The chaos of living across multiple cultures and relentless schedules can get too much. Magic Man is him processing burnout. Jackson Wang advocates living for the moment and doing what makes us happy, no matter what universe we find ourselves in. It’s something his music has always stood for, averse to being asked what does it mean? He sticks by, “Entertainment is entertainment, it’s supposed to make people happy.” Jackson Wang is proud of his Chinese roots, and lives in Korea, but also effortlessly assimilates into local cultural norms in the West, speaking the language expertly. In London with James Corden, he was willing to try a stargazy pie of fish heads, quickly picked up some Spanish in an LA interview and adopted the American teasing attitude towards parents on The Kelly Clarkson show last month. Iconic music videos like Pretty Please, his multilingual songs and private respectful disposition are never tied to just one culture creating a persona that ensures he is never stuck in one box. A hard worker, to maybe excessive extremes, the Magic Man album is Jackson Wang’s metaphorical pot boiling over. An emotional release. A realisation: “Words mean a lot” and having positive friends around you is everything, on set and after work.
Having posed for Fendi, his striking high cheekbones and melancholic evasive tendency give him a supermodel quality. In this interview, dressed in a powerful black suit he sometimes shyly avoids eye contact or stutters on his points, despite being articulate. Exceptionally slick in front of the screaming crowds at Coachella, his athletic elegance comes from his disciplined youth growing up with Olympian parents. But this June he’s stepping away from his k-pop rap identity into a rock infused theatrical character: Magic Man. Blow his first single off the album introduces us to a Dorian Grey-esque character: a perfectly handsome man and dark hedonist. This Magic Man persona is the fire element. The first of three subsequent personas the album explores. All gritty and on the darker side of the spectrum. Blow seems to revel in excess and succumbing to temptations. Meanwhile the next elements water and void explore emotional turbulence, solitude and acceptance. His career and this album show there is always a new world to explore and the only category that can confine Jackson Wang is entertainer.