Jackson Wang is busy, y'all. He spends half of the year in Korea as part of the K-Pop group GOT7, and the other half in China (his home country) working on his solo music. Wang's routine has been like this for the past few years, and although it can get tiresome trying to fit two years' worth of schedules into one, it's all worth it to Wang. He has no plans of stopping anytime soon. Actually, before GOT7 makes their next comeback, Wang will release his first solo album, Mirrors, in late October, and it's going to reveal a brand new side of him that you haven't been introduced to yet. Jackson Wang's solo music is getting personal and the album's emotional lead single, "Bullet to the Heart," is just the beginning.
When Wang dropped "Bullet to the Heart" on Sept. 24, fans instantly assumed from the lyrics that it was a song about romance and heartbreak, but Wang was digging way deeper than that.
"['Bullet to the Heart'] might sound like a love song based on the lyrics, but what message I wanna bring out through the song is actually just [about] life in general," he explains to Elite Daily. "Problems will never end, it’s just gonna keep coming at you and every chapter of our lives, we always face different obstacles. It’s like the devil. It’s gonna keep coming at you and giving you a hard time and torturing you."
The double-meaning of his lead single is visualized in Wang's music video. Wang doesn’t use props, flashy sets, or intense choreography like fans are used to in order to tell his story, instead, he focuses entirely on the video's two subjects: Wang and a mysterious woman in a veil who controls him (the "devil” he was talking about, I assume). Wang relies only on his emotional facial expressions and the symbolism of the straight jacket he's wearing, which he says is a representation of his experience with mental health challenges, to convey the song's deep themes.
"The reason why I picked the straight jacket was [because] I was actually having a hard time. I was in depression and it was also confirmed by the doctor." Wang hopes his video will resonate with fans experiencing similar issues and give them the courage to address their mental health. "Maybe there are a lot of people out of sight in society that feel the same way and they’re not willing to admit it," he says.
Each of the eight songs on Wang's first solo album will describe a different feeling about pain. "When pain hits me, I have eight different feelings, and eight different reactions to this pain," Jackson explains. "'Bullet to the Heart' is like when pain hits me, it almost killed me, but I love it [the pain] so much that’s why I chose to keep going."
Wang's unstoppable drive is what pushes him to pursue passion projects as well. Apart from being a member of GOT7 and working on his solo career, Wang is the CEO of his own record label, Team Wang, which launched in 2017. Wang marvels at the progress Team Wang has achieved so far (it went from two employees in 2017 to almost 30 in 2019).
Wang established Team Wang because he was looking for an outlet for his most innovative ideas. "Sometimes people can be there for the business, people can be there for the numbers, for the money, for the profit, but [Team Wang]'s not," he says. "Everyone is so dedicated to ... produce better music, produce better art."
Wang is pushing himself further and further artistically with every music release, which "Bullet to the Heart" makes perfectly clear.
Balancing different projects may seem like a lot, but Wang wants to reassure fans he's got it covered. "At the end of the day, you have to give up something in order to get what you want," Wang says. For anyone thinking he may leave GOT7 to focus on a solo career permanently, Wang has this message: "Don’t waste time thinking about that. It’s not gonna happen."
Actually, Wang says his GOT7 members have been really supportive of his new single. Wang shares, "To this point, I’ve been releasing a lot of songs — more than 10 I would say — [but] it’s the first time they actually come kicking at me and [say], 'Oh I really like the song.'"
I don’t doubt Wang’s loyalty to GOT7 at all. In fact, when speaking over the phone with Wang, he expressed excitement for GOT7’s next album. “This one is so solid, I’m so excited,” Wang says. “We’re gonna come out with another masterpiece.”
Until then, fans can look forward to Jackson Wang’s solo album, Mirrors, which drops in late October. Aghases, prepare yourselves, because #JacksonWang1stAlbum is almost here!