A JOURNEY THROUGH THE KALEIDOSCOPE OF MARK TUAN'S ARTISTRY
RollingStone India|December 2021
CHINESE-AMERICAN ARTIST AND GOT7 MEMBER, MARK TUAN SPEAKS ABOUT HIS SOLO RELEASES, HIS VULNERABILITY, AND PLANS ON MAKING HIS MARK ON THE SILVER SCREEN
DIVYANSHA DONGRE
Mark Tuan wears many hats. From penning down his earnest thoughts as a songwriter to delivering phenomenal stages, curating capsule collections, and occasionally, strutting fierce poses as a model. If the musician were to jet back to his middle school days with a reel of every accord he has to his name, young Tuan wouldn’t be in the position to fathom his future triumphs. “I was just an ordinary high school kid that did not know what I wanted to do when I grew up,” Tuan opens up in an exclusive interview with Rolling Stone India. “But the opportunity came to me and now, there are so many things that I want to do.”

Born Mark Yien Tuan, the 28-year-old artist rose to fame with JYP Entertainment’s seven-member boy band, GOT7. How Tuan’s stars aligned, leading him to chase his newfound dreams is an anecdote for the books. Fated to add his unique color to the music industry, Tuan was scouted in 2010 by a JYP Entertainment employee in his hometown of Los Angeles, California. With no active intentions of pursuing the performing arts, Tuan—after receiving a nudge from his friends—enrolled for the audition. He cleared the auditions and received his golden ticket to the glimmery realm of K-pop. The multifarious artist then dropped out of high school and moved to South Korea to calibrate the performer in him.

Alongside acquiring seasoned-like experience in vocal training, choreography and rap, Tuan pushed the horizons of his artistry through acrobatics and martial arts, setting up a strong foundation to support a promising future. “In 2010 I wasn’t even sure if I wanted to be an artist yet,” Tuan expresses. “It wasn’t until around 2011 that I knew this is something I really wanted. But if trainee Mark saw the Mark of today, I think he would be proud and would want to work harder so he could be a better version.”

Tuan alongside his band members JAY B, Jinyoung, BamBam, Jackson Wang, Youngjae and Yugyeom, made their debut on January 16th, 2014 with their first EP, Got It, and over the next seven glorious years, Tuan played a crucial role in establishing the group’s sonic footprint. To be precise, Tuan holds songwriter credits on 20 GOT7 tracks and eight as a co-composer.

Tackling a different thematic and emotion on every track, Tuan’s residency under JYP Entertainment shifted the spotlight to his introspective abilities and unique vocal colors. From pulsating synth hip-hop to suave R&B or pure pop bliss, Tuan never failed to deliver unforgettable performances, instantly carving a space in the hearts of millions.

During his tenure at JYP Entertainment, Tuan also released two solo singles—the first one being a Chinese digital single titled “Outta My Head” on January 11th, 2020. The track marked a milestone in his life as it was his first official solo project, giving his fans a nuanced understanding of his vocal sensibilities and the stories waiting to emerge from the depths of his artistry. The same year, “Outta My Head” was followed up with Tuan’s second Chinese single “I’ve Never Told You.”

After seven spectacular years under JYP Entertainment, GOT7 parted ways with the agency in January 2021. Marking the beginning of a new chapter, the septet released the heartening single, “Encore” with Tuan credited as the executive producer; “We will sing for you for the rest of the days too/ Encore! Encore!”

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