K-Pop Impresario Takes Japan by Storm

  • By Lee Hai-woon

    July 30, 2020 13:52

    Park Jin-young

    NiziU, a girl band born out of reality show Nizi Project by Korea's JYP Entertainment and Japan's Sony Music, is off to a sensational start.

    Their song "Make You Happy" released on June 30 has took the top spots in Japan's Oricon Chart and in 107 charts around the world including Japan's Line Music and China's QQ Music.

    Their success has turned the focus on Korean pop mogul Park Jin-young, himself a singer and dancer and CEO of JYP. Forbes magazine on July 25 quoted Park as saying during the show, "The process makes results, and attitude decides what you can achieve."

    Park seemed to emphasize the importance of self-discipline over talent. "Don't ever say or do anything off-camera that you can't say or do in front of the camera," he said, and stressed the importance of "sincerity, diligence, and modesty."

    Unlike his famous U.K. counterpart Simon Cowell, unkindly dubbed the "Karaoke Sauron," Park rarely has any harsh words for the contestants. "I never ask you to do things that I don't do myself," he has said.

    "People who achieve the dream are those who overcome themselves, rather than people with talent."


    Park keeps to a tight schedule. He gets up at 7 a.m. and studies Japanese, has a breakfast of yogurt, olive oil, nuts and fruit at 8 a.m., plays with his two daughters at 8:30 a.m., exercises at 9 a.m., and practices singing at 11 a.m.

    This has been his schedule for 27 years, and his goal is to be still able to dance at 60.

    The Nizi Project was part of JYP's globalization project that Park presented in a lecture at Macquarie Securities in 2018. Park said at the time that he would like to start scouting new talent and releasing albums in different countries using JYP's rigorous training system.

    Sony showed interest in Park's project and decided to work with him because the Japanese pop scene is in global decline. It had its heyday in the 1990s with superstars such as Namie Amuro and Takuya Kimura. But then K-pop took over in the 2000s, and most contestants were born after 2000 to parents who are fans of Korean bands like TVXQ and Big Bang.

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