Jay Park made history when he partnered with Roc Nation back in 2017, serving as the first Asian artist to sign to the imprint.
Born in Seattle, Washington, Jay Park fell in love with Hip-Hop at a very early age, getting his start writing raps and breakdancing in high school. In 2004, Jay’s mom had him try out for an audition, eventually selected to become a member of a Korean boy band as an idol. There, he’d train to become the superstar he is today.
But throughout his career, Jay Park has never forgotten his love for Hip-Hop. In 2013, he launched his own hip-hop label called AOMG, based in Seoul, Korea.
Now, he continues to break down boundaries — this time, launching his soju brand, Won Soju, into the United States. Boasting 2.8 million followers on Instagram alone, Jay Park even changed his IG handle to @moresojuplease. A+ for marketing!
The Source had the pleasure of attending Jay Park’s Won Soju release party at Intercrew in Los Angeles.
How excited are you to have Won Soju hit the US market?
I’m very excited. The goal in the beginning was to have it next to vodka and tequila. Because everybody knows sake, but not a lot of people know soju. And the people who do know soju, all think that the green bottles only at pochas and stuff like that. I wanted to let people know that there is a more higher quality premium soju that wanted to introduce to people.
What’s the meaning behind Won Soju?
Obviously, it’s the currency won. The Korean currency’s won. In English and in Korean, there’s a bunch of different meanings like one. Or won is circle in Korean, or won like victory won. So it translates very well globally.
How much soju you are you drinking in a day?
In a day? Oh Lord. A week, maybe three or four bottles a week.
Favorite food to have with Won Soju?
To be honest, I like to just have fruits. You know, I gotta watch my weight.
I see those abs!
That’s what I’m saying, it’s because I eat it with fruit. The Korean pear, the bae. I love that.
Favorite thing to do when drinking soju?
To be honest, I don’t really like going to clubs anymore. I just like to have conversations with homies. I have a lot of Won Soju with my employees, so we talk about work. Stuff we want to do. Try to stay motivated, inspired.
I heard soju in Korea usually sells for $1. What was your reasoning behind the higher pricing?
Well, it’s made completely different. For Won Soju, first of all the ingredients are more expensive, because we’re using real rice from Wonju-si. Also it’s like Hwayo Soju or Andong Soju, where it’s traditional distilled soju. There’s no preservatives. There’s no sweeteners. There’s no MSG. It’s not made from a huge factory. You can’t mass produce it.
Hip-Hop celebrates 50 years this year. What was the moment you fell in love with Hip-Hop?
Second grade: Warren G, “Regulate.” Regulators. My cousin had it in his Walkman. I heard that, that’s when I was like “Yo, what is this?!” I immediately fell in love with it.
Last question, favorite Tupac song?
How many brothers fell victim to the streets? Rest in peace young homie, there’s a heaven for G. Be a lie if I told you that I never thought of death. My homie, we the last ones left. But life goes on! [sings Tupac]