Landed in Beijing in the afternoon of Aug 15, returned on the night of Aug 18, Tuan Yi En’s first China solo schedules were completed successfully. Filming of interviews, street photoshoots, starting a Weibo account and saying hi to the fans, showing up at a commercial event; in a short span of 4 days, Tuan Yi En brought many surprises to the fans in China. Sept 17, GOT7 returned with a new album “Present: You”, and announced that they would appear on the variety show “Idol Room”, fans were full of anticipation. When we asked if Tuan Yi En would promote in China for the long-term, he just smiled and said, “Secret! Haha~”
In this era where “idol” is continuously an hot issue, girls idolising young idols, many people do not understand what they are chasing after. That’s true too, only the fans will really understand, the boy whose wings had yet to be fully grown went overseas alone, how much sweat did it take for him to become a better person step by step. Disregarding how they shine like a star on stage, it’s more because they represent some kind of direction, strength and belief. The process of idolising someone is usually like this: it begins with the looks, you fall for the talent and you stay loyal for the character.
Mark Tuan Yi En, the visual and rapper in the group, an American-Chinese, because of his fairy-like good looks, he has the nickname “Fairy Tuan”. He is the mature big brother in the team, quietly taking care of the members; a well-brought up man who doesn’t interrupt when others are speaking; a well-mannered guy who takes the initiative to clean up after himself regardless of where he is having his meal; a great uncle who dotes on his nieces; even more so, he is a quality idol who tries to grant fans’ wishes.
[What kind of person can be an idol? Someone who posses great mental strength.]
While waiting for Tuan Yi En for the shoot, we were all worried that the time allocated for the shoot was too short and we wouldn’t be able to get the desired effect, but he gave us a lot of surprises. This young guy was born to be a natural match for photo shoots, he was slim and handsome, with slightly curly centre-parted hair, under the bright sun, he was full of the sense of youth. Other than being immensely photogenic, he was also very attentive listening to the instruction of the photographer for minor adjustments, he almost didn’t waste a single bit of time, he was serious and professional like he was on stage. The photoshoot this time was just one of his schedules, we didn’t know how rushed his next schedule was, we only knew he was able to make everyone satisfied.
“In charge of MAT”, “extreme martial arts”, these were the deep impression that Tuan Yi En gave people in the earlier days as a member of GOT7. Who knew that in 2011 when Tuan Yi En was scouted by the overseas entertainment agency, he was still a high school student, and he started learning singing, dancing, Martial arts tricking etc with absolutely no foundation at all. It took 3 years of training, to polish him into a shining young man who sang and danced well. He debuted as a member of GOT7 in 2014, he took care of almost all the difficult MAT stunts, every time he leapt bravely earned him countless cheers. When asked about what kind of sports he like, it was always extreme sports like sky diving.
Other than MAT, Tuan Yi En also showcased his talent in writing and composing songs, he liked hip-hop since young, and worked hard learning to be a rapper when he started out as a trainee. After debut, not only did he participate actively in producing the album with the group, he also participated in writing the raps. Now that he had debuted for 5 years, he always insisted on his own music, and at the same time found a music style that suited GOT7. Tuan Yi En who could sing, do MAT and was slowing showing his variety sense, was also looking forward to acting. As an idol, performing on stage took up most of his time, he thoroughly enjoyed it while focusing on dance on stage, and at the same time, he also saw dance as a form of relaxation.
Actually, the “all-round” idols in the eyes of the fans are not perfect either. But they indeed possess great mental strength, forever stepping ahead before others, letting others know that it’s possible to live like that, and this is the reason they are idolised.
[What animal would you use to describe yourself? Cat.]
If he were to describe himself with an animal, Tuan Yi En chose cat. He said that if he were to be around people he didn’t know he would be a little awkward, after he got to know them better then it got more comfortable. This boy who couldn’t even make a presentation in front of his friends when he was in school, was now singing and dancing in front of thousands and thousands of fans, sometimes making a few cute expression, his aegyo skills were perfect. But he felt that, “In private I am actually very quiet, I never do aegyo.”
When he first debuted, Tuan Yi En was actually very quiet and didn’t like to speak, in variety shows, he often quietly watched his members joke and talk, when he got cued he would smile before answering, very gentle and refined. He was often in the centre of a crowd but he was one who didn’t fight for anything. Fans often say, “Oppa needs to talk more, don’t be so quiet.” Tuan Yi En really slowly became more cheerful! His overly quiet personality made people who didn’t know him well think that he was cold and hard to get along with, but it was just because this cat-like guy was not good at making friends with strangers. This one year, Tuan Yi En felt that the biggest change in himself was that while touring, he was also getting more mature/skilled in making music. These changes were still because he “wants to repay the fans with a better self”. With regard to the fans’ demands and wishes, he would fulfil them.
Tuan Yi En “not fighting for anything”, was not because he had not desires, but because he was more mature than people of his age, and he often thought more than he acted. He was largely a double-sided cat-like idol, on the outside he was grand and quiet, and on the inside, he was cute, in the middle there was great mental strength.
JSTYLE: Under what circumstances would you feel that you are in the best condition?
Mark: Firstly as a singer, it’s when I’m on stage. Then in my daily life, it’s when I’m playing games with my friends.
JSTYLE: In making music, what is the style you want to try the most?
Mark: Medium-tempo ballad.
JSTYLE: Other than your career, what is something that you have persisted doing for the longest?
Mark: Gaming…… when I’m on a break I can play up to 10 hours at one go, haha.
JSTYLE: What is your favourite game?
Mark: Fortnite. I heard that it’s available in China too, it’s really fun, haha!
JSTYLE: What birthday present do you want to receive the most?
Mark: Emm… of course anything will do~
JSTYLE: How many times do you work out in a week? What is your favourite exercise?
Mark: If I go (to the gym), I will go regularly. Recently I will start going to the gym again! I like snowboarding the most.
JSTYLE: Share with the fans a little habit of yours?
Mark: If i have a pimple on my face, I won’t wait for it to heal naturally, I must squeeze it.
JSTYLE: Did you notice that you were on Weibo top searches for a few times? What do you have to say to the fans?
Mark: Of course I know. Really very touched. I’m thinking that when I have schedules in China in the future, I must do them even more whole-heartedly.