JAY was calm and confident and he shared his thoughts on his personal beliefs. “If there were more and more people,” he said, “who could rely on each other, everything would eventually and invariably improve.”

​SUNGHOON mentioned that you bought a lot of fragrances on your trip to Germany for the K-pop concert. He told the fans that they should ask you all about it when you do a V LIVE later. (laughs)
JAY: That’s right. I went to the duty- free shops and looked for a lot of fragrances during the trip. I think that led me to become interested in them again. So I checked out different fragrances and bought a lot, too. (laughs)

Is there any aroma you’re particularly fond of?
JAY: Tobacco Vanille by Tom Ford is my favorite. I’m not a big fan of mild scents, so I use the strongest possible fragrances, even in summer, without going overboard. And I don’t really like fragrances that disappear just an hour or two later, so I mainly use Santal 33 by Le Labo in the summer. You can put that one on in the morning and it still smells the same when you get home at night. I don’t go around carrying a bottle with me to reapply on the go, so I use long-lasting fragrances for the most part.

Do you recommend fragrances to the other members the same way you recommend clothing to them?
JAY: The others aren’t serious about fragrances the way I am, actually. (laughs) Fragrances can be expensive if you go with niche brands or designer perfumes, too. Honestly speaking, people who really love fragrances and buy a lot of them and feel they’re valuable think it makes sense for them to be priced like that anyway. But people who aren’t like that see those prices and think, Why would anyone spend that much money on something you spray on your body and use all up? I think there’s definitely a big difference between them. The other members have said the same thing. (laughs)

What makes you so serious about fragrances? (laughs)
JAY: You know, when people walk by someone who smells good, they’re curious what kind of perfume that person wears and even want to ask them about it. (laughs) That’s how important scent is. I really like everything to do with smell, so I have a lot of diffusers at home. I think smell is one of the areas that inform my attitude, in a way.
​Do any of your other tastes, besides fragrances, inform your attitude?
JAY: I think clothes do, too. I like to look up a lot of interviews with fashion designers. One designer said, “A person’s very nature and attitude are directly influenced by the way they dress.” So if you have some intention behind the specific clothes you wear, that likely shapes your attitude.

Has clothing helped to shape your attitude recently?
JAY: I think that’s why style is so important. It would be weird if you sang a ballad while wearing a hoodie and workout clothes (laughs) and there was even one point while making our new album that I felt like I couldn’t record anymore, so I changed into some really hip clothes and I regained my focus. Not that it really matters that much. (laughs) But I thought if I paid attention to those details then it could trigger a change in my attitude. I think I was paying so much attention to those details because your attitude definitely changes based on how you present yourself and also your own sense of your appearance.

You have said you want your personal series JAY-FASHION to “get devoted followers who aren’t even fans” of ENHYPEN.
JAY: I think the more passion I put into JAY-FASHION, the better it will ultimately become. And after spending some time thinking about the goals and purpose of the show, I thought maybe I can help people in a practical sense and in my own way. Since I’m an idol in his early 20s, I want to share my personal tips with as many people as possible. So naturally fans will watch it, but I hope a lot of people who want to get help with fashion tune in, too.
​It sounds like you find it helpful to hear what other people have to say when you’re working on something—like with the fashion designer interviews you mentioned.
JAY: You’re right. I looked up interviews from a number of rappers for reference while getting ready for the lead single, “Future Perfect (Pass the MIC).” I had a lot of trouble since it was my first time expressing myself through rap, so I paid attention to the tone of the rappers’ voices while watching their interviews for my own reference. And I got used to it by listening to lots of different kinds of music.

I could really feel the details in your tone during the part of the song where you rap, “I got pushed, pushed / Swept up.”
JAY: The fans and producers all say I have a different voice in every song. (laughs) Instead of singing each song to just sound like me, I try to change it up based on how each song feels so it’s like I’m matching up with it. I practiced over and over to be able to express myself in as many different ways as possible, looking at my vocalization technique and asking myself on powerful songs how I should express them, and on softer songs how I should express myself. And I focused on curbing any habits that make me sound differently than I intend to so I could sound exactly as I intended. It’s a little tough to make your voice 100% smooth, but I worked hard to improve that by singing the other songs on the album that were most comfortable for me.

Judging by how hard the choreography for the single goes, it must have taken a lot of effort to practice.
JAY: When I first learned that choreography, it was such a hurdle to surmount that I wondered if it was even physically possible. (laughs) After physically struggling with some of the parts I started working out nearly every day, too. The lead single is powerful, so I think the choreography had to be that intense in order to give off confidence and self-assurance. I tried to express myself with confidence in line with that, too.
​How do you feel about the outcome of all that effort?
JAY: It always makes me happy when someone derives happiness from the outcome of the effort I put towards things I like, things I want to do and things I’m good at.

That makes me think of the time you spent three hours straight cooking samgyeopsal for the other members. They all loved it. (laughs) You take a picture to send to them whenever you see something that looks tasty and bring them to good restaurants when you discover them, don’t you?
JAY: Anytime I eat something good, I want to share it. And it feels great when I see someone enjoying something I introduced them to. Since I like that so much, I try to bring them anytime there’s somewhere good. On occasions I go out to eat with the managers, too, we’ll go to some neighborhood and I’ll say, “I know a good place,” and we’ll go there. If they say, “This place is really good,” I feel so proud and fulfilled. (laughs) For some people, food is just something to fill you up, but for other people they think of it as a good way to make a memory of the time they spent with the other people they were with that day. I’m not the kind of person who goes somewhere or does something with somebody else with me the first time I go—I go alone first, and then, if it’s good, I share it with the people who are most precious to me. I think part of it is from my dad being that way when I was growing up and that becoming a part of my own personality. I love going into something already knowing all about it, then explaining to others: this tastes really good here; when you go to this other place, such-and-such is really good. (laughs)
​Similar to the way you share good food and restaurants with the other members, you recently shared a video with your fans that was so meaningful to you that it changed your MBTI and even your life.
JAY: I wanted to use the “JAY’s Counseling Center” video to interact with fans instead of having a one-sided conversation, so I asked them the day before I did that V LIVE to send me anything that was worrying them or any stories they wanted to share. And I wanted to use that time to talk with the fans in a more casual way. Also, that video I told them about was a speech someone gave at a university graduation, talking about the wisdom he picked up from everyday life and how to live respectfully. I ended up sharing it with fans because it’s helpful no matter how old you are, your gender, what situation you’re in or your surrounding environment and gives you a chance to reflect on yourself.

It was really impressive the way you not only gave advice to fans about their problems but also told them you would keep trying hard to be a reliable source of support for them.
JAY: I think it’s important to have confidence and self-esteem, but I believe it’s really arrogant to be complacent with yourself. It’s really great if you’re confident enough to say, I’m an amazing person—I’m so cool, and I’m trying my hardest to think that way, too. I’m the best. I’m so amazing. That much is okay, but saying, That’s enough—I’ve always had a negative opinion about that. Even if someone really is that good, if they just think they’re already good enough, I don’t think that way of thinking is going to be any help in their future development. Once you start to feel complacent with yourself you stop making an effort, and future development becomes difficult, too, I think. So you should be confident, love yourself and be proud of yourself, but you should always be more and more ambitious.

That reminds me of something else you said: “I will try to have a good influence, so I’ll try to make efforts every day and try to be more mature.” Similarly, you signed up for recurring donations to UNICEF on your birthday this year.
JAY: I guess you could say one of the reasons I did it was simply because I wanted to, and also because it was for the Day of Persons with Disabilities, since my birthday falls on that important day. And the reason I talked about that publicly was that I thought someone might see that, and even if it was just one person, it would be nice if someone else followed my lead. That’s why I shared about it.
​Is there something on your mind you’d like to share with your fans, then?
JAY: Lately I feel that, if there were more and more people sharing the same values, who could rely on each other, everything would eventually and invariably improve. It helps you grow in the first place, and if someone is having a hard time, they’ll have a lot of people around who can help. Nobody can make it on their own when they feel like they’re hanging from a cliff and feel like the rug’s been pulled out from under them. Everyone needs someone to help them up so they can stand together. So I think it would benefit the world for people, starting with those who share the same values, to gather together one by one, help each other out, support each other and try to solve all their problems together. Then, on a small scale, it would benefit individuals, but also, on a wider scale, it would help to reduce the number of problems that the world faces.

So that’s how you see the world.
JAY: It’s probably impossible for everyone in the world to be like that, but I’ve always lived by the idea that we should strive to increase the number of people like that—even if it’s just one more.
Article. Lee Jiyeon
Interview. Lee Jiyeon
Visual Director. Jeon Yurim
Project Management. Kim Rieun
Visual Creative Team. Heu Sae Ryeun , Lee Gunhee , Choi Ara , Cha Minsoo(BELIFT LAB)
Photography. JDZ Chung / Assist. Jeong Changheum, Song Junghyeon
Hair. Kim Sohee, Yeo Jingyeong
Makeup. Kwon Sojeong
Stylist. Ji Seyun / Assist. Kim Minseon, Choi Jaeeun
Set Design. Choi Seoyun, Son Yehee, Kim Ayeong(Da;rak)
Artist Protocal Team. Kim Sejin, Oh Gwangtaek, Hong Yuki, Kim Hangil, Kang Mingi, Lee Hyunji