DKZ's Jaechan debuts solo with 'JCFactory'By Choi Ji-won
Published : Sept. 6, 2023 - 18:24
Jaechan from K-pop group DKZ officially made his solo debut Wednesday with "JCFactory," an album packed with self-written songs.
"I'm debuting solo after 4 1/2 years. I feel both nervous and excited right now. I hope I can show a new side of myself," the singer-songwriter said Wednesday, during a media event held in Seoul a few hours ahead of the album's release at 6 p.m. that day.
Jaechan's first solo EP, "JCFactory" is a collection of five songs mainly produced by the musician.
According to the singer, the new album stemmed from his reflections on his own style and the anticipation of listeners over his solo persona.
"I gained a clear picture of the music I wanted to try through the past four or five months of my career, and I wanted my first solo album to be one that meets my own needs, as well as those of the public and the fans. It wasn't easy, but I think I've done quite a good job," he said.
Introducing listeners to his solo repertoire is "Hello," the main track of the album. With a pleasant, easy-listening R&B tune, peppered with plucking and 808 bass sounds, Jaechan showcases himself as a soloist musician.
"The plucking sounds at the start of the song really pop. While introducing myself through the lyrics, I also invite listeners to hang out together," he said about "Hello."
On Aug. 24, Jaechan prereleased "Time." On the gentle, acoustic single, Jaechan addresses concerns he faces with the passage of time, sharing his genuine thoughts in his own words.
Also listed on the album are three love-themed anthems. "Oh Girl" and "Mayb (Feat. Nathania)" sing about the brighter side of the emotional ups and downs of life. Meanwhile, "Replay" reflects on the lingering emotions after a breakup.
While many albums tend to follow a coherent story through their track order, Jaechan said he broke free of that restriction and ordered the songs randomly.
"I didn't make a story for the album from the start. I just packed it with music that I liked. After listening to all of the songs, I hope people will come back for more," the soloist said, adding that the album embodies his everything.
The name, "JCFactory" -- referring to "a space for Jaechan's creation" as put by the singer -- was what led him to a self-written album, he said.
"At first, I considered receiving the lead single from someone else. But then the name 'JCFactory' came out during a company meeting. It was the perfect title, and I thought it wouldn't make sense if I included songs that weren't by me on such an album. I knew it would be difficult, but I decided to make all the songs," Jaechan said, reminiscing on when he first started his solo project early this year.
Jaechan debuted as a member of Dongyo Entertainment boy band DKZ in April 2019 with the act's first single, "Dongkiz on the Block."
The 21-year-old artist has shown exceptional flair in music production, taking a major role in the creation of his team's songs. Starting with penning rap lyrics for the band's 2019 single "Dreaming You," he also went on to take part in writing lyrics for "Beautiful," "Uh-heung" and "Harmony," and was credited both as a composer and lyricist for "Give You," "2021 (Memories)," "Our Seasons" and "2022 (Forever)."
Jaechan also recently started exploring the worlds of acting and radio hosting as well, taking on a main role in online video streamer Watcha's original drama series "Cinematic Error" last year. He has continued to prove himself as a versatile entertainer beyond the scope of the music scene.
Jaechan also addressed his team, DKZ, which is currently going through a time of rearrangement after the departure of two members just this year. Munik left in February following a year and half of inactivity due to health issues, while Kyoungyoun departed last month following revelations of his family's affiliation to the scandal-ridden cult JMS.
Jaechan said the group is enduring the rough time right now, while it gears up to come back as a solid unit.
"We always talk about the group, the members and the company as well. We discuss about how we should redirect the group activities since it's impossible to continue like before with the changed team composition," he said. "We're restoring things, and when this is done, we'll come back."
Just as with his first album, Jaechan hopes to show music of his own creation that reflects his quality as a solo artist.
"When I make music, I never think about how I could stand out or differentiate myself from others. I just do it. It's made by Jaechan and performed by Jaechan, and thus it's mine. I try to just show myself as I am now," he said.
The artist also hoped to meet fans' expectations: "Fans call me 'factory owner,' which is quite a hefty title for me. But I want to bring out better music with time and live up to that title."
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