Last year, f(x) pulled me into the “Hallyu Wave”, the Korean “wave” of interest from countries all over the world. The “wave” introduced many nations to Korean dramas, music, and culture. It’s literally a modern trend. Last year, I found a new obsession with Korean culture.
I was seriously obsessed with that K-pop group, f(x), in the year 2014. I had an f(x) month, an f(x) summer, and too many f(x) articles to count.
Click to find out more about it here: f(x), the Korean “Spice Girls” +Amber Liu in the Spotlight
This year, my latest fascination is with the all-boy band, Got7.
Usually, I dislike boy bands, with a passion. Check my archives-You won’t find me talking too much about boy bands. Don’t we have enough of them in the world? I guess, I don’t hate the boy bands themselves so much as the concept or “idea” behind boy bands. Even though I’m a female, and I like attractive and talented men, I just have a hard time being drawn to the phony “glitz and glam” of boy bands. I just couldn’t believe that men in boy bands hardly had any creative freedom, so I disliked the fact that many were made to be something they weren’t. Those expectations are hard to live up to for imperfect humans. It just always felt like I was being deceived, and it felt that the men were being drained by the constant…well, objectification. And I just didn’t want to be one of those girls who liked boy bands just because of their looks. In my heart, I WANT to see a man for who he is and his abilities. Though, honestly, I’m just always trying too hard to be different. 😛 I would appreciate them more if fan girls didn’t act like maniacs over them. Screaming over them and supporting them is one thing, but death threats when their “idols/favorite celebrities” are dating someone else? Ridiculous.
EXO fans stop supporting member after he dates
I also dislike the fact that boy bands in Korea get so much more attention than girl bands. I want to promote more female acts in Korea, especially the unique female groups.
It’s also hard to find unique boy bands, too. Again, there are too many around the world.
But Got7…I honestly couldn’t ignore them for too long. Got7 celebrated the anniversary of their debut on January 17, 2015 KST, so I thought this would be the perfect time to create an article about this group. So, here goes!
Got7 is a seven-member, multinational group, brought together by the label JYP Entertainment. JYP is known to be one of the more well-known labels. Got7 got much attention for their amazing flips and cartwheels onstage, as well as their handsome individuality, diversity, and strong charisma. As a group, they each work well in a team effort and support one another, giving dynamic impressions on any audience.
Their CEO, Park Jin-Young, also known as J.Y. Park, was the first Asian producer to cross over into America successfully. He did music for Cassie, Will Smith, and even Mase. He was the first Asian song-writer to hit the Billboard Hot 100 Chart. His resume gives the label a good reputation. He is also known to be the more “ethical” boss among all the CEOs in charge of the other Korean labels, as he is often seen showing more concern for his artists. Part of the reason he’s so kind to his artists, and so personal, is because he was once a back-up dancer and in an idol group himself. Park met rough spots during his time as an idol, so he understands his idols in ways other K-pop label CEOs would not.
Just like with f(x), the title of this article was meant to compare Got7 to a popular 1990’s group that was similar called New Kids on the Block. I will tell you, just as I told readers last year when it came to f(x), this comparison is in no way meant to be offensive. New Kids on the Block were one of the few boy groups of the 1990s that I actually liked. Got7 reminds me of them in many ways. I love the fact that they do. The same things I loved about NKOTB are the same things I love about Got7.
New Kids on the Block was an R&B, Pop, and Hip-hop group with an urban style. They were the first Caucasian American boys to be recognized with this image and style, and they were the first to gain fame from it. They were the first Caucasian males designed to have the appeal of “boyfriends” and designed to show their “visual appeal”. Like New Kids on the Block, Got7 exudes that same urban, “boyfriend” charm. New Kids on the Block had a boyishness about them that made them appealing to youth. They were meant to be the “white” version of New Edition. Got7 is also similar to New Edition as well. Got7 presents themselves as “normal city boys”.
It’s also a bit clever to call them the “New Kids on the Block”, don’t you think? 😉 Many of you probably thought this is what I meant when I put it in the title…Got7 just debuted in January 2014, so they are still a “rookie” group. They are sort of the “new kids on the block” in Korea…Honestly, though, they are so talented and natural, they hardly seem like rookies.
Got7 is a group that was designed to convey an urban style. They are known for their Pop, R&B, and Hip-Hop genres, just like New Kids on the Block. Their name reflects their members and the “appeal” they want to have with women. Many of their sayings reveal this image. For instance, “instead of having one handsome guy for a boyfriend, she’s ‘got 7’.” Their fan club name is IGOT7.
Though the group reminds me of NKOTB, Got7 has quite a few differences that make this group individual and helps them stand out. Some of these differences create challenges that New Kids on the Block never had to deal with.
Got7 has to deal with huge cultural differences. In fact, Got7 has to deal with the cultural boundaries that most groups around the world would never have to deal with…Not even K-pop groups EXO-M and Super Junior-M (because their Chinese groups are distinctly separated from their Korean groups, so they speak the same language among their own peers). f(x) is probably one of the only groups that go through the same thing.
Out of the seven members in Got7, three of the members are from different countries. Between these members, there is an exchange of, at least, SEVEN languages! Two of the seven members can speak a different dialect. Many Asian languages have several dialects that sometimes reflect the unique region they come from within their own country. It’s the same language, just a different style of speaking it. Usually, the words are spoken with a different term, wording, or sound than what is commonly heard in the language.
The seven members in the group are: JB, the leader, from Seoul, South Korea. He is known for his vocals. He and Jr. were originally a part of the JJ Project, a pop duo. Both ended up in Got7. Jr. is also from Seoul, South Korea. He speaks a different Korean dialect. Yugyeom, the “maknae” or youngest member in the group, though he doesn’t look it, is also from Seoul, Korea. He is of high school age. Youngjae, the fun-loving member, is from South Korea and also speaks a different dialect of Korean. He was the last member to join, and only trained for seven months before debut! Mark, Jackson, and Bam Bam are from different countries. Mark is the oldest (though he doesn’t look it) and one of the most handsome members. He was born in Los Angeles, California, USA. He lived in Brazil for two years. He speaks English, Chinese, and Korean. Jackson is one of the oldest, and is considered the “vitamin” of the group. He is from British Hong Kong. He attended an international school, which is why his English is impeccable. He also speaks Cantonese, Mandarin, Korean, and French! Bam Bam, the cutie who looks like the “maknae”, is from Thailand and speaks Chinese, Thai, some English, and Korean! There really are many languages flowing through this group. This is why they reach a diverse group of fans. Their communicative abilities make them a gem in K-pop.
Of course, all of these languages make it hard to be understood. Misunderstandings may have come up all the time. The group has a hard time relating to a Korean audience, as a result. Cultural mannerisms probably clash. Many of the international members suffer from loneliness, as some are far away from their friends and family. Their personalities are different, too, even among members from the same nation.
Still, despite the challenges, Got7 has received significant popularity in less than a year! Last year, they were considered the biggest rookie group to debut according to many polls online. They are probably one of the most successful multinational boy groups in the world. I mean, multinational groups are hard to find, but they are even harder to find among males….
FIVE REASONS YOU SHOULD LOVE GOT7:
1) Got7 has a diverse mix of abilities and talents
Got7 has many members who can sing and dance well. JB has amazing vocal abilities, and never misses a chance to use them, on or off stage. Youngjae plays piano and writes his own songs. In fact, many members have said they like to write their own music. Jackson has expressed interest in producing music. Some of the members also have some awesome rapping abilities. Mark, Jackson, and Bam Bam are known for their rapping abilities.
New Kids on the Block was like this. They were probably the first pop group to have a “rapper”. Each member had a role. Got7 is very similar.
Their most distinct talent is their martial arts contribution. In their performances, Mark and Jackson are in charge of providing the martial arts, but lately JB and Bam Bam have jumped in with the music video “Around the World”. They do cartwheels and back-flips on stage and in MVs flawlessly. This obviously enthuses the crowd and draws new interest in the group. There are no other K-pop boy bands that do this.
2) Got7 can speak so many languages
Again, Got7, as a group, speak over 7 languages. This helps them bring their charm to many fans all over the world. As an English-speaker myself, this is also why I’ve shown interest in the group. They can seriously bring their music to more than one nation, which could expand their popularity. Multilingual abilities are seriously an asset to any business venture.
Kpopstarz Korean news outlet and blogging website made this interesting statement about the group:
“Global fans are able to engage with the group in unique ways because of this.”
“This” was in regards to the fact that they speak so many languages.
3) Got7 has many experiences, backgrounds, and personality traits
Got7 is very diverse in background as a result of being a multinational group. Many of them have resumes that are inspiring, such as Jackson’s fencing abilities. Because of their individual backgrounds, you can imagine that they have some of the most colorful personalities. Even the Korean members are very diverse in personality and characteristics.
4) Got7 is physically attractive
Let’s face it. Got7 is attractive. The moment I laid my eyes on Mark and Jackson, I recognized that this boy band had some eye-candy that would please the hearts of many fan girls. As much as I hate to objectify anyone, I have eyes, too. After watching Real Got7, I’ve gotten to know the members really well. They definitely know how to entertain a crowd, and this makes them attractive as well.
5) The group has SWAG
There are a lot of K-pop groups that try to exude “swag” or a hip-hop image. But Got7 is one of the few that successfully translates that energy in a charming way on stage. B.A.P. and Big Bang are two other groups that have successfully exuded a significant “swag” factor. However, those other two groups are missing the nice combination of “swag” and “charm”, which helps Got7 relate to those who like both a tough energy and a soft energy.
There really should be a 6th reason. The 6th reason you should love this group is because of member, Jackson Wang. That’s right. I’m about to put Jackson on BLAST.
Jackson Wang IN the SPOTLIGHT
All About Jackson
Jackson is the “vitamin” of the Got7 group. He is called the “vitamin” of the group because of his high-spirited energy and “wild and sexy” presentation. He literally brings “health” or “life” to the group. When he’s not around, something seems very strange. In fact, when he’s not around the group, it feels too quiet. Jackson adds the “fun” aspect to the group. Jackson is not afraid to be himself. Jackson shows an “alpha” personality at times, but there are other times he shows a charming, cute, and sweet side to him.
Many have noticed that Jackson shows the most interest in his fellow members. In Season 2 of Real Got7, Jackson won the challenge of showing “secret care” for one of his fellow members frequently during their promotion of the song “A”. Jackson never expected to win, but Jackson was always there when one of his members needed him.
Jackson has a high-pitched laugh that reaches the ends of the room he is laughing in. His laugh is distinct, and his fellow members didn’t hold back from imitating him in Real Got7.
Jackson’s boss, J.Y.Park, described Jackson as someone who “tries too hard”, but is “affectionate” and easily “attaches himself to people”. Out of all of his members, Jackson gets the most frustrated when he can’t get something right the first time. Jackson has the hardest time practicing for long hours. J.Y.Park is very hard on Jackson because of it.
As you can tell, he enjoys dancing, rapping, and beatboxing. Basically, he loves music. He’s also quite athletic, and has an Olympic and Martial Arts fencing background. His mother was a gold medalist at the 1982 World Gymnastics Championships. His father was a former coach in a Hong Kong fencing team. He also once won the Asian games in 1978. So, he comes from a pretty accomplished family.
Jackson has an older brother, who is also athletic. He and his brother won the men’s pair category at the Acrobatic Gymnastics Championship. Jackson was only 9 years old! It’s no wonder he’s such an excellent acrobat.
Jackson mentions that his specialty is “fencing”, and most know him from his Junior Fencing team, though he is also a good gymnast as well.
Jackson was born in British Hong Kong. He attended American International School, which is why he speaks English so well. While in fencing matches, he often had French partners, so he learned some French as well. He’s a pretty “international” guy.
Jackson loves his family and worries about them often since he’s so far away in Korea.
At first his parents did not want Jackson to start training to be an idol. His father cut him a deal. He told Jackson he would only let Jackson go to Korea if he became the best fencer in Asia. Jackson eventually won 1st place at the Asian Junior and Cadet Fencing Championship.
Jackson likes to skateboard and also plays basketball.
He also likes animals.
Got7 is still new, so we may learn more about Jackson in the future.
Jackson, A K-pop Star
Jackson is a normal guy usually, but he is a K-pop star, too. As a K-pop star, as was mentioned before, Jackson presents himself as “Wild and Sexy”.
Jackson lives up to this presentation. He is known as the loud, competitive one. He has an extroverted personality, and brings a lot of boyish charm to Got7. And it’s pretty evident he has most of the “swag”.
Jackson presents himself as an “alpha male” type, but he has a sensitive side that makes him appealing.
The guy is absolute scrumptiousness. You can’t deny it. I’m about to Jacksify you:
Someone is talented!
Scrumptious, doe. It’s hard to deny this man’s sex appeal. He surely lives up to his label.
But just how “wild and sexy” is Jackson?
Looking at many videos with Jackson, he seems to love attention. This gives him the “wild” streak we know and love. Jackson is not afraid to “strut his stuff”, so that makes him sexy as well.
Watching Jackson, you probably wouldn’t be able to see him as anything but confident. But fans know better. Fans who have been following Jackson’s work can see right through his actions.
Actually, Jackson is also known by fans as sensitive and a bit shy, especially when he’s around a girl he likes and respects. Jackson has stated that he likes “healthy, athletic girls, with a tan and charm”. When Jackson was around Ga Yeon in the Korean reality show Roomate, a girl who fit his ideal, he revealed another side to himself. He was very nervous, shy, and extremely polite.
Then, there are those other times when he gets competitive around a girl that he likes. He has mentioned that one of the girls he is most close to is Amber Liu from f(x). He showed an intensified competitive spirit on We Got Married Global when Amber was posed with a question that made her choose between him and fellow members Bam Bam and Mark. And even when Amber rejected him, he continued to fight to win!
We Got Married Global: Bam Bam or Jackson?
Jackson also shows himself to be very protective and nurturing.
Jackson is generally known to be competitive. I would say he likes to challenge himself. He is always “involved” and tries to put his heart into everything he does. He is enthusiastic and colorful.
But Jackson isn’t the bravest member, though many would be shocked to know it. Aside from Jackson being completely terrified around his favorite female idol, he also showed slight fear of an amusement park ride in Real Got7 Season 2.
Jackson really has many layers to him, which is why he grabs so much interest from K-poppers. He’s really not afraid to be himself, and is often being bluntly honest to a fault. But there are many things in him that he probably doesn’t notice. If one looks hard enough, they could find those hidden gems in Jackson.
It’s time to get to the main deal. After all, he is an artist. Jackson has many talents, both well-known and hidden, even from himself.
Jackson is the rapper of the group. He likes the rap group G-Unit and Dr. Dre. Rap is one of his favorite genres, and it’s the genre he is most comfortable with.
But Jackson is also a pretty good singer, even if he doesn’t feel as confident with singing as he does rapping. He once sang a lullaby to JB, and it was really nice. According to his boss, J.Y.Park, Jackson is very good at breathing even though he has not trained his voice to sing just yet. Perhaps, in the future, he will get more moments to sing.
Jackson is also good at beatboxing. He did say it was one of his hobbies, so I’m sure he practices all the time. He’s really good at it.
And it’s pretty obvious Jackson is an excellent dancer. Jackson adds martial arts to his dancing abilities, making his dance routines even more powerful. Jackson also gives facial expressions when he dances, adding character to every performance. He is a very charismatic performer, both in a group and solo.
Jackson may not be aware of this talent, but Jackson is a good television personality and excellent with comic timing. This is probably why he is a favorite among fans and why he won the Newcomer of the Year award.
Jackson’s Personal Challenges
Jackson may seem all smiles and confidence, but as an international star, there will always be challenges in a foreign nation. Jackson is far away from family and friends. His mannerisms are different, and often times it clashes with the more reserve mannerisms of Korea. Jackson just doesn’t fit that small box.
Jackson Misses His Family
Jackson has been away from his family ever since he began training. Even though he and his group debuted in 2014, he’d been training with JYP years before his debut. Jackson left everything he knew and loved in order to become a K-pop star. He sacrificed a lot, even if he didn’t initially realize the sacrifices he would have to make at the time he decided to train.
I know. Many people will say, “But he chose to be an idol. He’s sad but he made the choice”. Many people get jobs that are not in their own countries, especially when the opportunities are lower in your area. Sometimes, people have to travel for work. It doesn’t mean he won’t miss his family.
Jackson showed how much he missed his family on an episode of Roommate. J.Y.Park, his boss, surprised Jackson with the best Christmas present ever: Jackson’s parents. He arranged for Jackson’s parents to fly all the way from Hong Kong, just so they could spend Christmas with their son. (Talk about a kind boss!) The scene was quite emotional.
Jackson is often worried about his mom. His father often works overseas which leaves his mother at home alone and lonely. This is Jackson’s sensitive spot and one of his greatest challenges.
I think he is pretty strong to leave his old life to start a whole new one in Korea. Could I have done it? Probably not…Unless I could bring my loved ones with me. He has to be strong in order to deal with a different culture and language.
Yep, a bold and flamboyant man like him won’t always come across easy to deal with to people. It’s never easy to be a foreigner, but it’s even harder when your personality is so strong and dominant.
“Jackson is so rude. He gets on my nerves.”
I hear this comment at least once on almost every Youtube video that deals with Jackson (excluding the episode with his parents).
True, Jackson likes a LOT of attention. True, Jackson often interrupts people when they talk. True, Jackson is competitive when someone else gets more attention than himself. True, he appears to think too much about himself. And sure, Jackson is blunt.
But aren’t these what make him stand out among, not just his fellow members, but ALL OF THE OTHER boys in other groups? Korea likes to put a lot of emphasis on “aeygo”, or “cuteness” in the public media. It’s a “selling tool”. Korea also designs it’s boy bands to have some of the most chivalrous personalities. Korea encourages a reserve disposition.
Jackson is one of the rare gems that doesn’t fit that perfect “Korean” mold people like to place on idols.
I’m sure these comments must offend and hurt him. In We Got Married Global, Jackson gave kudos to one fan who actually described Jackson as sensitive and caring, qualities he feels people don’t often recognize in him.
Koreans can be very detached, or are expected to be. Jackson is easily attached, as was mentioned before, very friendly, and assertive. It’s not hard for him to hold out his hand in friendship. To some people, especially Koreans, Jackson comes on a little strong.
Yet, despite what anyone says about Jackson, he makes the whole group stand out in his own special way. He gives the right spice. His presence makes him feel like a leader, even though he is not the leader of the group. People will always have their perceptions of other people, but as they always say, “It doesn’t matter what they say, as long as they know my name”. Jackson brings a lot of promotion to the group. His distinct mannerisms are what make Got7 likable to nations who are not so reserved, or to more extroverted personalities. I’m sure there are some Koreans who are not so stereo-typically reserved.
Well, it doesn’t matter who hates Jackson. Jackson is making his mark as a K-pop star, even winning the Newcomer Award this year.
Well, that’s my spin on Got7 and the amazing Jackson Wang!
Check out their latest albums on Youtube!
You can also watch Got7’s Jackson on Roommate Season 2!
Check out my other articles featuring Got7:
Got7’s Mark, BamBam, Jackson on We Got Married Global
Generation Next’s Top 20 Asian Artists; Got7 made it among the 10