Interview: I.M of MONSTA X on His New Solo EP, Writing Process, and More!

I.M is hitting the road on his much-anticipated first-ever solo world tour later this year.

By: May. 03, 2024
Interview: I.M of MONSTA X on His New Solo EP, Writing Process, and More!
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I.M, the artist known for being the youngest member of K-pop powerhouse group Monsta X, is back with his third solo EP, "Off the Beat". With six new songs, I.M is showcasing his growth as an artist while staying true to the themes that fans have come to know and love.

Listen to 'Off the Beat' and watch the music video for title track 'LURE' here.

In addition, I.M is hitting the road on his much-anticipated first-ever solo world tour later this year!

On the heels of the new album, I had the chance to chat with I.M about his writing process, inspiration behind his deeper lyrics, and more. Check out the full interview below!

Your new EP seems to show a bit of a deeper side of you in terms of the lyrics, where do you draw inspiration from for these deeper songs?

The creative process including the lyrics come to me naturally. And, finding inspiration is not difficult. I can be inspired by the smallest things in life including my mood, random thoughts and my surroundings. I guess what I’m trying to say is when I’m working on a new album or a single, it’s a reflection of me during that time. 

Your music is definitely known for having sensual themes that I know your fans always enjoy. Do you prefer writing those types of songs more or do you prefer the more emotional songs?

I definitely prefer sensual songs that play with deep, sensitive emotions. They’re not often talked about but we can all resonate with them at some point in our lives. 

Do you have a favorite song on this album?

I get this question asked a lot, but I really can’t choose one! They’re all my babies. 

What is your writing process like when you're preparing for a solo release?

When you’re writing a diary, you don’t have a set process. It’s the same with writing lyrics. You just have to start and let your thoughts and emotions lead you. There’s no set formula. I just try my best to concentrate on myself. 

What would you say are the differences between writing music for your solo releases vs. writing music for Monsta X?

When I’m working on my music, it’s just me, myself and I. I guess you could say there’s more freedom but the challenging part is that you’re sacrificing a lot of your personal emotions, which I’m sure many artists can resonate with. There’s no place to hide you know? With Monsta X, it’s more about finding the right balance and harmony between all the members and talking about ourselves as a group and a team. 

Interview: I.M of MONSTA X on His New Solo EP, Writing Process, and More!

How do you think you have grown or matured as an artist since last year's EP, Overdrive, or since your 2021 release, Duality?

I gain different experiences and feelings with each release and they naturally make my music more three dimentional. So, more depth and layers to my music. 

Your solo music has a pretty distinct and unique sound, but are there any other styles of music you'd want to try in the future?

Come to my concert and I’ll show you! You’ll have a good idea of what styles of music define me the best at the moment. 

A lot of your overseas fans have been hoping you'll go on tour soon, and are very excited that this was just announced!

Yes, I just announced my very first solo world tour! I’m so excited to meet my global fans. I hope to see you there! 

Anything else you'd like to share about this album, or say to your fans?

I’d like my fans to have the freedom to interpret my music however they wish. Music is about sharing and the beauty of it is that it can have so many different meanings and interpretations. I hope you’re happy and enjoying the album in your own way. 

About I.M

I.M (Im Chang-Kyun) is a member and the lead rapper of the Korean boy group, MONSTA X, who debuted in 2015. Even as the youngest member of the group, I.M has shown his talent and potential as a soloist through numerous mixtapes and solo EPs, where he contributed to the composing, arranging, and writing of the lyrics. His solo debut EP “DUALITY”, released in February 2021, has gained massive success with five tracks ranking in Billboard’s World Digital Song Sales Chart, reaching 8.5 million views on YouTube for his lead track, “God Damn”, music video and holds over 15.9 million streams on Spotify.

While remaining a part of MONSTA X, I.M is currently focusing more on his solo career. With the second EP “OVERDRIVE” released under Sony Music Entertainment Korea in June 2023, he showed a wider range of skills with a style change in his music compared to his work with MONSTA X. This EP ranked first in 14 countries on the iTunes Global Chart and achieved over 1 million streams within 24 hours of the release, which led to this  extended playlist to place on the Melon Hall of Fame. The album carefully sets out the musical worldview pursued by I.M as a soloist through deep, sophisticated sounds and delicate melodies. I.M has been showing great success and growth as he continues to reveal  a more unique side of him  as well as connects with his fans through his latest albums and singles, such as his debut EP “Duality," his last album “Overdrive,” and his latest single “Slowly.” All five songs in the “Duality” album charted on Billboard’s World Digital Song Sales Chart and has about 45 million all time global streams.

Follow I.M on social media: @imnameim on Instagram and @IMxSMEK on X (formerly Twitter).

Photo Credit: Sony Music Entertainment Korea Inc.


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