MONSTA X Takes Over BUILD Series NYC

MONSTA X Takes Over BUILD Series NYC

MONSTA X is back in the United States for their The Connect Tour, promoting their new album and meeting Monbebes all over the country. The group played a sold-out show in Newark, performing 24 songs, including their hits “Rush,” “Trespass,” newest single “Jealousy,” and covering Bruno Mars and Drake with “Versace on the Floor” and “Fake Love” respectively. MONSTA X’s latest release, The Connect: Deja Vu, has landed them a spot on the U.S. Billboard Charts and spins at radio stations all over the country. Interviewed by Billboard’s Kevin Kenney, MONSTA X got up close and personal with their fans at BUILD Series NYC.

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While the group was scheduled to take the stage only at 5 p.m., Monbebes showed up the night before to guarantee a spot to see their favorite idols. There was no one who could walk down Broadway on their way to Starbucks, Bobst Library, or Soul Cycle without hearing “Who the X?” at least once, seeing members’ faces on posters, or someone shining their Monlight, Monbebe’s nickname for the group’s official lightstick. Those waiting outside to guarantee their seats, along with those hoping to get a glimpse of their bias as they walked in and out, had the chance to prove their MONSTA X knowledge during the pre-show with a fun trivia game. BUILD Series generously prepared pins, bracelets, lightsticks, and other goods to gift fans with. They even had a few albums on deck!

 All photos by Mike Pont

All photos by Mike Pont

After a mysterious black van parked just next to the crowd, getting everyone excited just before driving away (wrong address, go figure), MONSTA X’s van (for real this time) made its way through the crowd…and had everyone waiting until the boys were ready to enter the building. But all went well! Monbebes were patient and just as warm and welcoming once the group eventually exited their van and entered the building. Shortly after, fans themselves began taking up the comfy couch seats set up by BUILD, and Kevin greeted the crowd by talking about the concert that happened just the night before.

BUILD Series’s studio was soon as filled as it could’ve been with Monbebes eager to take part in an intimate interview with MONSTA X. After a quick introduction, the boys walked, in taking their seats as the music video for “Jealousy” played, the crowd keeping their composure singing and dancing with the group. I have to tell you, it’s a one-of-a-kind experience watching a K-Pop music video, but it’s a whole other unique experience to watch a K-Pop music video surrounded by fans perfectly chanting the song while the members themselves dance in their seats right in front of your eyes.

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The members led the entire interview themselves, with the help of Kevin’s questions. Rapper I.M was the designated translator while Jooheon and Kihyun did their best to help. Mixing a few Korean phrases here and there, the group was even able to retell in perfect English an entire story surrounding language barriers in Mexico when not even translating services could help them order nachos. While Spanish might not be their strongest talent, beatboxing, singing, dancing, and being overall adorable surely is. As leader Shownu showed off his dance moves after saying he’d be a dancer if he wasn’t an idol, Jooheon beatboxed, followed by Hyungwon’s own beatboxing, being completely turned down by the rappers (the crowd loved it though, that’s all that matters). Kihyun teased the crowd with some vocals, Wonho jokingly copied Shownu’s moves, and Minhyuk had the entire studio swooning after saying he would’ve liked to be an elementary school art teacher.

MONSTA X was also wonderful while interacting with the crowd, sometimes even when they weren’t supposed to. In such an intimate environment, it’s easy for fans to get carried away and talk out of turn. We don’t blame them, but the members took it naturally and replied back, even if it was with just a nod or smile. I.M gave a heartwarming answer to an audience question asking what is the first thing MONSTA X thinks of when they hear “Monbebe,” which made waves both at the studio and online. As his response, I.M asked Tumblr’s Beatrice Vantapool “What Monbebes think when they hear MONSTA X,” and used her response as his own, “connection, great love, I know we are always connected.” The rapper’s response perfectly exemplifies the atmosphere at the studio: connection. There is no denying that MONSTA X and Monbebes truly operate as one.

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The Kraze got to ask our own question, and we were met with excited responses all over the studio. When asking “What song always makes the crowd go wild?” the crowd spoke for itself shouting out their favorite hits. Wonho was able to plug in a self-promotion of his own “From Zero” once Kevin asked the crowd to let the group themselves answer. While the interviewer did jokingly answer us with “all of them,” we believe he had the right answer from the get-go. There is nothing that MONSTA X does that Monbebes won’t receive with the utmost love and support and hype it until they physically can’t. Maybe they’ll even find a way then to keep on showing admiration and respect for their favorite group.

Check out more photos from the event!

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