Jay Park: Tiny Desk (Home) Concert
NPR Music's Tiny Desk is celebrating Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. These artists represent just a sliver of the cultural diversity that exists within the Asian American and Pacific Islander community.
As sunlight filters into the corner of the room, the singer and rapper Jay Park is turning his Everything You Wanted deep cut "I Got This" inside out with a groovy, lounge-ready interpretation on the trap-powered jam. "Born and raised in Seattle; we rep South Korea — Seoul city," he outlines, before transitioning into the feel-good R&B of his 2022 single "Need to Know," and that cross-cultural exchange has defined his keen shapeshifting — and the subtle breadth of the music he brings to his Tiny Desk (home) concert.
Since his days as a short-lived member of the K-pop group 2PM, Park has stayed at the forefront of the South Korean hip-hop and R&B scenes. As a performer, he has steadily evolved into a polymath, with a smooth, singsong style that straddles his rap and neo soul identities. He has since crossed over, signing with Roc Nation stateside, recording an EP with Hit-Boy and collaborating with artists ranging from Jay Electronica to Charli XCX.
His Tiny Desk (home) set plays into his natural instincts to mess around with many influences. Backed by a band and a small chorus that fill out his songs and let them breathe, Park brings a new warmth to his recent catalog here. He performs "Yesterday" and "Ganadara," some of his more acoustic ballads, with even greater delicacy, the latter unwrapping gently into the more upbeat "Candy." This rendition of "All I Wanna Do" turns the hit into something funkier, amped by bass and harmonized vocal runs. And an "only-for-NPR" performance of "Sex Trip" strips the song down with raw, falsetto vocals. But everything Park's done, everything he is, is on display in the reimagined "Mommae," in which a ratchet-era twerk anthem becomes soul balladry.
TINY DESK TEAM
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