Choi Jun-hong (Hangul: 최준홍; born October 15, 1996), better known by his stage name Zelo, is a South Korean rapper, singer and beatboxer and dancer best known as the former member of the South Korean boy group B.A.P. He made his recording debut with the single “Never Give Up” under B.A.P’s sub-unit Bang&Zelo in November 2011. He departed TS Entertainment in December 2018.
Zelo was born on October 15, 1996 in Mokpo, South Korea. He graduated from School of Performing Arts Seoul in 2015.
Zelo serves as the lead rapper, dancer, as well as being the youngest member of the group.
On December 2, 2018, following the expiration of Zelo’s contract with TS Entertainment, he decided not to renew with the company. He officially departed from the group on December 24, after finishing the European leg of B.A.P’s 2018 tour.
Zelo is the second rapper of the group. He also named 50 Cent and other rappers as his musical influences.
For Zelo’s work with B.A.P, see B.A.P’s discography.
Zelo was featured in a track on labelmate Song Jieun’s 2013 digital single album, Hope Torture. Zelo and Jieun performed their collaborative track, “Vintage” during a showcase for the album on September 30, 2013.
On March 9, 2015, V-Hawk of DPR Crew released “R(x)PLAY”, a free single featuring Zelo. “R(x)PLAY” was Zelo’s first independently-produced track and arguably the first track of his professional career that could solely be categorized as belonging to the rap genre.
Not long after the release of “R(x)PLAY”, Zelo announced via Twitter on March 26, 2015 that he would soon release an independently-produced solo track that he had worked on while on hiatus in Canada earlier in the year. Zelo had previously alluded to solo work via his Instagram account at the end of 2014, when he posted a photo of himself and members of the Toronto-based production company Soundsmith Productions. His solo track, entitled “No-Title”, was released by Zelo via a SoundCloud account on May 21, 2015. “No-Title” was Zelo’s first self-composed track, for which he wrote both the melody and lyrics. It was produced by Soundsmith Productions and mixed by Sunny Diamonds as credited on Zelo’s SoundCloud.