It was great meeting Mark. Throughout our conversation, you could feel the genuine and warm energy being conveyed. A couple of times, we saw unexpected sides of him which made us wonder if he truly is an artist who has passed his 5th year of debut; and more so than that, there were more times where we made each other laugh out loud. As an interviewer who needed to induce more stories due to a set (interview) time, I forgot about my duties as I became absorbed in watching Mark saying “How should I say this?” and watching him pick the right words like he was playing a game of Twenty Questions. There was no anxiety. He looked for the expression he wanted the most, and carefully, he conveyed the word chosen as it is. That is the most important. I boldly skipped the process of choosing my words, and tried as much as I could to unravel the moments from that day as it is.

Q. We are honoured to have been able to participate in ‘Monthly-Mark’. (laughs) Seems like you shot a lot of photo shoots lately.
That’s right. (laughs) I’ve been shooting a lot since last year. It seems like I’m gaining opportunities to try clothes in various styles, styles that I don’t usually wear, so it’s great. I also really like the colourful outfits that I wore today. Be it in styling or promotions, I always feel good about being able to try new things.

Q. This is your first solo cover in Korea. Congratulations!
As I shot for many magazines, I had those thoughts. “When can I be on the cover of a Korean magazine?”. When the offer came in this time round, it was for the cover so I felt even more flutters and felt even prouder. On top of that, it’s for a good and meaningful project so I like it even more.

Q. You are chosen as the ‘member who dresses well’ in GOT7. If you were to define ‘Mark’s style’?
It is said like that but I don’t really know. (laughs) I like dressing comfortably so would that be why it looks well dressed? My usual (style) would be casual. This is not for style but I like unique pants. Wearing those pants, I would either layer it with a leather jacket or a denim jacket. I work on ‘dressing well comfortably’.

Q. That’s the hardest thing to do. (laughs) So who do you think is the best dresser in GOT7?
All our styles are different. Yugyeom likes over-fit knit and shirts. BamBam likes well-dressed high fashion. Sometimes I envy BamBam who would wear things just as he wants to. Seems like he tries out various styles. I actually get embarrassed so I can’t do things like that well.

Q. Did you originally have a lot of interest in fashion? You even attended the 2019 F/W Milan Fashion Week.
It’s my first fashion show. Don’t those kind of fashion shows show up in movies and stuff? I didn’t know that those seats had such an atmosphere to them. It’s truly cool. If there’s a chance in the future, I’d like to participate/attend again. I do originally like to shop. But as I began having photo shoots, I began to have interest ‘deep-ly’. How should I say that? Ah! In depth!! (laughs)

Q. The styling changes following each album concept. Is there any that you particularly like?
Particularly like? Ah… (thinks for a truly long time) This is hard.

Q. Okay then, is there a concept you’d like to try in the future?
Somewhat sexy? Since we’ve not tried something sexy yet. But not something obvious like taking off our shirts but rather a barely-there kind of sexy. A kind of sexy where you wear a vest or sleeveless without a shirt, and one gets to have a slight peek when we’re dancing.

Q. That’s nice. You must do that next time! I hear that the members participate in the album (production) a lot.
When it comes to the song or the overall concept, the members gather our opinions. We first have a talk with each other and after organising it, we talk to the company. The members with interest in styling would also have further discussions on it.

Q. Mark’s solo song was included in the 3rd full length album . I heard that you wrote the lyrics while you were in the plane during the world tour? Although we are a little late, congratulations on making your dream of your self-written song come true.
When I first heard the company say ‘let’s include solo songs’, I was worried. I felt that I’m still lacking. So I included that feeling as it is – “Although I am still lacking, I will work hard and hope that I succeed,” and wrote lyrics like that. The members said that it’s okay but up till before the release, I was half anticipation and half worried. However, the fans liked it more than I had expected them to and the reaction was good too so I was surprised.

Q. After composing, is there anything else you would like to accomplish?
Making my own brand? Clothes that people can wear comfortably. A lot of people can’t wear high fashion so if I were to do that, I think I would have regrets. I would like to create a brand that everyone can wear.

Q. There are a lot of people who like the dances by Mark when you’re on stage. Is there any particular aspect that you pay attention to?
I pay attention to everything. I think that I’m someone who doesn’t have good skills when compared to the other members. So I have to pay more attention to it. When I look at the old videos, I get embarrassed and shy. And lately, now that I’ve gotten older, my stamina is decreasing so I’m worried. I have to start managing myself from now on. (laughs)

Q. You laugh a lot. But in the same vein, you have a lot of tears too. Why do you cry when the concert is ending?
I didn’t cry because I’m sad. (laughs) It’s been 5 years since I’ve debuted as GOT7 but it doesn’t feel that way. When people recognise me, I still feel amazed and I’m really thankful that people would come to see us. In trying to express that to other people, I get choked up on my emotions.

Q. You’ve done a lot of concerts, to the point that you’ve done world tours too. Do you still like those moments as you do previously?
I like it. It’s fun. That’s why when asked what I would like do in interviews and such, I would always answer “GOT7 concerts”. (laughs) To release our albums and to hold concerts again based on those, that is the biggest (wish) in my heart.

Q. Other things you’re interested in? For example, what do you do the most lately?
Bowling! I like sports and thanks to my friends, I bowl a lot these days. Whenever I get free time, I pretty much use it on bowling. I listen to music a lot too. Honestly, I feel a little weird and awkward when listening to our songs so I don’t listen to it a lot. Ah.. But still, I need to stream. (laughs)

Q. Don’t you worry about that. We listen to it a lot in our office. (laughs) How was GOT7 Real Thai? You fit well in varieties as well.
I think for the first time ever, my real self was shown. I think it was possible because (Hwang) Jaesung hyung made it comfortable and took care of us well. I can be myself comfortably when it’s just between us members but I still find it hard when there are other people around. I guess it’s because of my personality. If I do that a lot, I withdraw into myself. Although I should change that…

Q. It’s great that the members are comfortable with one another. To actually meet up during the Lunar New Year is actually something that’s not easy to do.
My parents came to Korea and it was my first time to spend Lunar New Year with them in 8 years. The next day we went to Yugyeom’s house to eat and then we met Jaebeom’s parents as well. As soon as I got to Yugyeom’s house, I did my New Year bow and also received New Year money. (laughs)

Q. From ‘Lunar New Year’ to even ‘New Year bow’. You’ve pretty much immersed in the Korean culture.
I also tend to speak Korean out of the blue. (laughs) When I’m speaking in English and I want to explain a certain word, suddenly I’ll speak Korean. When I’m with my friends from US, I would ask things in Korean and we would each get flustered by it.

Q. You’ve increased your Korean proficiency a lot.
I work hard on speaking more these days. I used not to speak a lot in the past, but since I’m speaking more these days, it seems like I’m getting better. I use Korean pretty much at the same level (laughs) but I just spoke lesser back then.

Q. Why did you feel like you suddenly have to talk more?
When I’m having a hard time or when I’m happy, my members and the people around me like it when I express my feelings to them. They would say “Mark has opened up his heart a little bit more.” (laughs) So I thought that I should speak more now.

Q. This is why people can’t help but to like you, Mark. (laughs) It’s your 5th year in 2019. Looking back on those 5 years, how was it?
I think time passes by so quickly. I also think “I’ve done a lot”. There are days when it hasn’t been good but thinking back on it, it wasn’t that bad. Our first showcase stage was in a warehouse and there were about 100 fans. Back then I thought “There are really a lot of fans” but now we hold our own concerts in really huge venues. I’m happy.

Q. What do you think the next 5 years would be like?
I think it would pass by as quickly as it is now. I’m curious. How would it be? I just want the 7 of us to always be together for a long time, that is the most important. We will go for a long time, continuously.

Q. Is this what it means to be sweet and firm? The real Mark, which are you between the ‘firm’ and ‘sweet’?
I do like Firm-Mark but I also like Sweet-Mark. I like both actually. (stops laughing) In real life when the situation requires for me to be F.I.R.Mm then I get really firm. Although there was no such situation today. (laughs) I like Kim Mark too. I have a lot of nicknames.

Q. You talk a lot about the fans. When do you feel like you especially like ahgases or feel proud of them?
When we are performing; I like the mere fact that they are there, and it makes me proud. When it comes to end of the year shows, they are seated with all the other fans but I see them so clearly. During the past end of year show, the fans suddenly shouted. When I got home and checked out the video, it was because our faces were captured on the screens. Usually during end of year shows, you don’t really hear fans screaming. I thought “Our fans are really amazing” and was touched by it.

Q. Ahgases do a lot of good deeds too. For firefighters’ treatment and improvement of welfare, they donated 16.9 million won, they also donated 228 GOT7 albums to children suffering from cancer. They also do rice wreath donations.
It’s great. I’m even more thankful that they do good deeds in our names. I feel amazed by fans doing that. It’s not just one person doing it, but many people coming together for it; it’s truly something that is not easy.

Q. Mark’s birthday advert for last year was included in Big Issue. The relationship that started from there continued into Mark becoming the model cover.
This is due to our fans right? Once again I am really thankful.

Q. To be honest, we are the ones receiving help thanks to Mark’s influence. Once again, thank you. When you received the offer for Big Issue, with what mind did you accept this?
When the company asked and since this is done for a good deed, I definitely said ‘OK’. It’s the first time I’m doing a good deed like this without the members. I am still amazed that I’ve become someone who is able to help others out, and I still don’t believe it. If I was not ‘GOT7 Mark’, would I have been able to be a huge help like this? It’s a good thing that I became GOT7.

Q. “Even if I was born again, I want to be GOT7.” This became a huge topic. So once again I will ask. If you were to be born again? (laughs)
I would want to live like I do now. (laughs) Even if I were to be born again, I want to debut as GOT7 on 16th January 2014.

Q. It is the 200th edition of Big Issue. Being able to be with special Mark for this special issue makes us feel reassured and we’re thankful.
My sincere congratulation for Big Issue’s 200th edition. I didn’t really know of Big Issue but now that I have been made aware of it, I think that from now on I will let more people around me know about it. I hope that I can be of help, even a little, to those who are having a hard time. Our ahgases.. Ahgases! I trust you, so please show Mark and Big Issue lots of love!

Translated by