JJ Lin’s new release, Hundred Days, is sleeker and more mature compare to his earlier albums. — I do miss the more grandiose compositions in the olden days, but the progression is a welcomed one. — The change in style is a direct reflection of JJ’s personal experience, which, he discusses in an interview with Baidu.
JJ Lin – Obsession (track 5) If you notice that there is no download link, that’s because I want his album to sell.
This May, JJ was diagnosed with vocal chord related sickness (I’m unclear on the details of the medical condition). According to him, it started as an ordinary flu. He took no heed until he started coughing up blood. When the hemoptysis stopped, he also lost his voice. It was the bleakest period of his life. He wrote his will and despaired over the prospect of ending his music career as a performer. (It would be a huge loss had he not recovered but he’s still a good songwriter.) His parents flew to Taiwan to take care of him. After three long months (100 days), he regained his voice and, he’s back!
What the “100 Days” Meant to JJ
“I think 100 days can be long and it can be short, all depends on what happens to you. During the 100 days of recovery, time went by very slowly. Everyday I hoped for my voice to come back. That kind of intense desire followed me everywhere. But when my voice did come back, the relief was tremendous. I remember the day I finished recording the song “Hundred Days“, I cried. I cried with my colleagues. Because we anticipated for so long and failed so many times. So the moment we succeeded, the delight was incandescent. After that, our excitement for producing something really good grew. It kept growing until the day of release.
“On a more personal level, I’ve learned to take better care of myself and now I’m coming back with a more positive attitude. I’m more truthful; to myself and to other people.”
About the Album
“This album intends to reflect appreciation [for life] and true feelings. Because of my sickness, I learned a great deal. I organized my thoughts and perspectives on life, music, fans, colleagues, and family. So for this comeback album, I want to start from a personal angle and show my deepest feelings. For example, there was a part in one of the music videos where I was standing in this transparent room. The room is analogous to my heart and the transparency represents my willingness to open up and let people see inside.
“I used to write a lot of those… I guess you could say ‘wow-inducing’ music. There’s still some of those in this album but I want to set off in a new direction. I want my listeners to slow down and really listen to what I have to say.”
When noting the difficulty of the songs in the album, JJ replies that it’s intensional.
“It’s a challenge I set for myself. Yes the notes are higher and yes I’ve just recovered. But the way I see it is that if I can overcome it, I can be better. It’s something I want to prove to myself.”
JJ Lin – Back to Back (track 6)
The host mentions a very interesting song title by the name of “Back to Back Hug” (literal translation) and asks for the significance.
“I once heard something that stayed with me. It said that a hug can be the closest distance between two people but it can also be the longest. Because when two people are hugging, they can’t see each other. I took that idea and transformed it, hoping to convey a realistic portrayal of the inherent dichotomy.”
JJ on Past and Future
Regarding the past, JJ thinks himself as naïve and inexperienced. As for the future…
“I’ve come to a point where I don’t want to think about how life will be in 10 years. A few years back, I would want time to go by faster and see myself as more mature, more manly and maybe even handsome (he chuckles). But now, I’m content with what I have.”
He later jokes that he might grow a beard in 10 years, perhaps find a girlfriend and get married. Whatever happens, I hope he’ll still be in the industry making good music.