Jackson: All say that I’m good at variety, now it’s time to hear me sing [Yu Le Sheng Xian Aug 2017]
The important points
- Wang Jia Er is going to release a single. He overlooks this single from composing the melody, writing lyrics to filming of the MV.
- Wang Jia Er participated in many variety shows in Mainland. The netizens say that he has a strong variety sense.
- In the entertainment circle, Wang Jia Er always has the neighbourhood little brother image. And at home (though he is also the little brother), he’s the pillar of the family. His inner side and outside are related to his family.
New Person Introduction
Name: Wang Jia Er
Nickname: Wang +2 (sounds like Jia Er in chinese), GaGa, Wang “shi er”, Wang puppy
Family members: father, mother, older brother
Skills: Singing, dancing, variety
Experience: 16th January 2014, Wang Jia Er debuted as part of GOT7 officially; 2015, celebrity food talk show <Go Fridge> premiered on Tencent videos and Wang Jia Er was the fixed host for three seasons. His cheerful and humorous character was loved by many netizens. Then after, in <Fresh Sunday>, <Fighting men>, <Crime Scene> and more variety shows, he showcased himself and was known by more audiences. 2017, Wang Jia Er released his single <Generation 2>, opening up the road of music. The unique song style and cool stage, attracted many fans.
Our interview probably made it difficult for Wang Jia Er right from the start.
Before we started the official interview, we needed him to record a short ID while facing the camera. The ID text is as follows: “Yu Le Sheng Xian. Only reporting the freshest. Xiao he cai lo jian jian jiao”. Wang Jia Er looked at it first and broke down right after: “Wow this is a tongue twister”. Then he used actions to prove that this to him was really a tongue twister.
He first used the Wang Jia Er style chinese, and dragged the word “fresh” with a long sound; and the line “Xiao he cai lo jian jian jiao” Wang Jia Er tried it countless times. After providing different combinations: “Xiao lu jiao” “Lu lu jiao”… then Wang Jia Er was completely driven mad.
Eh, this guy’s chinese is so Wang Jia Er.
This kind of chinese has already become his personal style. Even in the variety show <Go Fridge>, his verbal broadcasting has become the advertisers’ favourite. As compared to his pronunciation, his expressions are similarly interesting. For example, when he expressed that he was not matured at the age 14, this was what he said: “14-years-old is half a person.” When he was at a loss of what to do during a show recording, he described it as: “I’m so dry, drier than the sand in the desert.”
You already know about his variety ability and this time he is returning to his identity as a singer
No matter whether it’s domestic or overseas viewers, most people started to notice Wang Jia Er because of variety. Wang Jia Er’s inner sincerity and wit, coupled with his outer passion and openness. Place it inside the catalytic field of variety and it ignites immediately.
It’s common for newbies in the entertainment circle to work hard. After all not everyone is lucky enough to have such huge resources. Sun Hong Lei when talking to us about Zhang Yi Xing, he would start with “Do you know how Zhang Yixing practiced dancing?” Telling us the story of how he tied sandbags onto his legs and danced. Wang Jia Er is no exception on this point.
Working hard is only the basic requirement. To be an artist, you still got to have a little character and charm. On this point, Wang Jia Er has an advantage too. You can see it from his performance on variety shows. In <Go Fridge> he sits beside He Jiong, inadvertently he managed to find out that Chen Xiao was already cohabiting with Chen Yan Xi. Because of his outstanding performance and their chemistry when working together, He Jiong invited him again to Hunan Television’s <Fresh Sunday>. In <Fighting men>, he became good brothers with the male guests Jin Bo Ran, Wang Kai, Yang Shuo and more.
Recently, Wang Jia Er who’s already being regarded as a variety character has started non-stop to prove: That his true identity is actually a singer.
In August, he will successively release his solo single. Like how he has individual characteristics when doing variety, Wang Jia Er’s idea when he does music is rather “Wang Jia Er” too. If others write a nice song and invites singer Wang Jia Er to sing it, he would say no. “I personally feel that it’s like I’m wearing someone else’s clothes.”
He’s a bit stubborn. From composing to singing till MV’s filming and even to promoting, he wants to do it himself. “If someone else helps me make this piece of work, then it’s not my work. (If) someone helps me fill in the lyrics, then this is also not my work.”
Wang Jia Er needs possibly two days or possibly even a few months to write a song. Many people know that he grew up practicing fencing but very few know that he started writing songs since he was 14 years old. Coming back to the music territory, he’s not the variety character Wang Jia Er anymore. What he pursues is to satisfy his desires. This process is initiative (driven) and (he) can’t be passive.
If you give Wang Jia Er an entire day and make him sit down to write a song, he probably cannot complete it. He told us that his inspiration usually is found inadvertently. For example when he’s showering, shoo it goes and a melody emerges in his head. He would hurriedly turn off the water and record it down first.
Subsequently, these small music samples that are attained through inspirations will be played repeatedly when he drives, work and even shower. “I think that this is the most natural melody. The most comfortable to listen to. This is the best melody.” In the process of listening to the music, he would also think it through very clearly as to how he would perform on stage and how would he present it in the MV.
He got scouted twice, the entertainment circle kept waving at him
Wang Jia Er did not naturally have literary and artistic genes. A family of four, his father is the head coach of Hong Kong fencing team, mother is the head coach of gymnastics and his older brother was training in sports since he was young. Before 14-years-old, Wang Jia Er was practicing fencing. He was born in a real sports family.
Originally, he would have taken a path of “ being the master of both pen and the sword” according to his father. Wang Jia Er’s fencing achievements was great and his best placement was world youth category number 11. Fencing already allowed him to be admitted into college by exception and his academic results weren’t too bad too. ‘It’s the kind that can be copied by classmates’.
Just that such a Wang Jia Er was scouted twice. Once was in 2008 when he was 14-years-old. The person scouted him but was rejected. “At that time I was too young, 14-years-old. My hair hasn’t even grown out completely, I wasn’t a person but half a person. My brain hasn’t completely developed too.” Wang Jia Er gave such a reason to reject the offer.
Three years later, Wang Jia Er was playing ball at the basketball court with his friends and he was scouted again. “Do you want to be a star? We are Rain’s company”.
“Out of those few that played ball with me, I’m quite good looking. Actually I’m also quite thankful to them. Thank you for existing.” During the interview, Wang Jia Er ridiculed the classmates that played basketball with him back then with a serious look.
“If I’m only scouted once my whole life, then I can say that it’s a coincidence. But it happened twice, so could it mean something?”
Wang Jia Er decided to go for this interview. On a pre-condition of going to it without the knowledge of his father, who wants him to practice sports.
During the interview, he passionately sang, danced and rapped a part. After performing, he was satisfied with himself and very happy. The people who were in charge of the auditions politely told him that: “We’ll go back and consider it, we’ll contact you.” This made Wang Jia Er feel that it was over. “This is how it plays out on television, they say they would contact you but in actual fact they won’t do so forever.”
But Wang Jia Er’s heart has already been ignited. “At that time, ‘entertainment’ kept waving at me.” After the interview ended, Wang Jia Er kept waiting and he couldn’t even eat. The father that he kept in the dark noticed his son’s abnormality “why do you keep looking at your email?”
Wang Jia Er could only honestly tell his father that he auditioned for a Korean entertainment company. This to his father meant a challenge to his authority. Wang Jia Er’s fencing results are so good, his path for the future has already been planned out. “My father at that time treated me like I was schizophrenic and as an immature child. This is not my father’s fault. If I were standing in the position of my father at that time, I would also think that my own son was being crazy. I was doing so well in studies and sports. Going to be a star now and not knowing if I could even debut, it doesn’t even make sense.”
However, Wang Jia Er’s email that he’s been accepted as a trainee still arrived. Six to seven hundred people participated in the audition, he was the only one accepted.
But his father gave him a high difficulty mission: “If you can get double fencing champions for both individual and group in the Hong Kong region, then I’ll let you go.” Wang Jia Er was dumbfounded, “Because this sentence meant that my father won’t let me go. Because he knows I can’t get it. At that time in Hong Kong, no one could get double champions. It’s akin to like, ‘you want to go? If you can beat Yao Ming in basketball then you can go.’ It was that kind of meaning.”
In Wang Jia Er’s cognition, being able to go to Korea to be a trainee relied on half diligence and half fate. Because at that time he achieved something no one in Hong Kong has ever achieved: Hong Kong region individual and team double champions.
Wang Jia Er still remembers his father at the celebration dinner. “He was very very happy, all radiant telling everyone ‘like father like son, look at how amazing my son is’.”
“Dad, didn’t you promise to let me go?” Wang Jia Er waited till the end and still ended up asking this question.
“My dad lost it in a while, he couldn’t even eat.” Because he didn’t think that someone who has gotten a double champion would still want to go be a trainee. “Walking to the balcony, I realised that my father was staring at the sea alone in silence. That back view… I really am sorry to my father.”
“But I still went eventually”.
During his trainee days “every day it felt like he was going to receive a death penalty”
In Hong Kong, Wang Jia Er was the only chosen trainee. But when he was in Korea, there were too many trainees. “There were so many trainees it felt like those customers going back and forth at a big supermarket. Many people entered and then left”.
On the third day he arrived in Korea, Wang Jia Er was “already a bit afraid”.
This is a group known for desperation. Wang Jia Er was facing all those “opponents with weapons on their hands” “For example they could sing well, rap well, very good looking, super good figure, act super well. I look at the mirror and thought where is my weapon? Fencing? If my fencing is good I should go be an athlete, why am I here?”
Thinking about how he felt then, Wang Jia Er said that it felt like he was “going to receive a death penalty everyday, tomorrow it’s possible that he would be executed”.
At that time, every time Wang Jia Er bumps into a china artist that’s in Korea he would subconsciously use a strange way to say hello. When he saw Jia, it went like that: “Noona, I think I am going to be expelled. Before I get expelled can I take some photos with you?” When he met Nickhun he said something similar: “Hyung, I might be expelled next week, before I do get expelled can you take a video with me? Come, 1.2.3…”
“They are here.” Wang Jia Er lifts his hands over his head to show it to us. “And I’m here.” He put the other hand on his waist area. If I train at the same intensity as other trainees, “I’ll never catch up with them”. Most trainees don’t even want to let go off a minute. Wang Jia Er demands more effort from himself. “They do 10, I’ll do 100. Forcing myself up the wall, practicing dancing till 4-5am”. Wang Jia Er who practiced sports since young doesn’t know how to admit defeat. “I can’t help it, since I’m already here so I can’t go back. If I go back, I will be said like ‘see, looking at how you are I know you can’t make it.’ I don’t want to hear that.”
There was once he had a holiday back to Hong Kong, Wang Jia Er still went to his mother’s gymnasium to practice dancing. “When I came back, they thought that I was another person. A new me.”
Just like this, Wang Jia Er won the opportunity to debut. His group’s first MV finished its filming and was releasing in two days. He called his father’s number: “Your son did it! I’m debuting in two days!” On the other side of the phone call, his mother was crying. But his father was still worried: “You still haven’t gotten to your debut day, don’t say that you debuted.”
In 2014, Wang Jia Er officially debuted. In the same year, he started appearing on various Korean variety shows. Many people said that in variety shows, Wang Jia Er is different from how he’s like during training. Like he’s become another person. “At that time I didn’t even know what was called variety. I just play. Play however. Maybe this is just my character. Anyway I’ve already debuted, so I’ll just go crazy. I can’t hold it in.”
Variety shows also helped Wang Jia Er open the doors to China’s entertainment market. He appeared in <Go Fridge> and partnered with He Jiong as host, catapulting to fame in one go.
He Jiong later commented on him: “Really picked up a treasure”.
He Jiong is a hyung and is also someone who guides him.
When we talk about variety, people will think of the look of Wang Jia Er calling He Jiong, Jing Boran, Wang Kai “hyung”. Some say that others call hyung as a form of respect that juniors have for their seniors. But for Wang Jia Er, the word hyung is bestowed with the sincerity of “I want to be close to you”.
Wang Jia Er’s character really belongs to someone who can get close to others naturally. “I think that if you truly want to be friends with someone, you need to open up your heart to the person first. I let both of my hands go first, whether you embrace me or not, it’s up to you. If you don’t give someone your true heart, he won’t bother with you forever.”
Every time before recording Go Fridge, Wang Jia Er would take the initiative to say hi to the guest while they are getting the makeup done or going through the script. “Today it’s been hard on you to come here. Although it’s He Jiong hyung’s program, but as a side dish (character), I would also like to tell you welcome here and it’s been hard on you. Hope that you can have fun today and don’t think of it as recording a show. Do whatever you want to.” This is almost Wang Jia Er’s “true confession” to every guest.
And he also got positive feedback: “after we record the show, a lot of hyungs and noonas would be very happy. They think that this isn’t work and they’re really very relaxed.”
During the interview we asked Wang Jia Er to name his good friends in this entertainment circle. He said Tao and Luhan are very very good friends. And he has meals with He Jiong hyung, rain god Jam Hsiao, Wang Kai hyung, Jing Bao hyung privately too.
Among them, he and He Jiong are most like family. “I would think that He Jiong hyung is the same as my blood brother. Our relationship is even closer.” When he first met He Jiong, he wasn’t tensed or feeling short like how a newbie would be when meeting a big shot in the industry. He describes He Jiong as not a working relationship but someone who’s guiding me in.
His inner and outer side has both got to do with his family
In variety shows, Wang Jia Er is the little brother. And at home, his identity steeply changes into the pillar. If he’s talking about He Jiong and the other hyungs, Wang Jia Er will have an adorable tone when he speaks. But when we talk about his parents and family, his voice is steadfast.
Because his older brother is long term living in Australia, Wang Jia Er sees accompanying his parents as his most important responsibility. As long as he’s done with work, he will go back to Hong Kong and accompany his parents. Even when he’s working, he would bring them along.
And this time, Wang Jia Er brought along his parents while coming to the mainland to work.
Our interview took place in the hotel that Wang Jia Er was staying in. Only that this hotel seems to be in its trial business period, a lot of their services seemed to be loose and neglecting. Wang Jia Er still showed respect and courtesy to the service attendants.
What made him sorry was that the night before, he took his parents to the hotel restaurant to eat. It was not time to close yet but the service attendant announced that business hours were over. Wang Jia Er told us very seriously: “My parents hasn’t eaten in a day already.” and his face with guilt.
Wang Jia Er can put himself out there, be tired and be aggrieved. But he doesn’t want all of this to happen to his parents. “Because my parents had it hard, when I wasn’t born yet and my older brother was still very young, our family conditions were a bit difficult. My mother thought that this won’t do. It’s ok if she’s tired but she can’t let her son be tired too. She cannot let her son grow up in a bad environment. There’s a saying that you become whatever you stay near to. So they worked very hard, worked part time, slowly raised our living conditions and moved to live in a place with a better environment.”
After saying this, Wang Jia Er paused for a bit. You could tell he was trying his best to control his emotions.
Wang Jia Er says that he seldom shed tears. But every time he mentions his parents, he would be a bit worked up. So that he’s able to accompany his parents for a long time, now he lets his parents work as consultants in his own work studio. “I will let them give some advice about my work, although I am the one who makes the final decision. But I really want to let my parents feel their worth”. His parents told him before: “We are starting to get old, but we are very happy that we can still give you advice at your work studio. This makes us feel that we are still useful.”
After hearing what his parents said, Wang Jia Er cried for the whole night.
At the end of the interview, we asked him a conventional question but he gave us an unconventional answer. We asked him, after establishing his own work studio, what is the plan for the future?
He said: “I hope that I become a brand. This brand represents, you only live once so you must pursue things you want to do with no regrets.” Wang Jia Er who’s in his early 20s, is more responsible and matured than what we imagined him to be.