20 Questions With Monsta X

Monsta X
Courtesy of Starship Entertainment

Monsta X

Monsta X will perform during an epic virtual concert, Live From Seoul with Luv, on Saturday (Aug. 8).

Presented by LiveXLive, the one-of-a-kind livestream will serve as the idols' only live music event for the year, and will feature them performing a combination of tracks from their 2020 English-language LP All About Luv and hits in their native Korean, including "Fantasia," "Follow," "Dramarama" and more.

Ahead of the much-anticipated concert event, (which was postponed to this weekend after originally being scheduled for July 27), the K-pop group chatted with Billboard over email about everything from the first music they ever purchased, the dream concerts they'd want to attend, what's left on their bucket list as a band, their devotion to their fans (known as Monbebe) and more.

Live From Seoul with Luv is set to air Aug. 8 at 11:00 p.m. ET/ 8:00 p.m. PT. Check out 20 questions with Monsta X below.

1. What’s the first piece of music that you bought for yourselves, and what was the medium (CD, vinyl, digital download, etc.)?

Shownu: I remember buying Kim Bum Soo's album One Day as a CD.

Minhyuk: I bought a full-length (regular) album of Korean idol Sunbaenim.

Kihyun: A CD of SG Wannabe's 1st album, and that was my first CD.

Joohoney: I used to listen to a lot of songs as MP3 files.

IM: What a Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong.

2. What was the first concert you each saw?

Shownu: I don't remember exactly, but it was probably Ne-Yo's concert in Korea.

Minhyuk: Hmm, the solo concert of Kim Junsu. It was amazing.

Kihyun: It was a concert by Kwill Hyung, a singer from the same agency as us.

Hyungwon: I guess it was a concert of YG singers (YG Entertainment).

Joohoney: Bigbang Concert.

IM: Psy Sunbaenim's concert, which is famous for being super high tension, was my first concert.

3. What was your dream job when you were little kid?

Shownu: Swimmer, office worker and singer.

Minhyuk: I’ve always wanted to be a singer.

Kihyun: President, scientist, pastor, etc.. I had so many dream jobs I wanted to be when I was young.

Hyungwon: It may sound very unexpected, but I had a time when I wanted to be a lawyer.

Joohoney: When I was really young, a soccer player was always on the side of my mind.

IM: I thought about becoming a scientist.

4. Who made you realize you could be an artist full-time?

Shownu: I think it can be simple and easy to start what I want right now, but it was the fans who really made me think that I could be an "artist."

Minhyuk: I think I've convinced myself that I've wanted this job so badly.

Kihyun: Friends or people around me helped me dream of having this dream and become a singer.

Hyungwon: I think I came to realize it because my parents supported me a lot. 

Joohoney: Since I saw Michael Jackson’s stage. I think that’s the moment I’ve wanted to be an artist full-time. 

IM: I liked to sing, and I started to have a dream of becoming a singer.

5. What’s at the top of your professional bucket list?

Monsta X: We want to meet the fans as soon as possible. We just want to share our passion so badly with Monbebe all over the world through the world tour. And we also want to deliver a message to everyone and fans through our music for a long long time.

6. What’s the last song you listened to together?

Monsta X: As we are preparing for our Live X Live concert, we’ve listened to the songs on the setlist together. Which songs did we listen to together? Can't tell you yet!

7. If you could see any artist in concert -- dead or alive -- who would it be?

Shownu: The Weeknd.

Minhyuk: Michael Jackson.

Kihyun: Michael Jackson.

Hyungwon: Roddy Ricch.

Joohoney: Drake, Chris Brown.

IM: Travis Scott.

8. What’s the craziest thing you’ve seen happen in the crowd during one of your sets?

Monsta X: Of course, there are some difficulties when performing at the concert, but it's so nice to be able to be with Monbebe. Of course, it's more exciting and fun when we can perform and  run around with fans in person. There are so many songs that the fans can interact with us for, such as Fallin, Shoot out, Trespass, etc.

9. What are your karaoke go-to songs?

Shownu: Sung Si-kyung and Im Chang-jung's songs (they are famous Korean ballad singers). 

Minhyuk: "For You" by Yim Jae Bum.

Hyungwon: BOL4's "Blue."

10. What movie or song always makes you cry?

Shownu: I was touched when I heard Beyonce's "Listen" before. I can't remember if I cried.

Minhyuk: The movie Life Is Beautiful.

Kihyun: Kim Jin Ho's "Family Picture." The lyrics really hit me.

Hyungwon: The movie The Most Beautiful Goodbye. Just hearing the title makes me hurt.

Joohoney: Yunha's "Sea Child."

11. What TV series have you watched all the way through multiple times?

Minhyuk: Goblin (Dokkebi).

Kihyun: Limitless.

Hyungwon: The movie Titanic.

Joohoney: Mr. Sunshine.

12. What’s one thing that even your most devoted fans don’t know about you?

Minhyuk: A secret mole on my body?

Hyungwon: I eat more than you expect.

Joohoney: Fashion items that I have.

13. How did your hometown/city shape who you are?

Shownu: Just letting me create my own self? I don't know how exactly, because I don't look back much [at] the past.

Kihyun: Well, it made me realize how good being close to nature is for people. 

Hyungwon: It let me meet many good people in my neighborhood.

14. If you were not musicians, what would you be?

Shownu: If it weren't for a musician, I would have been a dancer or farmer.

Minhyuk: Then, I would have been a teacher I guess. 

Kihyun: Maybe I would have become a cook or an office worker.

Hyungwon: College student? I think I will be studying as a student.

Joohoney: If I hadn't become a musician, I would have been working with people who dreamed of becoming a musician by becoming a producer. I would still be working on music.

IM: Still, I think I was doing something on the arts and physical education side.

15. What would a Grammy nomination mean to you, and do you think it's a key part of finding success in the U.S.?

Shownu: Well. I haven't felt that I've really succeeded in my life yet, but since it's a huge award ceremony, I think the meaning will be different and I’d be very thankful.

Minhyuk: Of course it will definitely be a big boost to Monsta X

Kihyun: Of course it's very important in terms of success, but I think we can give Monbebe unimaginable joy.

Hyungwon: It would be an honor, and I have been growing up listening to pop since I was young, and I think it would be lucky to be able to sing our song at the Grammy Awards.

Joohoney: It's an important meaning in my career and a dream that I want to achieve.

IM: Even nominating would be super appreciated and honored. I want you to wait for us because we have many more things to show you.

16.What’s one piece of advice you would give to your younger selves?

Minhyuk: Take good care of yourself.

Kihyun: Always think twice before you act.

Hyungwon: Never give up.

Joohoney: It’s okay. You can do whatever you want!

IM: Your life will be fun.

17. What is one new thing you each learned during the pandemic?

Shownu: Viruses are really scary. I think we should be prepared in advance.

Minhyuk: Always enjoy this moment and do your best.

Kihyun: My daily life is so precious and I miss my fans so much.

Joohoney: It's hard, but we need to get through it. 'Cause everyone deserves better.

18. What did you learn about each other during the pandemic that you didn't know before?

Shownu: They are just good as always and we are nice friends to each other.

Minhyuk: We’ve always known each other very well.

Kihyun: Monbebe’s power spreads further and deeper than we thought.

Joohoney: We miss you as much as you are precious for us.

IM: There’s nothing we didn’t know, actually.

19. How did you guys learn and practice your new choreography for the livestream concert while maintaining safety during the pandemic?

Shownu: We were just practicing, discussing, playing, having a meeting and thinking of the fans as usual in the practice room.

Minhyuk: Even though it’s an Untact concert, we are trying to give it a sense of reality to our fans.

Kihyun: We are working hard to make sure that you don't feel out of place even if you watch this performance at home.

Hyungwon: I'm doing my best to prepare for the concert with the hope that you'll be happy to see it.

Joohoney: Since it's an online performance, I was thinking about how to capture it in the video to deliver a vivid feeling

IM: I want to make you feel GOOD energy.

20. How did you come up with the surprises for your livestream concert?

Shownu: I couldn't just sit still because of the current situation (pandemic), and as a musician, I was thinking about how to communicate with the fans in a special way, and we ended up holding a concert like this.

Minhyuk: We just want Monbebe to be happy. That's all.

Kihyun: We haven’t shown our performance to Monbebe all over the world for so long.

Hyungwon: While I couldn't go to see Monbebe, I thought about how I could resolve this disappointment and ended up doing an Uncontact Live. I can't meet you in person, but I want to show you new performances through video. Hopefully you would understand how much we miss you.

Joohoney: Monsta X concerts are known to be crazy fun, so I was sad that we couldn't go on tour. That's why we’re holding this concert for Monbebe who are sad like me.

IM: All you have to remember is that we put in a lot of songs from the All About Luv album.