John Park: "My Goal is to Become a Musician (Not an Entertainer)"


John Park from Mnet “Superstar K2” finally made his debut with the first album, “Knock,” after 16 months of winning second place on the show. Some might consider this a late start compared to his fellow contestants on “Superstar K2”  as Jang Jae In and Huh Gak already released two or three albums and started their career almost instantly after the show wrapped up.

This late start of John Park is a very peculiar move on his side, considering that many big name music entertainment agencies jumped to sign a contract with him, who gained his popularity well before “Superstar K2” ended as a “Uhm-Chin-Ah” (the almost mystical figure of “Mother’s Friend’s Son” who is perfect in every way possible)– He’s tall, good looking, enrolled at Northwestern University, and was on popular American TV show “American Idol.” 

John Park explained, “I wanted to get rid of the bubble and this meant that I needed this break to be forgotten. The hype of audition programs followed by the extreme exposure to media and public was a huge burden and I did not know what to do with myself. I thought I needed some downtime to be considered and recognized as a musician.” 

This explains why he chose Music Farm, where Kim Dong Ryul and Lee Juk are, as his agency. He thought Music Farm will allow him to focus solely on music. Other big named agencies allured John Park with the promises of prospective acting and variety entertainment career, but Music Farm firmly pledged, “We will lead you to music.” John Park commented, “Many agencies thought very highly of my merit as a commercial product and a prospective star, but I’m too shy for things like that. I signed up to be a part of ‘American Idol’ and ‘Superstar K’ not to be an entertainer, but to become a musician.”  

Of course, John Park struggled with the idea of having to release his first album as soon as possible pressuring him everyday. However, as he watched other audition contestants making their debuts, he soon understood that he can talk as much time as he needs to produce quality music and that is exactly what he did. 

Comparing himself to other contestants, John Park stated, “Huh Gak is doing great and Jang Jae In is writing songs that represents herself very well. I think what they are doing is right for them, but I am the type of person who needs a lot of preparation. I had to try really hard, maybe harder than others, to understand and portray uniquely Korean sentiment and delicate sensibilities.”

In the album that he prepared for over a year, John Park did not restrain himself to “his taste and color in music.” He explained, “My goal wasn’t to flaunt my musical taste or preferences. It was to sing popular music that is fitting to Korean sentiments. I want to be seen as a new artist, who is starting his career with pure innocence and passion in music. So all five songs in my album have very clean cut sound with sweet lyrics and I tried to show my delicate vocals through these songs. I am very satisfied with this album. I will start showing my kind of music from the next album and on with songs I wrote myself.”  

John Park’s first album “Knock” comes with five songs including the title song, “Falling.” Kim Dong Ryul was a big help in making this album, writing three songs. “Falling” is a pop ballad, composed by English composer Andy Plats. John Park wrote the lyrics for the song, which is ranked within the top 3 of many online music charts, competing against BIGBANG and miss A’s newly released songs. 

At the end of the interview, John Park added, “It was an honor to work with Kim Dong Ryul and Lee Juk. I wish to become a long-run musician who is honest with his own music like them. I hope people will enjoy my new album with relaxed and open-minded attitude.” 

Check out the music video of John Park’s newest single “Falling” below!