Words: Zahra Baz
On January 11th 2021, GOT7 fans were met with panic and confusion as JYP Entertainment announced that the members would not be renewing their contracts with the entertainment company. Despite fears of disbandment, the seven members made sure to assure fans around the world as they emphasised that this was not the end of GOT7; but simply a different direction.
As it has now been just over a year, the members have been working hard on solo projects – so let’s see where they are now.
A month after the announcement came the news that leader Lim Jaebeom would be changing his stage name from ‘JB’ to ‘JAY B’, with the former being held for 9 years since his debut in JJ Project in 2012.
H1gher Music, an international record label founded by Jay Park and Cha Cha Malone, confirmed that JAY B was to become the newest solo artist; with his debut as a solist coming only a few days later with the release of his self-written, self-composed ‘Switch It Up’. The release landed JAY B at Number 6 on the Billboard R&B Digital Songs Sales – the first Korean solist to achieve this with a debut single. On 26th August 2021, the single was then included in his first EP, SOMO:Fume, which contained seven songs in total.
In an interview with Pink Villa, JAY B stated that his current aims are to showcase his talent through two personas; JAY B, an image for his current style of music (hiphop and R&B), and Def., an image in which will allow him to explore other mediums of creativity within the larger creative industry.
The end of 2021 came with the announcement of the release of Love, as Def. on 26th January 2022 under Warner Music Korea.
After making the move back home to LA, Mark has been creating online content through creating his own YouTube channel, which was quick to surpass 1 million subscribers. Thus, making him the first musician to achieve this milestone before any videos had been uploaded to the channel. As of the time of writing, Mark currently maintains 2.94 million YouTube subscribers. He also regularly streams on Twitch.
Musically, Mark released the single ‘One In A Million’ in conjunction with Sanjoy Deb, on 12th February 2021; followed by an animated music video wherein he holds the title of executive producer. Making his way onto the soundtrack for Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, his collaboration with Bibi ‘Never Gonna Come Down’ marked his first original soundtrack. More recently, Mark has released two digital singles: ‘Last Breath’ and ‘My Life’.
As Jackson founded and established the record label Team Wang in 2017, they have been operating his international activities alongside Sublime Artist Agency. Jackson’s first release of 2021 was the Mandarin single ‘Alone’, which charted at Number 4 on the World Digital Songs Sales Chart.
The 26th March came with his English single ‘LMLY’, standing for Leave Me Loving You, and accompanying self-directed 7-minute long music video inspired by the 90s Hong Kong movie aesthetic. ‘LMLY’ reached Number 33 on the Mainstream Top 40 Airplay Chart and was subject of Jackson’s U.S late-night television debut on 21st April, where it was performed on The Late Late Show with James Corden.
So far into 2022, Jackson has brought us the self-titled single ‘王嘉尔 JACKSON WANG’, which he has described as being about who he really is as a person; as well as being the featuring artist on ‘Damn Girl’ by CrazyBoy.
In true Jackson style, his personal Twitter account remains filled with messages of hope, hard work and motivation.
Now under BH Entertainment, Jinyoung has spent the last year focusing mainly on his acting career as he starred in The Devil Jude and Yumi’s Cells. Additionally, 2022 will see Jinyoung as the lead in the upcoming crime/thriller film A Christmas Carol. In an interview with Singles Magazine, Jinyoung explained that he wishes to use music as a diary, a way to tell his own story, and acting as a way to convey the messages in the film or TV show through emotions.
Despite his busy acting schedule, Jinyoung revealed that he has continued working on his music – a promise he wishes to keep to fans. This came alongside his surprise self-written, self-composed single ‘Dive’, his first solo release since 2018. Shortly after its release, Jinyoung and ‘Dive’ made their debut on the Billboard World Digital Song Sales Chart at Number 12.
After his departure from JYP Entertainment, Youngjae signed an exclusive contract with Sublime Artist Agency and has been working hard to pursue his career in acting. Starring in 22 out of 95 shows, Youngjae held the leading role in Midnight Sun, the musical adaption of A Song to the Sun. His most recent acting performance can be seen in the web series Love & Wish, wherein he also sang the original soundtrack ‘Day by Day’.
Musically, Youngjae released his debut solo album ‘Colors from Ars’ in October 2021, with the title track ‘Vibin’’, which charted at Number 6 on the Gaon Digital Chart – the South Korean record chart for singles.
As of writing, Youngjae is currently holding the position of Special Host on Dream Radio until 6th February 2022.
The beginning on 2021 was relatively quiet for BamBam, until 5th March when it was announced that he had signed an exclusive contract with Abyss Company. Later in the month, he was awarded the Inspirational Role Model for Youth Award at the Thailand Master Youth Award 2020-21.
3 months later, BamBam debuted as a solist in South Korea with his first EP ‘riBBon’ which charted at Number 2 on the Gaon Digital Chart. The title trick, also named ‘riBBon’, peaked at 144 on the Gaon Digital Chart and at 17 on the World Digital Song Sales Chart.
Digital single ‘Who Are You’, featuring Seulgi of Red Velvet, was a pre-release for his most recent album, ‘B’, and charted at Number 9 on the World Digital Song Sales Chart. The release of ‘B’ came on 18th January with the title track ‘Slow Mo’, which has charted at Number 5 in South Korea.
Also signing an exclusive contract under a Jay Park owned record label, it was confirmed that Yugeom would become the latest addition to the roster of artists under AOMG. This was announced via the upload of Yugyeom’s dance visual video of ‘Franchise’ by Travis Scott, featuring Young Thug and M.I.A.
It was later announced that Yugyeom’s first release as an AOMG artist would be in June 2021. His EP, ‘Point of View: U’, includes seven tracks and features DeVita, Loco, Gray, Jay Park and Punchnello. The title track ‘I Want U Around’, featuring DeVita, marked his debut on the Billboard World Digital Song Sales Chart at Number 2; with the album peaking at Number 8 on the Gaon Music Chart on the week of 26th June, and at Number 22 for the month.
It’s safe to say that the members of GOT7 have remained booked and busy throughout 2021, with plans to continue in 2022. A spoiler from BamBam, and a too-stunned-to-speak reaction from Jinyoung, suggest that it won’t be long before the 7 artists reunite as GOT7 once again.
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