MONSTA X's KIHYUN Tells the Story Behind His Debut Solo Mini-Album, YOUTH

Earlier this week, MONSTA X's KIHYUN brought us deeper into his story as a solo artist with his first-ever mini-album, YOUTH, proving even further just how powerful he is as a K-pop musician.

YOUTH contains five stunning tracks, including the title track, "Youth," with an indie-pop feel that's sure to win over all kinds of fans with its crossover appeal. The new songs stem from his own personal stories, and the raw emotions he pulls from his own youth, which you can feel in every note of his voice. We had the pleasure of getting the chance to chat with KIHYUN about the new music, and why he feels they represent him so well as a solo act.

Sweety High: What does the mini album name YOUTH mean to you? Why did the title track "Youth" feel like the best representation for the mini album as a whole?

KIHYUN: My youth was filled with relentless nervousness and anxiety about my future. It was like a race where I needed to keep running without any specific destination in mind. These thoughts and emotions are exactly portrayed in all aspects of the title track, "Youth," from the concept films to the lyrics. So it was just natural to choose this song as the title track of this mini album since it seemed like the perfect fit.

KIHYUN Youth over books

(Photo credit: Starship Entertainment)


SH: What do you feel are the overarching themes of the mini-album? What kind of journey do you hope to take listeners on with it?

KIHYUN: I'm sure there are many of you who resemble my youth—constantly doing something to win the race and trying to excel at whatever you do. At the same time, you might be anxious about your uncertain future despite your struggles to do well. I hope this album can comfort, console them and make them think, "Oh, I'm on the right path. I must be doing something right!"

KIHYUN Youth holding hood of jacket

(Photo credit: Starship Entertainment)


Also read about: XIUMIN Shines on Radiant Debut Mini-Album, Brand New


SH: What was the inspiration behind the title track "Youth"?

KIHYUN: The first step of the album planning process comes from a meeting with our company staff, where we have an in-depth discussion about the overall logistics of the album. During that meeting, the keyword "youth" came up—just all of a sudden! So the inspiration behind the track "Youth" just popped up at the very early stage of this album planning process.


SH: What does it mean to you to release your first-ever mini-album?

KIHYUN: If the priority of my first debut single album was taking the perfect first step as a solo artist and showing my true musical colors, this mini-album is meaningful in that it helps define my next steps. I, myself, have also come to be able to get a firm grasp of my thoughts as a soloist.

KIHYUN Youth in cap with camcorder

(Photo credit: Starship Entertainment)


Also read about: WONHO Reveals the True Meanings of the Tracks on His Bittersweet Single Album


SH: What musical strengths have you been able to demonstrate as a solo artist?

KIHYUN: MONBEBE always says that I'm like a chameleon. I can fully absorb any musical genre and express many things through my music. That I can pull off my favorite rock genre while also being adept at assimilating other genres is my biggest musical strength that comes through more strongly when I'm doing solo work.


SH: Is there anything else you'd like to add?

KIHYUN: This album is the result of many people's hard work and effort. I hope the message lyricists, composers and directors wish to get through this album gets delivered to the listeners. I cannot wish for anything more. Please enjoy my mini-album YOUTH!

KIHYUN Youth give KIHYUNs in room

(Photo credit: Starship Entertainment)


For more from our K-pop favorites, click HERE to read our interview with EPEX on their latest EP.