Good Finds: Justin Park
Signed with Los Angeles-based 5A Label, Korean-American singer and songwriter Justin Park is making soundwaves. The chiselled R&B and pop artist has a pretty impressive portfolio: he’s written for K-pop artists B.A.P, and has been seen in several YouTube videos alongside his friend Amber Liu from K-Pop girl group f(x). Recently, he even released a duet with her and has been appearing on familiar social media pages.
He is slowly, but surely stepping out on his own to pursue his musical career in America among other Justin’s who are breaking records. With the right strategy, Justin Park could join the list this year.
Justin Park started his career in the music industry in 2014 when he was starting to develop his own craft by writing for K-Pop act B.A.P.’s hit “That’s My Jam”, as well as getting coached by the best vocal teachers. And there’s more to him than meets the eye – he trained with The Kinjaz of America’s New Dance Crew fame, and even appeared in an Axe commercial. On his YouTube channel, the prolific artist already has a bag full of covers, and just had an album released in 2018. Seems like Park is ready to take on the world already.
Prior to the release of his debut album Places Like Home in 2018, Park had already been releasing original materials. It started with the song he first wrote called “Dates in LA” in 2017 before dropping the brilliant R&B jam “Nahimmastay (Namaste)” a year later. He went on to keep us on our toes with his catchy collab with Amber Liu, “XL Uber”, before giving us his full-length album Places Like Home at the end of 2018.
After witnessing his ability to deliver fantastic covers, from Kendrick Lamar’s “Loyalty” to Kehlani’s “Honey”, we were fortunate enough to get an album from Justin Park. In an interview with Digital Journal, he talked about the tracklist from Places Like Home: “All of my songs come straight from events in my life, or they’re a reflection of how I may be feeling that day; and often times I would feel in love, or be in love with a situation in my life, or have an overwhelming desire to empower my fans with optimism.”
Like this ruminating tune, “Like We Used To”, which has him lamenting heartbrokenly, “Did you/ Run out of out love or just patience/ How we go/ How we go from love to hesitating/ So please don't act like what i'm saying/ Is complicated”.
He also added that he is inspired by everything around his life,. “A song can come to fruition in an exclusive apartment party on the 35th floor in downtown, or at a grungy college fraternity house in Philadelphia on a cold December night, with all the participants singing to the sounds of Kanye West.”
When listening to Park’s Places Like Home, there are a lot of layers of R&B and Pop being delivered to expand his musicality, but still keeping to the theme that surrounds relationships. From smoothing out with beautiful harmonies on songs like “Water” to turning up his swagger level on “Sicario Melara”, Places Like Home is a compilation of songs to kick back to, whether you’re cruising down the streets or plain chilling at the balcony.
What can we expect next from Justin Park? There will also be a documentary about his journey as a recording artist, giving fans an exclusive peek into life, from his daily routine to touring America with Amber Liu. For Park, it will be a therapeutic process for him and his fans to see his growth in the music industry, especially as they evolve along with him. We know we can’t wait to see it. One thing is for sure, this is Justin Park entering gear one as an artist, so look out for what he has up his sleeve for us this year.
Cover Image: 5A Label
Writer | Kevin Yeoh
Kevin was the former editor of two music and lifestyle platforms. He is an all-round music enthusiast from the '90's R&B to K-Pop.