|Birth name:||Choi Youngjae (최영재)|
|Stage name(s):||Ars (producer name)|
|Birth date:||September 17, 1996 (age 27)|
|Height:||177 cm (5’10”)|
|Weight:||61 kg (134 lbs)|
|Family:||Parents, older sister and brother|
|Agency:||Sublime Artist Agency (2021—present), JYP Entertainment (2011—2021)|
|Debut:||January 16, 2014 (GOT7)|
Choi Youngjae’s Early Years and Aspiration for Music
Choi Young-jae, born on September 17, 1996, in Mokpo, South Korea, discovered his passion for singing alongside his older brother during his childhood. His dream of becoming a singer intensified when his brother enlisted in the military. To pursue this dream professionally, Youngjae joined a music academy in Mokpo, working part-time to fund his training. His commitment to music earned him the Vocal Excellence Award at the Mokpo Youth Music Festival in 2011.
Academic Pursuits and Personal Life
Balancing the demands of fame and creativity, Youngjae pursued his education, highlighting his commitment to personal growth. From Mokpo Technical High School to Seokyeong University’s Department of Theater and Film, his academic journey reflects a disciplined approach to both music and education. His participation in the “Coco is Genius” YouTube show and radio hosting roles further showcase his versatility beyond the realm of music.
GOT7’s Vocal Virtuoso Emerges
In 2013, JYP Entertainment held a closed audition at Youngjae’s academy, leading to his selection as a trainee. After just one month of training in Seoul, he joined the project group that would become Got7. Debuting in January 2014 with “Girls Girls Girls,” Youngjae became the main vocalist of the seven-member boy group. Early in his career, he expressed his aspirations of becoming a music therapist.
Solo Ventures and Collaborations
Since 2016, Youngjae has been showcasing his songwriting skills under the pseudonym “Ars.” Notable collaborations include “Victim of Love” with Sanjoy and Elliott Yamin (2017) and “I’m All Ears” with Park Ji-min for a youth suicide prevention campaign in 2018. His diverse talents extended to acting as the MC for Jus2’s ‘Focus’ Premiere Showcase in Asia and taking on lead roles in various dramas.
Beyond Music: Humanitarian Efforts and Entrepreneurship
Youngjae’s influence goes beyond music. In 2020, he ventured into entrepreneurship by collaborating with Howlpot to launch Ars X Coco, a clothing store for people and dogs. The proceeds were donated to the Korea Animal Rights Advocates’ The Bom Center. His involvement in the Idol Star Dog Championships and his decision to become an organ donor in 2020 further exemplify his dedication to social causes.
Acting Achievements and Departure from JYP Entertainment
After leaving JYP Entertainment in 2021, Youngjae signed an exclusive contract with Sublime Artist Agency. His acting career took a significant leap with his role as Sam in Netflix’s “So Not Worth It,” receiving praise for his multifaceted skills.
Solo Stardom: “Colors from Ars” and “Sugar”
In 2021, Youngjae marked his solo debut with the extended play “Colors from Ars,” showcasing his musical versatility. This was followed by the release of his second EP, “Sugar,” in June 2022, earning him accolades at the Ganesha Awards and the title of Best Asia Artist and Actor.
Continuous Success and Future Prospects
Youngjae continues to shine in the spotlight, releasing digital singles like “Walk With Me,” “Errr Day,” and contributing to various soundtracks. His accolades include being named an honorary ambassador and the upcoming lead role in the web series “Love & Wish.”
Charting His Path: From Dreams to Global Influence
Choi Youngjae’s journey is a testament to passion, dedication, and the pursuit of dreams. From the quaint streets of Mokpo to global stages, he has left an indelible mark not only as a musician but also as a philanthropist, entrepreneur, and actor. As he continues to evolve, Youngjae remains an inspirational figure for aspiring artists worldwide.
A Diverse Artistic Palette
Beyond his role as the main vocalist of GOT7, Choi Youngjae, professionally known as Youngjae, has exhibited a diverse artistic palette. Under the pseudonym “Ars,” he began writing songs and lyrics in 2016, starting with “Rewind” in Got7’s extended play “Flight Log: Departure.” This venture into songwriting showcased his ability to convey emotions through both voice and pen, solidifying his reputation as a multifaceted artist.
Collaborations and Charitable Initiatives
Youngjae’s collaborations with artists like Sanjoy, Elliott Yamin, and Park Ji-min reflect his commitment to using his art for social causes. The song “Victim of Love” in 2017 and “I’m All Ears” in 2018, created for a youth suicide prevention campaign, highlight his dedication to addressing critical issues through music. His entrepreneurial venture, Ars X Coco, not only demonstrated his creative flair but also contributed significantly to animal welfare.
Acting Acclaim: “So Not Worth It” and “Midnight Sun”
Youngjae’s foray into acting with Netflix’s “So Not Worth It” earned him acclaim for his portrayal of Sam. His acting prowess, communication skills, and vocalization received praise, marking a successful transition from the stage to the screen. Prior to this, in 2017, he took on the lead role of Jung Ha-ram in the theatrical production “Midnight Sun,” further showcasing his versatility as a performer.
Agency Transition and Solo Triumphs
The pivotal moment in Youngjae’s career came with the expiration of his contract with JYP Entertainment in 2021. Opting for a new chapter, he signed an exclusive contract with Sublime Artist Agency, marking a significant milestone in his journey. This transition set the stage for his solo debut with “Colors from Ars” in 2021, a poignant collection of tracks that showcased his musical maturity.
“Sugar” and Acknowledgment in the Industry
Youngjae continued his solo odyssey with the release of “Sugar” in 2022, securing his position as a solo artist to be reckoned with. The accolades at the Ganesha Awards, where he received the Best Asia Artist and Actor Award, underscored the industry’s acknowledgment of his talents. Collaborating with F.HERO and THE TOYS on “IRREPLACEABLE” further solidified his position in the music industry.
Charitable Engagements and Philanthropy
Youngjae’s commitment to social causes goes beyond the stage and screen. His decision to register as an organ donor in August 2020 and subsequent participation in the “I Rose You” campaign reflect his dedication to making a positive impact. By co-writing the campaign song “Everything For You,” he used his influence to promote organ donation and express gratitude to donors and their families.
Future Horizons: “Love & Wish” and Ambassadorial Role
As Youngjae embraces new projects like the rom-com web series “Love & Wish,” based on a webtoon, and assumes the role of honorary ambassador for the Korea-Thailand Mutual Visit Years, his trajectory suggests a future filled with artistic exploration and continued social impact.
Legacy in the Making
Choi Youngjae’s legacy extends beyond the stage and studio. His commitment to social causes, entrepreneurial ventures, and continuous artistic evolution positions him as a cultural influencer. As he navigates the intricate tapestry of fame, creativity, and philanthropy, Youngjae’s journey is a testament to the transformative power of music and its capacity to shape lives, including his own.
Choi Youngjae’s biography unfolds as a captivating narrative of resilience, talent, and humanitarian spirit, creating a legacy that reverberates not only in the K-pop industry but also in the hearts of fans and admirers worldwide.