We might have known Jackson Wang as a singer, record producer, founder of TEAM WANG, fashion designer of TEAM WANG design or creative director. But, in Jackson Wang's newly released single, '王嘉爾 Jackson Wang', he lets the world know who he truly is.
Jackson’s new Chinese single narrates his life story, from turning a promising fencing career down, moving overseas at 17 to now. As a globally acclaimed artist and a creative director, Jackson has always been determined to showcase a Chinese-influenced sound to the international music stage and share Chinese and Asian culture worldwide.
"I'm releasing this song to really tell and deliver the message of who I really am and what's in my brain, what my thoughts are, what I want to do in life, what's my dream," Jackson tells Bandwagon.
'王嘉爾 Jackson Wang' comes as a precursor to everything that Jackson has slated for the year. Continuing the momentum for what was a great 2021, Jackson has an array of projects lined up, all centred to further showcase who he is and where he's come from.
"As much as I love learning about other cultures, I really love sharing our own culture with the world. As long as I'm still alive, as long as I'm still in the game, that's the only thing I want to do," he says.
Bandwagon caught up with Jackson Wang to talk about the stories behind his self-titled track, his move from fencing to music, and the goals he has for the year.
Diving into your newest self-titled track, could you walk me through the stories behind it and why you chose to name it as such?
First of all, the song is about me. I've always wanted to create a song and compose a song like that and personally write about everything based on my experience, based on everything I went through. You know, looking back 10 plus years later, it's still a good memory. I've always, always wanted to do something like that.
Second, a lot of people that know of me probably just think I'm this celebrity or this singer that was on shows, that releases a lot of songs, that dances a little, sing a little, and so on, you know. I'm releasing this song to really tell and deliver the message of who I really am and what's in my brain, what my thoughts are, what I want to do in life, and what's my dream.
What was it like revisiting your beginnings And all those memories while working on the single?
Basically, I just listed everything that was in my memory that's very memorable; all the things that meant something to me, all the moments that I feel. Honestly, for the past 10 years or even 15 years, I don't remember that much. I can't remember every day but there are definitely a lot of decent moments and decent memories that I can't forget for life. So I just listed them out, you know, and I put them in my lyrics.
You touched on this a little bit in your song, you changed career paths pretty early—from fencing to music? What similarities do you see between competitive sports and the music industry?
I think the similarity would be that I'm still having the same vision, I'm still having that dream and it's still competitive at the same time. It's just more of a competition with yourself, you know?
Is there anything you've learned in your time as an Olympic fencer that's helped you as an artist?
Yeah, working on something and going full out and trying to exceed your limit every time. And not wasting time.
How does that relate to your lyrics: "Looking up at a 45-degree angle, I'm still going through the same dream. I was holding on to a fencing sword and it became a microphone."?
It's like me standing there, my head titled up 45 degrees tilted up. The reason why I wrote it was because when I was a fencer, I was standing on the podium and watching the flags, especially our flag go up—that's probably one of the most memorable moments for me in my fencing career. That moment is very touching, very emotional, very memorable.
That sentence also implies that I still have the same dream with the same vision but the only difference would be that I was holding on to a sword back then but now it's a mic.
Standing at the podium is one of your most memorable moments as a fencer, how about in terms of music? What's been your most memorable moment so far as an artist?
Music wise? There are a lot of those moments but [times where] people actually appreciating my work and really sharing their thoughts on my work [is the most memorable]. I appreciate that a lot.
Im happy and blessed to have all of you being here in this adventure with me.— Jackson Wang 王嘉爾 왕잭슨 (@JacksonWang852) January 11, 2022
Im so blessed.
And i will always work to my fullest to be a better me.
To make you all proud.
Beyond your solo music, you also work on TEAM WANG and recently wrapped up your activities with PANTHEPACK. Throughout all of this, how do you maintain and sustain your creative energy?
I don't. I just push through it.
Right now, for this year, I'm really focusing on my records and also focusing on TEAM WANG design.
On the record label side, we have a bunch of very talented artists, including me, lining up this year and we're looking forward to releasing their music and releasing my music. For myself, there will be two albums coming up this year. I'll mainly focus on music this year and only music. We have other artists releasing their albums too so I hope everyone checks it out when it's up.
On the other hand, for the fashion side, we'll be releasing a lot of different COOKIES and we'll be dropping some SPARKLES. It's all going to have a very fresh concept and I'm looking forward to that. Those are the two things that I'll be mainly focused on this year.
Looking to the future, what are some of the goals and dreams that you still have for yourself?
Um, I don't know. I don't know what capacity I have, I don't know the ability that I have and I don't know how powerful or how impactful [my work] will be; but what I'm trying to do is trying to share. As much as I love learning about other cultures, I really love sharing our own culture with the world. I have a platform right now to do this and honestly, I don't know until when I'll have this, you know.
As long as I'm still alive, as long as I'm still in the game, that's the only thing I want to do.
Listen to Jackson Wang's '王嘉爾 Jackson Wang' here.