch Love of This Damn Man (laughs). I believe you’ll probably be very surprised. I worked very hard on it, so please watch; I really appreciate my fans in Korea. To come to another country like this and support me and lend me your strength…I’m so grateful.
Thank you so much. To take so much time out of your resting time…
Bi: No. This is what I needed to do.
Bi helped a fan being stumbled.
Kim Hwa Young (Rain’s dancer) compliments Rain, “Unlike the charisma on the broadcasting, Rain actually does many favors to the people around and smiles often times”.
Q: Your ideal woman?
RAIN: Yes. first of all, I want her to be good at cooking. Good at cooking, good at taking care of me, and who can say heartwarming words to me… Yes. I am very blunt person. Blunt in nature, but once you get to know me, I’m very charming. If anyone out there need me, please give me a call.
This is the first time a Korean singer has gone on an all-East Asia tour. Since his first solo concert at the Olympic Park in Seoul, in late January, he has lured over 80,000 people to sold-out concerts across Asia, including the KBS Hall in Busan, the International Forum and Budokan in Tokyo, the Pension Hall in Osaka and the Convention and Exhibition Center in Hong Kong.
It can be said that this latent passion for excellence is what made Bi what he is today. And Bi has great potential for further development because he always tries his best to sharpen his current skills through ceaseless practice. He is truly a believer in the saying, “Opportunity visits those who make great efforts”. There is no doubt that Bi will reach beyond Asia to become a global star someday because of his enormous talent and tireless work ethic.
In hotel, he would open door for visitors even when he is brushing teeth, moreover, his brush teeth time is 15 minutes.
Q: After catching both the hares of singing and acting, are you going to challenge any other genre?
Jeong Jihun: Oh no, it can’t be (he smiles). Now as an actor and singer, there is a farther way to go, I see. Some ago, I said to someone “How about me writing a song?” The person said “Don’t make me laugh. Take care of music first.” In the situation I am yet ignorant of where is my end of the road, I have no room enough to turn my eyes to any other else.
The phenomenon of the step into the super star of Rain, Korean one eyelid guy whose smile can make girls die, had only taken 3 years before he became well-known throughout Asia.
LORRAINE HAHN: RAIN welcome to Talk Asia. It’s so nice to see you. Tell me, why did you use the name “RAIN”?
RAIN: Before I made my debut, I was talking to my producer about which stage name to use. He said that I get an impression of sadness when I’m done singing so I decided on the Chinese character “Bi” which means sadness and sad is rain pouring, that’s why I chose this name.
RAIN: I remember going to auditions before my debut and I was rejected 12 (or 18?) times. I was told back then that the reason I was rejected was because my face was too ugly. I was even told to comeback after a cosmetic surgery. In fact I was told after one audition that my singing and dancing was great but I didn’t make it because I didn’t have double eyelids.
LORRAINE HAHN: I read that you lost your mother at a very young age, that must been a very very difficult time for you. How did you deal with that?
RAIN: My mother was big part of my life. The mother-son relationship between us was very strong. In Korea you have to take a national exam to gain entry into University, around that time I was getting ready to take the exam her health is deteriorating very badly and she begun scolding me a lot. I was also going to puberty and all of these just put a strain on our relationship. We didn’t talk much and became very distant. Before taking this exam, it’s usual to receive a traditional Korean sweets and my mother bought me this sweet and gave it to me together with a letter. In the letter she said that she was sorry and when I read it I was heart broken. After a few months during which we still didn’t speak much to each other, she passed away. So this day I regret that I wasn’t once able to pick her a bouquet of flowers or buy her a meal. At the time I bowed in front of her picture that when I receive a major award it would be in her honor. I’m very happy that I’ve achieved this.
LORRAINE HAHN: I’m sure she’ll be very proud of you. Have you dedicated any songs in her memory?
RAIN: In this concert there is a song that dedicated to her. I used to cry a lot when singing this song but now I’m more in controlled of my emotions. I think it is because of her memory that I try harder and become more humble and because of her I try to be a good person and not to do bad things.
LORRAINE HAHN: But it was a big risk right? You could have failed?
RAIN: I had faith. I believe that everything would turn out well in the end. But it was a struggle at first. At one point I didn’t eat for 4 days because I had no money. There was also a time when I was ill that couldn’t go to the hospital. It was hard but these events only made me more determined and they gave the strengths to overcome obstacles. I didn’t know then if it would take me 3, 4 or 10 years to succeed but I really believe it would happen someday. There were a lot of people who helped me a lot along the way as well. I think I was very lucky.
LORRAINE HAHN: How do you whine down after a show? I mean how do you relax?
RAIN: There are two ways I relieve my stress. After a performance I usually read a drama script or go out for a meal with my staff.
LORRAINE HAHN: That’s not fun!
RAIN: (laughing) For me it’s enjoyable.
LORRAINE HAHN: J-Pop, K-Pop; it just taken off here in Asia you know but so many people don’t even understand what they’re listening to, why do you think this is?
RAIN: Well, as I said earlier I think that anything that is sincere will get through to people. Showing everything without hiding anything that’s what I believe. When I see that people like my music even though they can’t understand the language, I’m convinced that it’s the sincerity that touches them and that they can relate to. It would be great If I could just study English and sing English songs. But there are so many other languages I need to learn. I need to study Japanese, Cantonese, Mandarin, Chinese, Tagalog (RB: RAIN said “Pilipin”). I’m a little worried about how I’m going to learn it all. But I will study hard and ill show my fans the improved me in the future.
LORRAINE HAHN: So how do you strike a balance in your life? You don’t sleep, you hardly have time for any hobbies, what do you do?
RAIN: I believe that if you want to gain something you need to sacrifice something else. So if I want to enjoy hanging out with friends or have a girlfriend it would be better for me to give up the work I’m doing now because it would be really difficult to do everything well. But because I’m still young, I think it’s better to lay those things aside for now and concentrate on my work. Someone once told me, there will be plenty of time to sleep when you’re dead.
“I don’t really want to do a very commercial movie. It’s not important to me to have huge audience ratings. Even if I’m offered a small budget movie, if it gives me the opportunity to show my acting skills and if it gives me recognition as a serious actor, I would be happy with that.”
There was a talk show on TV sometime early this year with One-Two (JYPE artistes) and others. The subject was on credit cards. This colleague of his said that Bi does not have credit cards at all. When they went drinking, he just walked out without paying coz no credit card !!! And he usually carried only 20000won in his wallet… When he shop, his manager takes care of the bills and he gives his earnings to his dad. So he does not really know how much money he has in the bank, maybe not sure how much.
“Before I release the 2nd album, almost all people said about me, “Hey, Rain will be no better than just there.” At that time…rather than being afraid, I said to myself, “Jihun, is this your limits? Jihun, then it’s a shame. Why don’t you really show yourself to the world?” Just so, I didn’t go out of home for a month. Even in America, I didn’t do out and I said to myself, “How can I get over this big barrier myself? How can I break this ice to the people who are accustomed to my choreography of the present?”. Hallyu is not a bad thing, but I shouldn’t stay with it. I want to be a star of the countries of my fans, talk to them and find similarities with them. So I started learning foreign languages. I really hate becoming a mannequin that goes to a foreign country to smile and pose for photographs. In a concert you should do your best with what you can. Some may say it isn’t an ability to take off clothes, but I think I should do things that I can, that others dare not”.
“If I love someone but I do not have the time to protect or take care of her, I feel that this is inadequate. I yield to have a steady girlfriend, but I do not have so much time. This is a real pity. My producer, JYP, who’s like a big brother to me, always wanted to help introduce someone to be my girlfriend. But I am afraid. Till now, I feel that it is too early to start a relationship. I like all type of girls”. Especially for a singer, planning for future release of albums and the type of songs for the future or the direction of release of the albums etc… these are all provided by my teacher. I can say that JYP is closer to me than my own brother. He knows where I am lacking….we are very particular about our pride…. I think many will have a lot of own ideas and values their pride a lot. I am especially like that. So JYP uses this to motivate me, so that I can have new inspiration and rejuvinate with new energy…this is the important part which he understands me. Although he is very fierce, he has never punished me physically. We communicate through words.”
Patty: Words sometimes can hurt more than physically punishment. We say that guys have a strong sense of pride…however, it is not easy to handle. How does teacher handle it, what is the best method to use that would best encourage Rain?
JYP: I, I think, I think the easiest way for me to make him move, is basically saying “I am not, I am not going to release your album”. That one word…is everything.
“My mother gave me her ring as a gift when I was in 3rd year of high school. We were very poor then, not only materially, but also suffering mentally. At that time, my mother’s health condition was very bad and she passed away later. I grew up in these conditions and it adds to my personal strive to succeed. I have seen my mother suffering and her fight against her illness left a deep impression in me… it cuts like a knife. So now my hard work on stage is nothing compared to my mothers’ suffering. But in the process of growing up, the impact of this has been very great, this has become the force that is driving me to work hard. One thing I regret is that even though I have earned a lot of money, I have not given my mother a good meal or bought her any flowers. This is something I really regret. I envy those who still have their mother. And now, me and my father, I would take all opportunities to spend time with him. I am not good in expressing myself, my point is that even though I do not say much at home, and I find it hard to say the word ‘love’, but there are many methods today to maintain that bond, especially when I am away in concerts, I would use the email to send a message to father or brother or sister. If there is an opportunity, use the email, or snail mail will do too. So if young people today have this opportunity, they should grasp it (should mean about keeping the bond with ones’ family, in his case Mother, when one still have them). Although I have lost my mother, it is painful for me, but it’s (memory of his mum) a great pillar of support for me mentally, and that is always driving me on. As for the ring on my finger, I lost my mothers’ ring when I was very busy at work quite a while ago. I never find it and a fire broke out in my house, at that time, the ring was lost. (…but why did RAIN laugh at this part??). As for the ring I am wearing now, its from the time when I held my concert in Japan, a fan put it on for me (I think he used aunty, so the fan must have reminded him of his mum). That fan said “this is a very expensive ring”. I have not taken it off since. I’d like to urge for those who still have their parents and siblings with them to always remember to express their love, to use the money they’ve earn to treat their family to a meal or express our love.
“I’m putting my personal life on hold for the time being. I’ll like to put more effort in my work now. To Rain, whose career is smooth-sailing now, the biggest problem is not having enough time. Rain has got very little time outside of his concert tour and filming. Certainly then, spending time on his personal things is out of the question. However, Rain feels that in comparison to time for sleeping, he does need to spend more time thinking about his performances. “Not being able to practice more like newcomers is troubling me the most. The targets are high, and with that, maintaining my standard is becoming more difficult.” Having a girlfriend, going to tours with her…sometimes he envies activities that the normal young people can do. “Even now, there are times when I feel that I’m alive but not living. When I’m too busy, I’ve wondered why I’m living life the way I am. But great chances keep knocking at my door, and I cannot ignore them. I’m prepared to devote all my energy into work while I’m young. Although I’m anxious about my private life, but if I have any additional time, the thing I want to do most is still to practice. Offstage I am nothing, and I have no idea where my position is, I must control myself. But onstage, I am the best.”
“My sweetest old days are the time when I was with my mother ’cause I love and miss my mom the most. And also my good time with friends from highschool. I had a lot of friends at that time and we did a lot of fun activities together.”
“I will work much harder to show you an improved Rain. I do not want to disappoint all of you, so I will work very hard to show you a better me.”
“When I die, I will look back and see how much have I failed, and how much have I achieved?
Doesn’ matter which one is more. I just want to feel that I have been doing my best to lead my life well. As long as it’s something I can do, I want to do, I want to challenge it. I want to challenge the impossible.”
“Never-ending humility; never-ending perserverance; never-ending diligence. That’s my motto in life.”
“You can dream when sleeping; but when I’m awake, I can still dream.”
“I will always remember the promise I made to my fans onstage. If I can’t fulfill my promises, I can’t fall asleep.”
“You have to be 120% prepared to give your 100% on stage.”
“Even when I think I’m already at my peak, and there’s nowhere else to go but downhill, I will still go on…”
“Compared to years of experience, the method to getting the job done is more important.”
“I’m always battling with myself; please let me win the battle this time too” (Thank you speech in third album)
“When acting, I hope to be the best actor; when holding the mike, I hope to be the best singer”
“It’s ok, this is me. Just do better the next time round” (When he makes a mistake)
“I do it for the sake of surpassing myself”
“I know not everybody will like me, so I will work harder.”
“Although it’s tiring not to be able to sleep now, in any case, after I die, there will be plenty of time to sleep. I approach my practises with this in mind”