[INTERVIEW] DXMON Dares to Be Different with Blazing Debut

In the ever-evolving K-Pop landscape, making a memorable first impression is crucial. As countless aspiring new groups vie for attention and aim to make their mark, SSQ Entertainment’s rising rookie group DXMON dared to be bold and different. DXMON, derived from the Greek word ”Daimon,” made it their mission to seize control of their destiny and turn their dreams into reality. Prioritizing their individuality and embracing their boldness, they kicked off 2024 with their striking debut.

Prior to their debut, members Minjae, Seita, Hee, TK, Rex, and Jo were sent on a two-month training stint in Japan. Under the mentorship of instructors such as Kazu, a legendary Japanese dance team STRUT member who gained popularity for their dynamic and innovative choreography, they found inspiration and drive to improve their skill sets. Their training journey then led them to the United States, where they trained in various dance styles and found their flair under the guidance of instructors such as Ivan Maric, Chris Wilks, and Michal “Mehow” Hendzel. Through these experiences, the six-piece group began fanning the early sparks of their career. 

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DXMON’s journey began on January 1 as they rang in the New Year with their pre-debut single, “Burn Up.” The powerful hip-hop trap track reflected their confidence and desire to burn brightly amongst the rest with lyrics like “Burn Up / We’ll burn everything from now on.” The lines “Flip the flow, we’re like the joker / Freaky weirdos” resonate with DXMON’s daring visual style, demonstrated by Hee and Jo sporting vibrant blue and red hair, respectively. Jo’s liberty-spiked hairdo, reminiscent of the 70s punk era, particularly captivated audiences. Following the group’s debut and numerous appearances on music shows, Jo’s distinctive “Mr. Sunshine” hairstyle turned him into somewhat of a TikTok icon, often seen alongside other K-Pop idols participating in DXMON’s “Burn Up” challenge, radiating like a rising sun. By embracing unconventional styles and pushing the boundaries of traditional K-Pop aesthetics, DXMON asserts themselves as “freaky weirdos” who aren’t afraid to stand out.

On January 17, DXMON officially debuted with the release of their first mini album, HYPERSPACE, featuring the double title songs “Burn Up” and “SPARK.” While the former exuded the group’s boldness like a blazing bonfire, “SPARK” symbolizes a flickering ember. The laid-back, smooth R&B track is juxtaposed against its title track counterpart to reflect the members’ feelings during their trainee days. Through phrases like “You make me feel a spark” and “heart is beating,” they express their excitement and kindling passion ignited by pursuing their dreams. The album also consists of two B-sides, including the album’s rap-only track, “N.W.B” and the bright and bubbly closer, “Very (딸기도둑).” Through these songs, DXMON expresses their underlying passion and energy for music.

In an industry that’s becoming more competitive every year, DXMON are playing in their own league and carving out their place in the music scene. In an exclusive interview with Kpopconcerts.com, DXMON reflected on their debut promotions, shared their dream stages, and more.

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KPC: Congratulations on your debut with HYPERSPACE! From the music to the styling, DXMON truly kicked 2024 off with a bang. How has the experience been so far?

MINJAE: First of all, thank you! I have been truly happy. I’m looking forward to how we’ll perform in the future and as much as my anticipation grows, I want to give my all in future works too!

SEITA: I felt like I learned a lot more by performing in front of fans compared to practicing by ourselves in the practice room. I also think we received a lot of help and support from our fans!

HEE: It was a lot more fun and happy to promote as a group than I ever imagined. I thought, “These moments are where happiness is.”

TK: First of all, it was a very new experience that I’m honored to have. Everything seemed new, but I was so happy! I just want to send my gratitude and love to our fans.

REX: It was a very fun and meaningful time because it was my dream to debut. I hope to continue to have fun and happy promotions with our fans!

JO: I haven’t experienced much yet, but during music shows, I have high anticipation that I just cannot wait to go on to the stage! I get to see the fans closely at fan sign events, and I feel more energized by seeing how many people like us. Thank you always and I love you~. 💕💕

KPC: In your own words, can you explain the meaning behind your group name?

MINJAE: I think we’re a “group with six unique colors”. Our stylish aspects and energetic performances are the identity of our group.

REX: I would describe DXMON as “endless” because we can showcase overpowering performances and we’re passionate about our goals. We’ll show you the endless path that DXMON takes, just like our group name represents us deciding and determining our own destiny.

KPC: HYPERSPACE consists of two title tracks — “Burn Up” and “SPARK.” How was it learning the choreography and filming the music videos for two title tracks?

MINJAE: “Burn Up” and “SPARK” have acrobatic elements in each choreography, and we had some difficulties as we got minor injuries when we did those parts, but I think we did a good job thanks to our teamwork! Also, it was our first music video shoot, so we were nervous and excited. At the same time, we were worried if it would come out well, but we did our best which I believe led to very cool music videos!

SEITA: We filmed our first music video in the U.S. There were a lot of difficulties because it was our first time filming, but we had a lot of new and interesting experiences and good inspiration while staying in the U.S. Those moments helped us to have fun and maintain high energy together.

HEE: Both choreographies incorporated powerful performances, so I had a hard time learning them. However, when we were filming the music videos, I was very happy and had a lot of fun!

TK: The choreographies for “Burn Up” and “SPARK” definitely weren’t easy, so there were a lot of ups and downs while we were learning them. There were also a lot of modifications for both choreographies so it was quite challenging, but overall it was a great experience! It was our first time filming a music video, so it was very new to all of us. This experience still remains a vivid memory.

REX: Filming the “Burn Up” music video was interesting because we got to experience new things and witness various aspects in a desert-like setting. It was nice to shoot a music video for “SPARK” with a pretty background, tall skyscrapers, and a feeling of freedom.

JO: I feel more attached to “Burn Up” especially because there were a lot of modifications in the choreography. For the choreography for “SPARK”, it felt like a whole new adventure for us so it was very interesting and exciting. I remember filming a music video during the peak of summer in the U.S., and I was drenched in sweat. Also, I had to wake up before any members because I had to create “Mr. Sunshine” with my hair, which was a memorable time. Overall, I had a lot of fun filming music videos for the first time in my life.

KPC: You all received training in both Japan and the United States. Can you share your experience and the biggest takeaways from each visit?

SEITA: In the U.S., I learned a lot about having confidence and expressing my unique charms and colors. From that experience, I was able to show myself more confidently while promoting our debut album.

REX: I think I gained more ambition for rap in Japan. When we were listening to each other’s mixtape, we shared a lot of healthy rivalry and motivation. In the States, I got to think a lot about dancing. We met many great instructors, and they were even more amazing in person, which motivated me to work harder to reach their level as well!

KPC: The album starts off strong with the rap-only song, “N.W.B.” What was it like recording a rap-only song and did you have to approach it differently from the rest of your songs?

HEE: I paid a lot of attention to the rhythm while recording it. The song itself is very rhythmic, so I really wanted to accentuate those rhythms.

TK: The first thought I had upon hearing “N.W.B” was that its style is very different from other songs. For other songs, I tried to give more power and articulation while recording. For the recording of “N.W.B,” I tried to loosen myself up as much as possible and bring out my cool side.

KPC: “Burn Up” reflects the members’ confidence and ambitions towards your new beginning as DXMON. How were you all feeling preparing for your debut and how are you feeling now that you’ve finally started this new chapter in your lives?

MINJAE: This is just the beginning, so I look forward to showing you many more things in the future! We always strive to be the group that gives the best at all times.

HEE: While preparing for our debut, there were challenging moments but I endured them by focusing more on practicing. Now that we’ve debuted, I am extremely happy and ready to show everything I’ve been working for.

JO: I remember dedicating myself to practicing and thinking, ‘I’ll give my all!’ After debuting, I think I should work even harder, with more energy.

KPC: “SPARK” figuratively expresses the emotion of love and challenge towards reaching your dreams. What ignited your passion for music and led to you pursuing this career path?

MINJAE: When I was in middle school, I saw BTS’ “DNA” performance and thought, “Wow, that’s so cool. I want to be on stage, too.” That is when I became interested in the job as an idol!

SEITA: My sister liked EXO, so I listened to K-Pop little by little. When I saw a live performance by BTS on television one day, I was deeply motivated and started to dream of becoming an idol.

HEE: I liked rap since I was young and tried to rap along to music. After watching how cool and confident K-Pop artists looked on stage, I wanted to become a K-Pop artist as well.

TK: When I was young, I watched BTOB’s “Movie” performance and dreamed of becoming a singer and making music! In that performance I saw, they looked really cool and happy, so I thought, “Wow, I want to be just like them.”

REX: I wasn’t interested in this career at first, but I was drawn to dancing, singing, and rapping when I had free time at home. At some point, I started thinking, “I want to do that, too,” while watching videos of other senior idols. That’s how I naturally became passionate about music.

JO: At first, my parents encouraged me to get into this career. As I got to experience it more, it suited my aptitude and I had a lot of fun so I dreamed of becoming a singer!

KPC: The song title “Very (딸기도둑)” also means “Strawberry Thief” in English. Can you tell us a little bit more about the meaning behind the song title and how it ties into the song itself?

TK: “Very” is a song about DXMON’s perspective of fans. You can feel the soft and heart-fluttering emotions in the lyrics as the song expresses DXMON’s view on capturing our fans’ hearts!

KPC: Of all the songs from HYPERSPACE, what are each of your favorite lyrics that personally resonate with you the most?

MINJAE: There is a line in “Burn Up” that goes, “From now on, we’ll burn everything down, Burn Up.” I can especially resonate with this line because it announces our beginning!

SEITA: I think the lyrics “Doing as I please, free-spirited sucker, flip the flow, we’re like the Joker” express DXMON well, so I can relate to this part.

HEE: “We poured in everything here, come up” [from “Burn Up.”]

TK: I would choose “You’re very, very, very pretty” in our B-side track, “Very”.

This is a message that I want to send to our fans, and all members relate a lot to the overall message in this track.

REX: I like SEITA’s part from the second verse in “SPARK” that goes, “The picture looks great, I wonder if this is a dream.” Right now feels like a dream for me, so it made me feel somewhat emotional when I heard it.

JO: I think I can relate to the line, “Burn Up, we’ll burn everything from now on” because this is something I think about before going up on every stage.

KPC: What are some of your favorite activities to do to relax, unwind, and have fun outside of work?

SEITA: I enjoy watching dramas or movies with HEE using the projector in my room!

REX: I love shopping! Buying accessories and clothes is always fun for me. I also like playing games, sports, and working out, preferably without using special gear or machines. 

JO: I usually like to watch fashion show runways or ski, even though winter is almost over now.

KPC: If you had an unlimited budget to produce your own mini-concert right now, what type of production elements (stage design, special effects, props, etc.) would you want for each of your song’s stages?

MINJAE: I want to perform “Burn Up” with many dancers while there are fireworks in the background. For “SPARK,” it would be cool to perform on shallow water that gives the illusion of the ocean. And for “N.W.B,” I picture us performing on a spaceship. For “Very,” I want to perform that song on the rooftop of a very tall building when the sky is blue and clear!

HEE: It would be great to have strong fire effects for “Burn Up,” a dreamy, mysterious background and small electric elements for “SPARK,” and cute props for “Very.”

REX: When JO first appears, it would be cool if we’re holding on to him by his lower body and he comes down from the sky. Also, I think it’ll be cool if we jump out one by one using a jumping machine during the rap part in the second verse of “Burn Up”!

JO: Well, I want to make “N.W.B” performance fun by having many classic cars and cool dancers in the back, adding a true hip-hop vibe. For “SPARK,” I want to use firecrackers! I want to add the Eiffel Tower from Paris or the night sky in the background! I thought this song would go well with Paris, don’t you think so?!

“Burn Up” has a lot of percussion instruments, so I think it would be great to arrange it with a traditional percussion instrument. I also want to have some type of fire element coming from the bottom, making the audience say, “This stage is awesome!”

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KPC: If you could design DXMON’s fan lightstick for this concert, what would it look like and why?

SEITA: It would be nice to have a cute trident with three lights in each prong!

TK: It would be great if the light stick was designed in the shape of cute horns, haha. I’m a big fan of the color red so I hope we get a red lightstick!

KPC: Thank you for your time! Do you have any messages you would like to leave for your international fans?

JO: We had such a great time! Thank you for your support and love for DXMON!!

REX: I really want to meet more fans. I want to meet more fans overseas as soon as possible. Please keep watching DXMON and our activities until then. Thank you.

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