October 3, 2022

Welcome to Fan Chant, a weekly column for Ok-pop followers, stans, and newbies alike. Every week, I’ll be rolling out interviews, lists, and all types of content material to maintain you within the loop on the most recent and best from our associates in Seoul and past. Additionally, be sure that to subscribe to my companion e-newsletter!

A number of weeks in the past, I had the enjoyment of leaping on the cellphone with the one and solely Jackson Wang to talk about his great new album, MAGIC MAN. We had a very pretty dialog that spanned nearly an hour, and for at this time’s column, I needed to share a bit extra about extra concerning the expertise, together with some full quotes from our chat that didn’t make it into the ultimate interview.

I ought to’ve identified when the dialog began like this:

Mary: Howdy, Jackson Wang, I’m so joyful to be speaking to you.

Jackson Wang: I’m very excited, too.

…that I used to be in for it.

The factor is, I’ve gotten the sense that folks throughout the Ok-pop group have sure expectations for Jackson Wang, a few of which I mentioned with him. Once I actually beginning diving into the Ok-pop world, first as a fan after which as a journalist, it turned clear to me that regardless of which group you stan, Jackson Wang blurs the strains a bit. He’s beloved throughout fandoms, identified for his intelligence and appeal — the man can communicate 4 languages fluently, educated to be an Olympic fencer previous to debuting in GOT7, and has change into a real multi-hyphenate inventive power over the course of his profession.

I used to be curious to know if he knew of this popularity, which appears particularly prevalent within the U.S., and the reply is not any, he completely didn’t. All through the dialog, his solutions have been lengthy and considerate — I don’t know if I caught him in a very reflective temper, if he’s all the time this contemplative about his followers and his place throughout the leisure panorama, if the themes of his album have been nonetheless contemporary in his mind, or a mixture of this stuff.

“To begin with, I didn’t know, and thanks to everybody if it’s actual. All I need to say, and what I’d need to inform my followers, and individuals who aren’t my followers, I all the time need to give out a message that should you come throughout me by means of television or music or simply me as an individual, I would like you to know that me as an entertainer and an artist, I’m simply doing my finest to entertain individuals by means of music and efficiency,” was his reply.

Previous to our cellphone name, I used to be additionally deeply curious to see if one other element of Jackson Wang’s public persona was certainly truth or fiction. The concept of a “Jackson Wang celebration,” or the artist himself being on each visitor listing, felt like one other Ok-pop inside joke that has grown into fandom mythology, however Wang answered the query for me earlier than it might even be requested.

“My abdomen hurts,” he instructed me proper as we jumped on. He was in restoration mode, bouncing again from the afterparty of 88rising’s Head Within the Clouds competition, which had taken place a couple of days previous to our chat. With out nearly any prompting on my finish, he began telling me concerning the celebration, the forged of characters, the vibes, and the vitality. “My associates, everybody I do know from Korea, all of the brothers and sisters, actually everybody was there, everybody from totally different communities. Individuals I met from highschool, my classmates, my buddies since highschool in Hong Kong, it was loopy. It felt like a dream to have everybody in that place.”

I held again from asking the follow-up I had in thoughts — What’s a lady acquired to do to get on the invite listing for such an occasion? — however the query nonetheless stands.

Under, get pleasure from a few of the full solutions from Jackson Wang, only for you, the readers of Fan Chant, and stream MAGIC MAN.

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