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Interview: Mark Tuan Ventures Into New Beginnings With His Solo Album and Upcoming Tour

"The Other Side" North American Tour Begins This Fall!

Interview: Mark Tuan Ventures Into New Beginnings With His Solo Album and Upcoming Tour

Mark Tuan is no stranger to the spotlight. Originally from LA, Mark moved to Korea in 2010 to become a trainee under JYP Entertainment with hopes to become a K-Pop idol. In 2014, he debuted as one-seventh of the highly successful group, GOT7. As the lead rapper, Mark was able to shine with his vocals and further showcased his passion for music through his contribution to the songwriting and composing of their songs. GOT7 was fast to rise to fame as their talent, charisma, and eye-catching song concepts stole the hearts of millions of fans. As the group's popularity increased, GOT7 also became well-known not only in Korea but around the world. During this time, Mark pursued modeling for various magazines, held fan meetings, and had various brand endorsements. There's no question that Mark Tuan has become a well-known name in the industry.

In January of 2021, Mark and the members of GOT7 did not renew their contract with JYP Entertainment and signed with different companies to pursue their individual interests. After his departure from JYP and return to the United States, Mark started a Youtube channel which shortly gained over 1 million followers before he posted any content on it! Most recently, Mark released the single, "IMYSM," which is also included on his first studio album, "The Other Side," released on August 26th. This fall, Mark Tuan's "The Other Side" North American tour will commence in October starting in San Antonio, Texas. The tour will visit 15 cities including 2 Canadian stops in Toronto and Vancouver! BroadwayWorld had the pleasure of speaking with Mark about his new album, upcoming tour, and experiences with GOT7. Read the full interview below!

Congratulations on releasing your first full-length English album, "The Other Side" last month! With 20 songs on this album, there's no question that a lot of time and effort was put into making it. What is the concept of the album and is there a unifying theme that connects all of the songs?

The unifying theme would probably be that my songs are all stories I wanted to tell and share. There were a lot of things that I couldn't show or share during the past 10 years, especially when things got tough and lonely. These are the untold stories from that time.

What was it like filming the music video for your title track, "Far Away?" How did this music video shoot differ from those that you have done in the past?

We filmed this in Seoul while I was there for GOT7's album, so the team was mostly local, but we flew in some staff that I worked with for the 'last breath' music video. Compared to the previous music videos I did for the group, filming for my solo songs meant that the ideas all came from me and my team directly. We had to be involved from the beginning to end so that was a little different compared to the GOT7 music videos I've filmed.

Any funny moments or highlights when putting together "The Other Side?"

Rather than funny moments, it was just very comfortable. I was in the studio with my friends and it felt like I was just talking to them about these experiences.

In October, you will be embarking on your "The Other Side" tour across North America! How has the preparation been and what are you most excited for audiences to see on tour?

It's been nerve-racking and exciting. It's my first tour alone and there's a pressure to do well and put on a good show, but I'm also excited to be performing my songs and seeing the fans up close. I've been in rehearsals and it's all coming together, so I can't wait to perform. I think I'm just excited for the whole experience and I hope everyone has fun with me.

Your tour will have 15 stops including a Canadian show in Vancouver on November 1st! When was the last time you were in Vancouver? Do you have any memories of the city?

I think we were last there in 2016. We didn't get to go around much since our schedules were tight, so I'm really looking forward to seeing everyone again soon and hopefully go around the city a little! Where should I go in Vancouver?

You debuted in GOT7 in 2014. That's around 8 years ago! How have you changed since your debut and how do you think the K-pop industry has changed since then?

I talk more! I was a lot quieter during the early debut days. I also think I've learned how to block out negativity a lot better. This position comes with a lot of instantaneous feedback which can get to you very quickly if not managed well, so I think I've learned to not let it consume me. The industry has grown a lot from when we first started. Hearing we have fans from many countries far away from us is always fascinating and humbling.

How do you think your life would have turned out if you never moved to Korea back in 2010 to train to be an idol? What do you think you would have been pursuing now if you never debuted with GOT7?

Well, I don't know what I would be doing, but I'm sure it would be super different from the life I'm living now! I would have probably just finished school and see where life took me.

After branching out to different companies in 2021, GOT7 came back earlier this year with an EP entitled "GOT7" featuring the song, "NANANA." Was it difficult for all the members to come together again to prepare, film, and perform for the comeback?

Since all of us are under different labels, it was hard trying to coordinate between the different companies and the schedules we all had planned for our individual careers. This was something all of us wanted to do! Once we got the logistic issues out of the way, everything just fell in place. It felt natural for us to gather and work together again.

As a solo artist, what do you hope to achieve with your music? Are there any genres or concepts that you hope to try in the future?

Right now at least, I just want to be able to tell stories that listeners can relate and have fun to. Personally, I feel like I'm still starting out so I want to remain open to the different genres and concepts I can try out. Maybe down the road, I'll focus on one or a couple of genres that fits me well. For now, it's still a blank canvas!

What are your plans for after "The Other Side" tour?

I still want to tour other parts of the world for "The Other Side" so hopefully we can make that work. Apart from that, I'm already back in the studio working on fun things for the next release!

Mark Tuan's tour: "The Other Side" begins on October 3rd, 2022 and will visit 15 cities across North America in both the US and Canada. Mark Tuan's stop in Vancouver will be on November 1st, 2022 at the Vogue Theatre. Tickets to any of his shows are available at the link below!

Photo Credit: Mark Tuan DNA 2022

From This Author - Alyson Eng

Alyson Eng is a General and Cardiac Diagnostic Medical Sonographer. She is a graduate from the sonography program at the British Columbia Institute of Technology and a graduate from the&n... (read more about this author)

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