While many K-Pop idols debut young or at least have been training from a young age, fans tend to have mixed feelings about it.
In the past couple of years especially, netizens have debated whether minors should even be allowed to debut with talks of a 7-year-old idol and even girl groups IVE and LE SSERAFIM‘s debuts.
And many were relieved when P NATION announced that 12-year-old Koki wouldn’t be debuting in the company’s first boy group.
Even idols themselves have divided opinions. BTS‘s Jin recently shared via Weverse that he is afraid K-Pop trainees are entering too young.
I got in at 20 years old. But I think that kids these days do start too young.
🗣 jan oppa, i auditioned a lot but nothing works out ㅠㅠ ㅠㅠ i was born in 2003, and they tell me that im late but what do you think oppa?? are they right ??
🐹 i got in at 20 years old
but i think that kids these days do start too young pic.twitter.com/Q33xYsJoES
— 윤서⁷ (@btsinthemoment) November 13, 2021
Now, GOT7‘s maknae line revealed in an interview with GQ Australia how they really feel about debuting young.
GOT7’s BamBam and Yugyeom are both 97-liners and are the group’s maknaes, having debuted at just 16 years old.
Those who have grown up with GOT7 can see the growth of the members, especially the physical growth of BamBam, who once was quite small. Likewise, BamBam shared that he can see the growth too.
When we’re all together, we can see we’re growing up…
In their recent promotions for their current comeback with self-titled EP and title track “NANANA,” the members have likened each other to old school or neighborhood friends, having grown up together.
Still, they don’t feel like they exactly lost their youth. According to journalist Taylor Glasby (who spent a week with GOT7 while they prepared for their 2022 comeback), “They debuted at sixteen but neither of them, says BamBam, have felt compelled to try and relive a lost youth.”
Yugyeom especially emphasized that he has no regrets about beginning his career in K-Pop early. He doesn’t even feel like they had a typical “teenage phase.”
To be honest, I don’t think we even went through a special teenage phase, I don’t regret starting early.
BamBam shared similar sentiments. He recognized that most people his and Yugyeom’s age are just now finishing college. Yet, they have already well established their careers and are satisfied.
We’re now twenty-four and other people are just finishing college and stuff but, for us, we’ve already set up our skills and experience and lifestyle. Yes, we sacrificed our childhood but we got the things we wanted.
So, these two have certainly lived their lives free from regrets!
Check out GOT7’s latest comeback single, “NANANA” below: