Jackson Wang is back with a new single, ‘Cruel’, lifted off the singer and producer’s upcoming album MAGIC MAN. ‘Cruel’ is the second single from MAGIC MAN and comes after the release of ‘Blow’ in March. 
‘Cruel’ is produced by Cambo (Doja Cat), Floyd Fuji (Kanye West, Anderson .Paak), Roland Gajate Garcia (Camila Cabello, Kanye West), and LOUALLDAY. The single also sees Jackson Wang in the credits for lyrics and composition, writing, and in the role of creative director, movement director and choreographer.
With ‘Cruel’, Jackson writes another chapter from his journey in discovering – and owning – different sounds and genres. ‘Cruel’ is a rock track that immediately reminds of Arctic Monkey and in particular their fifth album AM. About ‘Cruel’ Jackson comments, “Cruel is a very special record for me. It really set the precedence for where the narrative of the album needed to go and sound.” He further states, “We were working on many records before this one, but we were struggling to find a clear direction. Cruel is like a manifestation of the environments and hurdles we had to overcome at the time. Every time we felt we were getting close, something slips past us and it all felt so far away. Once ‘Cruel’ came into our hands, it all made sense for us, it was like a beautiful mental breakdown.
“‘Cruel’’s grunge, and raw sound is exactly the perfect representation of the distorted and warped story that I am trying to unfold. It is the opus to a wild yet beautiful symphony.”
For the video, Jackson created what fans call “JWCU” – Jackson Wang Cinematic Universe. The music video has creative and movement directed by Jackson Wang, choreography by Jackson Wang and Vinh Nguyen, and directed by Rich Lee (Billie Eilish, Eminem, Lana del Rey). The music video brings to life the message of ‘Cruel’, the push-and-pulls from the lyrics and finally let go and give in. The song and the music video are intrinsic. The electric guitar in the chorus is played by Jackson in the choreography sensually. The video is set in a post-apocalyptic and far future world with a Jackson covered in dirt while he fuels his body by fighting female demons and sucking fire from them to fuel his body – ”I won’t keep you up, take a nap / A little gasoline and a match” Jackson sings.
‘Cruel’ is featured on Jackson’s sophomore album MAGIC MAN and its release date has been announced to be September 9 via TEAM WANG Records/88rising Records/Warner Records/RYCE MUSIC GROUP. MAGIC MAN features 10 tracks; alongside ‘Blow’ and ‘Cruel’ fans will be able to listen to the following songs: ‘Champagne Cool’, ‘Go Ghost’, Drive It Like You Stole It’, Come Alive’, ‘Just Like Magic’, ‘All The Way’, ‘Dopamine’ and ’Blue’.
MAGIC MAN follows Jackson’s journey as he finds himself in an alternate reality, operating under the laws of mystery, temptation, and confusion. “Magic Man” – the alter ego of Jackson – is transported to various realities, each bound by its own set of rules. This is Jackson at his most vulnerable – exploring what it means to be human and stripped away of any armor.
Moreover, Jackson has been performing tracks from MAGIC MAN over the past months, first at this year’s Coachella Festival – he also made history as the first-ever Chinese solo artist who performed on the Coachella main stage as part of 88rising’s ‘Head In The Clouds Forever’ set. Over the weekend, Jackson performed in Manila at the K-Pop Masterz concert and will perform at Thailand’s K-Pop Masterz and have an exclusive stage on The Voice All Stars Thailand on Sunday, July 31.
Jackson is set to headline this year’s 88rising ‘Head In The Clouds’ Festival on August 20th and 21st at Brookside at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California.
Jackson Wang’s MAGIC MAN will be available from September 9.