MONSTA X on Their Relationship With Monbebe, Loving Fearlessly and Growing Closer to One Another

"When I go back, then can I see you forever?"

MONSTA X poses this powerful question on the closing track of their latest mini-album, Reason, and with the K-pop group's impending military enlistment, those words become even more profound. The phrase acts as a loaded promise of unwavering, unconditional love for those in their life, particularly the loyal fanbase of MONSTA X, commonly referred to as Monbebe. "We want our fans to remember our most special relationship is the one between MONSTA X and Monbebe," the group shares with us.

MONSTA X's search to discover the meaning of love is not a new journey, but one that traces back to their 2019 release, All About Luv. The group was left pondering whether they were a first choice ("Who Do U Love?") as they yearned to, one day, be someone's soulmates. But, in the short yet impassioned analysis of the need to feel desired offered in Reason, their growth is evident—with the help of Monbebe, MONSTA X has learned what it looks like to feel loved and love others in a way that transcends our innate flaws—a love that's existence they once questioned on "Someone's Someone": "Maybe this is crazy, crazy just to wonder, wonder if there's someone meant for you."

monsta x looking away group photo

(Image Courtesy of Starship Entertainment)

The members of MONSTA X are nearing a decade with one another, but Reason also tells, contrary to popular belief, that the K-pop veterans still don't have everything figured out yet. Sure, they might have mastered the art of lockstep choreography and possess superhuman-like vocal abilities, but at the end of the day, they're real people with very real emotions. They get so lovesick that they feel empty. They fall in love hard enough that they ignore the flagrant crimson warning signs. In their most vulnerable project to date, they prove that love is complex, messy and perhaps something we may never fully comprehend.

Thankfully, MONSTA X has each other (and Monbebe, of course) to lean on when life gets confusing. They're more like a family than coworkers. "We've come to know each other better than anyone else and are always there to support one another through everything," they explain. It's a testament to MONSTA X's loyalty to one another. They might not always be there for each other physically, whether it be due to a member going on hiatus to perform their mandatory military service or temporarily stepping down from group activities to focus on their mental health, but they will always be there in spirit because their bond is special. Simply put, they're one another's reasons.

kihyun leaning photo

(Image Courtesy of Starship Entertainment)

Following the release of Reason, MONSTA X sat down with us to further unpack the mini-album. Continue reading to hear the group discuss love languages, their relationship with Monbebe and what fans can expect in 2023.


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Sweety High: There are many styles of loving and types of relationships we may experience explored in this mini-album. For example, "Beautiful Liar," clearly depicts the passionate, shameless love we feel even in the most toxic relationships. Which song do you think best represents the way you love others?

Minhyuk: When I interact with my loved ones, I always say, "Who cares! It's okay, that's easy," to encourage them, so I think our track "IT'S ALRIGHT" is the closest to how I love others.

Kihyun: "IT'S ALRIGHT" is the track that best represents me.

Hyungwon: I would pick "LONE RANGER" because it's a track that expresses the heart of wanting to protect someone in any kind of situation.

I.M: It's "Deny" since it's about how you know it's not right but still choose to continuously love because you can't deny the emotions that you feel.

Joohoney: I think it would be "IT'S ALRIGHT" because it's about someone that might look cold on the outside but is completely devoted and soft on the inside.


SH: Hyungwon, Joohoney and I.M, you had the opportunity to collaborate while writing the lyrics for "Beautiful Liar." What was the experience like working together on this song?

I.M: It wasn't too different from the other times we've worked together.

Joohoney: It's always fun, and I want to continue working together in the future.

Hyungwon: From the perspective of someone performing the track, I felt proud to also participate in creating it. I felt more responsible this time, but I also thought it was a big opportunity to improve myself.

hyungwon joohoney i.m group photo

(Image Courtesy of Starship Entertainment)


SH: Joohoney, you worked with Ye-Yo! to produce "Crescendo," which has a unique production, as it combines the contemporary sounds of drill music with traditional Korean instruments. Where did you come up with this idea to incorporate the geomungo and the taepyeongso into this song?

Joohoney: The idea actually came to me very suddenly! I wanted to incorporate a traditional Korean vibe into the song, so I searched for different instruments to include and came across the geomungo.


SH: Hyungwon, your contribution to "LONE RANGER" is noted to be inspired by your diverse musical knowledge. Did you have any Western artists, films, or literature that inspired the production?

Hyungwon: I loved how we were able to show off a style that only MONSTA X can during our "Rush Hour" promotions, so I wanted to make this track an extension of that. I was also inspired by the movie Lone Ranger.

hyungwon solo photo

(Image Courtesy of Starship Entertainment)


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SH: The tracks on this mini-album explore raw, vulnerable emotions and relationships that often might lead to embarrassment or guilt. How do you find the courage to unapologetically love and share those feelings with Monbebe?

Joohoney: I find the courage to do so when I'm on stage and see Monbebe.

Minhyuk: I don't need courage because I always want to share my honest feelings with our fans at every moment.

Kihyun: I don't think it's about finding the courage to share. I share my feelings because through being a singer, I have to express and share my emotions with our fans to perform better and stay in good shape.

I.M: No special courage is needed because Monbebe are precious people to us, so sharing even the smallest things is enjoyable.

Hyungwon: I think it's because the trust and support we have for each other is well conveyed.


SH: Is there a message you hope Monbebe will take away from Reason?

MONSTA X: We hope Monbebe will know that they are the sole reason for MONSTA X's existence. The tracks on this album express a variety of different relationships, but we want our fans to remember our most special relationship is the one between MONSTA X and Monbebe because we have become each other's reasons.


SH: You are about to enter your 8th year together as MONSTA X. How do you think your relationship with each other has changed? Are you able to determine what it means to have each other?

MONSTA X: Over the past eight years, our relationships with one another have become more like a family. It means so much to us because as we've spent the past eight years together, we've come to know each other better than anyone else and are always there to support one another through everything.

monsta x standing group photo

(Image Courtesy of Starship Entertainment)


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SH: What are you most looking forward to experiencing with one another and Monbebe in 2023?

MONSTA X: We're so happy and excited to be starting off the new year with the release of our new album. We want to show Monbebe our new music and performances and make a lot of great memories together. There are going to be more opportunities to show different and more charming sides of us in 2023, so Monbebe can look forward to it!


SH: Anything else you'd like to add?

MONSTA X: We created this album with songs and concepts that we thought Monbebe would really enjoy, so we hope you give it a listen and love it.


For more on our favorites from the best in K-pop, click HERE to read our interview with HENRY on his comeback track, "Moonlight."