Jackson’s mother is a former gymnast and his father is a fencing coach, both of whom were once members of the national team, so Jackson was naturally inclined to sports at a young age. He began with gymnastics and was accepted into the representative team of Hong Kong but due to worries that he wouldn’t grow taller, he quit gymnastics and began fencing (like his father) at the age of 10.
He showed talent for fencing, winning 1st place in a junior level competition under his father’s coaching and, if it wasn’t for his JYP casting, he would have probably entered the London Olympics. His goal was to win a medal at the 2016 Brazil Olympics.
Although Jackson was from Hong Kong, he had close relationships with Korean fencing athletes and made Korean friends at the American International School of Hong Kong. He is also said to have enjoyed listening to Korean rappers such as Dynamic Duo and Dok2.
Around the end of 2010, Jackson was cast by JYP Entertainment while he was playing basketball at school. He won the 1st place among 2000 competitors at an international JYP audition. His parents, however, were not easily convinced about Jackson’s dreams to become a singer as he was preparing for the London Olympics. After much persuasion, his parents had decided to let him pursue his dream on the condition that he win the next fencing competition. As a result, he won 2 gold medals at the Asian international competition, placed No. 11 in the worldwide ranking and No. 1 in the Asian ranking. Jackson later revealed that he was even offered scholarships at the University of Hong Kong and Stanford, which he declined.
Jackson moved to Korea in July 2011 to begin his training and appeared on the reality survival program WIN: Who Is Next two years later along with other JYP trainees including Mark, Yugyeom and BamBam. He made his official debut as a member of GOT7 on January 16, 2014 with their single “Girls Girls Girls”.
BamBam’s mother was a big fan of Rain and BamBam had, therefore, been taken along to performances throughout his youth. This is how he learned of JYP Entertainment and gained interest in Korean culture, music, and food. One day, his mother had heard news of a competition in Thailand for Rain’s cover dance and the prize was an opportunity to have dinner with Rain. She had planned for her oldest son to attend the competition, but due to his leg injury she had decided to send her younger song, BamBam, instead. Not only did his mother’s wish come true, BamBam also became a JYP trainee as a result of the event! Unfortunately, Rain had left JYP by the time BamBam became a trainee.
BamBam was also part of a dance crew called We Zaa Cool with BLACKPINK’s Lisa and trained at JYP Entertainment for three and a half years before his official debut as a member of GOT7. He also appeared on the survival program WIN: Who is Next pre-debut with Jackson, Mark, and Yugyeom, representing JYP.
He was only 16 when he debuted and looked like he would be the maknae of the group. Despite the fact that Yugyeom, whose birthday was later than BamBam’s, was the maknae of the group, BamBam was also responsible for being the cute image. That is, before he became the mature, handsome man he is today!
JB began gaining interest in K-Pop when he was 7 years old and was a fan of g.o.d. He got more and more into dancing and music and officially began practicing dance as a hobby after seeing a neighborhood friend dance when he was in middle school. He felt that he didn’t have a knack for studying and wasn’t interested it either, so he began focusing on dancing from his 3rd year of middle school on.
JB’s dream was, originally, to become a professional breakdancer. He had once revealed that the loneliness he felt naturally disappeared as he began dancing. He was cast by JYP in the restroom at a breakdancing competition. He first met Jinyoung at the JYP open audition where they became a team and took first place out of the 10,000 applicants. He and Jinyoung ended up tied and both won 1st place through a unanimous vote.
After becoming a trainee, he began to love singing just as much as he loved dancing. In an interview, he said, “Dancing is a part of my life and I’m crazy about singing because I love it.” He was a passionate trainee who practiced with everything he had and, with the exception of a few periods of confusion and times when fellow trainees left, his trainee life was enjoyable. Although he was not the most financially stable of trainees, he was happy doing what he loved.
After 2 years and 6 months of training as a JYP trainee, he debuted through the drama Dream High 2 and the duo JJ Project with Jinyoung before becoming a member of GOT7.
Mark was cast in 2010 by JYP Entertainment while he was hanging out with friends at his school in the US. He then passed the audition singing Eminem’s “When I’m Gone” and became a trainee in August 2010.
Mark said that he was not particularly interested in K-Pop until he received the opportunity to go up on stage for a showcase as a trainee. He said that he began dreaming of becoming a singer more seriously ever since that first performance which he enjoyed very much. After 3 years and 6 months of training, he made his debut as a member of GOT7. His red hair at the time of his debut, which had highlighted his cute and handsome features, had apparently attracted many noona fans.
Yugyeom had loved music since he was in elementary school. Until his second year of middle school, he sat in front of his computer watching videos and imitating the choreography rather than studying like he was supposed to. He was contacted by his cousin who was a dance academy instructor after seeing a video of him dancing at a retreat. He began attending his cousin’s academy where, apparently, one of the instructors was an instructor of JYP trainees. The instructor provided connections for Yugyeom to do an audition and enter JYP as a trainee.
Yugyeom became a JYP trainee around late 2010 and early 2011. He once admitted that when he was a trainee, he was jealous of BamBam because he was cute and little and, therefore, treated differently than him. BamBam has admitted that he was jealous of Yugyeom because he was tall and manly and the two apparently often fought because of it.
Youngjae loved to sing with his older brother since he was little. After his brother entered the military, he began attending a music academy to learn music more in depth. His older brother was discharged from the military when he was attending the academy and they continued to sing together.
Just as he was wishing there were people who knew about his music, his academy held a private JYP audition. After passing the audition, he was trained for a month and practiced for 6 months before he became a member of GOT7 and debuted. He confessed on a radio broadcast that he was on the chubbier side before his debut and that he had lost 7 kg since he first became a trainee.
7. Jinyoung (Junior)
Jinyoung had dreamed of becoming a celebrity since he was young. He began learning dance and, for the first three months, he wasn’t very serious about it. Seeing this, his father told him that he didn’t have what it takes to succeed.
Jinyoung’s feelings had been hurt but this also motivated him to try harder. After 3 months of rigorous practice, he found himself with pretty good dancing skills. He was then selected at a JYP audition where his passion for dancing grew to music in general.
He made his debut through acting in the drama Dream High 2 in 2011 followed by the single “Bounce” as a member of the duo JJ Project with JB in May 2012. He also appeared on the drama When a Man Falls in Love.