Jay Park: Kaypoh but not kiasu

We taught the Korean-American hip-hop star, a frequent visitor to Singapore, a couple of quintessentially Singlish terms

Jay Park: Kaypoh but not kiasu
Jay Park: Kaypoh but not kiasu
28 Jul 2017

Jay Park: Kaypoh but not kiasu

Photos: Tammi Tan
Video: Goh Wen Kai

Korean-American hip-hop star Jay Park may be a very frequent visitor to our sunny shores, but it seems like the stereotypical Singaporean culture of being kiasu – which basically means being “afraid to lose” in Hokkien – has yet to rub off on him.

“I don’t have that [fear of losing],” he told Toggle in a small group interview at yesterday’s Asia’s Got Talent judges’ reveal. The 30-year-old was unveiled as a member of the talent show’s judging panel, which also includes familiar faces from last season, renowned Canadian producer David Foster and Indonesian pop queen Anggun.

Jay continued, “If I do lose, I feel there’s a reason why and I try to learn from it, break down why I lost, and try to become better, so I feel losing is very important.”

We guess this is where another Lion City cliché comes into play for him: being kaypoh (“nosy”).

“If there’s something that I want to find out more about, or something that can better me or help me progress in some way, I would definitely be – how do you say it? – kaypoh,” he said. “I’m very kaypoh when it comes to music in general.”

Speaking of progress, Jay made waves last week when Roc Nation, an entertainment company founded by rapper-mogul Jay Z, announced that they had added him to their illustrious roster of artists. He is the first Asian-American to sign with the label, which also houses the likes of Rihanna, Shakira, DJ Khaled and more.

To our surprise, Jay (Park) admitted that he has yet to meet Jay (Z) face-to-face, although he does look forward to doing so in the near future.

“If you like hip-hop, it doesn’t make sense to not be a fan of his music,” he said. “But I also look to him in terms of how he does business, the deals he makes, how he carries himself, stuff like that.”

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The judges pushed a huge golden buzzer to officiate the start of Asia's Got Talent
The judges pushed a huge golden buzzer to officiate the start of Asia's Got Talent
28 Jul 2017

The judges pushed a huge golden buzzer to officiate the start of Asia's Got Talent

While he may be the newest addition to the Asia’s Got Talent trio of judges, Jay is no stranger to the role as he is also part of the panel of mentor-judges (called “producers”) for South Korean rap competition programme Show Me The Money.

However, he told us that he will do things a little differently. “Show Me The Money is about rap and hip-hop, which I’m an expert at,” he said. “Here, I’m not an expert at every single talent.”

In fact, the multi-hyphenate modestly admitted that he doesn’t have any hidden skills to speak of. “I’m not good at much; I can’t cook, I’m horrible at juggling, I can’t do magic,” he said with a chuckle.

Still, he gave himself an above-average score of six out of 10 when we asked to rate how talented he thinks he is. “But I try to enhance those talents and make up for [any lack of talent] by working very hard.”

So then, what would be a major factor for Jay in determining whether a contestant is worthy to make it to the final round of Asia’s Got Talent (and walk away with a cool US$100,000 in cash)?

It’s all about keepin’ it real. “It depends on how authentic I feel they are,” he shared. “There are people who devote their whole lives to what they do, and it’s different from just wanting to be famous or be on TV. So if I feel that someone deserves to be here, then I want to support them.”

Asia’s Got Talent Season 2 premieres on AXN in October 2017.

Click through for more photos from the Asia’s Got Talent judges’ reveal!

Confetti!
Confetti!
28 Jul 2017

Confetti!

Confetti!
Confetti!
28 Jul 2017

Confetti!

The hosts and judges of Asia's Got Talent
The hosts and judges of Asia's Got Talent
28 Jul 2017

The hosts and judges of Asia's Got Talent

Jay Park greets his co-judges Anggun and David Foster
Jay Park greets his co-judges Anggun and David Foster
28 Jul 2017

Jay Park greets his co-judges Anggun and David Foster

Jay Park
Jay Park
28 Jul 2017

Jay Park

Asia's Got Talent judges David Foster, Anggun and Jay Park
Asia's Got Talent judges David Foster, Anggun and Jay Park
28 Jul 2017

Asia's Got Talent judges David Foster, Anggun and Jay Park

David Foster
David Foster
28 Jul 2017

David Foster

Anggun
Anggun
28 Jul 2017

Anggun

Asia's Got Talent hosts Alan Wong and Justin Bratton
Asia's Got Talent hosts Alan Wong and Justin Bratton
28 Jul 2017

Asia's Got Talent hosts Alan Wong and Justin Bratton

Tabitha Nauser performed her single 'Bulletproof'
Tabitha Nauser performed her single 'Bulletproof'
28 Jul 2017

Tabitha Nauser performed her single 'Bulletproof'

Watch: What do David Foster and Anggun expect from Jay Park?

Related:
Jay Park returns to “second home” S’pore with AOMG crew
Jeanette Aw & Jay Park reunite in Singapore

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