Interview: MONSTA X

Client: GQ (UK)

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Contrary to widespread belief that it’s a self-contained genre, K-pop is an umbrella term for an entire industry, producing everything from bubblegum pop to future bass, trop to trap. Monsta X have marked their turf with a mash-up of hip hop, elastic pop melodies and tactile R&B, such as their latest single, “Who Do U Love (ft French Montana)”, which, Hyungwon – tall, fine-boned, sounds as if he’s battling the onset of a head cold – says “is a song that doesn’t care what genre it belongs to. It exists the way it is.”

“In terms of putting on a show, yes, that’s common for all K-pop groups, but we convey a very specific message,” says 24-year-old Joohoney, whose staccato rap can dart from coy to combative in a single line. “We’re telling the world that no matter what, we do what we have to do. We stick to our motto and I think that appeals.”

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