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“We’re all conflicted ultimately”

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“We’re all conflicted ultimately”

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Hyungwon pushes a tough piece of black material, threads roughly interlaced, beneath a microscope. He appears nearer, observing and taking notes of the varied substances made seen by means of the magnifying glass. Puzzled, he observes his environment, earlier than glancing on the large gap within the ceiling. The twist is then revealed: he himself is below a microscope of types, this time being surveilled by Shownu.

The 2-minute album trailer for ‘The Unseen’ then continues on this baffling hallucinatory journey by means of the world of Shownu and Hyungwon, as traverse into alternate dimensions that in the end lead again to the identical piece of material. This ambiguous, psychedelic introduction to the MONSTA X sub-unit units the right precedent for what they’ve in retailer for us; that “we’re all conflicted ultimately”, as Shownu describes.

Very like the threads of Hyungwon’s material, each single model of ourselves interweaves and merges to make us who we’re. Human beings are multidimensional by nature, however a few of these dimensions are born of perceptions from others, and will even be contradicting and complicated, however nothing is extra vital than who we actually are on the within. For Shownu x Hyungwon, MONSTA X’s first sub-unit, this idea of our innate nature and uniting these various sides of the self sits on the crux of their debut mini-album, ‘The Unseen’.

Shownu Hyungwon monsta x interview
Shownu x Hyungwon. Credit score: Starship Leisure

“One of many essential themes of the album is that there’s a ‘actual me’ and there’s a ‘me’ that I need to be,” Shownu explains in the course of the duo’s video name with NME from Seoul, every week forward of ‘The Unseen’’s launch on July 25. “The way in which others see me and the best way I see myself is completely different. I’m able to be all of them.” This can be a theme that exhibits up all through the album, however its sultry, laid-back lead single ‘Love Me A Little’ reinforces this probably the most, within the type of a message to a lover. “It’s extra targeted on love within the title observe,” Hyungwon – who co-produced, wrote and organized the observe – chimes in, describing the track as a plea to a lover to like them just a bit bit extra as they evolve as individuals.

However based on the duo, the focus of ‘Love Me A Little’ is definitely its accompanying choreography, devised by Shownu in collaboration with dance crew FreeMind. “The track focuses so much on the choreography and the efficiency, so it’s a track the place you may take heed to the observe whereas being visually impressed by the idea,” explains Hyungwon.

Shownu then opens up concerning the work poured into designing the choreography: “I’ve all the time labored with the choreography group and we have been capable of work by means of our completely different opinions [on the dance] collectively. However on this case, I made it and really directed it to the group first,” MONSTA X’s chief and essential dancer shares. “The expertise was very new for me and was positively not straightforward.”

If the tender attract of ‘Love Me A Little’ looks like a divergence from what we’re used to from MONSTA X, then the remainder of ‘The Unseen’ is a radical departure from the boyband’s consolation zone. ‘Love Remedy’ depends on a fab undercurrent of 808 bass, retaining instrumentation minimal because the duo’s syrupy vocals add an enthralling distinction to its weight. Shownu and Hyungwon then croon sweetly of their achievements on the smoky, piano-backed ‘Roll With Me’, whereas electro-pop synthesisers actually soar on ‘Play Me’. Even the boringly titled nearer ‘Gradual Dance’ is a dream-pop masterpiece with mild 8-bit notes sprinkled all through.

These songs current such a stark distinction to MONSTA X’s traditional repertoire that asserts Shownu and Hyungwon’s dexterity as artists with a fearlessness relating to exploring sounds. “MONSTA X, as a gaggle, has a particular form of power and energy that all of us have once we’re collectively, however this unit is easier and extra formal,” Shownu says. “We thought our course and kinds have been very comparable, so we determined to do that mission collectively. We thought [our] completely different qualities create a distinct form of synergy that works nicely collectively.”

That being mentioned, issues have been removed from breezy within the creation levels of ‘The Unseen’. “The rappers of MONSTA X aren’t on this unit, the track and our vocals are very completely different from the same old [MONSTA X] songs, so we did really feel slightly bit burdened as a result of the each of us needed to adapt to filling the songs on our personal,” Hyungwon factors out. At the same time as a producer, Hyungwon described producing for the sub-unit as a “new problem” for him, regardless of his wealthy expertise within the discipline. “Producing songs for the unit was very completely different from MONSTA X. I needed to assume extra about us as an alternative of the group as an entire,” he says.

Shownu Hyungwon monsta x interview
Shownu x Hyungwon. Credit score: Starship Leisure

Shownu and Hyungwon’s debut collectively additionally marks an vital milestone within the former’s profession – ‘The Unseen’ marks his first music since he was discharged from South Korean navy service earlier this 12 months. Hyungwon tells NME that work for ‘The Unseen’ had begun whereas Shownu himself was nonetheless within the navy, and that wheels for the true work have been instantly set in movement as soon as he was discharged.

“I used to be slightly fearful as a result of I needed to begin making ready [for the album] as quickly as I got here again from my service,” Shownu reveals, additionally including that his issues prolonged to a big change in dynamic when it got here to only the 2 of them. “However [eventually], I believe the idea and the tracks got here collectively very well and I’m excited to see how promotions will go.”

Their efforts have greater than paid off within the type of a musically cohesive report that speaks to their near-decade-long expertise as idols within the discipline. Whereas Shownu and Hyungwon deal with unravelling the metaphoric threads that tie who they are surely as individuals, the final word message of ‘The Unseen’ is to “love your self”, as Hyungwon enthusiastically exclaims, despite all of the complexities that include being human. “We all the time need our followers to like themselves and work on bettering themselves.”

Shownu x Hyungwon’s debut mini-album ‘The Unseen’ is out now



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