EXCLUSIVE: JAKE $ING talks ups and downs, how BTS, Stray Kids, MAMAMOO helped him artistically and Armaan Malik
A talent in the making! JAKE $ING holds his heart on his sleeve and his roots in his voice while singing some of the rawest lyrics he’s ever created. Signed to Sony Music shortly after his musical debut, JAKE$ING has a clear path for him to excel and grow, while also being a voice for the younger generation who seem to find him not only gravely relatable, but also a uplifting medium for their often unspoken thoughts.
Now releasing her debut EP, ‘ups & downs’ following the success of three singles, ‘You’re So Ugly’, ‘Turn It Up’ and ‘Fresh Off The Boat’, her four-track album has comfort served on a cold plate of reality. Check out the music video for ‘LET DOWN’ below.
Pinkvilla had the opportunity to talk with him about his musical side and dig deeper into how he is influenced as an artist with the ever-growing impact of K-pop around the world. He joked about BTS, Stray Kids and MAMAMOO powerhouses which seem to have shaken his heart just like the rest of the world and made Armaan Malik one of his inspirations.
1. Congratulations on the release of ‘ups & downs’! How do you feel after letting the world listen to your music?
JAKE$ING: Thank you!! He really feels free. I’ve always been one to want to show people something I’m passionate about immediately, so this is the longest I’ve had to hold a project before releasing it. This EP definitely taught me a lot and I’m grateful to be able to share it with everyone 🙂
2. In your opinion, what is the most personal track on this album and why?
JAKE $ING: Without a doubt, the most personal song on this album is “Till it Hurts”. I originally wrote the song about losing a loved one or not being able to be with someone anymore. It was based on every potential relationship I could have had or had at some point that just didn’t work out for one reason or another. It’s a strange feeling to know that someone can just disappear from your life, but the love you feel for them stays with you forever even though it may hurt a lot. Right after writing this song, I lost my uncle to COVID, and this song suddenly became very relevant in my life.
3. You want to appeal to Gen Z, especially Asian Americans, and you’ve done that with your releases. Why do you find this important and how does it differ from the music of other generations?
JAKE $ING: I find that connecting with people is the most important thing with my music. Whether through the lyrics, the rhythm or simply the atmosphere; I want people to feel something, and I want to inspire other AsAms to see that the world is their oyster and they should eat it with hoisin sauce.
4. How do you think K-pop influenced your artistry?
JAKE $ING: For me, K-pop showed me that you don’t have to be limited to one genre. Even though K-pop may seem like a genre to many people, the diversity of K-pop music and artists is truly amazing to me. I guess, in a way, it proved to me that if you put yourself forward, even if you’re different, you’ll find people who support you, and that’s helped me stay hopeful all this time.
5. Why do you consider BTS, Stray Kids and MAMAMOO as your inspirations?
JAKE $ING: Those are kind of my biggest inspirations to not only be full-fledged artists, but also to be killer performers. They sing, dance, write their music, play instruments; they really are everything, and it inspires me not to stop when I get good at one thing.
6. What aspect of each of them helps you in your growth?
JAKE $ING: BTS blows me away with the depth they have with every song they release. Each song has its own choreography, different message, vibe, and with the number of songs they have, it’s crazy to think how many things they can memorize and perform perfectly. It’s downright crazy.
MAMAMOO inspired me ever since I first saw a clip of them on Youtube live. The voice control, confidence and vibe they gave off really stuck with me. Having confidence in myself when I play is definitely something I’m still getting better at, and I think a group of veterans like Mamamoo is a really good example I could learn from 🙂
And for Stray Kids, they just make me hype. All of their songs just make me excited, and for a long time I always wondered what they were doing with their music that made me feel that way. They really taught me the importance of energy in a song, and not just ‘performing’ a song, but really ‘feeling’ it, you know what I mean?
7. Are there any Indian artists you listen to or want to collaborate with?
JAKE $ING: Armaan Malik, for sure. His recent song “You” was so good, and I feel like we’d be pretty killer on a track together. He has also overcome many obstacles and accomplished a lot for his community, which inspires me to strive to do the same.
8. What’s next for JAKE $ING and how do you want to get there?
JAKE $ING: My next step is to get more exposure! I think my songs are good, and making music will never be the hardest part for me. The only thing I have to do now is make sure there will be people willing to listen once I’m done hahaha.
I would like to hopefully start touring soon and start meeting new fans the old fashioned way, like rock bands used to do. Something about meeting people personally and making fans in real life really appeals to me. It sounds so cool.
I’m also working hard to grow my TikTok, which I think is going great so far! It took me a while, but I’m starting to realize that all the things I need to be successful are right in front of me. I just needed time and experience to be able to see that, but hey, that’s part of the journey, right?
We look forward to JAKE $ING returning with another powerful release as he continues to build a platform not just for himself but for many dreamers like him!
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