Jackson Wang Is Truly a “Magic Man,” Astonishing Audiences at His First-Ever Head in the Clouds Performance Thoughts+Photos: Jackson Wang at 88rising's Head In The Clouds 8/21/22
LOS ANGELES, CA–
“…Perhaps the most anticipated performance of the festival was Jackson Wang– a Chinese icon and superstar– who was set to perform his unreleased album, MAGIC MAN. The multi-hyphenate was set to perform at the festival in 2019, but due to political turmoil between mainland China and Hong Kong, this performance was extra anticipated by international fans, who have been waiting years to see him perform.
With over thirty million followers on Instagram and another thirty million on Weibo, it would be more of a surprise if you didn’t know who Jackson Wang is. Born in Hong Kong, Wang rose to fame as a member of the K-pop group, Got7. Besides his activity as a K-pop idol, he has his own label, Team Wang, and began releasing solo music internationally and in China. A superstar celebrity in multiple countries, Wang has pursued multiple projects– such as collaborating with luxury designers like Palm Angels, appearing on more than 18 TV shows in various countries, and founding his own fashion label, Team Wang Design. Since being released, MAGIC MAN topped the Worldwide iTunes Album Chart in 30 different countries and is seeing rave reviews.
Wang describes MAGIC MAN as an album that “is more inspired by modern art and contemporary choreography.” The album is a natural progression from his last single, “Mirrors,” blending grunge, pop, rock, and R&B elements with quirky symbolism to craft an intricate story of a disaster waiting to happen and how timely efforts have resurrected the man. Even though he’s performed different iterations of the “MAGIC MAN Experience” around the world, Wang put on the performance of his life– bringing in a bevy of backup dancers and utilizing special visual effects that made audiences feel like they were watching a musical.
Sporting a black suit jacket, cobalt gloves, dark makeup, and a headset mic, Wang was reminiscent of The Joker. Between performing hits like “100 Ways” and unreleased songs from his new album, Wang interacted with the audience, popping a bottle of champagne and drinking it straight out of the bottle, and giving heartfelt speeches. He even brought out the dance crew, Kinjaz, out to dance with him during “Blow.”
I know I’m speaking for the entire audience here, but it was unreal to see Jackson Wang perform. He leaves his heart on stage, singing and dancing tirelessly in order to transport the audience to the world of MAGIC MAN. Wang has mentioned that he has a hand in every step of the creative process, wanting his visuals to “be done…like a musical.” His efforts definitely paid off because I was absolutely stunned throughout the entirety of his 50-minute set.
“As an Asian artist, as a Chinese boy, my dream is always, hope. I can leave something behind for my culture, for my people before I’m gone…I might fail, but Imma die trying. This is 88rising. Asians always rising.”
Jackson Wang is known as something of a “great equalizer” in the music industry. He’s an artist that you respect, no matter what fandom or subgenre you’re in. And I believe that this quote is a perfect example of why. Wang is an artist that continually raises the bar and works to make his people proud. If you ever have the chance to see Jackson Wang live, don’t miss it. He’s an artist that will be remembered for generations to come…”
Follow Jackson Wang on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.