Jay B of K-pop group Got7 has signed with South Korean hip-hop label H1ghr Music, which is headed by Jay Park, the Korean-American rapper, songwriter, producer and entrepreneur.
Jay B (Lim Jae-beom), also known as JB, is the latest of Got7’s members to announce his future plans after the seven members of the boy band left long-term company JYP Entertainment earlier this year. Jay B plans to release a new solo single on Friday.
Both Park and Jay B, who coincidentally share the first given name in Korean, were formerly managed by JYP. Park is said to have reached out to Jay B and invited him to join H1ghr Music as he takes the next step in his career.
“As I’m starting as a solo artist, I wanted to be free in the musical spectrum,” Jay B said of why he decided to join H1ghr Music. “So I had to spend a lot of time thinking of what kind of music I should pursue and other factors outside of the music.”
The two Jays comically interacted and performed together briefly in a video Jay B shared on his Instagram soon after H1ghr Music announced that he had joined the label.
“I appreciate that Jay Park first contacted me and trusted me throughout. I finally decided to join H1ghr Music with the faith that I could accomplish my goals here. I’m really excited to start as a solo artist here at H1ghr Music.”
The news followed several weeks of rumours that Jay B would be joining H1ghr Music. Last month, Park tweeted that there was “only one Jay Bum over here”, putting people off the trail ahead of the official news.
Both in his work with Got7 and through his solo projects, Jay B has shown a proclivity towards R&B and hip-hop, and showcased his skill as a songwriter and producer on multiple occasions.
Got7’s members have said on multiple occasions since they parted ways with JYP that they are still remaining together as a group, but each will pursue their own solo path.
Several members have confirmed deals with other Asian entertainment companies, but American-born member Mark Tuan signed with the American major talent agency Creative Artists Agency (CAA) in April.
Beyond Park and Jay B, H1ghr Music also houses a variety of other artists, including pH-1 and Sik-K. The company was named the Label of the Year at the 2021 Korean HiP Hop Awards.
This article was first published in South China Morning Post.