Touring in the US is a dream come true
Monsta X has been nominated for their first MTV Video Music Award for their English-language single “Who Do U Love?” They will become the first K-Pop group to perform at the iHeartRadio Music Festival later this year.
A highlight of 2019 for the group was performing in Oslo for South Korean President Moon Jae-in and King Harald V of Norway, where the countries’ dignitaries celebrated the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations between South Korea and Norway.
Currently on the North American leg of their world tour, group leader Shownu (born Son Hyunwoo) took a breather to talk with us about life on the road. An edited version of our conversation follows.
Q: When you were a child, did you think that international success outside of Asia was a possibility?
A: I always dreamed about it, but it seemed like something that would be impossible to achieve. One of our goals from the beginning was to set a milestone in the United States. Since we were kids, we have listened to music from (American) artists like Usher and Michael Jackson. To have a chance to perform in the U.S. is a dream come true moment for us.
Q: You were in Europe recently. Pick one city and tell us how you felt being there.
A: In London, I felt so much history. There’s so much great pop music that has come out of England.
Q: How much time do you have for sightseeing when you’re on tour?
A: Usually we don’t have much time when we are abroad. Our schedules are packed until the end of the year and it is kind of difficult to find time as a tourist. But when South Korean President Moon Jae-in invited us to perform during his summit with the Norwegian prime minister, I spent some time (exploring). It was beautiful to see the amazing scenery there. I hope to explore more countries if I have a chance in the future.
Q: What do you do to remain healthy on the road?
A: I try to exercise regularly as much as possible and get enough sleep.
Q: What is on your travel bucket list?
A: I wish to visit Canada in the future and do a show there.
Q: Do you work on new songs while you’re touring?
A: Not just me, but generally all of our members work on new music while we are on tour. We exchange ideas and share our thoughts whenever, if
Qsomething comes up.
Q: If you could travel anywhere to see a concert, whose would it be?
A: I love Bruno Mars and John Legend. It would be wonderful to have a chance to watch their shows.
Q: You collaborated with French Montana on “Who Do U Love?” and with Steve Aoki on “Play It Cool.” What was that like?
A: Steve is like a big brother and one of the EDM pioneers. Doing a song with him that is part of his set is amazing. French is one of the most brilliant rappers out there and his flow — especially at the end when he says “Montana ... Monsta X” — really moves me.
Q: What would you like to say to your fans?
A: I have all the best memories from our last tour and I am sure we will have even more great memories this year as well. It’s a great honor for us and we still can’t believe that this is happening. We are so thankful to (our fandom) for helping us achieve such goals. It means so much to us. Thank you!