It goes without saying that Jay Park is one of the most popular Korean hip-hop artists currently working today, but for all his success now, it wasn't all easy for the rapper.
Park made an appearance on the latest episode of The Glow Up podcast, and he revealed that being being born in Seattle meant that he initially had no aspirations in becoming a K-pop star, having more of a keen interest in hip-hop and rap instead. However, he attended a JYP Entertainment audition after his mother suggested it to him, and he ultimately was selected as a trainee.
Due to his family's financial problems at the time, Park stated that he "naively" decided to move to Korea to be a K-pop star in the hopes of becoming successful before moving back to America. The transition from Seattle to Korea proved to be difficult for Park as not only could he barely speak Korean, he struggled to fit in with the South Korean culture at the time.
During his three year tenure as a JYP trainee, which he described as "artist development" time, Park trained up to 8 hours a day on his dancing and singing. While he says the training did prove to be helpful, the trainee methods ultimately killed Park's musical creativity and passion because he felt like he lost his "individuality" due to everything feeling "kind of like programming."
Park also revealed that life for trainees was harsh back then, although he does say that it has improved considerably since. While Park escaped any discipline due to his dancing skills, he recalled trainees getting hit for making mistakes during dance class, something that came as a shock to him.
Listen to Jay Park recount his JYP trainee experiences right here, starting at the 15:30 mark:
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