eaJ Discusses Going Solo, Things He's Learned and Upcoming Album

In a recent interview with Audacy, former DAY6 member eaJ had an in depth discussion about his goals for promoting as an American artist. Some to notable timestamps include the following: 

[:39] — Moving back to California, adjusting to living in the states. “It’s been a bit of an ordeal. I moved back in early February. It’s like adulting in Korea and America is a little different — the social security number, medical insurance, car insurance — It’s been a hassle, but it’s definitely opened up my perspective to be an adult. It’s a little different now…Last time I was in America was for the festival, now I’m back for good...Trying to transition out of being an artist in Korea and incorporating myself more into the American scene, and understand how things work.” 

[1:53] — How social media influences artists in America. “I realize, in America a lot of music breaks through platforms like TikTok, social media. Tried that, utterly failed. I had a terrible time on it. I think I’m a little too old, a little bit. I’m 30 now. It’s harder for me to understand those things and how they work. What’s funny and not be cringey…TikTok seems to be the game changer. That seems to be the make it or break it point these days. I really want to crack it, because I have high expectations for the single ‘To do’, and it just didn’t work out.”

[3:41] — What he’s learned. “I definitely got into some trouble. I said some things about a friend and she didn’t take it very well, and I think that was a really big turning point, and I realize having been in the street for twelve plus years in Korea. I had grown very very angry, and I was angry at first because of the things I was restricted from doing and because of the freedom I was given — whether it was artistically, or just as a human being in general — but then after having that conversation with her and figuring things out…We got it figured out so we’re all good now. It made me think and take a step back and look at myself. I realized I had been angry for a long time, but there was no reason to be angry anymore because I was free and could do what I wanted. I had all the space in the world to make my imagination and music come to life and I was still angry because of things that happened years ago. I had to break out of that mental curve, and that’s something I’ve been working on the past couple of months.” 

[5:40] — Going solo. “The whole eaJ, like the name itself, my artist name is eaJ, but that branding came from a passion project that I was doing as I was Jae of DAY6, and one day I was like, ‘Yo, let’s just flip the name. Let’s go back to the roots.’ I had been writing for the band, and when you’re writing for a band the company gives you a reference like, ‘We want you to sound like this’. Then you’re kind of just dispensing songs, and you become a song dispenser almost, and having done that for 10 years, you forget what you like to do. It had gotten to that point, so I started the passion project called eaJ, I started releasing the music on SoundCloud and it started doing well. Things just organically ended up with me here, with you, having this interview, and it’s great. ‘Car Crash’ is coming out in a couple days, and I’m so excited.” 

[6:44]— His manager influenced his first single pick ‘Car Crash’. “Because my manager liked it. I honestly thought it would be better for my first single to be another song called ‘Wallflower’ that I have, but he definitely thinks that ‘Car Crash’ has more potential, so I am going to go with what sticks best. I’m going to let him do his job…I’m a very strong believer in letting people do their job. I’m the music guy, I’ll take care of the music. I’ll let the music video guy do the music video, and the producer do the producing. I’ve seen too many examples of people becoming overzealous or ambitious in other roles and becoming a jack of all trades, and not particularly a master of any, and I feel like I still have a lot to learn in music. Why don’t I just focus on music, and let the other people do what’s best.

[8:15] — His love of gaming. “I did it in collaboration with 100 Thieves, because I’m very much into the gaming space as well as I’m in the music space. I’m so much into the gaming space. A lot of people recognize me as eaJ from ‘Among Us’ in the OTV lobbies, or with Valkyrie or all these people, sometimes more than Jae of DAY6 back in the day when I used to play games. I felt like I owed a lot to gaming, so why not stream. I started streaming, made friends, eventually got linked to great orgs…It’s been an amazing adventure being able to produce this music video with them.” 

[10:27] — What’s next for him professionally. “My short term goal for now that I’ve set is that I want to do 1.5 million streams on Spotify in 48 hours on ‘Car Crash’. That’s the goal I gave my fans, and I think they’re more than capable of doing it. A little bit longer of a time period, I want to eventually find myself constantly in the top 100, and high in the top 100. I’m manifesting it…I think that happens because they’re respected for their music. People have a certain belief that when they release music, ‘Oh, it’s going to be fire, it’s Doja Cat. Yo, it’s Just Bieber, of course it’s going to be amazing.’ I want to be like that. Credibility. That’s the perfect word.” 

[11:54] — Album coming in 2022. “It originally started as an EP, and I can tell you everything about the album. I like being transparent…I was supposed to release a single and do an EP, but ‘Car Crash’ got 63,000 pre-saves in the first 30-something hours. My manager hit me up and he was like, ‘This happened, so we’re probably going to release an album,’ and I said, ‘Okay.’ I’m in sessions now. It’s been great…I’m very hands off. I’m lazy…Overall, I just want to be respected as a musician in America. It’s going to be a difficult curve coming from the field that I am. I want to pound it into people that I’m a musician and I do music.”   

Source: Audacy Check In

Host name: Bru 

Podcast: https://www.audacy.com/podcasts/audacy-check-in-59336/eaj-audacy-check-in-april-8-2022-1350544203 

Article: https://www.audacy.com/music/pop/watch-our-audacy-check-in-with-eaj 

Ciera Reeves

Ciera is the founder of KpopWise. She has been a fan of Korean pop culture since 2005 and writing about it since 2009. Her bias groups are VIXX and OnlyOneOf. She is a 2nd-3rd generation K-pop fan, but she is actively keeping up with the current artists. twitter instagram

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