Interview with JJ LinPosted February 19th, 2010 At 12:12 pm By MTV ASIA
Interview by Madeleine Chong
Hi JJ, tell us more about your latest album, 100 Days. I understand that the album was inspired by a dark time in your life – your vocal chord injuries and how you surmounted those odds. How has that affected your musical progression on this album?
My trials and tribulations have brought me through a journey of self-discovery and realization. Through it all I’ve learnt to face my problems directly and express myself more vividly, especially through the performance of this album’s music and recording. This album is no longer about how sophisticated and decorative my music can be (though it sometimes still is), but more of an honest testimony of how life has changed for me, and how for my dreams I’ve sacrificed a great deal of my time, my heart, and life, just to focus on the path that’s been paved for me.
Would you say that it is one of your most personal albums to date? What do you hope fans will take away from 100 Days?
It is indeed. Every song in the album is an extention of who I am, what I’ve been through, and what I believe in and fight for everyday of my life.
I hope fans will be able to find his / her own intepretation of life, and “100 Days”, through listening to my story. “Carpe Diam”, seize the day and make it meaningful for yourself.
You’ve weathered a number of storms since MTV Asia last spoke with you in November 2008. What was the past year like in reflection – what were some of the highs and lows?
2008 – 2009, I’ve won for myself best album of the year in China for my previous album, which I will cherish and take as an encouragement to better my craft. I’ve also created for myself my very own fashion label, SMG, and seek to expand it to the rest of the world in 2010.
I’ve also seen my lowest lows in my career when I was faced with staffing problems in my record company, and health problems. I saw myself sacrificing personal portions of my life that were important to me, in order to move my music to a next level. It wasn’t the best time to celebrate in 2009.
How have your experiences shaped you and strengthened you for the road ahead?
After a time of reflection sometimes we are able to see more clearly. I’m clearer of what I want in life, what I treasure more, and the things I’m willing to give up in order to achieve other goals.
I’ve learnt that by sticking to my heart, and never backing down in face of adversities, you become stronger in facing any kind of challenges in life. You become fearless.
You’ve got to be one of the most hardworking artistes out there, with new album releases year after year since your debut in 2003. What’s your secret to not burning out?
I think it starts from the mind, then the heart, and vice versa. Reminding yourself of the passion that doesn’t fade away. Always keeping a spontaneous attitude towards your craft and always finding new methods to amuse yourself and your audience. There’s always something out there to discover.
Is a new album on the cards for 2010/2011?
I don’t know if that’s the most important thing on my list for this year. I think there are other goals I want to achieve this year before burying myself in production for my next album.
In our last MTV Asia interview with you, you talked about wanting to collaborate with more international artists, especially your Japanese and Western counterparts. Is that still something that fans can look forward to?
Definitely, in fact 2010 looks to be the year these collaborations will probably surface. I’ve been working on it since last year, but I don’t want to rush into it.
You’ve recently become a fashion entrepreneur as well. What is it like to manage your very own clothing line, and is it something that you’ve always wanted to venture into?
My label SMG is like my alter ego. It represents the “me” when I’m not talking, singing, and performing onstage. It’s low profile in terms of design and style, but definitely not quiet and weak. Fashion is something very close to my heart and I’ve always wanted to share my passion for life through a complete lifestyle channel, along with my music.
Do you have any New Year resolutions or upcoming plans?
I want to strive to maintain, if not surpass the definition of a top-notch artiste this year. That will mean a lot of groundwork, training, and expansion in each delicate area of my career.
There will be lots of traveling and meeting new people, to improve what’s been already started in terms of my performance, music, business and personal walk as well.