JYP Entertainment debuted a new boy group for the first time in 6 years following 2PM. The group members' average age is 20 year's old, and has brought a more difficult choreography than 2PM's acrobatics. Their martial arts tricking dance moves have made them strong competitors against SM Entertainment's popular idol boy group EXO.
It's no wonder that the 7 member group GOT7 has very high expectations from fans. Since last week they have been putting on spectacular performances starting with their debut performance. They've put a great impact on fans in their 20s. This masculine group has had over 10 different love calls from advertising agencies.
"Our debut song "Girls, Girls, Girls" is a hip hop song with a groove, and is an easy-listening song. It doesn't have very many high notes, yet the song gets stuck in your head. We didn't really know it when producer Park Jin Young let us listen to a voice-only guide song, but once we started recording the song with our own voices, we thought that this was just for us." (Junior)
"We took a lot of lessons for this one song. It has an air of arrogance attached to it, and we practiced a lot to try to convey this pride. Just for that one word 'swagger' we attempted over 10 times. We just said whatever and tried singing it again without much care, and that's the version you hear today." (JB)
JYP has always been into soul music, but this is their first attempt at hip hop. The members explained that because they've always been into hip hop, it wasn't very difficult to take on the song.
"Although we each have different artists we like, they are all of a hip hop base. Even producer Park Jin Young took our personal musical preferences into consideration when determining the group's color. During our monthly trainee assessments, we presented hip hop songs most often. It's likely that he saw our personal style and decided to go with 'Girls Girls Girls' for us." (Junior)
GOT7's secret weapon is their martial arts tricking dance style, which incorporates martial arts moves into the choreography. Members Mark and Jackson are one of the best in this area. The other members, despite being added to the group later on, showed a gifted talent in this area as well. When the reporter asked if it was more difficult than 2PM's acrobatics, the members' eyes went wide.
"You shouldn't compare us to them. (Laughter) It's much more difficult. We turn and turn again, and we turn a few more times in the air. It's really difficult. 2PM does acrobatics, so we learned it, too. But we had to go one step farther and try martial arts tricking. Our members practiced for about 2 years. Mark and Jackson have perfectly learned a few of the moves. We can confidently say that the group as a whole is a little more than semi-professionals in this area." (JB)
Two years ago Yugyeom tried learning these moves and broke his ankle. As hard as the members worked to learn these moves, their pride in their dance is understandable.
"We know we won't be completely satisfied starting from our 1st album. However our goal is to show you our unique colors. We want to grow step by step and one day show you a perfect performance." (JB)
If anyone knows about not being completely satisfied with their first attempt, it's JB and Junior. These 2 members debuted 2 years ago in the duo JJ Project, but had to return to being trainees because of the fierce competition in the music world. While there are many other agency artists that go through similar situations, it's rare that the waiting period is 2 years.
"A lot of people asked me. Isn't JJ Project coming back? I was afraid of hearing those words, so I just stayed in the practice room and practiced. Let's work hard and go back out there. I worked myself to death." (Junior)
"I concentrated on my school life. When my friends would say stuff like that I would retort, 'get back to your work.' (Laughter) I thought of this as my 2nd debut, and worked very hard." (JB)
The remaining members were chosen because of different reasons. Mark was going to school in America when he was cast. Even though he's an American, he traveled a long way to Korea to realize his dreams of becoming a singer.
"I came in 2010 and it's already been 3 years and 6 months that I'm living in Korea. I especially worked hard on martial arts tricking. There's a lot more high-skilled moves I want to show you." (Mark)
The youngest member Yugyeom was born in 1997. He watched Big Bang's performances ever since he was young, and built up his dream of becoming a singer. He performed BEAST's 'Shock' when he was in 7th grade in a talent show. The video had a good response online, so he went to dance school. That's when he had the opportunity to audition for JYP.
Youngjae was attending a gifted music school in Mokpo when he passed a private audition with JYP. He was then added as a member of GOT7. His dream is to become a music therapist. Since he's a vocalist, he's working hard to learn dance as part of his new group.
"My mother is Rain's fan. Watching concerts, music videos, and dramas with her, I soon became his fan as well. That's why I started dancing, and that's when I came to know JYP. I auditioned for JYP's audition in Thailand, and it's been 3 years since I came to Korea. Nichkhun gave me a lot of advice and it was a great encouragement." (BamBam)
Hong Kong nationality Jackson comes from a family of athletes, and he faced opposition from his parents to become a singer. His father is a national fencing athlete, and his mother is a national gymnast. Jackson knows how to fence as well.
"Both my parents were Chinese national athletes. My father was a gold medalist in the '78 games. My mother was the world champion in '82. I did fencing 7-8 years, too. I was playing basketball at school when I had the opportunity in December of 2012 to be cast by JYP. I passed the auditions, but both my parents opposed it. As a joke my father said that if I became Asia's best he would send me to Korea. Four months later I won 2 gold medals at the Asia Junior Competition. That's how I was able to come to Korean in July of 2011." (Jackson)
It was more difficult for the international members to go into their training in Korea. Jackson said the most difficult part was not being familiar with Korea's culture.
"I don't understand hyung/dongseng (older brother/acquaintance). They're barely 1 year older, so why do I have to call them hyung? But as I spent more time in Korea, I grew accustomed to it. (Laughter)" (Jackson)
"I had a really difficult time because I couldn't communicate with the members. Since there were quite a few Korean people from America, I conversed with them and slowly adjusted." (Mark)
"At that time there were more non-Koreans in the practice rooms. I even thought that they were there to learn the language. (Laughter) It was to the point where Korean trainees felt more lonely. But they all made an effort to adapt to Korea. They learned Korean really quickly. They eat well, too. Everybody enjoys samgyeopsal(pork belly) and hoe(Korean sashimi). Mark even enjoys cheonggookjang(fermented bean soup)." (Junior)
The members hail from different countries, and their personalities are so refreshing. It seems as if they have a lot more to show us off stage. They've even shown a fighting spirit to die as the best.
"We're going to try really hard, and will become the best in skill and popularity! Since we were born as men, we have to become the best! We will become a group that continues to grow in the future!" (Everyone)