Failed Love: An Inside Look at Old NasSoul

Ally Markovich in conversation with JW, musical director of the Old NasSoul a cappella group, who will be performing at the Princeton University Art Museum’s Failed Love event on Thursday:

What’s your name?

JW Choo. Or Jungwook. But that’s kind of hard to say. People in the group [Old NasSoul] call me J-Dubs.

Who else will we meet on Thursday?

T-Bird. T-Dog. Señor Logan. All the other members of NasSoul.

As Princeton’s only all-male soul a cappella group, do you think the guys are more in touch with love?

The songs we do are mostly love songs. The guys in the group are very brotherly—we call each other soul brothers. We have a special way of connecting to one another and to whoever’s listening through R&B, or soul.

Do you have big plans for Valentine’s Day?

On Valentine’s Day, we have to do call-back auditions. At night. I don’t know about the other guys, but one of our members did go on a date last night…so…

Are you going to serenade anyone?

Me? Uh, I don’t have any of those plans yet. The group, though, it’s not unusual for us to do something like that. Are you expecting something like that on Thursday?

Well, I’m not going to suggest anything… Do you know what you’re going to sing yet?

I’m leaning towards some depressing songs. Like “So Sick.” I mean, “Failed Love,” right? But some uplifting ones too, like “Let’s Get It On.”

What would you rename Valentine’s Day if you could?

I don’t know! Can we just keep it Valentine’s Day? Valentine’s Day doesn’t just mean your significant other. You could still share chocolate with your friends. There’s love in that way too.

Describe your ideal Valentine’s Day?

Well, it won’t be this year. We have auditions all night. And I don’t have a girlfriend, which sucks.

So step 1, if I had someone.

Step 2, just getting to spend time with them, I guess.

As cheesy as Valentine’s Day is, it’s just one of those days you sit down and think about how much you appreciate the other person. Sometimes you need one of those days, to really be like “Oh I am lucky.” Just having that person there to appreciate them and not be busy with anything else.

So, no serenading?

I mean, if they want! I can get a dozen roses and a box of chocolates. But I think it’s more about appreciating them.

For a sneak peek at Old NasSoul’s soulful tunes, check out