Most fans these days know Rain (real name Jung Ji Hoon, 정지훈) as one of the biggest solo male artistes in the Korean music scene. However, he had a rough start when he was pursuing a career in show biz 20 years ago. Back then, he was just a teenager from a flop boy group with dreams of making it big.
It all eventually changed when he signed as a trainee at JYP Entertainment. However, the megastar’s audition wasn’t quite like how most auditions are today. In a recent interview with Rolling Stone, Rain shared a story of the founder, Park Jin Young (박진영)’s shockingly absurd way of conducting his audition session.
During the chat, Rain quipped that it would take him “more than 24 hours without sleep” to talk about the audition as a whole. He then went on to reveal what he did recall during his meeting with the famous hit-maker. According to him, it happened sometime between winter in 1998 and spring in 1999, though he couldn’t remember the specific date.
The “La Song” singer continued by revealing that the audition started with JYP playing a Michael Jackson song. Rain recalled, “I’m not sure why he did that, but he… just had it on repeat, you know?” He then added that replaying the song once or twice wouldn’t have been so strange to him, but he played the Michael Jackson track on repeat for a staggering “four to five hours”!
Seemingly confused by the whole process during their meeting, the “Full House” actor said, “I just kept dancing alone”. JYP then asked him to copy his dance moves. After that, the legendary producer continued to give him a personal lesson for another hour.
After spending so much time during his first meet-up with JYP, Rain felt positive about his future with the entertainment company. “He told me, ‘You kind of get the feeling. So I thought I passed the audition.” In the following weeks, however, Rain revealed that JYP didn’t get back to him at all!
The 39-year-old entertainer further added that he was certain the founder had forgotten all about him as time went by. But then, exactly a month after his audition, he finally received that life-changing call from JYP, asking him to join the company. Interestingly, despite his slow response, JYP revealed in a previous interview that he saw a “spark” in Rain from that first meeting.
The “Who’s Your Mama” singer commented, “I remember the first time Rain entered the audition room. His facial expression, his passion, and even his sweats — I can recall them all. Rain reminded me of a starved young lion.”
“I could tell he really wanted to succeed, but with the difficult circumstances, he was not able to make it come true. I had never seen anything like that before, and I wanted to help him to make his dreams come true,” JYP added.
Watch the full interview with the K-pop hunk here: