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From GOT7 to his solo career: the success story of Bambam!

by Helen Bosch
Bambam 1st Studio Album 'Sour & Sweet' Image Teaser
Bambam 1st Studio Album 'Sour & Sweet' Image Teaser

K-Pop Blog > Artists > Bambam

When people talk about Bambam, we first think of a talented solo artist and right after that of the boy group GOT7, through which he became famous. The Thai rapper and singer has many loyal fans not only in Korea, but also in his homeland Thailand and internationally.

Wonder Girls 'The Wonder Begins' Album Image Teaser

On Instagram, he currently (March 2023) has 17.5 million followers! They follow both his music and his numerous appearances on entertainment shows.

If you want to learn more about Bambam's achievements and milestones, you've come to the right place! We're taking you through his career today!

  • Pre-Debut
  • GOT7
  • Solo Activities (2015 - 2020)
  • Solo Debut (2021)

Pre-Debut

We know him as Bambam, but his real name is Kunpimook Bhuwakul. He was born on May 2, 1997 in Bangkok, Thailand and grew up with his mother and three siblings. His father died when he was just 3 years old. The nickname Bambam is inspired by a cartoon character named Bamm-Bamm Rubble from the series "The Flintstones".

His love for K-pop was awakened when he attended a Rain concert with his mother. Inspired by Rain, Bambam began taking dance lessons at the age of 10. He was even a member of a dance crew called "We Zaa Cool". There he met Lisa from Blackpink, who was also part of the crew!

Dance crew We Za Cool - Bambam & Lisa (Blackpink)

They probably never imagined back then that they would be superstars in Korea one day! This time together is also the reason why Bambam still sometimes calls her "Noona", even though she is only a good month older. ("Noona" is a Korean term boys use for their older sisters or older girls). This is because Lisa was much taller than Bambam back then. Today he is taller, but to him she is still his "Noona".

Bambam successfully participated in dance competitions and even won a Rain Cover Dance Competition in Thailand in 2007! At the age of 13 he went to a JYP audition in Thailand, was accepted as a trainee and moved to Korea. There he learned Korean in addition to singing and dancing. In an interview in 2017, the singer shared that he was often unsure and wondered if he was doing the right thing. His friends back home were preparing for college while he was training from dawn to dusk. But he kept working hard for his dream and was rewarded:

On January 20, 2014, Bambam made his debut in the seven-member boy group GOT7!

I GOT 7 6TH FANMEETING

At the time, he was 16 years old and the second youngest in the group. Bambam's band members are from Korea, China and Taiwan. He was obviously not the only foreign K-pop idol, but he was one of the first Thai idols. Before him, only Nichkhun from 2PM had made a name for himself. 2PM debuted in 2008.

But Bambam quickly got company from other Thai idols in the K-pop scene. Namely, in 2015, the girl group CLC entered the stage with Thai Sorn among its members. In 2016, Lisa (Blackpink) and Ten (NCT) debuted, followed by Minnie ((G)I-dle) in 2018, but there are still only a few well-known Thai K-pop idols.

If you want to know more about the history of GOT7, you can continue reading here! Below, we will focus on Bambam's solo activities and achievements as a solo artist.

Solo activities

GOT7  Mini Album

Bambam started early to broaden his personal spectrum and gain experience in different fields. This concerns both his work as a musician, but also other activities such as moderation or acting.

2015: Moderation, entertainment shows and more!

In 2015, one year after his debut, he already started writing his own raps and since then he is regularly involved in the lyrics of GOT7 songs. He also co-hosted the music show "M Countdown" with his bandmate Jinyoung, SHINee's Key, and C.N.BLUE's Lee Jungshin from March 2015 to March 2016, but that wasn't all. Still in 2015, he also got the chance to perform independently from GOT7. He was a permanent crew member on the entertainment show "My Young Tutor" and released 12 episodes together with Park Jimin from the duo 15& (also from JYP Entertainment) under the title "BamMin TV". The episodes were all different, for example, in the first one, Bambam taught Jimin a bit of Thai.

2016: Acting and more appearances in entertainment shows

After GOT7 made a short fantasy series called "Dream Knight" in 2015, Bambam tried his hand at acting again in 2016. He appeared in a Thai short film called "Sanctuary" and made a guest appearance in the K-drama "Jealousy Incarnate." But those were also his last experiences as an actor.

Master In The House - Bambam - Poster

Since then, he has been focusing more on entertainment shows. Still in 2016, he appeared with Jackson in the show "Real Men" and hosted "Battle Like" with Mark, a program where idols play games and answer questions together with their fans. To this day, Bambam is a regular on shows like "Master in the House" and most recently "Business Genius Baeksajang"!

In 2017, the rapper ventured into several new projects at once!

For example, on April 7, he released a single called "Make It Right". It served as a promotional song for Yamaha Thailand. For the single, he collaborated with several other Thai artists. It was Bambam's first musical release independent of GOT7 and one of the first promotional deals in Thailand.

Six months later, "7 for 7," GOT7's seventh mini album, was released. This time Bambam was not only involved in the lyrics, but for the first time also in the music for one of the songs - "Remember You"! He also produced the lyric video for "You Are", another song from the album.

By this time, Bambam had already revealed many talents: Hosting, writing lyrics, composing music and editing videos. But that was not all! Even before 2017 ended, he surprised his fans one more time:

Bambam Clothing Line 'doubleB'

On December 5, he presented his own fashion line called "doubleB" in collaboration with luxury brand "Represent". The limited collection was available for only two weeks. In that short time, over 13,700 garments were sold! The proceeds were donated to "Water.org", a non-profit organization that produces clean drinking water.

2018 - 2020

In April 2018, fans first had to worry about whether or not Bambam would join the military. Of course, since Bambam is from Thailand, he doesn't have to serve in the South Korean military like most other male K-pop idols. However, Thailand also has compulsory military service. All 20-year-old men have to serve up to 2 years. However, compulsory military service in Thailand is different from that in South Korea. In Korea, every man without exception must serve unless he is unable to do so for health reasons. In Thailand, however, only a certain amount of men per region must join the military. Since enough volunteers had enlisted in Bambam's region, he was exempted from service.

So he kept working diligently on his many talents in the years that followed. Bambam continued to be a regular contributor to the lyrics and music of GOT7 songs. In 2018, he released a new self-produced video titled "My Year 2018" on GOT7's official YouTube channel. With the video, he thanked the fans for their support. This was followed in 2019 by another video called "Feel It, See It" and even his own fanmeeting tour in Thailand!

In fact, in 2020, Bambam was considered one of the biggest stars in Thailand! From 2018 to 2020, he worked with a few of Thailand's biggest companies, promoting many different products including smartphones, clothing, food, motorcycles, and more. His success was evident for example when "bambam" or the Korean spelling "뱀뱀" were among the top 10 most used Twitter hashtags in Thailand.

In November 2020, his first soundtrack "I'm Not a Con-Heartist" was released for a Thai film called "The Con-Heartist." In the same month, GOT7 released their last album under JYP Entertainment. Subsequently, all seven members of GOT7 parted ways with their longtime label. On March 5, 2021, it was announced that Bambam had signed an exclusive contract with "Abyss Company". The label is home to Sunmi, Melomance or Sandara Park among others!

Abyss Company Artists

7 years after his debut in GOT7, Bambam finally released his first solo album!

The mini album "Ribbon" including the title track of the same name was released on June 15, 2021. As before, Bambam wrote most of his song lyrics himself and worked on the music.

The album was a successful start to his solo career, entering at number two on Korea's Gaon Weekly album chart. In Thailand, the title track won an award for being downloaded more times than any other song in the first 10 days of July!

Of course, it didn't stop with just the one album. To date, two more albums have been released: the second mini album "B" (January 2022) and just a few days ago the first studio album "Sour & Sweet".

Bambam 2nd Mini Album 'B' Image Teaser

In between, the star presented two digital singles, hosted a fanmeeting tour in Bangkok, moderated a fanmeeting of his bandmate Mark in Thailand and even launched a second fashion collection in 2021! This time he was supported by the fashion brand CHARM'S and as in 2017 the proceeds were donated. In this case, to children from low-income families. Actually, the collection was supposed to be sold only from September 7, 2021 to September 30. However, due to high demand, Bambam and CHARM'S extended the sale period until October 10.

As you can see, Bambam is one of the most popular solo artists in South Korea and Thailand for a reason. He has proven time and time again that he is a man of many talents. Fans also appreciate him for his friendly personality and positive attitude.

Sources: GOT7 Youtube, GOT7 Instagram, Bambam Twitter, Bambam Instagram, abysscompany,Interview, SCMP

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