Meet “The Other Side” Of Mark Tuan As A Solo Artist

It's a new era for Mark Tuan.

Mark Tuan opens up on his new single, going on a solo tour for the first time, what he recently learned about his dog, Milo, and more.

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A famous face since he was a teenager, Mark Tuan is no stranger to the stage. As a member of the K-pop boy group GOT7, Mark reached the A-list as he and the rest of the members became global stars. But following the group leaving JYPE in 2021, Mark shifted gears a bit and has been focusing on his solo activities. These activities include dropping solo music, killing it at fashion week, fronting international magazines, and completing his North American Tour titled the other side. This upcoming May, the tour is set to continue in Asia starting in Bangkok with more cities coming soon.

His solo tour also shares the same name as his debut solo album, a project that has been a long time coming. In his debut LP, he wrote and composed all 20 tracks that serve as his first magnum opus as a solo artist. But now, it’s time for Mark to enter a new era of sorts with the release of a new single entitled Carry Me Out.

His first new release since dropping his solo debut album, Carry Me Out is a little more fun than he describes. “It’s about getting to know someone, but I don’t want to say too much so check out the single when it’s out!”

While a new album is a little ways off for now, “I don’t want to rush anything…while I’ve been in the studio as well, it’s probably a little too soon,” he says, the new single does serve as Mark’s desire to switch up the overall mood of the songs he has been putting out lately. It’s the embodiment of a Mark Tuan who isn’t afraid to try new things. We caught up with Mark as he let us in on what it’s like going back home, his viral fashion show appearances, and more.

When you were in the K-Pop space, the albums you released with GOT7 emphasized concepts. Now that you’re releasing your music, do you feel like you still rely on concepts, or do you create whatever comes into mind?

I get a lot more flexibility working on music alone since I can mix and match things up. I get to create whatever comes to mind, or whatever genre or style I feel like exploring. When it comes to putting together the album though, usually there’s an underlying unifying theme that I want so that’s where song selection comes into play.

As an introvert yourself, how do you face your fear of performing in big crowds? Do you have any advice on fellow introverted musicians who feel they’re pushing past their limitations?

I actually really love being on stage. Back when I was a trainee in Korea, it was the feeling that I got from being on stage that pushed me to work harder to debut. Performing with the other GOT7 boys also made being on stage really fun, so I don’t quite have a fear of that. I think musicians who find it hard to perform in big crowds should try to focus on one thing or feeling that they enjoy from being on stage. As you spend more time on stage, eventually you get used to the feeling.

You embarked on your first solo tour in 2022 across North America. Can you describe your top 3 favorite moments on tour?

Meeting the fans. That will always be my favorite moment from touring. We went to many different cities so meeting the fans and talking to them always leaves me with a great feeling. The NA tour was also my first-ever solo tour, so receiving good feedback from fans who came to the shows was really nice and made me and the team feel quite happy. If I had to choose another moment, it would be visiting local spots in the different cities on our free days. It’s always fun to just relax and have a good day out with the team.

How would you describe the relationship that you’ve cultivated with people who support and listen to your music?

It’s irreplaceable. They’ve been there for me on some of my loneliest and hardest days, always having my back. I released the other side album to share that side of me, but to also let them know that I am there for them when they go through such periods, too. They’ve been my strength and I hope that when the days get dark for them, I can be a source of strength for them as well.

Musicians like you have dabbled in other forms of creativity such as releasing their merch. Your collection was inspired by Arcadia, the place you grew up. What does releasing your collection teach you? How do you describe your collection aesthetic?

The latest collection was created with Arcadia in mind. I have been away from home for quite some time and I just wanted to create something that was close to my heart and provided a sense of belonging. That’s why the collection was named Arcadia Country Club, to provide that sense of belonging. Aesthetically, I prefer things to be clean and simple, which I think is reflected pretty well in the designs for this collection.

Your fans and loved ones saw you from afar attending the 2023 Paris fashion week, especially at the Yves Saint Laurent Show. Was it your idea to put together the looks you wear for a big event like this? What kind of emotional response do you feel when you put together an outfit that suits you?

For the fashion week appearances, Saint Laurent and I work together to decide on the outfits. It’s always an enjoyable experience picking out looks for the show. Putting together an outfit that fits the occasion and that suits me well makes me feel good and confident. I like being comfortable, so if the fits don’t suit me well, it’ll show. But thankfully we haven’t had any of those so far!

You’re a proud dog owner of Milo, your beloved poodle. Can you tell us how you got Milo in the first place? What are some quirks you noticed about Milo? Does milo ever help ease any stress you have in your daily life?

I got Milo when I was in Korea and living alone. Back in Korea, I didn’t have many friends outside of the group and I preferred to spend my time at home. Having Milo provided me with the company I needed, so I wasn’t as lonely. Milo’s very energetic and playful and when he runs around and gets excited, he hops like a rabbit sometimes. I also didn’t notice this before, but apparently, Milo’s quite the camera genius! He’s pretty good at staying still and looking good whenever we try to take photos.

Photos courtesy of Ryan Vestil

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