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[Herald Interview] GOT7 veers away from past to embark on new chapter

Veering away from its hip-hop-focused past, GOT7 is all set to embark on a new chapter with its recently released seventh EP “7 for 7,” which features the lead track “You Are.”

This time, the seven-piece group is more laid-back and introspective in its musical style, with JB and Jinyoung -- members of the group’s subunit JJ Project -- joining GOT7 for the latest album after wrapping up the duo’s most recent activity for “Verse 2” in August.

“It’s true that the sonic path of ‘7 for 7’ was somewhat influenced by that of JJ Project. But we also agreed the fresh and uplifting image fits us well, even better than our previous dark and aggressive image,” said GOT7 frontman JB during an interview with The Korea Herald in Seoul on Tuesday. 

GOT7 (JYP Entertainment)
GOT7 (JYP Entertainment)

The group’s members explained that the overarching theme of the album was “instability,” which is depicted in the EP in various ways.

“All of us agreed that it was time for us to get serious and start talking about our own stories and concerns in life,” said JB, who had put forth a mature and contemplative musical style in JJ Project’s “Verse 2.”

The lead track “You Are” centers on the feeling of love, while the subject of love widely ranges from family and friends to fans.

The song was crafted by JB, who also participated in composing and writing for previous JJ Project activities. The remaining six members were also credited for songwriting and lyrical contributions throughout the track list as well. “Teenager” was written by Jinyoung, the R&B-tinged “Remember You” by BamBam and the soulful retro “To Me” by Yugyeom.

Coming together as seven members again after a long time, the JJ Project members went on to reveal that they felt more complete with their “family-like” members by their side, compared to the past. Even though a jam-packed schedule for GOT7 awaits JB and Jinyoung -- literally a day after wrapping up the recent JJ Project promotion -- joining the members was like a reunion with old school friends.

“When there were only two of us, we were more calm and quiet. Jinyoung and I have spent almost five years together in our careers, and we didn’t have much to talk about. But we became more cheerful and talkative as a whole group,” JB said.

Jackson and Mark also shared that shooting the music video for “You Are” in Hong Kong, the hometown of Jackson, served as a special and relaxing moment for the group outside of the studio. The Hong Kong member also refuted rumors that he may leave GOT7, which were sparked by his absence from the group’s Japanese promotion last month and his recent solo promotion in China. He said, “There are people who like me and dislike me. But I decided to prove that I will always belong to GOT7 in action, not in words.”

Following the completion of its yearlong “Flight Log” trilogy in March last year, the latest EP marked the first time GOT7 is appearing as a whole in nearly seven months.

The “Flight Log” series kicked off with the “Flight Log: Departure” EP in March last year and ended with “Flight Log: Arrival” in March this year. GOT7 debuted under JYP Entertainment in January 2014 with its first EP “Got it?” which had peaked at No. 1 on Billboard’s World Albums chart. The group’s latest “Flight Log: Arrival” ranked No. 1 on Billboard’s World Albums chart as well.

By Hong Dam-young (