Exclusive interview with K-pop singer-songwriter and music producer Park Jiyeon

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It’s not uncommon for people who listen to music on a daily basis to forget that most of the songs we listen to are not always created or written by the performers, even if they are multi-talented entertainers. We usually forget that it can take some time to develop a song from scratch or to write good lyrics. So who are the people working behind the scenes to make our music so enjoyable?

I got to speak with producer and singer-songwriter Park Jiyeon who is known throughout Japan, Thailand, China and Korea. At the age of 30, she has already worked with a long list of artists, and has another list of dream collaborators whom she hopes to work with some day. Her dog Oreo is her one true inspiration and she was excited about the chance to talk about her work.

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You seem extremely talented both vocally and musically, what instruments can you play?
Jiyeon:  Thank you for the compliment! I have played the piano since I was 5-years-old and my major in college was vocals, so I’ve had extensive vocal training. But I’ve been playing the piano for a long time. Sometimes, I can express my feelings better without words when I play piano: that’s why the piano will always be my favourite instrument.

You’ve worked with some very high end music companies within the Korean music industry. Who has been your favourite to work for?
Jiyeon: That would have to be the producer, Daniel Kim. Daniel and I have written many songs together since we studied in Tokyo.We wrote songs for the likes of  Got7, Amber Ann etc… He is an absolute musical genius and a very funny guy as well.

Can you name a few of the artists you have written songs for?
Jiyeon:
 So far, I have written songs for Fantasm from Japan, Amber Ann from Taiwan, Jane Lee from China and Got7 from Korea. I also have some new people in mind for the future.

Are you working with any artists at the moment or in talks to work with anyone special in the future? 
Jiyeon: If I could, I would love to work with Jolin Tsai (Taiwan), Zhang Liyin (China) and Richard Parkers (Korea). I love their voices and music!

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The Korean and Japanese indie scene is becoming ever more recognisable and just as global as K-pop. Do you feel this could be a bigger game changer for the Korean music scene than K-pop?
Jiyeon: Yes I do. There are so many fresh, new indie artists in Korea that I would love to introduce to the world!

It seems as though Korea is becoming a bit of a hotspot for tourists. With K-pop becoming bigger and better every year, what kind of impact do you feel this has on Korea as a whole? 
Jiyeon: I guess K-pop has brought many tourists to Korea, as well as K-dramas. If you’re into K-pop then you might want to check out the Hongdae area and Sangam where you can actually meet many K-pop and K-indie singers.

Everyone has inspirations, if you could choose someone who inspires you, who would it be? 
Jiyeon: My dog, my family and my sweetheart.

Be sure to keep an eye out for Jiyeon on her musical journey! In the meantime check out her first release as a singer, “Walking On Snow” and the song “Turn Up The Music“, which she wrote for one of Korea’s top boybands GOT7

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