Jung Joon-young wants to turn back the clock with ‘Teenager’

By Korea Herald
  • Published : Jun 26, 2014 - 20:40
  • Updated : Jun 26, 2014 - 21:47

Popular singer, DJ and TV entertainer Jung Joon-young is reprising his rock star ways with the unveiling of his latest EP, “Teenager.”

Conceptually based on the fictional Lost Boys adage of never wanting to grow up, Jung’s latest album is all about trying to recapture one’s youth through rock and roll.

Dressed in a business suit and tie, Jung introduced the concept of his new record through a corporate-style PowerPoint presentation during a press showcase at the IFC Mall on Thursday.

“The songs embody the idea of an adult who continues to dream on; as children, we would dream about growing up and what things will be like when we are adults,” Jung explained. “I think even as adults, we have dreams that are always changing so I wanted to express the notion that we are always dreaming children at heart.” 
Rock singer Jung Joon-young performs during a showcase at the IFC Mall on Thursday. (Yonhap)

Coming nearly eight months after the release of his debut album, “1st Mini Album,” the newly released six-track “Teenager” marks Jung’s return to music after spending most of the past year on TV, appearing in a number of TV reality programs.

“Given my frequent television appearances on entertainment shows, many people were always asking about when I would be releasing new music,” said Jung. “Some fans were even worried that my image would become stuck as a TV figure (and not a musician). It took me about eight months to prepare this album, which I felt was a very short period of time; but since the preparation process was really fun, I did not feel pressured to rush the new release.”

Despite his many attempts in the past to pursue a rock career in Korea, Jung was a relatively unknown figure in the music scene until he appeared on the popular singing audition program “Superstar K4” in 2012. His unique, high soaring rock vocals landed him a spot in the season’s top three, where he eventually lost the crown to his friend Roy Kim.

Last October he released his debut solo EP, in which he left his signature rock style behind. Instead he released a string of rock ballads in keeping with the nation’s more mainstream style of rock.

However with “Teenager,” Jung has strapped on his electric guitar again and returned to his energetic shouting ways, writing the lyrics to all of the tracks to ensure that the songs “best suit his vocals.”

During the showcase, Jung performed three of the album’s singles: “Hold On,” “To Me” and the album’s lead single “Teenager.” Each of the songs made clear that the rocker was looking to stray away from the slow tempo ballad tracks this go around and show people that there’s nothing wrong with music being loud and hard. The beginning of “To Me” had an almost Fred Durst of Limp Bizkit inspired rap rock approach ― even curing a bit at parts, with Jung shouting the chorus line through a megaphone.

“When I was writing the new songs, I did not think about whether they would appeal to the masses,” Jung said. “The thing is, popularity tends to go hand in hand with mainstream music. However, my musical background and colors are far from what you’d call mainstream music. ... Though some will like the new album and some will not, I’m really happy that I was able to do what I love.”

“Though people sometimes dismiss rock as music that is loud and ostentatious, I hope that I can change such perceptions with my music,” the rocker added.

Jung will perform live with fellow singer Jung Dong-ha at a duet concert titled “Someday in July” at the Lotte World Hotel on July 20.

By Julie Jackson (juliejackson@heraldcorp.com)