Musician and performer Mark Tuan, finest recognized for being one-seventh of the Ok-pop group GOT7, isn’t certain he nonetheless considers himself an idol.
GOT7 is among the most profitable in 3rd technology Ok-pop, although the group left their mother or father firm JYP Leisure in January 2021. It has resulted in one thing like a hiatus, because the members embark on particular person solo efforts and work out who to be outdoors of the group. For Mark, it’s been an opportunity to face on the crossroads of his musical identities, navigating what folks take into consideration him and what he thinks about himself.
“I really feel just like the idols, they should have like this excellent picture they usually cannot make any errors and that places plenty of stress on me. I am attempting to be extra free and nonetheless be capable to present the world that I can mess up generally,” he says. “However we’re nonetheless going to be doing issues as a bunch, so I suppose once I return to Korea, it is, ‘Oh, he is an idol.’ However then once I come again [ to the U.S.]… I suppose I wish to construct myself as an artist now?”
Born and raised in Los Angeles, Mark moved to South Korea in 2010 and debuted as a member of GOT7 in January 2014. After GOT7 left JYP Leisure, many puzzled what the long run held for the 28-year-old upon his return to america. Nonetheless, the oldest member of GOT7 has proven that forging a brand new path and creating high quality artwork takes planning and endurance. When Mark does strike, it’s with the depth of lightning in a silent storm. Over the previous a number of months, he’s continued to carve out a solo profession for himself, modeling with Winnie Harlow and releasing collaborations with Bangladeshi-American producer & DJ Sanjoy Deb and rising star BIBI, the latter of which was for the Shang-Chi soundtrack.
On November 12, Mark dropped his new single and music video “Final Breath,” a uncooked, emotional observe from his forthcoming album. The track is about somebody who is able to detach themselves from a suffocating scenario. In a Zoom interview with Teen Vogue, Mark Tuan opened up about his imaginative and prescient for his solo profession, his time in GOT7, and why Ok-pop idols ought to be given the grace to make errors.
Teen Vogue: Having come from a seven-man group, what’s it like being the one artistic voice within the room?
Mark Tuan: The professionals are I can do no matter I would like now (laughs). No matter music I wish to make I can go and make it. However then the toughest half is deciding whether or not or not it sounds good or not. If it is the proper factor to do or not. I do have my shut mates round me and a complete staff round me now that I can get their opinions on issues.
TV: How do you mirror in your time in GOT7?
MT: I do look again on the occasions that we had with GOT7 lots. I do return to our previous music movies and again to among the b-tracks that we have had. However I feel we had a very good time collectively. Being with the seven of them, I feel has given me plenty of expertise and plenty of information, and I grew lots with them. That’s the reason why I’m able to do what I wish to do proper now.
TV: Have your members been providing you with any recommendation about solo debut time?
MT: They have not given me recommendation but, as a result of moreover Jackson [Wang], everyone is form of simply beginning their solo profession as nicely. However yeah, it is cool with the ability to see all seven members. I imply, our colours are so totally different. You’ll be able to see it via the music everyone has launched to this point. I am simply actually excited as a result of I confirmed among the members the track, I feel I confirmed BamBam the music video the opposite day, they usually all love this.
TV: Inform me about “Final Breath.” The lyrics are so intense, what impressed them?
MT: I wish to say it is plenty of these feelings I went via all through the years. I suppose followers may need an concept of what sort of emotions we undergo, however they do not actually get 100% of us, and with this mission, I wish to present extra of my feelings. And never simply the nice occasions, but in addition the dangerous occasions and the arduous occasions that we undergo. The lyrics on this track are very deep and emotional, however we wrote it in a approach the place different folks can relate to it, too. It form of has my story behind it, but when folks listened to it, they will really feel it too.
TV: Who did you collaborate with on the observe?
MT: I have been working lots with Lil Spirit. And there is one other author on it. His title is OVRCZ(. The producers on the observe had been Pharaoh Vice, Lil Spirit, OVRCZ, and Nash. They’re tremendous younger, gifted youngsters. I felt like they acquired me and my entire total story.
TV: Had been you concerned within the artistic course of the music video as nicely?
MT: Sure, I used to be. The director is definitely my buddy [Will Chan] that I am working with proper now. We began speaking about working collectively as I began transferring again to LA. He will get my entire total story and understands me, so it was very easy for us to work collectively. And I simply gave him the entire concept of what I wished, after which we simply constructed on prime of that and developed it much more.
TV: What’s the musical course of this album? Are we to contemplate it Ok-pop, pop, and many others? What sound are you attempting to ship?
MT: I feel it is a combination of all the things. There are some sounds that you can hear as a Ok-pop track. A variety of the songs I feel are simply going to be very pop based mostly. And there are different sounds too, so you will get a little bit combination of all the things.
TV: Are there issues about being an idol that you simply wished followers knew that they do not?
MT: I am fairly certain some followers do know that it’s actually arduous on idols. We do have plenty of stress, we do undergo plenty of feelings, and we’re simply people. On the finish of the day we do mess up, we do make errors. I do know that there are at all times going to be those that form of simply hate on you, regardless of who you might be. Even in the event you’re this excellent human being, you are still going to have those that come attempt to pull you down. For me, I can really look previous all that and it does not actually hassle me, however there are idols that take it harsher.
TV: Ok-pop as an trade has such nice fan service, however now that you simply’re establishing your self as a solo artist, how do you now set up boundaries together with your followers?
MT: I’m a reasonably open particular person once I wish to be. I feel the toughest a part of it’s that I do wish to be 100% open and let the followers know what I am pondering. On the identical time, I do not need what I do to have an effect on the group’s picture, if that form of is smart. If I’m going a little bit too loopy, it may taint the Ok-pop picture of us and I want to seek out the proper solution to steadiness it out.
TV: You had been on the quilt of L’Officiel with Winnie Harlow. Are you going to be modeling now?
(Laughs) I’ve been doing plenty of journal shoots and this was really the primary time that I acquired to do it with an precise, large title mannequin. I assumed it was actually dope and I had fun along with her. She was very nice and she or he took care of us. However sooner or later, if there are extra alternatives, for certain.
TV: You undoubtedly made a press release if you attended Paris Style Week. What impressed the outfit the place you wore the heels?
MT: [Rick Owens] really despatched us the look first, and there was a full physique leather-based go well with with a coat on prime and a beanie and sun shades, and [the model] was carrying sneakers within the image after which we mentioned, “Okay, that is a dope look.” So when the outfit got here within the morning, as an alternative of getting the sneakers they gave us these heels, and there have been two totally different heels. There was one which was all black and there was one which was clear. At first I used to be actually considering whether or not or not I ought to put on the heels, however my mates mentioned, “That is style week. You’ll solely be capable to do that right here. Present the world and make a press release.” I used to be like, “Okay, advantageous let’s go for it.’
TV: What’s your imaginative and prescient to your profession?
MT: I suppose my purpose is simply to form of develop as a solo artist first. There’s nonetheless plenty of various things I wish to do. Performing continues to be one thing that I wish to strive. And I am nonetheless into style so designing my very own clothes model. However I simply wish to have enjoyable proper now and do what I like and never should stress out concerning the little issues.
TV: You’ve been well-known for a few years, however who do you belief? Who’re the individuals who maintain it actual with you?
MT: For certain I nonetheless belief my members. I’ll ship them some songs generally like: “Yo, take a hear. What do you guys consider this?” And so they’ll give me their opinions. However proper now, my entire total staff that I’ve constructed right here. I feel I can belief them on their opinions on issues. Everybody has my finest curiosity.
TV: I took be aware of the truth that you had been one of many first idols to converse out and donate to the George Floyd Memorial Fund. What impressed you to be so daring and converse out for the reason that trade typically encourages idols to keep away from social points and political points?
MT: For GOT7 we do attempt to give once we can, and attempt to assist once we can. Throughout that point, I felt that as an American, though I used to be nonetheless in Asia [at the time] within the Ok-pop world, I took it personally too, as a result of that is one thing we discovered about in class and I wished to have the ability to assist in any approach I may. We should not should be worrying about our pores and skin colour, or the way in which we glance. I really feel like, we’re in 2020 [at the time], we ought to be well beyond that. We must always simply come collectively as one, so seeing all of the hate that was taking place in America, I simply thought I needed to do one thing about it, too. Donate for trigger and put it on the market on social media, as a result of we do have a fairly large following. It is higher to share this and lift consciousness of those conditions.
TV: For those who may get recommendation from any artists on this planet, residing or lifeless, who’ve needed to transition from being in a bunch to going solo — who would they be?
MT: Beyoncé, as a result of she did go from group to solo and she or he’s been the highest for such a very long time. I might wish to ask Harry Types too. Not simply as an artist, however he’s additionally establishing himself within the style world, too.
TV: Is there the rest you need your followers to know?
MT: I do see plenty of followers saying, “Oh how come Mark is not doing this? He is not doing it this manner.” However we’re studying the method of how we ought to be doing issues and there is by no means a proper approach. We’re studying and there are particular the reason why we do issues the way in which we did. I hope they will maintain their endurance with [me]. I have been telling them: “Sure. Like, we’ll be releasing music actual quickly. The [solo] album’s gonna come actual quickly.” But it surely’s only a very lengthy course of and I am attempting to do that all independently proper now. It is taken lengthy, however we’ll get there.
Allow us to slide into your DMs. Join the Teen Vogue day by day e mail.
Need extra from Teen Vogue? Test this out: GOT7 Discuss “Breath of Love: Final Piece” and Rising Collectively
Initially Appeared on Teen Vogue