Tour­ing in the US is a dream come true

Baltimore Sun Sunday - - TRAVEL - By Jae-Ha Kim

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!

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