Photos: Warner Music
Local musician JJ Lin was previously revealed as the only foreign collaborative artiste on CNBLUE’s Yonghwa’s solo album, One Fine Day. The duo worked together on ‘Checkmate’, a trilingual track that gives a strong pop-rock vibe and has lyrics in English, Mandarin and Korean.
After performing the song on Korean weekly programme Music Bank with Yonghwa on January 23, JJ was revealed to have shot the music video while in Korea as well, which will be released on his official YouTube channel on January 30. ‘Checkmate’ will also be included in the repackaged version of JJ’s new album, Genesis.
Speaking of his music video filming experience in Seoul, the 33-year-old revealed that he was rushed for hair and makeup preparations immediately after touching down and had to finish eating while being primped by the team.
JJ added that he and Yonghwa embraced each other warmly once they met, sharing that the crooner texted him to check on his well-being with questions such as whether he had eaten and advice to pile on the layers because of the cold despite being unable to receive him personally at the airport.
The concept of the music video is said to be that of the struggles faced by white-collar workers. The title ‘Checkmate’ came from their perception that life is like a game of chess; or even the feeling of being a pawn in the larger scheme of things. JJ shared that they hope that the song will serve as a form of inspiration to those who feel powerless while repeatedly doing the same things day after day, adding that thinking out of the box could serve as a way out for those who felt that way.
Feeling thankful and sorry towards JJ for carving time out from his hectic promotional schedule to fly to Seoul, Yonghwa prepared a feast of Korean rice cakes, blood sausages and boiled fishcakes to warm JJ up at night while the latter was taking a rest.
Filming for 27 hours continuously in the frigid cold was a challenge for the team, especially when temperatures dipped to -8 degrees in the morning, where they were slated to stand on the rooftop of a 25-storey building in suits.
JJ chuckled, “It was so cold that my nose started running without me knowing it,” adding that the crew rushed to the duo with jackets and warm coffee once the director shouted ‘Cut!’, only to scurry away just before the cameras continued to roll.