“We were so excited when we first heard we were invited for Jingle Ball,” says Monsta X. The South Korean Hip-hop/EDM group, which was almost named “Supe-X”, made K-pop history this past Winter.
Members Shownu, Wonho, Minhyuk, Kihyun, Hyungwon, Joohoney (fka Jooheon) and I.M, were the first and only musical act from Korea to headline iHeartRadio’s Jingle Ball last year with the likes of Cardi B, Shawn Mendes, Camilla Cabello and Khalid. Out of the all monumental milestones K-pop has achieved in 2018, this was definitely one of the most notable. This was particularly special for Monsta X’s maknae (youngest member), I.M, who spent a few of his elementary school years in Massachusetts; one of the Jingle Ball stops the group participated in.
“I was so young when I was in Boston and it kind of feels strange and exciting at the same time [to be going back].” This isn’t Monsta X’s first time performing in the United States. Just months after debuting, they performed at KCON – Los Angeles, an annual Korean wave “Hallyu” convention/music festival, in 2015. After returning to KCON in LA the following year, they went on to have two world tours, one in 2017 and the other the next year.
In their home country of Korea, Monsta X has won several musical awards and achieved 1st place on music shows like Music Bank, which is “something we will never forget” says the group. In their words, Music Bank is “one of the oldest and most renowned TV music shows broadcasted by Korean Broadcast Station, the biggest national TV station in Korea. They have started this show since 1998 and it is almost 20 years now. It is broadcasting in over 114 countries worldwide through KBS world channel.” So essentially, similar to what MTV used to be. “Artists showcase performances and awards are given, which is usually decided by fan votes” clarifies my fellow K-pop loving friend, Bria, who surprisingly knows a thing or two about ‘old’ MTV even though it was a little bit before our time.
About Their Take.__ Series
For their album, Take.1 Are You There?, Monsta X participated more in the making of it compared to previous albums. With 7 members, it can be hard to create a cohesive finished product, but the group makes sure each member’s individual “colors” are present in the album. In fact, this variety in tastes is what “drives [them] as one team and identity” in order to “keep [their] albums versatile.”
If you’re unfamiliar with K-pop, all you need to know is the creation of an album is a long process. From concept ideation to “comeback” and album release, it can be a label-wide effort starting with the artists themselves, to their staff and other company personnel. The group explains that “there are many staff members and people who help [them] a great amount for things like choreography, video content, artworks, etc.” This explanation of the whole album making process in the K-pop world is on par with what Suga of BTS once said. In the K-pop industry, an album is not just an album, its “a visual and auditory content package,” as described by Suga. “Combing all of these things, we come up with the final accomplishment: an album,” says Monsta X.
Even though Monsta X has made their way through the United States with Jingle Ball, in true K-pop industry fashion, they’ve already come out with another album in the Take.__ series. This past February, the group dropped Take.2 We Are Here. On this album the group worked with DJ Steve Aoki and created the bop that is “Play It Cool” (there are two versions: English and Korean).
Oh, also, Cardi B and Shawn Mendes if you’re ever looking to do a K-pop collab, Monsta X is 100% on board. Have your people call their people.
Monsta X’s playlist:
- Switch- 6lack
- Beautiful – Bazzi (fellow Jingle Ball artist)
- Morning in the Autumn – IU
- Oh My – Monsta X
- Younglood – 5 Seconds of Summer (fellow Jingle Ball artist)
- Oh My Mind (Acoustic) – Preditah & Jorja Smith
- On the Road – Seo Moon Tak
- Better Now – Post Malone
- 18 Months – THEY.
- Beautiful (Acoustic Duet Ver.) – Monsta X & Gallant
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Self-proclaimed polymath. Debbie is a writer, podcast host, style blogger, graphic designer, stylist, aspiring polyglot and then some. You can find her working on her blog, sipping on some green tea, self-studying Japanese and Korean or spending way too much time on the internet. 🌸 For more K-pop thoughts and other things, check out my Medium blog: https://medium.com/@debutante