Monsta X (Hangul: 몬스타엑스; stylized as MONSTA X) is a South Korean boy group formed by Starship Entertainment through the 2015 reality show No.Mercy. The group is composed of seven members: Shownu, Wonho, Minhyuk, Kihyun, Hyungwon, Jooheon, and I.M.
The group debuted on May 14, 2015 with their first EP Trespass. In March 2017, Monsta X released their first studio album and final part of “The Clan” series, The Clan Pt. 2.5: The Final Chapter. In May 2017, the group signed with Mercury Records and made their debuted in Japan with releases single “Hero”. In April 2018, Monsta X’s Japanese single “Spotlight” received an official gold certification by the Recording Industry Association of Japan.
The group was formed as the result of a survival program called No.Mercy, which was launched by Starship Entertainment and Mnet in December 2014. Jooheon, Hyungwon, and I.M also released their song “Interstellar” on February 12, which was produced for the final mission by producer Yella Diamond.
Monsta X made their debut with the release of their first extended play, Trespass on May 14, 2015. Trespass includes seven different tracks, rapper Jooheon was the most involved member in the production of the album and composed several songs, including “One Love,” “Steal Your Heart,” and “Blue Moon”. Monsta X’s other rapper, I.M was also involved in the rap making of several songs. Kihyun and Wonho also contributed song lyrics for the album.
On September 1, the group returned with their second extended play titled Rush. The title track of the same name is described as a song representing the signature style of the group, produced by Giriboy. Keone Madrid choreographed the dance and Joo Hee-sun directed the music video. Rush contains six tracks produced by Mad Clown, Crybaby and Rhymer. Jooheon also took part in rap making for five out of the six tracks, while fellow member I.M was involved in four songs, including the title track “Rush”. In 2015, Monsta X also performed at the KCON 2015 in Los Angeles making it their first U.S. performance. At the 2015 Mnet Asian Music Awards, Monsta X received the “Next Generation Asian Artist” award. They were also awarded the “1theK Performance Award” at the 2015 Melon Music Awards.
In January 2016, the group joined a new variety program titled “MONSTA X’s Right Now”. In April 2016, the group participated on a Chinese survival program called “The Remix”, which was aired in June on Jiangsu Television. The show holds a remix competition in the program and each one of the participants receive a lesson from its assigned mentor and perform its stage by remixing representative Chinese music. Monsta X also appeared in a Chinese web drama Good Evening, Teacher, receiving positive responses from local viewers.
Monsta X’s third mini album The Clan Pt. 1 Lost was released on May 18 with the title track “All In”. The music video for “All In” was directed by filmmaker Shin Dong-keul, a former winner at the Canada International Film Festival, and is known for his dreamy and euphoric style in producing music videos. The album debuted at No. 5 on Billboard’s World Albums Chart and stayed for two consecutive weeks on it. On May 9, the group pre-released one of the album songs, “Ex girl” featuring Wheein of Mamamoo. The album is a starting of a large-scaled project called “THE CLAN”, composed of two and a half parts.
In July 2016, Monsta X held their first solo concert, MONSTA X The First Live “X-Clan Origins” from July 16 till July 17, which was successfully sold out in five minutes. In August 2016, Monsta X joined label-mates Cosmic Girls for a project unit group to promote KT’s phone fare service and to release music together. Monsta X’s fourth mini album and second part of The Clan series titled The Clan 2.5 Pt. 2 Guilty was released on October 4. The EP contains six tracks including the title track “Fighter”. In December the group was awarded the “Best of Next Male Artist Award” at the 2016 Mnet Asian Music Awards.
In January 2017, the group launched its own variety show called Monsta X-Ray through JTBC2. In March 2017, Monsta X released their first studio album and the final part of The Clan series titled The Clan Pt. 2.5: The Final Chapter with the title track “Beautiful”. The album debuted at No. 1 on Billboard’s World Albums chart with more than 1,000 copies sold, which makes it the band’s best sales week in America. Monsta X also ranked in the Top 10 of Billboard’s Heatseekers Albums chart and debuted at No. 10. Furthermore, the title track “Beautiful” debuted at No. 4 on Billboard’s World Digital Song Sales chart.
In May 2017, Monsta X made their debut in Japan under Universal Music Japan’s new label Mercury Tokyo with first Japanese single “Hero”, which contains the Japanese version of the groups previously released Korean songs, “Hero” and “Stuck”. First Japanese single “Hero” reached number two on the Oricon’s weekly single chart, Tower Records’ chart, and Billboard Japan’s weekly charts to No. 1 and No. 2 respectively. “Hero” is the only album from a foreign artist who debuted in 2017 to make it into the top three of Oricon’s weekly charts.
On June 19, Monsta X released a repackaged version of The Clan Pt. 2.5: The Final Chapter called “Shine Forever” which features the original songs from the album and two extra songs “Shine Forever” and “Gravity”. The music video teaser for “Shine Forever” was released on June 14. The title song, “Shine Forever” includes rap lyrics written by members Jooheon and I.M, which combines future base and hip-hop. The group started their first world tour, The First World Tour – Monsta X Beautiful in June. Monsta X aired the second season of Monsta X-Ray in July. Monsta X released a summer song, “Newton” on July 27. The music video for the song was produced by Yoo Sung-gyun of Sunny Visual.
On August 23, their second Japanese single “Beautiful” was released. The single album contains the Japanese version of “Beautiful” and “Ready or Not”. It reached number one on the Oricon’s daily chart. On November 7, their fifth extended play titled The Code with title track “Dramarama” was released. On the day of the album release, MONSTA X COMEBACK SHOW-CON hold at Changchun gymnasium. Following this on 14 November 2017, they won their first music broadcast award through SBS MTV’s The Show, with “Dramarama”. On December 18, the group released the special single “Lonely Christmas”, as a surprise special holiday release for their fans. The song was written, produced and co-composed by Jooheon.
On 13 January 2018, the group served as torchbearers on the first day of the Seoul leg of the Olympic torch relay in the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics torch relay. They showed their teamwork, with each of the seven members taking turns carrying the symbolic Olympic flame. Accordingly, the group officially released their third Japanese single album and their first Japanese original song “Spotlight” on January 31, containing the Japanese version of “Shine Forever”. They had previously performed this song in MONSTA X, Christmas Party 2017 . They also opened a collaboration cafe for a limited time from January 19 to February 18 at Shinjuku Box.
On February 22, the group’s official Twitter account revealed a poster for their second world tour, announcing that the first show will be held in Seoul at Jang Chung Arena on May 26 and 27. On March 26, the group officially released their sixth mini album The Connect: Dejavu containing seven tracks with the lead title track “Jealousy”, including “If Only,” co-written by Wonho, and “Special,” co-written by Jooheon. The title song of the same name is produced by Hayden Bell, Shane Simmons & Harry Sommerdahland. In this comeback, they won music broadcast award again through SBS MTV’s The Show. Monsta X cooperated with Lens Town, a widely known global fashion eyewear and contact lens company as models on April 11. They actively participated in the release process with Lens Town to produced their lens as “Monsta X lens” or MnX and the members coordinated their design and detail points. The lens released officially in May.
On April 25, they released their first Japan album Piece with the lead title track “Puzzle”. This album contains ten tracks, featuring the original songs from their previous Japan single album and four additional songs. Piece reached No. 1 on Tower Records’ chart all store, No. 3 on the Oricon’s weekly album and Billboard Japan’s weekly chart. Following this, on April 27, they started their first Japan live tour in Nagoya. On May 2, they attended the cultural festival “C-Festival 2018” as official ambassadors for its promotion, held by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Embassy of Thailand (Embassy of the Republic of Korea), Gangnam-gu, the largest public-private partnership event in Korea hosted by COEX.
On August 1, Monsta X released a music video for the title song of their most recent Japanese comeback, called “Livin’ It Up”. The single album was released on September 12.
On October 1, the group became a print model for Tony Moly’s new lip tint cosmetic line. On October 4, it was followed by a partial sponsorship by Italian clothing company Moncler in conjunction with their new flagship store in Minato ward, Tokyo. On October 7, Monsta X announced their second full album Take 1: Are You There?, scheduled for release on October 22. In addition, the group was selected by Capital One bank as the first K-Pop band to perform at the 2018 KIIS-FM Jingle Ball in Los Angeles on November 30, followed by San Francisco on December 1, Minneapolis on December 3, Boston on December 4, Philadelphia on December 5 and New York on December 7.