Q: What are your thoughts about debuting?
Youngmin: I’m so nervous. Since we received a lot of love on ‘Produce 101 Season 2’, I feel we have just as much responsibility. In order to show a better side, I will work hard.
Donghyun: Since we showed various charms and abilities on ‘Produce 101’ Season 2, we want to get closer to fans with music this time.
Q: Lee Daehwi and Park Woojin participated in this album as well.
Youngmin: ‘GOOD DAY’ is a song that we practiced since our trainee days with Daehwi and Woojin. We thought it fit well with this album, so we chose ‘GOOD DAY’. I want to also promote with a four-person version when we all group together as a team in the future.
Donghyun: Although we ended up promoting separately from Daehwi and Woojin, we spent our trainee days together, so I hope we could all do well. We are encouraging each other.
Q: Did you prepare for your debut as soon as ‘Produce 101’ Season 2 ended?
Youngmin: After finishing the program and concerts, our company gave us 3 days and 2 nights off for working hard. I went to Busan and Donghyun went to Daejeon. As soon as we returned from our hometowns, we started preparing for our debut.
Q: I feel like you guys are probably stars of your hometown.
Donghyun: My long-time friends told me that they felt like I wasn’t their friend. (Laughter) They joked around, saying that it felt like they were watching a TV.
Youngmin: My father told me that how I look on broadcast is different than how I do normally. He told me I looked better on broadcast. (Laughter)
Q: You gained a lot of fans as well.
Donghyun: Although we’re very thankful that fans like us, we’re also worried on the other hand. Fans come to support us in front of our company. But there are a lot of cars passing by in front of the company and there isn’t a separate sidewalk. Since there isn’t a place for fans to stay at, I’m worried that they’ll get hurt.
Q: Even so, fans will give you great strength.
Youngmin: Our fans send a lot of letters. We read them all. We feel that we’re receiving love a lot through letters. They’re full of sincerity. The thing that was most fascinating for me was when they would say that they gain strength by watching us. I thought that was something only possible in dramas. It was really worth it.
Q: You gained a lot of nicknames as well. Is there a nickname you like?
Donghyun: During our group performance, I sang ‘Between Hongdae and Geondae’, and received the nickname of ‘Honggeonie’. A lot of people called me Honggeonie and I was able to receive interest. It’s a very meaningful nickname that I’m thankful towards.
Youngmin: I think I like my nickname of ‘Alpaca’ the most. I think I was able to be known to many people thanks to the nickname of ‘Alpaca’.
Q: WANNA ONE has their debut ahead as well. Do you feel burdened?
Youngmin: Aren’t there many teams preparing for promotions, not just WANNA ONE and us? Rather than feel it as a burden, I think it’s something that makes us happy. They’re friends that ran towards the same dream together. So I thought that I would be happy if I were to meet them on a music broadcast. At that moment, I would feel that a dream has become reality. Including WANNA ONE, I hope to hurry and see all of the other people on music broadcasts as well.
Q: You must feel sad about not being able to promote with Lee Daehwi and Park Woojin.
Donghyun: Since they are friends we trained together with, I miss them a lot. I believe they’ll do well with WANNA ONE promotions. Of course, I hear often that they’re working hard. I feel proud. Rather than be sad about not promoting together, I feel proud.
Youngmin: I was the oldest, but the two youngest ones left. Because they’re not in my sight, I was worried. I know that it’s really tough. They’re probably really busy from advertisement filmings to practicing their debut song. I feel sympathetic too. But since they’ll come out soon with cool sides, I’m looking forward to it.
Q: Trainees from ‘Produce 101’ Season 2 have started to enter the music industry. Is there a team you’re looking forward to the most?
Youngmin: Among trainees we were friends with, Kim Yongguk and Kim Shihyun are coming out. Since they’re coming out as two people like we are, I’m curious as to what kind of side they’ll show. Noh Taehyun hyung, who made a comeback with Hotshot, was also really cool. NU’EST seniors were similar in age with me during the ‘Produce 101’ Season 2 broadcast, so I was comfortable with them. However, since they are undoubtedly my seniors, I think I’ll have to bow to them in a 90 degree angle now.
Q: What kind of side do you want to show through MXM?
Donghyun: I think people may have the an initial bias that we’re hip-hop idols. Although it’s true that we have hip-hop music as a base since we’re coming from a hip-hop company, our dream is to be an idol. We want to show a bright and refreshing image. We hope to be artists who are able to do a variety of genres and not just hip-hop.
Q: What do you think is MXM’s biggest charm?
Youngmin: The meaning of MXM is ‘MIX & MATCH’. Our tendencies are very different. Starting from our tastes in clothes to the styles of music that we enjoy. They’re completely opposite. If I like hip-hop and R&B, then Donghyun likes acoustic and ballads. And I wear street styles while Donghyun prefers a dandy and casual style for clothes. But as we practiced together, that boundary disappeared. I think the chemistry that comes from our mix is our biggest charm. We will show a variety of genres and sides.
Donghyun: We’re not cute and lovey with each other. We’re a strange yet unique mix. (Laughter) It’s not like ‘Our hyung’, ‘Our Donghyunie’, but we’re rather on the tsundere style to each other. Won’t this be another type of charm?
Q: How did you feel finishing ‘Produce 101’ Season 2?
Donghyun: During then, I lived only thinking thinking about ‘Produce 101’ Season 2. So when I was eliminated, I felt like I lost my entire world. That’s how much of my every nerve I used in ‘Produce 101’ Season 2. However, I think that I learned a lot from the PD and writers while doing the program. I think at the end, I was able to wrap my thoughts refreshingly with a thankful heart.
Q: Between ‘Produce 101’ Season 2 and preparing for your album, which is harder?
Youngmin: I think ‘Produce 101’ Season 2 was harder. Rather than practicing, it was hard to get accustomed to it. Since there were a lot of cameras and staff members, I couldn’t get used to it. It was also awkward to make friends in an unfamiliar setting. However, I was able to quickly find a steady state upon receiving help from numerous staff members and friends.
Q: When were you the happiest during ‘Produce 101’ Season 2?
Youngmin: After finishing the ‘M! Countdown’ stage, netizens wrote comments like ‘Who is that red-haired person?’. I was fascinated and happy to see people recognize and like me.
Donghyun: I was the happiest after finishing the stage for ‘I Know You Know’ during our concept evaluations. It felt really good to hear the fans’ cheering. It felt like I did something. I think I really burned things up then.
Q: If you were to go on ‘Produce 101’ Season 2 again, would you?
Youngmin: When doing the program, I thought that I would never do it again. I repeated this tens and hundreds of times. (Laughter) However, I think I would try it again now. If it weren’t for ‘Produce 101’ Season 2, what kind of trainee could receive this much love? Thanks to the program, I’m able to do interviews like this and have fans recognize me. Although it was hard, it was a very valuable experience.
Donghyun: When I first thought about it, my initial thought was that it was really tiring, but when I think about it twice, I think I would go on it. I was able to feel an thrilling tension and it was a fun experience. I think I would do it again if told to.
Q: Is there an area you want to try out besides being a singer?
Donghyun: I want to try out acting. Ever since I was younger, I really liked Im Siwan senior. I always thought he was cool.
Youngmin: I like making things with my hands. I imagine making furniture later on in a work studio.
Q: Im Youngmin recently participated in recordings for tvN’s ‘Problematic Men’.
Youngmin: Because I normally like solving problems, I enjoyed watching ‘Problematic Men’. But when I went to the recording studio, I was really nervous. It’s also the first variety show appearance after ‘Produce 101’ Season 2. However, I was able to become accustomed to it quickly because the seniors treated me very comfortably and well. And because I am a fan of Block B, I especially wanted to meet Park Kyung senior. I was thankful because Park Kyung senior treated me kindly. Even though I’m a junior of many years, he bowed to greet me. He also cheered and encouraged me on, saying that I did well, so I was really touched. It was a really good experience.
Q: Lastly, a word to fans?
Donghyun: Thank you so much for cheering us on. It gives us a lot of strength. I hope you could also give MXM’s songs a lot of love as well.
Youngmin: I want to give back the love that we received during ‘Produce 101’ Season 2. I feel strongly about giving back. I will work hard in the future in order to meet the anticipation of fans. Please continue to give us a lot of interest.
TRANS. CR: BRANDNEWBOYS.WORDPRESS.COM (@WOOJINPRK)