The Untold Truth Of Got7

Think K-pop bands, and your mind might immediately jump to BTS, the first K-pop band to ever chart in the U.S., or BLACKPINK, the girl group who rode high on the success of "Ice Cream" featuring Selena Gomez. But there's another South Korean pop band who, although maybe not featured quite as prominently in U.S. headlines, is definitely worth your time. 

Since forming in 2014, Got7 made waves with their first EP, Got It?, which ended up ranking on Billboard's World Album Chart and eventually peaking at No. 1 early that year, according to Elite Daily. To date, the band has released around nine albums, with their global success earning them a nomination in the Top Social category at the 2019 BBMAs, per Elite Daily. Billboard even reported that Got7 was the first-ever K-pop group to appear in-studio on The Today Show as of summer 2019! But just who makes up the all-male act that has taken the Western music scene by storm? 

Find out everything you need to know about Got7 after the jump.

Inside how Got7 first got together

According to E! Online, the Got7 septet includes JB (Im Jae-bum), Jinyoung or Jr. (Park Jin-young), Youngjae (Choi Young-jae), Yugyeom (Kim Yu-gyeom), Bambam (Kunpimook Bhuwakul Bambam), Jackson (Jackson Wang) and Mark (Mark Tuan Yi En). A multi-talented group, the act's seven members were already carving out niches for themselves in entertainment industries across Asia before they signed on with record label JYP Entertainment.

As reported by South China Morning Post, Jackson was "originally a pro fencer playing in Hong Kong's national team when he was approached by a JYP agent." Both Yugyeom and Youngjae were pursuing their respective passions of dancing and music at school where they were discovered by JYP talent, per SCMP. Bambam, who happens to be long-time friends with BLACKPINK's Lisa, found his way to JYP through dance competitions in Thailand, the outlet noted. After meeting at a JYP audition, JB and Jinyoung worked together to beat out 10,000 other participants, ultimately winning by unanimous vote.

Because many of Got7's members are powerful dancers, the group is skilled in martial art tricking, a martial arts form that incorporates gymnastics and breakdancing moves, per E! Online. They've previously embraced martial arts tricking in their choreography, making for thrilling live performances.

The band's name is rooted in good luck

When Got7 formed in 2014, they originally intended to name themselves "Get7," according to Seventeen; however, they landed on "Got7" as they didn't want their prospective fans to be confused by the word "gae," which means "dog" in Korean. Historically considered to be a lucky number, 7 signifies the group's luck thus far and represents their desire to wish each other ongoing luck, per Seventeen. The outlet reported that the fandom is known as the abbreviation "AhGaSe" in Korea, which roughly translates to "baby bird." The bird has consequently become a notable symbol for fans and is often on the group's light sticks. 

Given their belief in luck, it's fitting that Got7 engages in good luck rituals ahead of big interviews and performances. South China Morning Post reported that the group "puts their hands on top of the other and chants "G-O-T-7-jjai," which Bambam has previously explained "lets through energy by hand," as if the group is transferring good vibes to one another.

Members of Got7 have pursued solo projects

In between releasing albums, Got7 members have pursued solo creative opportunities, per Billboard. In 2012, JB and Jinyoung banded together to debut the JJ Project, which made a splash with the duo's upbeat bop "Bounce," the outlet noted. JJ Project dropped their first EP, Verse #2, in 2017, and the solo creative enterprise is a testament to JB and Jinyoung's close relationship, as the pair spent years working together and met before Got7 got founded.

Jackson is another Got7 group member to have found success in a solo career. After releasing "Oxygen" in 2019 — as an ode to his fans and his supporters — the hip-hop artist spoke about creative differences. "Regarding my music and the direction of me doing my own stuff, I'm more comfortable doing things along with my team, my production crew," Jackson told Billboard. "But for Got7, it's just not about me. It's us. So when you want to do something, if you want to be specific on a certain style or color, it's not easy. I'm one seventh of the group."

Outside of Got7, Jinyoung has dipped his toe into the acting pool, and Bambam and Mark work with Represent on clothing lines. As for Yugyeom, he explores his musicality on his Soundcloud page, and Youngjae writes music as ARS, according to Forbes.

Got7 have found global fame

Got7 released their fifth EP, Flight Log, in 2016 to critical acclaim. According to BillboardFlight Log displayed widespread appeal by highlighting each artist's musical talent, style and growth; consequently, this EP served as a launching pad for bigger and better things. That included two world tours that put the group on the global map (literally) in 2016 and 2018, thanks to mesmerizing performances in Asia, North America, Europe, and South America, Billboard noted. During this time, the site reported that Got7 got featured across multiple influential American media platforms, including Teen Vogue, Elle, and Fox TV, helping to propel their rise as one of the most prominent K-pop boy bands in the world.

"The culture of K-pop is starting to get a lot of attention in America," Jackson shared in a 2018 interview with Forbes. "Everything is just turning out very well for us, very smooth for us in these two years and we're blessed."

What is Got7 up to now?

Even a global pandemic hasn't been enough to slow Got7's successful roll. In April 2020, the group dropped a mini-album called Dye, with a title track "Not by the Moon" that went on to top iTunes charts worldwide, according to South China Morning Post. When the act debuted new tracks — "Aura" and "Not by the Moon" — on the eve of the launch, 1.77 million fans eagerly tuned in to watch the special live premiere (via SCMP). Speaking to Metro U.K. about the pop song, songwriting duo Jakob Mihoubi and Rudy Daouk explained that it's new territory for Got7. "It's very in-your-face as a chorus," Jakob explained. "And it's kind of hitting some notes that you wouldn't normally do. ... However, we came to love it because it's not a melody that's typical." 

In the future, Got7 aims to diversify their sound more and drive K-pop's rise in the U.S., per Forbes. "It's just beginning in America for K-pop culture," Bambam emphasized to the outlet. "Later on I hope another K-pop artist when they come to America, they can get some energy from us too."