Celebrating 1 year of GOT7’s ENCORE

How 'ENCORE' is symbol of both a transition and stepping stone in the group’s career

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Take a year. A solar year.

Astronomers will publish countless papers on the solar system. Astrologers will tell you how the new moon, the full moon, Mercury retrograde, and the planets will influence your day, week, month, year. During a solar year, how much do we talk about the sun? Why don’t we read and talk more about this 4.603-billion-year-old star that is our past, present, and future?

Take a year. A solar year.

Music magazines and websites will write countless articles on K-pop and its stars. Journalists and K-pop enthusiasts will write and talk about how GOT7, without having been together, have in their way been present and influenced K-pop. How often did we talk about ‘ENCORE’ during the past solar year? Why haven’t we talked more about the song that is GOT7’s past, present, and future?

As the Earth rotates around the Sun in 365 days, Ahgases and GOT7 have rotated around ‘ENCORE’ for the past 365 days.

‘ENCORE’, released on February 20, 2021 via Warner Music Korea, was GOT7’s surprise comeback after a short 1-month “hiatus” after they departed from JYP Entertainment in January 2021. After the announcement that all the GOT7 members would not be renewing their contracts with the agency, many feared for the group’s future. However, the members have repeatedly stated and reassured fans that GOT7 is forever.

In an interview with Elle Korea, GOT7’s Youngjae revealed that the members wanted to quickly release something to relieve fans from their worries and tell them that they weren’t going anywhere. The seven members rushed to put an album together, gathering songs they already had prepared, but something was always off. They felt they needed songs that would deliver what they wanted to say to fans. ‘ENCORE’ was that ray of sunlight GOT7 have been looking for.

Composed and written by Trippy and GOT7’s Jinyoung, who has also taken part in directing the vocals and working on the chorus with Distract, ‘ENCORE’ – just like the Sun – is GOT7 and Ahgases source of energy, and they are bound to this song by an indescribable gravity. At the same time, the song shows the natural and relatable vulnerability of seven people who are between security and insecurity through the lyrics “Feels like we are still just kids / But the world calls us adults” and “Even though we can’t turn back / We can just continue doing it”.

The sentimental R&B-infused song talks about their journey as a group and their journey with Ahgase, expressing the love and gratitude they have for their fans who have supported them throughout the years, asking if they will be with them too in a final pleading chorus, “Even after a long time passes / Will you be here with me?”.

But as the sun gets covered by clouds, the making of ‘ENCORE’ wasn’t an easy process. Without an agency to help GOT7, the members used their own money and booked the recording sessions to produce the song. The video was shot during the recording sessions, and behind-the-scenes clips have been edited into the official music video. For one of the globally renowned K-pop groups, using agency’s high-quality standards, ‘ENCORE’ is both a transition and a stepping stone in the group’s career. The quality of ‘ENCORE’ might not be as good as GOT7 have expected or wanted to be, but it’s no less than ‘PAGE’, ‘You Are’, and ‘You Calling My Name’ in defining GOT7’s colours. ‘ENCORE’ lets the members showcase their genuine emotions over an arrangement that is not done to please the average listener but to make their voices shine and reach Ahgases with its comforting message.

In a year that didn’t really involve GOT7, GOT7 were still a constant presence in the music landscape. They surpassed 4 million sales on Gaon with no album releases and remained the 7th Best Selling Boy Group on the chart, won Top Social Artist of the Year at the JOOX Thailand Music Awards, surpassed 900 million streams on Spotify, and gained over 200 million streams on the streaming platform despite only releasing ‘ENCORE’.

The boys have been busy, but they hadn’t forgotten that time when they made a promise. On GOT7’s 8th anniversary (January 16), the boys made time to celebrate their anniversary with Ahgasea in an Instagram live. The boys might not be physically all together now. Still, some things never change, and so while joining the live from three different countries (South Korea, China, and the USA), they entertained Ahgases with a wonderful chaos – like any other GOT7 live – and holding to the promise that at some point this year “we will sing for you”.

Take a year. A solar year.

New moons and full moons will pierce the brilliant blue skies, Mercury will go into retrograde, affecting our day-to-day relationships of all kinds, and “for the rest of the days too” the sun will be there.

ENCORE is the sun.

Forever burning and never fading.

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