Thanks to the rigorous and multilayered training needed to debut, K-pop artists can embrace a kaleidoscope of concepts, sounds, genres and styles that can change with every album. As much as groups can creatively explore, the K-pop idols themselves tend to stay in specific, assigned roles: the rapper, powerhouse belter, the cute one, the mysterious one, the intense dancer, the center. While important in establishing a group dynamic, Monsta X‘s Joohoney looked to free himself from any previous expectations on his first full-fledged solo effort—and hopes other K-pop stars realize they can do the same.
Introduced to the world as Lee Jooheon in 2014 before gaining significant interest while competing for a spot in the boy band reality competition No.Mercy, Joohoney stood out for his well-rounded abilities and earnestness in group dynamics. Eventually earning a place as one of seven in Monsta X, Joohoney served as a main rapper for the group but became increasingly involved in shaping their sound and direction.
Not only was he a credited lyricist since MX’s first EP in 2015, Joohoney eventually wrote, produced and arranged breakthrough singles for the group like “Gambler,” “Rush Hour” and