In the space of three months, Jung Jin Hyeong has finally ended the saga of YG Entertainment’s survival program shows. It started with WIN: Who Is Next in 2013 which created Winner, while pushing the losing group to compete in the follow-up survival show Mix & Match which gave birth to iKon in 2014. Hongseok and Jung Jin Hyeong were left as the eliminated trainees without a group after the show. Hongseok would eventually depart YG Entertainment to join Pentagon, leaving only Jung Jin Hyeong without a crafted career path. Three years later, Jung Jin Hyeong would solo-debut with two singles namely, “Calling You” and “Tru” under SFR Entertainment only to disappear again.
His vanishing act was seemingly tactical. His return in 2019 continued the vision and soundscape of his aforementioned singles, but entirely raised the bar on the quality of his sound. This first becomes notable with his debut EP, Soar. Besides the noticeable feature of international DJ Ryan Hemsworth and the returning feature of Sik-K whom also featured on “Tru,” it also introduced GXXD (short for Girlnexxtdoor).
GXXD not only entirely produced Soar, but also Trace his follow-up single album which arrived only a month after Soar. Jung Jin Hyeong has seemingly taken his time to find the right people to create his art with, and in turn, raise the quality of his sound.
“Done,” therefore, feels not only the culmination of his release period, but also a completed artistic cycle. The “rough” version of “Done” could be found on GXXD’s SoundCloud page alongside a remix of Sik-K’s “Xibal” over six months ago.
As such, this is a collaboration single between Jung Jin Hyeong and GXXD, instead of it being a Jung Jin Hyeong single with GXXD being given production credits. Oh! And Goopy is attached to the hip of this release as well, building on his stellar 24 EP which released only two days after Jung Jin Hyeong’s Trace EP. This collaboration shines a spotlight on two contemporaries and must watch artists in the R&B sphere going into 2020.
The MV for “Done” follows the same structure as a Jung Jin Hyeong official MV release usually does. That is, a small snippet of night blurred and painted in static and barely breaking the one-minute mark unless the little moment in question is looped into oblivion. The key difference in this MV is that Goopy accompanies Jung Jin Hyeong across his nightscape, producing a lovely moment of friendship that cuts out just as Goopy’s verse gets going.
There is also a grainy texture that ties each of Jung Jin Hyeong’s MV’s together. This choice of cinematography can be traced all the way back to “Calling You.” This deliberate aesthetic choice shows audiences that what originally seemed a lonesome MV was, in fact, a stylistic introduction to Jung Jin Hyeong’s vision for his MVs. More than a coincidence, such a aesthetic link seems to hint again that Jung Jin Hyeong’s vanishing act was indeed a tactical step in the pursuit of his artistic identity.
It is always interesting to see the unique paths of certain artists. With Jung Jin Hyeong, listeners of his music can notice a trainee that could have been a member of iKon completely reinvent his entry into music. It is clear, Jung Jin Hyeong loves to work in collaboration with others, having released 12 tracks to date, 8 of which feature a different artist. It would seem that instead of being in a boyband, Jung Jin Hyeong has found a group of collaborators to work with while allowing him to focus on his songwriting and vocal abilities. Building such an environment for himself mimicks the key characteristics of creating within a group, with the added bonus of more artistic freedom.
Curiously, iKon is currently missing a member since B.I left the group. Would Jung Jin Hyeong be a plausible replacement since his releases are still under the license of YG Plus? Or is he much better off as a solo artist? Either way, it is worthwhile to look forward to following his development going into 2020 alongside GXXD and Goopy.