Exclusive Interview with Rising Pop/R&B Artist Justin Park On His New Single “You Don’t Know”
JUSTIN PARK is a Korean-American singer/songwriter from Los Angeles. With a charming voice as his instrument, he is the future of R&B. Justin made his official musical debut in 2018 with his album, Places Like Home, which the LA native penned himself. It was an album for the five years of development. Justin had spent writing and developing with 5A LABEL as an artist, and MRMG as an international writer, where he has written for Korean Pop artists (B.A.P). His records, “Like We Used To” and “On the Low,” gained rave reviews, being featured on Billboard USA, Digital Journal, Genius, Billboard Korea, and Billboard Radio China. However, it was his cover of Pink Sweat$’s critically acclaimed hit, “Honesty,” that put Justin into the limelight, meeting Pink himself and gaining attention worldwide.
Justin has worked with major brands such as AXE, McDonald’s, Ultimate Ears, Blue MIcrophones and SMARTWATER have called upon for various campaigns and has toured all over North America, including a National/North America tour with Amber Liu in (2018, 2020) and dates with BewhY with LiveNation Korea, as his own PLACES LIKE HOME (2019) tour that expanded from U.S Colleges from UPENN to UCLA, SXSW for DRILL BY SOUTHWEST showcase, and ending in Seoul, Korea for EDC (Electric Daisy Carnival) 2019 with acclaimed DJ/ Producer HOLLY.
“YOU DON”T KNOW” was written and produced by Dirk Pate, known for his work with acts such as Beyonce, Akon, Eminem, and Boys II Men to name a few. 2021 has been a very active year for the Korean American artist. He recently featured on Demie Cao’s recent single, “Circles” as well as collaborated with Ted Park for their joint summer single, “Adore You Dior You”.
Hi Justin, welcome to OLC! So for all the people out there in OLC! land tell us a bit about yourself?
I am an R&b/Pop singer songwriter, who’s traveled the world doing shows and writing camps. I’ve performed alongside Amber Liu who was generous enough to have me a part of her last two massive America tours. I’ve performed at festivals like EDC thanks to my brother Holly. All in all, I’ve done many things to date, but nothing compared to what’s about to happen with my next album I Can See the Stars From Here.
How did your musical journey begin and how did you develop your passion for music?
My musical journey began at a young age when I had taken interest in music. I’d gone to talent scouts, and talent auditions but never really quite had luck until high school. High school is when I had become bolder, and really took it to myself to do what I wanted to in life. At the age of 17 is when I began writing and recording as if I was already an artist, the rest is history.
Do you think K-pop has influenced your career at all?
K-pop has influenced my career, but for the most part as a very young child. I think I was interested in Kpop when I was in 6th grade; I had the long hair and everything. But that was a long time ago and I can’t say I’ve brought much of it into the music that I make today.
What has been the most memorable moment of your career so far?
My most memorable moments were probably in Korea, and China thus far. Not too sure what it is, but being in another country always brings out this crazy adventurous side of me. I loved being a part of writing camps, even though they were so long and strenuous. I always felt as if it was a test of my skill; writing while tired, writing while hungry, writing while delusional always gives me that sort of rock star movie feel.
What have been some of your biggest hurdles?
My biggest hurdles have always been me. I’m always so hard on myself and I beat myself down a lot. I think that as soon as I’m able to deal with that part of me, I can become the best version of myself.
Now let’s talk about your new single “You Don’t Know”, taken from your forthcoming album I Can See The Stars From Here, what inspired the song and what does it mean to you?
“You Don’t Know” is a melancholic song about an unrequited love. A song about the pursuit of love with someone who either does not see, or does not wish to see that love. It is a sad song, laced in beautiful melody.
Is there going to be a video for the single and what can you tell me about it?
It depends on which single you mean? And yes, there will be videos indeed. Lots of videos.
What can people expect from your EP I Can See The Stars From Here?
Well, I Can See the Stars From Here holds a deep meaning in my heart, and the title was termed because of some deep feelings I had about my city and the time we live in. I don’t want to give too much away before the album drops, but I hope people can pick up on some of the things I speak on.
With everything returning to some kind of normalcy are you planning on getting back on tour?
Yes, I absolutely cannot wait to get back on tour. With every ounce of hope in my body I hope that my agency can get a tour together for my album, at the least a West Coast tour.
If you weren’t a musician, what do you think you would be doing right now?
I’m not sure, probably racing cars somewhere.
Who is one artist past or present you would love to work with and why?
Michael Jackson all day, just so I could adopt his way of sharpening his craft. I think that Michael has one of the biggest work ethics and dedication to music.
What is your ultimate goal you want to achieve as a musician?
My ultimate goal is probably receiving a Grammy. But right now I’m focused on seeing insane streaming numbers and massive crowds at shows ready to throw it down.
Do you have any advice for any aspiring musicians?
Work on making your ear better. Listen to good music, and start figuring out for yourself what you like and what you don’t. Your identity will come with time. You’re going to have to make a lot of crappy music before you get to the hit singles, so don’t be phased easily.
What’s next on the agenda for 2021?
Literally take over. I want the Justin park brand to be so big that it’s all over YouTube, TikTok, Instagram, really any social media. We’ve grinded for 8 years now, it’s about our time at something bigger.