[Exclusive] Interview with Producer Bruce "Automatic" Vanderveer: Working with XIA Junsu on "Uncommitted" and "Incredible"

[Exclusive] Interview with Producer Bruce "Automatic" Vanderveer: Working with XIA Junsu on "Uncommitted" and "Incredible"

[Exclusive] Interview with Producer Bruce Automatic Vanderveer: Working with XIA Junsu on Uncommitted and IncredibleBack in the summer of 2012, many fans were excited to learn about the release of Junsu’s (XIAs) new English single album, “Uncommitted.” The album opened a new understanding towards the singer’s ability to digest and express different musical ranges. Many have wondered about the American producer behind the English song “Uncommitted”. The question might have occurred again this past summer, when the same producer of “Uncommitted” had worked with Junsu to create the song “Incredible,” the Korean and English title song featuring Quincy Brown in Junsu’s second solo album.

American producer Bruce “AutomaticVanderveer, CEO of InRage Entertainment, is the mastermind behind “Uncommitted” and “Incredible,” two completely opposite styled songs that managed to fit perfectly with Junsu’s vocals. While “Uncommitted” will make you shed tears as you grasp the heart-wrenching lyrics, Incredible will make you throw away the tear-moistened tissue as you dance along to the upbeat rhythm. 

Despite his busy schedule, I had the opportunity to interview producer Bruce “Automatic” in obtaining the exclusive scope of what it was like to work with Junsu, as well as what the processes of creating two incredible hit songs entailed when working in the realm of K-Pop as an American music producer. Having worked with world famous singers such as Michael Jackson and Christina Aguilera, producer Automatic provides a musical perspective to K-Pop that leads the way for Korean pop to be identified as a world renowned genre.

 [Exclusive] Interview with Producer Bruce Automatic Vanderveer: Working with XIA Junsu on Uncommitted and Incredible

I.Said.Hi: It’s a pleasure to have this interview with you!

Bruce “Automatic” Vanderveer: Hi! Awesome, I’ve been waiting for your call. I’m here at the studio right now.  

I: I just have some questions for you that I know our readers are curious about. So, lets get started! First off, youve worked with Junsu twice now, producing both “Uncommitted” and “Incredible.” Let’s go back to the beginning. How did this relationship form?

 B: C-JeS actually contacted me. It was a very unique situation. They had an independent AR (Artist and Repertoire) person named Niddy who was reaching out to different producers. He asked me if I could contribute any songs for Junsu’s album, but I didn’t know who Junsu was. My daughter knew who he was and she was so excited to hear that Junsu wanted new material.  I have worked with Pink, Christina Aguilera, and so many other acts, but I’ve never worked with anyone in K-Pop. But my daughter was into JYJ, BIG BANG, TVXQ, G-Dragon, EXO, and all these different groups. She convinced me, and I submitted many songs. Junsu chose “Uncommitted,” but “Uncommitted” was a song I wrote four years ago, so I didn’t really think he would take the song. It was a good song, but I didn’t think he would choose it. I was so surprised when he chose it.

I: Well, I know that many readers are curious about your experiences working with Junsu.  What was it like to work with him? Do you have any funny or interesting episodes while working with him?

B: Junsu, when he is in a creative environment, is relaxed and so funny. He’s just a really down-to-earth guy. When we were recording “Incredible,” we were trying to help him re-cut some of the Korean parts, and I was trying my best to pronounce Korean. So sometimes, he would start laughing at my pronunciation. We were joking all the time. After we would do a take or two, he would start practicing Korean with me.

I: Do you remember any of the Korean words or phrases you learned?

B: ‘Anyeonghasaeyo’ (‘Hello’ in Korean) is all that Ive got so far [laughs], but we are making it important to start learning Korean.  The fact that we have so many fans in Korea and all around the world makes us want to start learning.

[Exclusive] Interview with Producer Bruce Automatic Vanderveer: Working with XIA Junsu on Uncommitted and Incredible

I: Since “Uncommitted” was sung in English, what was the process like to produce an English song for a Korean singer?

B:  My partner, Ebony Cunningham, is the one who guided him through the English lyrics of “Uncommitted.” She really helped him with the sounds and vowels, and also helped him with the American dialect. Junsu is such a fast learner, and it was really amazing because he was able to capture Ebonys pronunciation very quickly. Also in the studio at the time was the CEO of C-JeS, Mr Baek (Baek Chang Joo). Mr. Baek was sitting there and also learning the English lyrics. It was a great feeling and vibe because this was the first time we were working with Junsu, and we were all feeding off of each other. Junsu was being a little shy when trying to pronounce the English, but we were all applauding in the studio saying, “You got it, you got it!” It was just a real great cultural experience between people who were learning to communicate with each other. Junsu was a real warm person, so he made us feel comfortable right away.

I: Then how was it like working with Junsu when producing “Incredible,” since the song is in both Korean and English?

B: What’s interesting is that we wrote “Incredible” and played it for Junsu the day we were recording “Uncommitted.” Junsu, for the year that he had been (promoting) “Uncommitted,” he would say or tweet certain things that gave us a clue that he still remembered the song. So he contacted us and let us know that he wanted to do the song and also translate some of the song into Korean. That’s when Junsu got involved in re-creating some of the lyrics. His writing ability is awesome. Through the Korean lyrics, he was able to not only translate the lyrics into Korean but add more dimension to the song; the lyrics became more beautiful. This is our first collaboration that we wrote together, and we are intending on doing more.

When releasing the video for “Incredible,” we sat and talked, and he was teaching me more Korean. I call him my Korean teacher [laughs]. He was saying that he’s looking forward to doing more songs together and was telling me to  start working on it now. He works so hard, because here he is recording the video for “Incredible,” and  we are talking about the next song. He’s always thinking in advance.

I: For the next song, what kind of music styles would you like to produce for Junsu?

B: The next couple of things we are going to do with Junsu are going to be a hybrid of different styles of music. I play certain instruments, so one of the advantages we have is to produce music of many different genres and styles. Junsu is one of the most versatile singers I have heard. He could sing in any genre. The next collaboration we work on is going to surprise a lot of people because it’s going to be different genres mixed with popular music, pop. It’s going to be very exciting.

I: Now that you have experienced both Korean and American music cultures, what are the traits of K-Pop that you find unique?

B: One of the things I love about K-Pop music is that it incorporates a lot of true musical styles that a lot of the times in America we don’t do any more. The stuff I produce in America is very technical and very advanced, but sometimes chord structure is not important as stylization and swagger. But a lot of K-Pop music I listen to really love strong chords, beautiful changes, and good lyrical content, so it helps me explore. As a producer who produced so many different genres K-Pop satisfies my artistic needs. A lot of times, I produce songs that  don’t have a lot of chord changes, and its more focused on vocals. Yet in K-Pop, a lot of the songs I listen to are challenging because you can play it on  the piano and on the guitar. It’s really beautiful, and I want to help expand K-Pop music in America so that this becomes a part of American culture and music.

You know, I got the interview for Junsu with the Grammys and he was on the front page of Grammys.com. The interview was through a friend of mine associated with the Grammys. I’m hoping that eventually the Grammys would start to recognize K-pop. They do have a world music category, but I want K-pop to have their own category.

[Exclusive] Interview with Producer Bruce Automatic Vanderveer: Working with XIA Junsu on Uncommitted and Incredible

I: Speaking of K-Pop awareness in American culture, we’ve seen the difficulties of big name K-Pop artists trying to break in to the American music industry. As an accomplished and experienced American music producer, what are some advice you would give to K-Pop singers trying to make it in the American Music Industry?

B: It’s important to plant seeds. As I listen to more K-pop, the artists seem to incorporate English in their work. G-Dragon did a collaboration with Missy Elliot. If we could continue to incorporate English in to K-Pop, and also try to do as many collaborations with established American artists, it would eventually break down those barriers. PSY has definitely helped to break down many barriers. When we have singers like Junsu who is more of a vocalist, I think Americans would understand that there are many dimensions to K-Pop artists. So we planted the seed because Junsu was the very first K-Pop artist to be on the Grammys (website). We worked real hard to have that happen, and we are going to keep on doing that, keep planting seeds, and help break some grounds.

I: As a producer and the CEO of InRage Entertainment, You were able to work with many different people from different backgrounds and cultures. Is there any other area of music that you have yet to venture and would love to challenge?

B: It’s funny that you mention it because my first Top Ten record was a country record with an artist name Bettina Bush. She was on “American Idol,” and (the album) was number two on the Hot Singles Sales. That was really ground breaking because I’m an African American from Brooklyn, New York. It seems like my career has been frequently crossing these cultural boundaries. K-Pop came by almost an accident, and now for me to be one of the American pioneers for K-pop is just a cool thing. I’m so honored to be a part of this. I would love to venture out to J-Pop as well.

I am also part of a rock band called “Asphalt Messiah,” and again, I’m a black guy doing rock. So we keep doing things that are a bit unorthodox. The next thing we do with Junsu and hopefully with JYJ will be unique.

I just wanted to add one thing that may seem off topic. Puff Daddys (AKA P.Diddy, Diddy, Sean Combs) son, Quincy Brown, featured in “Incredible,” and he sang a line, “Shake your spaceship candy.” Nobody knew that Spaceship Candy is actually a clothing line. It’s a clothing line, and we just started selling clothes. I just wanted to add that that because everyone was asking about that line. [laughs]

[Exclusive] Interview with Producer Bruce Automatic Vanderveer: Working with XIA Junsu on Uncommitted and Incredible

I: Finally, to wrap things up, what is your big vision for InRage Entertainment, and how is K-Pop included in the vision?

B: InRage Entertainment’s core value is that we believe in artistic freedom, and we also believe in cultural togetherness. That’s what were all about. We have a very strong vision for the future of music and for the future of film. We have on our team a couple of Korean executives who are part of InRage entertainment, and we are working on some new acts. We are going to be putting together our own K-Pop acts. We are preparing a solo female artist and a group, and these people are coming from both Korea and America. We want to continue expanding K-Pops appeal, and try to gather a whole bunch of different K-Pop concepts so we can continue pushing K-Pop in to the American music industry. We’re still trying to get it together right now, but we’ve got some awesome things prepared.

Also, the result of doing KCON was that a lot of people have asked to collaborate with us.We plan on returning those people’s calls and trying to do more music. Lately, we have been producing a lot of K-Pop music, and we also have people translating for us, getting it ready for us to play for other K-Pop artists. We truly want to work with BIG BANG, G-Dragon, EXO, and all the other artists out there. That’s our goal.

I: Thank you so much for your time and sharing with us the processes of producing music with Junsu.  We hope to (and we know we will) hear more from you soon. Thanks Bruce!

 Be sure to follow Producer Bruce Automatic Vanderveers Twitter and Facebook for the latest updates. Also, dont forget to check out InRage Entertainments website for more information!


K-Pop Review: Uncommitted by XIA Junsu

K-Pop Review: Uncommitted by XIA Junsu

XIA, JYJ, Junsu, Uncommitted, review

K-Pop Review: Uncommitted by XIA Junsu

Uncommitted is JYJ Junsu's 1st English single which he released right before he embarked on his world tour, which was starting right here in the U.S.A.

This is a great song! The style of music is nothing original especially when compared toTarantallegra,but is actually pretty standard of Junsu.

The subject matter and the music video is where the originality comes from with this song. It was funny to hear Junsu referring to himself as a player, and after following him for so many years, it is hard to see him as such.

In the video we see Junsu in clubs, with different girls, drinking, and living it up, which is pretty new for him. As a solo artist this is a complete change from his past work, and an ever bigger transformation fromTarantallegra.

People are complaining that for an English single he had a lot of "Engrish"going on in the song, but this song is so good that it can be overlooked. His speech was not so difficult to understand of what he was saying. However, people who are not as familiar with K-Pop may not be as accepting of a song with "Engrish."

The the route that C-Jes EntertainmentJunsu took for his first entry into the foreign music industry, more specifically the American music industry was good. XIA has not only announced an official debut in the U.S but he is using this song, and the U.S stops on his world tour, to sample what he has to offer.

Junsu stands out with Uncommitted.This is his first real attempt at doing something for international fans, and American fans it does standout among the other K-Pop acts trying to do the same thing. Rather than promoting himself with a typical dance hit, he is using his strongest skill, his voice, to put his foot in the door, which feels like something much of the American audience will gravitate towards.

This song was pretty a good choice for Junsu as he tries to make his mark as a solo artist outside of Asia.


MV Uncommitted of JYJ Junsu ranks 1st on Chinas YinYueTai Chart

MV Uncommitted of JYJ Junsu ranks 1st on Chinas YinYueTai Chart

JYJ Junsu’s “Uncommitted” MV ranks 1st on China’s YinYueTai Chart

JYJ Junsu recently ranked first in China with his first English solo video.

Junsu’s urban, RB track “Uncommitted” was revealed on August 17th, and since then, the singer has been receiving much love and support on music portal sites and YouTube.

The music video for the song received over 3.28 million hits and ranked first as soon as it was released on China’s version of YouTube, YinYueTai, Junsu beat out Super Junior and Psy.

It is hard to access YouTube in China, so YinYueTai Chart is the most reliable way to see which music videos are trending. Also, “Tarantallegra” is ranked 7th even though three months have passed since its release so we can truly feel Junsu’s popularity,” C-JeS Entertainment said.

With the release of his first solo album in May, the JYJ member reached massive success as a solo singer and became an international star by ranking on music charts in America, Germany, Chile, and China. His single ‘Uncommitted’ has also proven to be a success by ranking first on Korean music charts and on Japan’s iTunes.

He’s currently preparing for a world tour starting in New York on August 30th, after which he will continue onto other venues in North America, South America, and Europe.

It has been three months since he released his solo EP Tarantallegra. In May the EP, however, ranked seventh and proved its high popularity. Junsu’s success is even more impressive because he achieved this success despite not promoting on radio or television broadcasts.

His single is available through music portal sites and will be available offline starting from August 23rd.

SourceImage:  Sports Chosun via Nate, YinYueTai Chart


Eat Your Kimchi Reviews Xia Junsu's "Uncommitted"

Eat Your Kimchi Reviews Xia Junsu's "Uncommitted"

Eat Your Kimchi Reviews Xia Junsus UncommittedThis week for Music Monday, Simon and Martina reviewed Xia Junsus Uncommitted.

They thought that the song was a really solid pop ballad track with a North American styled music video. Junsu looks stylish and mature in the video, and it fits the concept very well. One of their complaints about the video is the use of too many lens flares.

They also gave Junsu a lot of credit for releasing a song that is completely in English.

Check out their full review.

Watch the full music video!

Be sure to check out their site at http://www.eatyourkimchi.com for more reviews and their awesome adventures in Korea. You can also vote for which song they will review next week.


  Lost In Translation: XIA’s “Uncommitted” MV

Lost In Translation: XIA’s “Uncommitted” MV

Junsu, blue hair, English, and ladieeeez. Never thought Id see those four things come together in the same context, but Junsus (or rather, XIAs) latest MV has managed to prove otherwise.

At this point, the idea of JYJs Junsu engaging in solo work has become a rather familiar concept. Having released his first solo single, XIAH, in Japan two years ago, Junsu kicked his solo career back into gear with his more recent full-length album Tarantallegra earlier this year.

Now, Uncommitted marks Junsus first attempt at recording and releasing an English-language tracka move that was met with mild skepticism by critics (who are generally wary of any K-pop idol attempting anything in English) and fans (who still remember vividly the days of Im select and Oh My God Sun) alike. But the single ought to be given its fair share of credit. For one, the English is really not that bad. More importantly, the release of an English-language single and MV holds far more weight than the simple merits of an artists ability to pronounce words in English.

Theres one thing about English-language releases that is almost always overlooked and underappreciated whenever a K-pop artist comes out with a single for the American market: the measures taken to ensure that American creative staff are heavily with the project. Its not dissimilar to the way Korean companies would collaborate with Japanese staff in the earlier days of Hallyu in Japan in order to create an authentically Japanese product. The Uncommitted music video was directed by Marc Klasfeld, who boasts an impressive laundry list of past works (Katy Perrys T.G.I.F.; Funs We Are Young; Far East Movements Rocketeer; amongst many others), and whose experience and artistry is evident in Uncommitted. While I found the cuts from scene to scene to be confusing and sporadic (and the fact that the same scenes were being shot from different angles in every cut certainly didnt help), the video was shot beautifully and made no attempts to be something that it wasnt.

But to be honest, a part of me feels as if Im grasping at straws in trying to justify my love for this song and video. I loved the song upon first listen, and my love for the song was magnified by the fact that Ive personally been waiting for Junsu to release a pop ballad like Uncommitted ever since stroke me like an arpereggio became a thing. On top of that, the artistry and pure prettiness of the music video should have given me very little room to complain. But there was something about the video in conjunction with the song that left me feeling very lukewarm about the whole singlea feeling that Ive been trying to reconcile because hey, finding stuff that you genuinely like in K-pop aint easy.

Lost In Translation: XIAs Uncommitted MV When it comes to K-pop singers singing in foreign languages like Japanese or English, its easy to get hung up on pronunciation and how intelligible a song sounds to the listener. At the risk of drawing some antagonism, Id venture to say that a large part of this is attributed to good old elitism and a need to be constantly critical of the tiniest things. But above all, the overarching reason why pronunciation seems to be the first point of criticism has to do with the listeners sense of personal comfort. And because this criticism is so inherently tied with our own experience as a listener, pronunciation is usually where the conversation about a K-pop artist singing in a foreign language stops.

But theres a really obvious facet of singing in a foreign language that I didnt recognize until seeing the Uncommitted video, and that is that a K-pop artist who is not fluent in English will not fully understand the English lyrics that he is singing. Sure, the artist is undoubtedly provided with Korean translations of the English lyrics, but its not the same. Furthermore, its exhausting to match up a set of English lyrics with its corresponding Korean translation, going line by line, interpreting each word first in Korean and figuring out how to embed that interpretation within words in an unfamiliar language. The idea is to sing unfamiliar English words with the same intricacies of passion and emotion that would manifest themselves in familiar Korean lyrics (which are, in actuality, nothing more than dry translations that convey merely semantic meaning and not emotion). But this is difficult, and in the end, its much easier to just give it up and sing the strings of words and letters while trying to sound really emotional throughout the whole song, in the hopes that youll get it right somewhere along the way.

This phenomenon makes itself glaringly evident in Junsus performance throughout the music video. While its not to say that the lyrics of Uncommitted are anything profound or meaningful, it does have intricacies that should be expressed with more than one type of facial expression. Throughout the video, Junsu does a great job of expressing emotion, but none of those emotions line up with the lyrics. In the end, youve got a really incongruous video where the emotion of the actor does not align with the words of the song, and the video becomes uncomfortable and unsatisfying to watch.

Dont get me wrong; this isnt supposed to be a low blow to Junsus linguistic abilities because its definitely not Junsus fault that hes not fluent in English. Junsu is an amazing performer and he usually does an awesome job emoting when he sings, but when hes singing lyrics that he doesnt fully understand, it handicaps him and makes it impossible for him to give his 100 percent best towards his performance. Im disappointed over the lost potential in this song, and it frustrates me that a mere linguistic barrier is enough to handicap Junsus ability to perform at his best. All the elements were there for Uncommitted to work: the song was good, the MV was beautiful, and Junsus just greatbut for Gods sake, why did it have to be in English?

Singers have been singing in foreign languages for ages, and the dilemma of expressing oneself fully through words in an unfamiliar language is one that plagues almost any classical singer. This dilemma is magnified even greater in pop music, where music videos and performances require the artist to act out the lyrics of his song, even if the lyrics are in a language he cannot understand. There are a number of ways that the Uncommitted video could have turned out to be an awkward, out of place mess; the inclusion of Junsu, blue hair, English, and ladieeeez in the same video almost guarantees that. But despite these obvious doubts, Junsu managed to make it all work; not even the sight of Junsu grinding up on four different girls made me flinch even once. Junsu and the production staff did everything right in producing Uncommitted, but the end product still felt incomplete, incongruent, and unsatisfyingall because of the language barrier. Its something thats worth keeping in mind as more and more K-pop artists are producing material in foreign languages. When it comes to foreign language releases, pronunciation is a rather trivial point to pick on, particularly when the linguistic barrier at large is what holds the greatest potential for damage.

Nevertheless, I commend the amount of effort and dedication shown in Uncommitted. As aforementioned, the principal fault with Uncommitted is something that mostly lay out of the control of artist and staff alike. I dont doubt that a Korean version of Uncommitted would be volumes better, but considering all that Uncommitted has done right, theres enough reason to be happy with whats been put in front of us.

MV Rating: 4/5

(CJeSJYJ; images via CJeS Entertainment)


JYJ Junsu's

JYJ Junsu's "Uncommitted" MV Ranks Number 1 on Music Site

JYJ, Junsu, Uncommitted

Junsus Uncommitted MV Ranks Number 1 on Music SiteJYJ member Junsu's first english single has been heating up.

Today, Junsu's agency stated that his song, "Uncommitted" has been gaining much support through his YouTube channel and various music sites.

In particular, a site similar to YouTube in China had Junsu ranking 1st place, beating Super Junior and Psy. His previous album was also seen on the chart at number 7. This proved Junsu's popularity in China.

An official commented, "It is difficult for China to use YouTube, so this other site is their only way to watch these videos."

Junsu's previous album, Tarantallegra, broke the record for record sales and was seen on the U.S., China, German and Chile Charts as well. His new english single has also ranked number one on Japan iTunes as well as various music sites.

Junsu will begin his world tour on August 30.


JYJ’s Junsu releases MV for “Uncommitted”

JYJ’s Junsu releases MV for “Uncommitted”

JYJs Junsu releases MV for Uncommitted

JYJs Junsu (XIA) finally unveiled the full music video for new single, Uncommitted!

Uncommitted is an urban pop and mid-tempo number sung entirely in English. The music video was directed by Marc Klasfield, who worked with prominent pop artists like Beyonce, Eminem, Jay-Z and Far East Movement. Also involved was the creative director Ray.

Check out the MV below!


Junsu Releases First English Single

Junsu Releases First English Single "Uncommitted" Music Video

jyj, junsu, uncommitted

JYJ member Junsu's first english single, Uncommitted, has been released along with the music video.

Junsu's agency stated today, "Junsu's first english single has been released today. He has worked with many world famous staff members for this album. He has ranked number 1 on Bugs and Cyworld after its release at 12 PM today."

With his world tour coming up, he worked with Sony Music Producer Automatic to create this new song, "Uncommitted." His music video was also filmed by a world famous director, Marc Klasfeld.

His other song, "Tarantallegra" has been re-edited and added to this single as well. He has switched the lyrics to english and changed the sound for a more oriental mood.

His song "Tarantallegra," which was released in May has received much support as it ranked on the U.S. Billboard chart as well as on the Gaon chart.

Junsu's first english single will be released on Melon, Bugs, Mnet, Sori Bada and other music sites. His music video can be seen on his official youtube channel as well.


XIA Junsu raises the heat with Uncommitted full MV

XIA Junsu raises the heat with Uncommitted full MV

Junsu (XIA) releases “Uncommitted” MV

After teased us with two video teaser before, JYJ’s member, Junsu finally reveal full music video for his new single, ‘Uncommitted’.

‘Uncommitted’ music video was taken in Los Angeles and now you can enjoy the result in C-Jes Entertainment’s Youtube channel. The single album releases on August 17th where beside ‘Uncommitted’, there will be ‘Tarantallegra’ English version included in this album.

The Uncommitted MV displays the subtle thoughts of a man who swears to only love one woman.

You can watch the “Uncommitted” MV below!


Kim Junsu release English single, "Uncommitted"

Kim Junsu release English single, "Uncommitted"

Kim Junsu release English single, UncommittedOn August 17th at noon, JYJ's Kim Junsu released his first solo English single, "Uncommitted." In addition to releasing the single, he also released the title track's music video, which was directed by Marc Klasfeld and Ray Yeom.

Instead of releasing a repackaged album for his first solo album, "TARANTELLEGRA," Kim Junsu decided to go with an English single. Working with Bruce "Automatic" Vanderveer, who has previously worked with Christina Aguilera, Wanted and Leona Lewis, Kim Junsu sang the beautiful track "Uncommitted."

The single also includes the English version of "TARANTELLEGRA," as well as the instrumental to both tracks.

You can purchase his English single on Bugs, Olleh Music and Soribada.

01. Uncommitted


Source: BubbleFeetMusicCH3