Jimin x Jamie is staying true to herself

K-Pop singer Park Jimin reflects on her eight years in music and her evolving career.

Most 22-year-olds aren’t nearing a decade in their career. Then again, Jamie Park isn’t your average 22 year-old. 

The powerhouse vocalist won the inaugural season of Kpop Star at age 15, then debuted in the duo 15&, started a solo career, became a host for the K-Pop show After School Club, joined YouTube, and recently created her own podcast. 

Jimin x Jamie. Photo Credit: Instagram.

Park just finished her contract with the entertainment company JYP, home to popular acts such as GOT7, TWICE, and Stray Kids. Now that she’s outside a company setting, she’s set to showcase new sides of her. 

Cold Tea Collective got to briefly talk with Park about her career and her new era as an independent artist.

On her career

“Eight years isn’t that long, to be honest,” Park said about her career. “The last entertainment company I was in, JYP, [the CEO] has been doing music for, what, about 20 years?” 

And she hasn’t been just singing either; Park juggles several hats ranging from running her podcast, What Would Jamie Do?, hosting After School Club, and doing covers and interview videos with the Mu:Fully YouTube channel.

Most of these new endeavors started after her contract with JYP ended in August 2019. And Park acknowledges that it is a lot to take on. 

“After I got out, I wanted to try everything and did not think about my health, so I’m nearly dying,” she said with a chuckle. “But I’m having fun. And I’m actually talking about my life.” 

Blue-green music

Park has dabbled in almost every style of music.

She’s done hip hop through the collective M.O.L.A., musical theatre through an a capella show, and bright pop through 15&. As a solo artist, she’s explored mellow comforting music, playful darker music, and emotionally honest ballads. 

When asked to describe her music, she said it’s like an ambiguous colour between green and blue. 

“My music is upbeat but at the same time has emotions,” she said. “The green is bright and the blue is emotional; it’s like in between the two.” 

As for genre, Park commented that she currently leans towards hip hop and R&B. “But these days they don’t really divide genre,” she said. “So it’s just the music I feel like at the moment and go for.” 

The difference between Jimin and Jamie

Park was first introduced to the public as Jimin Park, her birth name. On After School Club, she introduces herself as “your girl Jamie”, in reference to the name she used while living in Thailand. Her last EP was titled Jimin X Jamie, mixing both names.

“Jimin and Jamie are both me, but I wanted to divide them,” Park explained. “Jimin is the bright, young, and innocent part of me. Jamie is what I really want to show to the audience: my own self, in my pocket.”

Musically the two names also play out differently; Park’s most recent single, Stay Beautiful, has both a Jimin and a Jamie version. One is in Korean and one is in English, but there’s more than just a linguistic difference between the versions.

The Jimin version has brighter production, highlighting the hope and courage the lyrics try to inspire. On the other hand, the Jamie version is like an evening version of the song, showing the personal nature of the same lyrics. 

Featuring the two versions together made for a more complete exploration of comforting and encouraging a friend to stay true to who they are. 

“I’m trying to be true [to myself],” Park said. “That’s what I’m trying to go for.” 

You can keep up with Park on Instagram at jiminxjamie and on Twitter at jiminpark07

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