Photos by Orchid
“Malaysia’s the first country I actually came to to do a fan meeting,” Brian Joo tells the Malaysian press at The Opera, Sunway Pyramid on July 10.
Typically, decisions like these are made by the talent’s company or label but Mr. Manifold said that he himself made the decision to come to Malaysia.
“Malaysia actually contacted us and asked if I was interested to do a show or fan meeting,” the Korean American singer reveals. “I actually got the personal e-mail and I called my company and said, ‘This is a good opportunity. Let’s go to Malaysia and show people in Malaysia that I’m doing things on my own now.”
Brian, who has been on hiatus from Fly To The Sky (FTTS) since 2009, is busy pursuing a solo career. The other FTTS member, Hwanhee, is also doing the same.
Things are looking good for Brian. The 29 year old has two solo albums under his belt – The Brian (2006) and Manifold (2009) – and is currently working on his third album, which is scheduled for an August 2010 release!
While in Malaysia, not only did the fans love and adore Brian, everyone who met him couldn’t stop gushing about what a great guy he was (except maybe Orchid :P).
Read on to find out about Brian’s take on Malaysian food and girls (heh, heh), missing Hwanhee and hooking up with American R&B singer Jason Derülo.
What was your first impression of Malaysia?
Very humid. I was warned that it was going to be really hot here. It is not as hot as I thought it would be so I’m enjoying it. It just feels like I’m in a tropical island. It’s a good getaway from Korea cos Korea’s a fast-paced city. I feel like I’m on vacation so it feels good to be here.
I think you had bak kut teh (Chinese herbal soup with pork ribs) last night, if I’m not mistaken? (pic left taken from Brian’s Twitter, tweeted on July 9)
I don’t remember what I had but it was delicious.
Well, yesterday was the first thing I had from Malaysia – foodwise, so I’m still looking forward to trying out other Malaysian foods. That’s the problem with me though, I love to eat.
How do you keep yourself toned and in shape then?
You have to do everything in moderation. Just because I love to eat, I can’t eat everything I want all the time. Sometimes I have to sacrifice and just starve myself and eat healthy foods like salad and stuff like that which I dread. But at the same time, if I do eat a lot that day, I’ll have to be at the gym for like an hour or two.
Actually back in 2006, I released my first solo album so I already had that experience of working by myself on stage so…it’s not that bad but there are times where I kinda wish that Hwanhee was right next to me, singing songs with me and stuff .
There are also songs that we perform as FTTS that I can’t do on my own. It doesn’t have the same feel and emotion when we sing it ourselves as to when we’re in a group and we can express it with our emotions together, so with those thoughts in mind, it’s both good and bad I guess.
Actually, before we did In My Head, we didn’t know each other that well. I was a big fan of Jason Derülo since he came out with Whatcha Say – that was one of my favourite songs that he released. He says he saw me on YouTube and he listened to a lot of stuff I did.
And then, Warner Music asked me to do the Korean version of In My Head and I was very happy. I’ve always wanted to do a pop song cover in Korean and being able to release In My Head was an honor.
When he came to Korea, we got to work together and we just hit it off, like, point blank when we first met each other. He said, ‘What’s up, Brian?’ and I said, ‘What’s up, Jason?’ and without any hesitation, we just went onstage and we just killed it and we still keep in touch until now.
How did you prepare for the Malaysian showcase?
I went on my Twitter (@Brianjoomuzik) and asked a lot of people what they preferred musically, what they w
anted to hear…so basically I took that and cut down all the songs on the track list, and decided which songs I was going to perform here.
For the past two or three weeks, I’ve been in the studio practicing and just anticipating a good show.
Will there be any solo concert in the near future?
That, I would love to do. It’s not really a decision (I can make) on my own. Hopefully in the future, if I get that opportunity and chance, if someone offers me a concert – any country – I would love to do it. Malaysia, wherever, Singapore – if they want me to do a concert in the country – yeah, as long as you guys contact my record label and work things out, I’d love to do it.
What would you like to tell your fans?
Worldwide, I tell my fans all the time that I’m very thankful because it’s true, a lot of artists, a lot of musicians say if it wasn’t for the fans we wouldn’t be here right now. And that’s totally true.
Five years ago, I did not see myself coming to Malaysia and now that I’m here, and it’s all really happening, it’s reality…it’s so overwhelming in a great way and I just think it’s awesome and I love the fans for that. I just hope that they’ll continue to support me and I’ll do my best to work hard and provide good music and entertainment for the fans.
What do you think of the girls in Malaysia?
The girls in Malaysia? Very sweet, very kind, very pretty, yes.