GOT7 members hold a press conference ahead of dropping their new album, “GOT7,” on Monday at a hotel in Seoul. (Warner Music Korea)
The return of boy band GOT7 to the K-pop scene in around a year and half on Monday was a comeback like no other.
The septet, gathered at a hotel in Seoul that afternoon for a press conference about their new album, “GOT7,” referred to their comeback as “a miracle” themselves.
“We’re so lucky that the seven of us could be doing this all together. We’d like to express a sincere gratitude to all the officials of each of our agencies, staff members of Warner Music,” band leader Jay B said. “Although we’ve talked about doing this from the very start, it’s overwhelming and feels like a miracle that this is actually happening.” GOT7’s new album was produced under and coordinated by Warner Music Korea.
With all seven members now affiliated to different agencies and carrying out their individual careers, GOT7’s return as a complete group since the act’s departure from its original label, JYP Entertainment, is indeed a near miracle, but the members say it was not something unanticipated.
“We’ve prepared this album from the very start (we left JYP), and that’s why it could come out so fast. We’re grateful that we could give back to our fans (with the album) who have been waiting for us. The members met often and we’ve always wondered when the album will come through, and we’re happy to be here like this to keep our promise,” Jinyoung said.
Ahead of their comeback, the band conducted a fan-exclusive concert, “GOT7 Homecoming 2022 FanCon,” over the weekend to celebrate the comeback together, reuniting with fans in over a year since their last concert was conducted online amid the virus pandemic in 2020.
“I think our comeback was possible because all the seven bandmates were really eager about it. We said it during yesterday’s concert but thank you for waiting, and since our music is coming out real soon, please listen to it with much love,” Youngjae said.
The name of the band’s first independent album holds a symbolic meaning of putting behind their time as a JYP boy band and setting forth their first step together as just GOT7.
The six-track collection, jam-packed with the members’ self-made songs, signified a new home for the seven members and their global fandom.
Tracklist of GOT7’s “GOT7” (Warner Music Korea)
Jinyoung said, “As the title suggests, it best fits GOT7. I thought this would best suit our image, so we were confident. I think it can best show GOT7’s musical color by returning with songs that we did in our heyday.”
“The concept of this album is building a house. As it’s GOT7’s new start, we’re building a new home, and at this very house, we will mark a new start and continue from here on,” BamBam said.
Making an album fronted by the group’s name, BamBam said he felt more than ever that the seven members belonged together.
“It took a while for the album to see the light, but during the time, I was reminded that GOT7 is whole only when the seven of us are together,” the Thai artist, who is now with hip-hop label Abyss, added.
Fronting the album is “NaNaNa,” a song composed and lyrics penned by Jay B. The song boasts a more chill yet rich sound compared to the band’s previously more powerful titular tracks, he said.
Jay B also wrote the album’s first track, “Truth,” a pop tune which is a love portrait for a couple just getting to know each other.
The second track, Youngjae’s “Drive Me to the Moon,” expresses his feelings for the fans.
“I find it almost impossible to write songs without talking about the moon. It’s difficult to reach the moon, but this song speaks about how I feel confident I could even get to the moon if I’m with Ahgase,” Youngjae explained, using the fandom’s name.
Yugyeom, the band’s youngest, wrote the fourth track, “Two.” He said he made use of the members’ mid-low voices for the hook of the song that speaks of a mournful heart toward a past lover.
Jinyoung and Yugyeom collaborated for the fifth track, “Don’t Care About Me,” a dance track that encapsulates the group’s unfaltering feelings for fans.
“I wanted to give conviction to our fans that whatever road we walk and whatever obstacles that comes in the way, as long as Ahgase are with GOT7, we will be okay,” Jinyoung said.
Closing the album is another of Jay B’s songs, “Don’t Leave Me Alone,” a song that he had written a while ago.
“It embodies the sentimental emotions I had been going through when I had written the song, and I think it tells of the story that GOT7 wants to share to Ahgase right now. I wanted to say through this song that, although some fans may have the doubts, but we will come back for sure, so please don’t be worried,” Jay B said.
Group image of GOT7 for album “GOT7” (Warner Music Korea)
Debuting under JYP Entertainment in January 2014 and closing the seven-year journey with its fourth LP, “Breath of Love: Last Piece,” in November 2020, the band had stated clearly that they were “not disbanding.”
Bands that were once considered disbanded or dispersed have made similar comebacks, but not as swiftly and in complete shape as GOT7.
“We wanted to keep our promise with fans,” BamBam said. “We wanted to prove that, unlike how some people still think, GOT7 has not disbanded. To do this, we have put a short hold on our solo activities to focus on our group work.”
It was a big deal that required immense effort and coordination from all seven members and their respective companies to arrive at the unanimous decision, but the septet said they all were determined at achieving what seemed impossible.
Mark, who had joined in on meetings through face chats from the US where he had been residing mostly in the past year or so, said, “Our team was just firm on making the comeback happen for our fans. We could work our happiest when the seven of us were together, so we never wanted to give up on this. We’re just so close and we have so much when we’re together.”
Jay B was in charge of handling the matter over GOT7’s legal independence from JYP Entertainment. After negotiating with the label’s authorities, they were able to secure trademark rights over the brand GOT7 and the profits resulting from the activities conducted under the name.
“JYP was very favorable in giving GOT7’s trademark to us. I would like to thank JYP CEO Jung Wook and Park Jin-young for letting this happen. The lawyer I worked with on this matter told me that it’s really rare to go through this kind of transfer smoothly. It was a lot of work,” Jay B said, adding that he had taken even the smallest details under his own care, going around to gather the documents and signatures of each of the six bandmates at every stage.
GOT7 has perhaps rewritten the playbook with the most dramatic comeback after a K-pop idol group reaches the seven-year mark. At that point most groups in the industry face disbandment or a reshuffle as contract negotiations break down.
“It’s our new album, and at the same time, our new start in a way. Although we haven’t been away for so long, but it made me nervous since we’re dropping out an album after a long time. It seems like going back to the past after spending time with my bandmates,“ Jay B said.
The seven years are now behind but it’s not going anywhere, BamBam said.
“We exist because of that time. We will continue to make music and release albums as GOT7, and although we cannot say when the next will be, please look forward to our team as we will continue together.”
In closing the event, leader Jay B compared the past seven years to a photo album.
“We’ve recorded all the moments we’ve made together. Although there were ups and downs, happy and sad, we were able to learn from those. We’ll continue to do our best as a group and as individuals,“ he said.
By Choi Ji-won (email@example.com