MONSTA X members gamble it all with their ninth mini album, One Of A Kind

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MONSTA X members pose for the concept photos for One Of A Kind (Pic credit - Starship Entertainment)
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It is raining comebacks and we are most excited for this comeback because it is certainly, One Of A Kind! MONSTA X promises to share the best moment with 'One Of A Kind', their new mini-album. It is a new album released almost seven months post 'Fatal Love', the third regular album released back in November 2020. Since then, MONSTA X has been making waves, from making a grand slam of various awards including impressive records in the North American music market, top ranking on the Oricon album chart in Japan, and the Grand Award of ‘2020 AAA’ to Joohoney and I.M who have started building their solo careers, this new album promises to capture their best emotions.

One Of A Kind’, the 9th mini-album, highlight's MONSTA X’s purity and passion. The title song, ‘GAMBLER,’ is created to show the complete style of MONSTA X with stronger-than-ever teamwork and a deeper understanding of music and performance. This is also the meaning of MONSTA X’s solidified identity which has the one and the only team colour in the field of fierce K-Pop scene. Their visuals with a grand blockbuster scale, immersion of movie-like music video and intense music and performance are ever so overwhelming and gratifying.

‘GAMBLER’, the title song, is a signature track that represents the fatal masculinity of MONSTA X. This song, talking about strong attractions through an exchange of glance that is good enough for one to bet everything, is enough to deliver the energy of confident MONSTA X as is. Starting off with Joohoney’s narration saying ‘If you don’t know, now you know,’ which became the key lyrics of this song; it provides immersive 3 minutes and 35 seconds without a break.

The message of ‘GAMBLER’ that compares the breathtaking moment of temptation and attraction into a suspenseful game is further specified throughout the music video. The story takes place in an undisclosed auction to convey an odd thrill in a densely plotted composition and deliver the mysterious mood of a crime thriller movie. Members styling is sleek and on point and the fancy stage and runway are also impressive.

This was Joohoney's first experience with producing a track and he has done a stellar job with it. Joohoney participated in all songs including ‘Heaven’, a cool song to listen to while driving. I.M, who left impressive records with his mixtapes and his digital mini-album, also left his name on the credits of all songs including ‘Rotate’, his own song. Hyungwon, who is also working as DJ H.ONE, created a song based on his determination with fans who were with him for 6 years through the track called ‘BEBE’. As each of the members has expanded their field through various activities, this album would be an opportunity to show the remarkable musical growth of MONSTA X.

MONSTA X, ready for their comeback with their unrivalled records and unique team colour, talks about their newest EP, 'One Of A Kind.' Read below for the full interview.

Q1. It’s been 7 months since your last comeback with “Fatal Love,” your third regular album. How do you feel?

Minhyuk: I’d like to acknowledge all the hard work of the members. We wish to get positive feedback as we worked really hard on the album, and we feel empowered by the encouragement of our fans. Please support us and stay tuned for our activities!

Kihyun: It’s hard to believe that it’s already the 9th mini album. We try hard every time we prepare a new album to show different sides of us—and for this album, “One Of A Kind,” we also tried really hard to depict a new side of us. Hope our fans can see that too!

Hyungwon: I want to show our teamwork which is now even stronger. I hope that no one gets hurt throughout the promotions as we’ve been looking after and supporting each other for 6 years.

Joohoney: The song I wrote has been selected as the title track for the first time, so it feels special. I’d like this album to be some kind of repay for all the love we receive from our fans.

I.M: Yes, it’s been 7 months since releasing our last album, but we’ve been active in different fields. I dropped my first solo mini-album, “Duality,” back in February, and frankly, there were many moments where I missed my members as I had to take care of everything on my own. I feel excited now that I’m coming back as a group again.

Q2. Please explain the new mini-album, “One Of A Kind.”

Minhyuk: When we were doing V LIVE celebrating our 6th anniversary, I said it would be a “legendary album” since our fans were curious about it. I’ve been waiting for the release of the new EP, because I’ve been dying to see the reactions of our fans once “One Of A Kind” unveils. I’m super confident about this comeback, and I think it’s a whole package with top-notch music, performance, just everything!

Joohoney: Our new album is like the product of our very essence. Like the ambitious title of the album, “One Of A Kind” shows, we expressed our unique yet various styles of music in each track. We also paid attention to aesthetic details for on-stage performances. The concept of “GAMBLER” also fit really well with all the members! I feel especially attached to the song since I wrote it, but there are more details to be highlighted other than the music itself. I think it’s going to be fun for our fans to find those details!

I.M: In the album, you will see the songs that Hyungwon, Joohoney and I participated in. We all try hard to include our own songs in each album. As MONSTA X, we think we take pride in making music that can show who we are, our unique personality; and we work really hard to achieve that. Each song in “One Of A Kind” was created with that mentality and effort! So please look forward to witnessing our musical improvement.

Q3. Joohoney, it’s your first time writing a title track. How do you feel and how was the music-making process?

Joohoney: “GAMBLER” is a song about an exchanged glance and a strong attraction that makes you want to bet everything you own. My narration at the beginning of the song, “If you don’t know, now you know” is the tag line of the track. I’ve been making music for years now, but this time, I wanted to write a song that can really show the unique personality of MONSTA X; so I paid attention to the details of a song in dept. I was a bit worried at first but I’m so thankful that our members loved it!

Kihyun: I’m the living proof who witnessed how much work and effort Joohoney put into “GAMBLER.” It turns out to be the perfect song that highlights each member’s vocal characteristics while making them work really well together harmoniously. I’m sure our fans will love that part about the song!

Q4. In this album, Hyungwon participated in “Secrets” and “BEBE,” and I.M in “Rotate.” On top of that, Joohoney and I.M left their names on credits for 6 songs out of the 7 songs in the album. Please introduce your songs! I’d also like to know where the emphasis lies in each of those songs and if there are any messages you want to convey through your music.

Hyungwon: I’m very proud to have been able to include my songs in our album. It’s my second time following “Nobody Else” in the 3rd regular album, “Fatal Love.” “Secrets” has a quite different mood than “Nobody Else.” I wanted to depict the odd feelings that secrets give, and the ultimate wish of a person who wants to know those secrets. I also wrote the lyrics to “BEBE,” a song dedicated to our fans, MONBEBE. The words are literally what I want to tell MONBEBE. I wanted to express the promise I made with the fans; the one which I’ve been keeping throughout the 6 years that we have been together.

Joohoney: In addition to the title song, “GAMBLER,” I’d also like to introduce a song called “Heaven.” It’s a cool drive-song that’s perfect for the warm weather. I think it’s a “feel-good” song with its bossa nova rhythms and melody. If the title song is rather strong, “Heaven,” in contrast to “GAMBLER,” is an easy-to-listen song that everyone can listen to when going on a drive or trip.

I.M: Although “Rotate” was made for a track for MONSTA X’s album, it’s also a song that shows my own musical colours. I’m happy with how it turned out as the song fits with the members’ voices well. I tried to incorporate the feeling of “rotation” with the song. I hope you enjoy it.

Q5. What’s the music video of the title song “GAMBLER” like?

Minhyuk: The set design of the music video is really impressive! Aside from different performances at various locations, I’m content with the overall story-telling of the music video, showcasing a movie-like plot. We tried to show the dramatic tension of the moment of betting. I think the audience won’t take their eyes off of it from the moment they begin watching the music video!

Kihyun: In the “Love Killa” music video, we acted as killers since the motif of our characters were villains in movies. This time, we became six charming “GAMBLERS.” We tried to mimic the mood, relaxedness and charisma that actual gamblers give off. We also tried on various styles of outfits to show our fans different sides of us, so please look for those points as well!

Q6. You are loved by many fans for your incredible performances on stage. You even have a nickname for it! What is the point choreography in the title song?

Hyungwon: The overall vibes of the choreography of “GAMBLER” is cool, chic, and charismatic. There’s a part right before the chorus that goes “Zero Zero Lucky Bang”—we shot that part at an auction set in our music video. The point choreography is in that scene where we hold our bid cards up at the auction when negotiating.

Joohoney: Another point choreography would be where Hyungwon stands in front of the members and the rest of us align in the formation. We wanted to express how we set a target and complete the common goal while approaching it carefully as a group. I think it shows distinctive teamwork of MONSTA X, so please look for that part when we perform!

I.M: Among my parts, there’s a part where we all walk away in a cool way while being disguised as “gamblers.” I think that part turned out really well.

Q7. The solo activities of the members were also impressive during the period in between albums. Minhyuk, you are currently the host of “Vogue Ship Show” on Naver Now, and been on Seezn’s “Back to the Idol,” SBS “Inkigayo.” How do you feel about your solo activities?

Minhyuk: I feel so happy that I got to join different TV shows. I got to meet different people through “Inkigayo” and “Back to the Idol,” and got to learn new things while working with good colleagues. As far as “Vogue Ship Show” goes, I can truly show who I am as a person, as Lee Minhyuk, not as Minhyuk from MONSTA X, and I really liked it. I tried my best to be responsible when taking stories from people before I give any advice. My solo activities are meaningful to me as I, Lee Minhyuk, got to be a better person.

Q8. Joohoney, you participated in the remake of NS Yoonji’s “If You Love Me” as a featuring singer. How was that experience?

Joohoney: It’s been a great honour that I got to be part of “If You Love Me,” which has been a very popular song since it first came out. I really didn’t want to mess it up because the original song is just so good. So I tried to keep the vibes from the original song yet add my own style to it. I’m happy with how the remake turned out showing the vocal chemistry with NS Yoonji as I had fun recording it.

Q9. I.M, you have amazing records with your first solo EP, “Duality,” even though it didn’t have any special promotions. You ranked #1 on iTunes Worldwide Album Chart, Top Album Chart in 18 Countries and Regions, Chart-In on Worldwide Song Chart for all the songs in the album. Did you expect this achievement? How do you feel about it?

I.M: No, I did not expect that to happen at all. I spent a lot of time working on each song, and felt pressure since this was my first solo album since debut. The kind of music in my solo album was completely opposite to that of MONSTA X, and on top of that, I had no idea how the public would react to it as I would be evaluated as a solo singer I.M, instead of my group. I tried to focus on doing the music of my wish rather than caring too much about the results, but I’m really happy because it feels like my thinking, “let’s just be honest when it comes to music” was conveyed well to the audience.

Q10. Shownu is not participating in the promotions this time due to his diagnosis with Left Retinal Detachment. How has he been?

Joohoney: We were working on this album for quite a long time, so he was able to participate in the making process including the music video. But he still feels bad as he won’t be able to participate in any promotional activities. His medical team has told him that the condition’s getting better so we did V LIVE together celebrating our 6th anniversary. He’s currently taking a rest while monitoring and supporting us.

Q11. You’ve been getting much attention from overseas even though you were in between albums. You’ve had incredible results in Japan for your third regular Japanese album, “Flavors of Love,” and also had six sings ranked high on the Billboard’s World Digital Song Sales Chart. Can you share some of your thoughts on this?

Minhyuk: That’s one more thing to thank MONBEBE for. It didn’t actually feel real to me when I first heard the news because I had never expected it. I once again made a promise to myself to give that love back to MONBEBE who’s made this possible.

Kihyun: I was even more surprised to find out about the Billboard chart because it’s been a while since those six songs were released. When I heard that it was a surprise event by our fans to promote us before our comeback, I felt truly touched, thinking, “Do we deserve to receive this big surprise?” I’m sincerely grateful for our fans.

Joohoney: It really got us motivated, especially considering that it happened right before our comeback. I could feel my heart warm up because I knew that it was to support us. MONBEBE’s love and support are truly the motivation for all our activities. So if you, MONBEBE, continue to be with us, cheering us on, we will do our best once again for this promotion.

Q12. Not long ago, you celebrated your 6th anniversary. At this time of your 6th anniversary, how do you feel and how do you want to meet your fans in the future?

Kihyun: What I think about the most these days is that if we didn’t have each other, we wouldn’t have been able to come this far. It’s not enough to simply say thank you to the members and fans who have been with me for the past six years which is more or less short but also long. We will continue to work hard to be a group that makes MONBEBE proud in every aspect.

Minhyuk: MONSTA X, who has been running nonstop for the past six years, was possible to come this far because the fans were with us. We always mention “MONBEBE” saying that we love them, which is a direct message from us to show how much we think of them. I hope that we can say “I love you” to each other even after the years have passed.

Hyungwon: It's kind of awkward to say that we are at our 7th year of activity. A lot of things have happened to all of us and I really hope that we could keep this wonderful relationship with our fans. Making many other meaningful memories with our fans is one of my wishes and I really hope our fans can look forward to MONSTA X who will continue to develop in the future.

Q13. What review do you want to get for “One Of A Kind”? Is there any goal you want to achieve this year?

Kihyun: Complete MONSTA X. I want to hear people say that MONSTA X is a “complete band” in every aspect—musically, performance-wise, etc. Among all the concepts we performed on stage, I’m confident that the audience can see fresh sides of MONSTA X through “GAMBLER.” I hope that we finish the promotions for “One Of A Kind” well, and wish to meet our fans in person if possible.

Joohoney: I don’t want to hear people say “the same old MONSTA X.” That’s why we keep challenging ourselves by trying out new things, including musical aspects. “One Of A Kind” is an album that’s conveying those messages. We want to be that kind of group that can really carry our nickname, “legendary performance group,” who is fun in many different aspects.

I.M: I would like to prove that MONSTA X is a group of no limit through “One Of A Kind.” I think it’s such a difficult thing to be a group that can pull off various styles and genres in their own style rather than being a group that can only be defined by certain styles. I want to be that group, achieve that difficult goal, with the rest of the members. In addition to working actively, it’s one of the most important goals to successfully spend the rest of 2021 without anyone getting hurt, like we always say.

Q14. Is there anything you want to say to MONBEBE?

Minhyuk: I will greet you with our cool performance on stage as all of you have been waiting for us. We really worked hard for this album so please stay tuned. I can already imagine MONBEBE liking it because the performance we prepared is very powerful. Thank you so much for always being there for us. Let’s stay together for this promotion as well. I love you.

Kihyun: I feel bad that we can’t meet in person for our performance due to the pandemic situation. Since the opportunities to meet would be less than before, we will try our best to communicate in different ways including V LIVE and others. So please have faith in us and wait for us.

Hyungwon: I’d like this promotion to be something that makes MONBEBE smile and be happy, watching us. We always get our energies from the support and love from MONBEBE, so if MONBEBE could feel better because of us, MONSTA X, there’s nothing more I can ask for.

Joohoney: It’s the first time promoting the title track I wrote and I feel like it’s going to be a special one for both me and MONBEBE. It’s all thanks to MONBEBE who’s been playing a key role for me to grow as a musician. I made the song thinking of MONBEBE who’d love it so I hope you actually do.

I.M: Dear MONBEBE, thank you always for being there for us. I don’t know if we can give back all the love you’ve shown us, but we worked hard on this album for MONBEBE. I will also do my best so I can give you all positive energy. Please stay together with us, thank you in advance.

You can check out the Gambler MV below:

ALSO READ: MONSTA X releases first teaser for MV of GAMBLER, title track of upcoming album One Of A Kind

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