Here’s what SHOWNU and HYUNGWON have to say about MONSTA X’s first sub-unit.
After almost a decade and then some of knowing and working together, MONSTA X’s SHOWNU x HYUNGWON teamed up to serve as the group’s first unit project. This marks SHOWNU’s first music release in nearly two years after being away for mandatory military service. Meanwhile, HYUNGWON has kept himself busy by attending fashion shows and brand collaborations including being an MC of SBS’ Inkigayo, which he departed from as of late July. The duo is set to perform as part of the KCON LA 2023 Lineup for Day 1 of the 3-Day show series.
THE UNSEEN EP is the duo’s first mini album and MONBEBES (MONSTA X’s fandom name) is in for a treat to learn more about their project. This musical body of work is about expressing love and becoming the person you want to be. As we’re getting to know this duo more, SHOWNU assures us that MONBEBES knows him more than he knows himself. “I think our fans know more than 90 percent of who I am. I stay true to myself when I’m in front of my fans, so they truly know me just as I am.”
This unit release emphasizes versions of themselves from different perspectives, especially on the title track Love Me A Little. “Just like our album concept and title track, I think the way I see myself and the way others see me are all parts of me. Since all these versions make me who I am, I’d like to be seen as all of these versions.” HYUNGWON shares, providing clarity.
SHOWING LOVE TO OTHERS
“Whether it’s about myself or other people, I try to see the most positive things possible and work hard to always show other people a better version of myself,” HYUNGWON says. “Even if it’s just a little bit of improvement, I work to improve and show the best side of me.” His facial expressions may project intimidation, but if you get past the external part, he has a warm and good heart. SHOWNU would agree with him on this as well. “I am usually not the best at expressing myself, but I just try my best to be a good and caring person.”
Of course, there are going to be moments when music groups go through their growing pains. SHOWNU and HYUNGWON prioritize their music and performance above all, not just as a unit but with their other fellow members. HYUNGWON says their personalities all match well and, “Even when we disagree about things, we end up improving our team because we always want what’s best for our music, performance, and fans.”
IN THE PUBLIC EYE
It’s challenging enough that artists have to deal with what the public says about them whether it’s good or negative information. For the duo, it’s part of the job. “Whenever I read negative comments, I think to myself that it is better than getting no interest and attention at all,” reveals SHOWNU when asked how he copes when something is said out of character about him. HYUNGWON’s approach is, “If I read one bad comment, I read ten good comments to make up for it.”
The idols are surrounded by love from their fans, which can manifest in the form of fan videos and memes of their faves. HYUNGWON is at the forefront of many MONSTA X memes due to his hilarious facial expressions. To describe his favorite memes, he can’t decide. “I know there’s a lot of memes of me out there, but I actually don’t know the exact reason why our fans like them. I like that our fans like them though so I hope our MONBEBE make more of them!”
The skilled dancer he is, SHOWNU focuses on relaying his message to the audience on how he feels along with fine-tuning the small and big details of the movements he wants to emphasize. “Of course, the best thing is to express both my emotions and the details of the choreography… There are instances when emotions are more important and when details are important so I try to show what’s best in the moment.” He worked with the FreeMind dance team for this mini album’s title track Love Me A Little.
DIFFERENT VERSIONS OF YOURSELF
HYUNGWON’s facial expressions are hard to read at times since he admits he doesn’t give off the best first impression. Depending on who he’s with, he sees it as a good thing to create a different version of yourself. “I don’t think first impressions matter too much, and I don’t judge depending on first impressions either,” the 28-year-old states.
“It’s a really positive quality to create a different version of yourself depending on the person you’re with or the situation you’re in…because your attitude and vibe can change and it’s important to be adaptable in that way.” As for SHOWNU, he expresses, “I don’t think I’m great at changing and being flexible in that way, but I just always do my best to show my best self to whoever I am with.”
Connecting back to this mini album release, SHOWNU and HYUNGWON were asked if they had a fear of commitment or getting their heart broken. Fear not, the love they get from their beloved MONBEBE makes up for it. “I don’t think I’m afraid of getting hurt… I felt loved at our recent fan concert. I saw our MONBEBE in person for the first time in so long and I was so touched by the love they showed me,” SHOWNU reminisces. Love can hurt us but there can be reflection in the process. “I don’t think just being committed is love, but always trying your best is real love,” adds HYUNGWON.
As for what’s next for the duo, a milestone SHOWNU is working towards in his personal and professional life is “rather than having a big and exact goal in mind, I focus more on trying to complete each task I have to do in the present…as well as I can and try to find my happiness while doing so.” After all, he is the leader of MONSTA X and his military service could be the reason for his personal growth. Meanwhile, if he’s still able to do it, HYUNGWON wants to “just make music for a long time and be with our MONBEBE.”
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