Ok, this has to be one of the greatest bait and switch moments recorded in K-pop history. For the K-pop stans out there, can you name any group that fulfills their contractual duty, decides against re-signing with the agency that debuted them, leaves said agency retaining their name, trademarks and the like, begins pursuing individual career opportunities, even signing individual contracts with various agencies; BUT THEN in a month’s time, releases a single complete with MV? If you answered GOT7, you win! The prize? A beautifully Jinyoung-penned declaration to Ahgase worldwide that the next chapter is indeed the group’s Encore. That is, that they are not (nor will they be) leaving the stage, or each other.
It came out of nowhere. These vague Instagram story updates one-by-one from each GOT7 member bearing just one letter. Ok, well, Youngjae used Twitter, but that’s beside the point. It was mysterious enough and I had no clue what they were up and my brain either too old, too slow, or both, did not connect the dots that they were (letter-by-letter) spelling out the word ENCORE. Thank god there are smart Ahgase out there who figured it out. Still, the group remained mum on exactly what it all meant. Then out of the blue, a teaser drops for the MV. And not only that, dropped on a brand new GOT7 Youtube channel. It’s not that the kings were coming back . . . it’s that they never left.
Ok, the song. I honestly believe that when GOT7 sits down to write a song geared towards their fans, they are absolutely in every imaginable way, sincere. Encore touches on the acknowledgment that the group is who and where they are because of their adoring fans but is more than that. It’s a statement and a promise that they will continue to sing together as a group. Period. Sweet and sentimental Encore is full of G7 color and flavor, lines wonderfully distributed, and they just sound so full of love singing it. And look, when Jinyoung hits us with his falsetto, I am just done.
The MV. Clearly, they are all wearing freedom quite well. GOT7 has always been a playful bunch and the MV confirms the fact that not only are they the mischievous goofballs we love and adore, but also that the group’s camaraderie is time tested and true.
All I can say is that no one has played this idol game the way GOT7 has and even if you have not been with them since the start (2014), it’s no matter because they are not going anywhere. Just because they are pursuing individual career paths, they have not broken up. Perhaps Yugyeom (who recently signed with AOMG) said it best in a recent interview with Elle Magazine:
“We can say confidently to our fans that this is not the end for us. We believe that each member achieving his dreams is important to our ultimate goal as a team.”
[😭😭] Our maknae is all grown up . . . and so wise!
Quite plainly, Encore is plenty of proof that GOT7 is here to stay, and that there is more to come. And while we are all familiar with the general meaning of the word itself, encore also means this: a second achievement, especially one that surpasses the first.