Skip To Content
    Updated on Apr 10, 2020. Posted on Apr 10, 2020

    Jackson Wang Talks Through "100 Ways" And Hopes He Can Bring Some Joy To People Staying At Home

    "Every time I release something, it feels like it’s more me, more Jackson Wang — more showing my true colors."

    Jackson Wang fully deserves the title of multi-hyphenate. He's an international K-pop idol, fashion influencer, Team Wang founder, and a successful soloist who continues to explore and expand his personal artistry.

    Jackson's latest release is called "100 Ways," which is visually told through a mesmerizing Ancient China-inspired story.

    View this video on YouTube

    88rising / Team Wang / Via youtube.com

    When I ask him to name one line that best describes the message of the song (for people who haven’t heard it yet), he replies by wistfully singing, "But I'm the only one that you need."

    (FYI, the full lyrics go like this: "There's a hundred ways to leave a lover / I won't wait a minute longer / Hundred ways to leave / But I'm the only one that you need.")

    In the music video, he plays a warrior-like character who comes back to life *and* brings his lover back to life to tell her that they're meant to be together forever.

    88rising / Team Wang

    Spoiler: They dance their feelings out (so swoon!) and then return into the afterlife together. Love prevails!

    But the real message of the song — despite the fantastical storyline — is that we *can't* control time and love.

    88rising / Team Wang

    Jackson: "I’m trying to imply that there are a lot of elements in life that we can’t control, [especially] time and love. I, as a character in the music video, can fortunately control both. I’m this character who wasn’t able to express [my feelings] with my lover in the first life, and then I overcome time and life to come back to life and tell her that 'I’m the only one you need.' Also in the lyrics, I’m telling her how much she means to me ('But if you're ready, I will give my all') and I wanted to see if she feels the same way ('Could you love me the same?')."

    The music video also acts as a vehicle for Jackson to share a part of his culture — a core, ever-present tenet of his work.

    88rising / Team Wang

    Jackson: "I love learning about other cultures and I also love sharing my culture, so that’s why I decided to express the song in an Ancient Chinese–love story style. Our choreography represents the tension and energy of our love in the afterlife and [first] life. We chose each other and we’re happy to return to the afterlife together, having conquered time and having found love."

    With just a few days to bring the music video concept to life and create the entire choreography from scratch, Jackson teamed up with familiar collaborators: Kinjaz, a "legendary icon of Asian dance culture" and Daniel Cloud Campos, a "legendary b-boy and creative director."

    88rising / Team Wang

    Jackson: "I worked with them on my last album, Mirrors, on different songs — but for this release, I was really curious about what we could come up with all together on *one* song. Some masterpiece would be created, that’s what I had in mind. We came together, we shot this in Asia. We’re close friends, we’re all like family — so it didn’t really feel like working. It felt like a family gathering, but a lot of things were really challenging. Our time was really limited. We had two to three days to prepare the whole music video — we had to come up with the choreography and idea from scratch, so it was very difficult. But at the end of the day, we pulled it off and we’re all satisfied with it. It’s a masterpiece that we’re going to remember for life."

    "100 Ways" represents another step in his musical journey, and as time goes on, he's confident you'll hear (and see!) an artist that's more representative of Jackson Wang.

    88rising / Team Wang

    Jackson: "In terms of sound, all the stuff I’ve released in the past is more of a hip-hop/rap genre, but as time passes, I’m really getting to know myself a lot more. Every time I release something, it feels like it’s more me and it’s more Jackson Wang — it’s more showing my true colors. I’ve done a lot of rap and on Chinese variety shows I’ve done a lot of R&B songs, so in conclusion I’ve kinda found myself in the middle. With each release, I’m continuously evolving."

    But something that stays constant is his introduction, which is "I'm Jackson Wang from China" — and because I'm a fan of it, I ask him why he always says that.

    BuzzFeed Celeb / Via youtube.com

    Jackson: "It’s not purposeful, but I really want people to know it because I’m Asian and I’m from that part of the world, China. I’m here and trying to share my story and culture, and everything that I do to the Western world. I’m proud of my country."

    As for his continued partnership and work with global music collective, 88rising, Jackson says this: "It feels like another level. We’re family, We’re all in this crew. Especially with 88rising, we have the same goals: to represent our culture and spread it throughout the Western world, and have everybody realize that we Asians are releasing a lot of stuff and working hard too. It’s more than just a working relationship."

    Between managing Team Wang, producing and releasing new music, and attending to all of the other commitments he has on his plate, Jackson is inspired to keep going by his passion and vision.

    Taylor Miller / BuzzFeed

    Jackson: "In K-pop it’s all good with the group stuff and comebacks, and we’re all working hard toward it — but at the same time, I’m also working very hard toward my solo stuff. Time is limited; you have 365 days every year. I’ve got to balance both sides so it’s really tough, but at the end of the day it’s something I love and insist on doing, and carry on because it’s my passion and vision.

    The difference is a lot of people may be working and they might not be enjoying every single day, but they still work for it. It’s very different from you actually really loving your work, because when you love something, you won’t even be exhausted — you’re just trying to go further and further, and you’re just trying to be perfect naturally. That’s how I’m living every single day."

    For those reasons, regrets aren't in his forecast either.

    Nicholas Hunt / Getty Images

    In his 30 questions video, he said that his biggest fear was "regrets" — so I asked if anything had changed in order to overcome that fear. He responded, "I get a lot of opinions and comments, even within the crew and team, but at the end of the day, I kinda sum up what I’m looking for. I trust myself, you know? I follow my own vision. I think that’s the only way to overcome regrets — because if you make the choice yourself, you won't feel regretful. Because you chose it and you’re responsible for it. Rather than listening to other people and making a mistake."

    By now we obviously know that 2020 is and will continue to be a difficult and stressful year as the world deals with the ramifications of the coronavirus — but Jackson maintains a positive outlook on his upcoming music, and hopes that his current music can bring a bit of joy into people's lives.

    BuzzFeed Celeb / Via youtube.com

    When asked about his next album, potentially his shelved album Journey to the West, Jackson is quick to answer: "My album is definitely going to drop this year, but we’re still managing the time because the schedules are everywhere. We’ll definitely be able to pull off a masterpiece and it’s gonna be something special."

    Jackson: "It’s very unfortunate and it’s a bad time because the virus is very serious — I just hope that everyone stays strong and healthy, wears a mask, washes their hands, and tries not to gather in very crowded areas. I just wanted to say that I’m becoming a better person and artist with all of my music, and [I hope] I can at least bring some joy to the people staying at home and let them just smile for once, you know? I just hope everyone stays strong, and we can fight through it."

    And lastly, here are two random questions I asked him that really have nothing to do with the rest of the interview (don't @ me):

    Team Wang / Via youtube.com

    What’s the last thing that you did for the first time?

    Jackson: "Having a spoonful of honey every morning." 🍯

    What’s the best and worst purchase you have ever made?

    Jackson: "Best: I got a humidifier in my room and it settles my throat.” 💦

    “Worst: I got this jacket from this brand and then maybe a month later, I signed with Fendi and then I couldn’t wear it, so it’s just sitting there by itself — very lonely — in the corner of the closet.” 🧥

    Thanks for chatting with us, Jackson! Listen to "100 Ways" now!

    BuzzFeed Celeb / Via youtube.com

    (Or stare at this adorable GIF forever — but preferably both.)