Out Now, Lifestyle, Cover Issue

On The Cover: TOMORROW X TOGETHER fronts our Feb 24 issue

On The Cover: TOMORROW X TOGETHER fronts our Feb 24 issue

There are seasons of growth, as there are its accompanying growing pains. Acknowledging these moments are what propels movement forward, deepening one’s understanding of themselves, what they stand for, and who they live for. TOMORROW X TOGETHER’s SOOBIN, YEONJUN, BEOMGYU, TAEHYUN and HUENINGKAI share their journey through life so far as they embrace their voice alongside their influence through the shimmering season of youth.

Cover: (On BEOMGYU) Jacket, polo, shirt, pants, all Dior Men; (On TAEHYUN) Shirt, shorts, belt, necklace, brooch, all Dior Men; (On SOOBIN) Sweater, pants, necklace, asymmetrical earrings, brooch, all Dior Men; (On HUENINGKAI) Jacket, polo, pants, asymmetrical earrings, all Dior Men; (On YEONJUN) Jacket, shirt, necklace, asymmetrical earrings, all Dior Men


Jacket, waistcoat, pants, all Dior Men

We suddenly have a cold winter morning. How are you feeling?
About winter? Honestly, I didn’t use to like winter. I’m the type who gets cold very easily, almost to the point of it being strange. I’m not a fan of snow, either. But things changed at some point; fans started telling me, “I think of SOOBIN whenever I think of winter,” or “You shine particularly bright in winter.” At first, I found it a bit odd, but frequently hearing those comments made me start liking winter without realising it. Now, winter has become my favourite season.

Like all seasons, winter holds unique memories — the smell of the streets and the sensation of cold air on the skin. How do you remember winter?
I immediately think of snowmen when I think of winter. My elder brother, sister and I made a huge snowman when I was really young. Everything from that day is vividly etched in my memory. It might even be the earliest recollection of my life.

I don’t know if it’s because of the early hour or if you’re normally a bit reserved, but you seem like a very quiet person. Quiet, yet with a strong energy.
As you said, I’m more of a calm and quiet person. Before I debuted, I practised as a trainee secretly without telling my friends. Everyone was very surprised when I made the announcement (about my debut). You asked what kind of person I think I am, right? I’ve been thinking about that lately. Right now, I love myself to the point where it might seem to be a bit too much.

But back around my debut, it wasn’t like that; I didn’t even acknowledge myself. It was frustrating not living up to the ideal image I desired. I disliked myself for failing to reach that. But now, I feel like I’ve become quite a cool person. I’m proud of being able to say this. I genuinely think I’m a decent person. [Laughs]

It’s common for people to go through phases of self-doubt and self-neglect. The important thing is overcoming that feeling and having the courage to take care of and love yourself. Has anything else changed between the time you debuted and now?
I feel I’ve truly become an adult now. I’m not sure if that’s really the case, but at least I feel like I’m getting closer to the image of an adult I admired in my younger days. It’s been a slow process, but I believe I’m getting closer to the ideal I aspire to. I’ve become stronger and more flexible in many ways.

You use the words “slowly” and “gradually” frequently. Where does your heart lean more — toward the curiosity sparked by unfamiliar things or the comfort derived from the familiar?
Originally, I preferred things that were familiar and comfortable. However, I’m experiencing and enjoying the fun of meeting new people and unfamiliar environments these days. In social life, there are times when you find yourself in unreasonable situations. Initially, I wanted to change those situations drastically, but things didn’t always work out as I wanted.

With more flexibility and adaptability, I can now laugh off most situations. It seems like my mindset keeps changing. Now, I feel I have the resilience to live confidently in any situation.

I agree. Even someone normally sharp and edgy tends to soften with time, for better or worse.
That’s right. As you said, initially, I adapted to others more out of consideration or without actively asserting myself. The result, though, is that I’ve become a more flexible person. I like that.

Do you have an interest in fashion in general?
Fans often pick me as the member with the worst fashion sense. [Laughs] I don’t really get it. But recently, my perspective on fashion has changed a bit too. I have an image I want to show and a style I want to build, and I’ve realised that fashion and style are effective means to express that. While I always used to wear comfortable clothes, I’ve been exploring various new styles recently. It’s fun. But fashion changes very quickly; if you blink, you might miss the latest trends. I feel like it’s fascinating but also quite challenging.

Jacket, sweater, pants, crossbody bag, necklace, all Dior Men

You’re wearing Dior Men for today’s shoot. How does it feel to be part of this?
I’m really grateful. Moreover, I take great pride in our entire team participating; this is a valuable experience. As an ambassador, I have many opportunities to wear different Dior Men outfits, and I think they have a dandy, luxurious, and unique charm. I’m looking forward to our collaboration.

Unlike the beginning of this interview, I can now see your distinctive subtle smile — the face I’ve seen on social media.
Oh, thank you.

How do you feel about your smile?
It’s a bit awkward to say it myself, but since I was a baby, my mom always told me, “SOOBIN, you have such a pretty smile. Show it to mommy.” I found myself smiling even more because my mom liked it. I take pride in having a beautiful smile. [Laughs] I have confidence in my smile, so I smile freely and live my life.

We’re still in 2023 today, but this conversation will be published in the February issue of 2024. How was 2023 for you as you look back on the past year?
Well, I wrote in the “Thanks to” section of our recent album that 2023 was my happiest year. As I mentioned earlier, up until just last year, I doubted myself a lot. If I were to put it another way, I felt like I was not walking by my own will but being pulled by something. As we diligently released albums and started the tour this year, all those doubts and worries miraculously disappeared.

What changed?
My self-esteem significantly increased, and I gained more pride. I also came to understand what dignity means. I no longer feel ashamed of myself. I feel proud and lovable both as a singer and as a person. Although I haven’t lived for a very long time, 2023 has been the happiest time in my life. It was truly the best.

There’s something about you — this bright and open person before me. The important thing is energy, and your energy is great.
The reason I’m happy like this now — I believe 80%, no, 90% — is thanks to the fans. The scale of our tours got bigger, and we released two albums in 2023, all thanks to the fans. I received so much love. This year, for the first time, I wholly absorbed the love that my fans gave me.

What does that mean?
In a way, until now, I unknowingly bounced back the love from fans; I couldn’t fully absorb it. It felt too big, and I wasn’t sure if I deserved that love. But this year, I truly absorbed the love fans gave me. It became a tremendous source of strength for me. In 2024, I want to be someone who not only receives love but also shares and gives it back.

When you see people who love and believe in you, you can’t stop moving forward; nothing else matters. For you, it seems that power comes from your fans. It may sound obvious, but I feel like it might not be. In the end, what lasts is love and trust.
That’s right. I’ve been thinking about the reason I can move forward with such confidence now, and as you said, I truly believe it’s all thanks to the fans.


Sleeveless sweater, shorts, all Dior Men

How do you typically spend your personal time?
I enjoy doing whatever I feel like. I went shopping and watched movies at night during my trip to Japan. I usually engage in various activities on my own. Lately, I’ve been revisiting the Avengers series.

What have you been watching lately?
There are so many series out there. I’m re-watching Eternals, Avengers: Infinity War, and the Iron Man series. As I progress through the movies, algorithm-generated clips keep catching my attention. I watch a clip and think, “I should watch this part again!” and search for it.

Marvel movies showcase a plethora of unique characters. Which character do you think is the most similar to you among them?
Hmm… Maybe Loki? [Laughs] Loki is my favourite. I sense a certain similarity.

Loki is quite the troublemaker.
Indeed, but if you look deeper, he’s loyal and charming. He’s a character you can’t hate. That’s me. [Laughs]

TOMORROW X TOGETHER is known for its compelling storytelling. The lead track of the third album — Chasing That Feeling — depicts a return to reality for personal growth.
I had much to think about in conveying the song’s essence; that was the most challenging part. I pondered on discovering my authentic self and made dedicated efforts to bring that to life.

Thanks to those efforts, you were able to conclude this promotion with good results.
I genuinely appreciate the overwhelming love we’ve received, but there’s still a long journey ahead. Despite my gratitude, I sense a certain unfulfillment within myself. There’s so much more I aspire to showcase different facets of myself, our music, and our performances. I’m diligently working toward those goals.

In 2023, you travelled across the world to meet MOA. Having people root for you everywhere must be a significant asset.
I’m very grateful. Wherever I go, people enthusiastically sing along to our songs in Korean. It’s overwhelming to hear MOA cheers before the performance. What’s interesting is that MOA from each country have their distinct characteristics.

The energy in the USA is unbelievably high, creating a party-like atmosphere, while in Japan, they hold their hands together while watching the show. [Laughs] Each country has unique characteristics, making each performance different and enjoyable.

How does it feel to perform with such enthusiastic crowds?
Since I was young, I’ve had a lot of different dreams, but ultimately, I’ve always wanted to be someone who brings hope and joy to others. I’m genuinely happy every time I perform. It’s not just during the performance but also when communicating with fans outside. I feel very rewarded when they tell me they’ve gained hope and strength from our songs.

You are known for being friendly to MOA. Being friendly also requires a lot of energy.
I think it’s only possible because those are my sincere feelings. I give a lot to the people around me — those I like, care about and rely on. They are also the people who give me strength, so I want to give them that in return.

You are a loving person.
I say what needs to be said when necessary, and it’s not always something pleasant. That’s just my personality; I can’t always say everything is good. Saying what needs to be said is for the sake of that person. I believe it’s best to mix them. If it’s good, it’s good; if it’s not, it’s not.

MOA says this about you, “YEONJUN is fearless on stage.” While preparing for this interview, I watched a video of you reacting to a song coming on suddenly on a dark stage. Seeing that, I instantly understood what they meant.
Ah. [Laughs] I remember that. I felt a song would come on at that moment, and it did, so I started dancing right away. It just happened reflexively. I always strongly feel that I shouldn’t disappoint; I try hard in that area every day. I practice consistently and have done it countless times, and that’s why it was possible.

Jacket, shirt, pendant earrings, shorts, Saddle crossbody bag, all Dior Men

It seems like you are growing alongside TOMORROW X TOGETHER’s story. Have you experienced any growing pains recently?
I feel a lot of growing pains these days. What occupies my thoughts the most is how I can develop as an individual and artiste, and contemplate the message I wish to convey to the world. As my exposure increases, so does my influence, and my words gain more power. This heightened visibility prompted me to reflect on my words and actions deeply.

Do you tend to push yourself to the limit?
I think so. My thoughts never cease; they persist and evolve. Amidst this, I mature, grow, and develop. I throw out a new idea, and then it develops from there.

What is something, if any, you want to improve on?
Addressing my tendency to delve too deeply. While I am generally optimistic, I recognise the necessity for balance. I find it hard to disengage once I’m immersed in something. Although I used to find relief in talking about these things, I tend to keep things to myself these days, just privately contemplating and arriving at my conclusions.

It’s been four years since your debut in 2019. How has it been as you reflect on this period?
I’ve worked hard. I’m here because of my past self, the me of back then, and I still think a lot about those times. It helps me get my thoughts together. I get positive thoughts and feelings whenever I look back on that time.

Have your goals and aspirations changed since then?
My goals and aspirations have grown significantly. I want our music to have a positive impact on everyone, and I seek to address aspects of the world that I find undesirable or unreasonable.

What is the best thing to do when the journey gets exhausting?
Time is too precious to spend feeling exhausted. The thought of giving up has never crossed my mind. “Even when tired, you must keep going.” It’s an obligation to me.

Could you give some advice to the youth walking a similar path to you?
I’d say don’t be afraid. While certain things may appear limited and unchangeable, there are no limitations in reality. I want to convey that their beginning is our beginning, and we are on this journey together, so there’s no need to be afraid.

You’ve explored a variety of concepts and themes. Is there one that particularly resonated with you?
Our work on OX1=LOVESONG (I Know I Love You) featuring Seori holds special significance. It allowed us to tell the stories we wanted to, and our youth, in our own way.

HUENINGKAI said the same thing.
Interesting. I’m confident the other members would agree as well. I aim to continue growing while maintaining our distinct character and uniqueness. Our greatest strength lies in being true to ourselves, and that will allow us to stay as we are for a long time.

What does it mean to “be like TOMORROW X TOGETHER”?
It’s hard to put into words; it’s abstract. I think we’re a group that can beautifully express the thoughts of our generation, along with their challenges and joys, like a movie.

You are an icon representing youth. What does “youth” mean to you?
It doesn’t matter what others think; if you feel like you’re in your youth, you are. I perceive it as a time when you can pursue anything without calculation while embracing everything you desire. For me, that time is now.

Do you have a personal goal for 2024?
I want to write a lot of songs. I’m the type that takes a long time to complete a song, and I’m super frustrated right now because I’m stuck with the one I’m working on. Sometimes, I write quickly, but once I get stuck, it takes me a long time. Next year, I want to compose many songs and showcase more facets of myself in various ways.

Looking back, how was 2023 for you?
Another year of hard work. I may not be entirely satisfied, but, as always, I have no regrets.


Shirt, shorts, necklace, brooch, all Dior Men

Your voice exudes an intense energy.
Today, I’m wearing the Dior Men outfit specifically chosen for the photo shoot, and it’s stunning. It heightens my confidence for the shoot, and I look forward to the other outfits.

This contrasts with when you performed a solo dance at the MTV Video Music Awards; you’re smiling brightly now.
I was pretty tense on that stage. [Laughs] Maybe due to nervousness, There’s also a part of me that becomes more composed when performing.

You become more composed on stage?
I have to in order to handle mistakes from myself or the other members more flexibly. I tell myself, “We made a mistake, but it’s okay. Don’t be shaken; we can’t also mess up the rest. Pull yourself together!” I prepare my mindset in that way.

Even the thought of it is intimidating.
There have been many incidents, but on stage, I tell myself, “What’s done is done; focus on what’s left!” However, my mental state is shattered, truly shattered, once I step off the stage. [Laughs]

But even so, I didn’t know how to handle things like this in the past. When I let my emotions take over, the rest of the day becomes too difficult. I’ve become more adaptable, acknowledging and preparing for what comes next.

Not letting emotions take over sounds challenging.
Honestly, there are times when it feels unfair. [Laughs] I feel like that when I make a mistake, even when it’s not mine or if everything is perfect except for the camera angle. It’s so hard for things to fall perfectly into place. It almost never happens.

Regardless, do you have a performance you consider perfect and the best in your life?
The VMAs performance. I was always nervous about any performance, and that was my first solo dance performance, so I was even more nervous. It felt like my heart was about to explode until the music started. Overcoming that fear was an accomplishment in itself. That performance helped me reach the next level, and I loved that sense of accomplishment.

How did you manage to headline a huge stage with a solo performance?
I appealed a lot to our producer, saying, “I wish I had the chance to showcase more of myself on stage,” and “I can perform really well if given the opportunity!” [Laughs] That opportunity turned out to be the VMAs.

What does a stage mean to you?
It’s a platform where I can most express myself and showcase my true colours. It’s a place where my efforts manifest as results. I always yearn for more recognition, so each stage feels new.

Is there anything as new as a stage to you that consistently evokes new feelings?
For me, it’s music. It’s perpetually diverse and fascinating. It feels different depending on the situation in which I sing, and every time I listen, it’s different too. There’s music I choose when I’m sad or driving, when I want to be alone, or when it’s raining — I have a playlist for every occasion.

I believe different music represents my emotions in various ways. To me, music is emotion.

Music is emotion. What song have you been listening to frequently lately?
I’ve recently been listening to the music of an indie artist named Heo Hoykyung. It’s the first music I play whenever I return from an overseas event. I listen to it as soon as I board the plane before drifting off to sleep and replay it as I wake. I genuinely love her songs.

Jacket, pants, Saddle crossbody bag, all Dior Men

Any specific reason? Why is it your go-to music?
It calms me.

I heard your MBTI is “F”, and you love the sky. I also like gazing at the sky.
I would always gaze at the sky after practice [tilts head] like this back when I was a trainee. I don’t see the sky much these days, but it feels comforting during outdoor shoots or when I catch a glimpse of the sunset. It makes me think, “Autumn is passing, and winter is coming.”

How do you feel about the change of seasons? Do you enjoy it?
I go with the flow. [Laughs] Of the four seasons, I like spring the most.

Because it’s warm?
The sensation differs when it’s transitioning from cold to warm compared to hot to cold. The refreshing feeling when it warms up after the cold is truly amazing.

It sounds like you observe and feel everything vividly; you seem sensitive in a good way. How is it when you’re working?
If a song doesn’t immerse me, I don’t work on it. If I don’t understand when I first hear it or don’t know why I should write about a topic I haven’t felt emotionally connected to, I don’t do it at all.

I don’t know how to express emotions that I haven’t experienced before. I accept the fact that I don’t understand, and I prefer to focus on other songs.

That’s an honest approach. Is there a specific reason for writing your music and lyrics?
There’s a song I worked on as a trainee called Maze in the Mirror. It was my first self-composed song, expressing my trials, overcoming them, and growing from my trainee days until I debuted. When I confront what I feel through my work, it makes me reflect on myself again. It feels like I’m telling my real story, and I like that.

Is there something you would love to try in the future?
Lately, I’ve been contemplating experimenting with different styles. I’ve immersed myself in indie music and IU’s tracks. While their melodies are fantastic, the lyrics are truly remarkable. I’m fascinated by these songs filled with beautiful Korean lyrics. I think it’s truly amazing, and I’d like to work on creating a song with beautiful Korean lyrics only.

The coming spring marks TOMORROW X TOGETHER’s fifth debut anniversary. Do you feel the passage of time?
It went by so quickly. But if you were to break down each day, it felt very long because we always have things to do. This time, it was a comeback, and at the end and beginning of the year, it was award ceremonies and concerts. It felt like a repetition of the busy and intense times, but it was fun.

How do you navigate such long days?
I prefer living day by day. If I look too far into the future, it becomes overwhelming, so I say, “Work hard on today’s tasks.” Before going to bed, I check on the next day’s schedule and say, “Just focus on that.” I live like that. It has become routine, but performances are still new, fun, and exciting.

What do you need the most these days? Have you ever felt tired or bored with your routine schedule?
I like it now. Rather than experiencing big emotional changes, I find solace in this tranquillity.

Instead of asking what kind of person you want to become, I’d like to ask what you want to achieve. What are your current goals?
Albums are always important to me. I’m looking forward to the one coming out next year and its songs. If I have a New Year’s resolution, it would be for us to create an outstanding album! Something like that? [Laughs]


Cardigan, sweater, pants, brooch, socks, loafer shoes, Saddle crossbody bag, all Dior Men

It’s early in the morning, but I feel great energy from you.
I was like, “Wow, look at us! Dior Men ambassadors!” [Laughs] Wearing Dior Men outfits from head to toe for the photo shoot made me realise this is really happening. I love it.

This must feel special as it’s your first cover with Dior Men. Did you imagine these things, from being an ambassador to the Lollapalooza headliner, before your debut? How does it feel?
What I imagined and dreamt of are two different things, but they were all part of my dreams. I dreamt about these things. That’s why I consider my first Lollapalooza performance the best day of my life because it closely overlaps with my dreams. At that moment, I realised, “Wow, situations close to the dreams I had in the past are happening,” it made me really happy.

You seem to visualise your dreams vividly.
Even if they’re abstract, I think about them in audiovisual scenes.

What other dreams did you have?
Touring, of course!

That’s come true.
Yes, touring has become a reality. Some might say that everyone does world tours now, but touring is an enormous thing for me. Taking responsibility for a three-and-a-half-hour show with tens of thousands of people is no small feat.

The fact that we did it without anyone getting hurt, including the members, is significant. In reality, my dream is all about albums and performances. There’s nothing else.

Are there things you’ve done that you never thought you’d do, even in your wildest dreams and imagination?
I never expected to work this hard on music. [Laughs]

You’re laughing as if it was genuinely unexpected.
Yes, it was. I rarely thought about songwriting when I was a trainee. I never even imagined becoming a creator rather than just a performer. It naturally happened as I wanted to incorporate more of our story into our music. After that, I started feeling the desire to contribute to our albums.

When did you first feel that desire?
There were many moments. While practising our debut song, CROWN, I thought for the first time, “What if I try writing lyrics myself?” The idea of an artiste working on and presenting the music they want felt incredibly cool.

How is it being a creator now?
It’s very different, especially when singing the songs I worked on during a performance. There’s a song titled Thursday’s Child Has Far To Go; BEOMGYU created the track, and I wrote the lyrics and melody for the bridge.

Memories of the time I spent working on it vividly come to mind when I sang that song. I was alone in a small studio writing the lyrics; now, over 10,000 people are listening and singing along in front of me! It hits differently.

You’re very good with words; have you ever conveyed something through music that you found challenging to express verbally?
Ah, yes. Some members are good at expressing feelings in fan songs with just words. SOOBIN and BEOMGYU are particularly skilled at that, but I find it challenging to express certain things verbally.

I prefer showing things through actions. Saying something like “I love you” is still difficult for me. However, I do love them deeply. That’s why I often express those feelings through songs.

Waistcoat, shorts, asymmetrical earrings, Saddle crossbody bag, all Dior Men

You smile often. You enjoy both the process of creating and presenting your work.
I thoroughly enjoy the songwriting process when I have the time to work on music with a theme and a computer. People often ask me where my inspiration comes from. In reality, the inspiration to write a song comes from having a desk and a deadline. [Laughs] But I consider it a very healthy approach.

You seem very articulate and resolute in your thinking; you’ve had almost no hesitation during this interview. How would you describe yourself?
You gave a good description.

I try to be that kind of person. The word “articulate” resonates the most. People often tell me, “You seem to read many books and think a lot.” But I’m not someone who delves deep into things; I think simply and move quickly.

That’s surprising. Today, you looked like you had everything planned in advance on set.
That’s true when it comes to work. In other aspects, I leave it to “Either this or that.” But when working, I’m constantly simulating, thinking about what might be better, what it would be like in this case, and so on.

What is the most enjoyable part, from completing an album to standing on stage?
The most enjoyable part? There are too many to choose from. I love the process of creating an album. Recording, completing the choreography, memorising it, and harmonising together is so much fun. The time waiting for the album to be released after all the preparation is the most difficult.

But when the album finally comes out, it’s so much fun. The same goes for preparing for a performance: “If we do it this way at this point, MOA will go crazy!” [Laughs] It often works out as planned when we simulate and prepare like that. In the end, it all culminates in an album or performance.

With your big eyes, your enthusiasm and passion are palpable. Fans also like that about you — your big, eager eyes. When does this usually happen?
It’s interesting that, even physically, my eyes get bigger. But it’s fascinating that people notice that glow. I think my eyes widen when I’m sincerely giving my all.

Is there a specific time when you’re particularly sincere?
Just yesterday, we had a video call fan event. I wanted to give each person the best moments; my eyes naturally got bigger as I focused on those moments.

In an early interview during your debut, you talked a lot about how to become “cool.” What do you consider cool now?
There’s not much difference from the time of my debut, but when I talk about “being cool” now, I think having a vision and achieving it are essential elements. I believe that’s where coolness comes from.

What vision do you have now?
My belief hasn’t changed since entering the scene and deciding to become the best from that moment. There are times when things go well and when they don’t, but I sometimes wonder, “Is succeeding every time meaningful?”

I believe every step of the process and those in the future will contribute to creating a compelling story for TOMORROW X TOGETHER. I hope we can continue producing excellent albums, delivering outstanding performances, and realising the envisioned scenes of the future together.

You’re ambitious. I can feel your passion, determination, and even competitive spirit.
That, too, applies only to work. [Laughs] I hate losing in areas where I’m confident and have convictions. But I don’t mind losing a hundred or a thousand times in areas where I’m not.


Harrington jacket, shirt, shorts, all Dior Men

How were the promotional activities for the third full-length album, The Name Chapter: FREEFALL?
I enjoyed them immensely. It provided an opportunity for genuine communication and connection with MOA. It was enjoyable throughout, especially because we performed songs I love. It made me happy.

What made it so enjoyable?
The cheers were particularly energetic; I received a lot of strength on stage, and it sort of had a healing effect. I also heard many positive words. It’s all thanks to MOA.

Being able to enjoy yourself like that indicates that you’re now more experienced. Do you agree?
Absolutely. I’ve gained valuable experience and learned how to present myself effectively with more time in the industry. Embracing a more relaxed approach and allowing for some leisure is perfectly fine.

I have confidence in my preparation and believe in showcasing what I’ve practised without overexerting myself because pushing yourself too hard often leads to undesirable outcomes.

You’ve done several overseas activities and met MOA from various countries. What do you think of that?
We toured many places, starting from Seoul. Despite the language differences, it’s remarkable that fans from different countries still love us and sing along in Korean. I’m truly grateful.

What was your most memorable tour?
Each one was so meaningful that it’s hard to pick just one. The first concert in Seoul was exhilarating, and the Asia and US tours also left vivid impressions. The energy at each venue was genuinely intense.

The last tour at the BMO Stadium in Los Angeles was an unforgettable experience.

Continually achieving career highs can sometimes create pressure because you feel you need to keep climbing.
I felt a lot of pressure with our last album because we needed to surpass our previous achievements. However, I reminded myself not to be overly anxious, and it allowed me to take a more comfortable approach this time.

“Don’t be anxious” sounds like “Let’s go at our own pace.”
Rushing can lead to stumbling. We’re navigating at our tempo — steadily and patiently. That’s something I feel confident about.

There is an aspect that makes me envious of artistes. Your promotional activities for each album capture yourselves at that time; albums can serve as journals.
Indeed. There’s a clear evolution between our debut album and our current one. The song 0X1=LOVESONG (I Know I Love You) is a personal favourite. The album The Chaos Chapter: FREEZEperfectly encapsulates the essence of the five of us. It’s an album that only TOMORROW X TOGETHER can present.

TOMORROW X TOGETHER often talks about growth and youth. What does youth mean to you?
There’s no definitive answer. For some, it could be school days; others might consider their 30s as youth. It’s a period you define. For me, youth is now — the time I spend with MOA.

What is MOA to you?
They are more precious than I am. Without MOA, there would be no me and no TOMORROW X TOGETHER. Our achievements are possible because of them. I reflect on this and appreciate it every day. Again, I want to emphasise in this interview that the fans are the power behind my self-esteem.

TXT has become the first idol group appointed as Dior Men ambassadors. How do you feel?
I’m extremely grateful. Being associated with Dior Men is a tremendous honour; they are exceptionally considerate and pay meticulous attention to every detail of our outfits. This has fueled our determination to work diligently as ambassadors.

Oblique jacket, polo knit sweater, pants, bag, all Dior Men

Moving forward non-stop can be tiring.
I thought I would get tired, but surprisingly, that hasn’t been the case; I’m just focusing on doing my best. Since MOA is cheering us on, I don’t want to let them down.

You’ve spent quite some time with the members. Have you discovered any new things about each other recently?
Since we’ve been together since our trainee days, we can say we’ve grown up together. Nothing has really changed; it’s always the same. I love that we haven’t lost our initial determination; we consistently work hard to achieve the shared goal of reaching the top. Lately, this dedication has been particularly evident, so I guess that’s something new for us.

Are you someone who expresses their emotions honestly?
I express myself as I am. I believe it’s much better to express things honestly to maintain relationships. If you hide problems, they can accumulate and explode later. It’s easier to address them right away.

Among all of your personality traits, is there one that you feel proud of?
I don’t get angry easily. I consider that a significant advantage; I’m able to control emotions and maintain a calm demeanour.

Anything you’d like to improve?
Once I start something, I find it hard to follow through to the end. My personality tends to give up easily. Being laid-back and lazy is a double-edged sword. I prefer to engage in only a few active pursuits, even during breaks. I’d rather sleep, watch movies, and do stuff like that.

What do you believe in the most?
Definitely MOA and the members; I believe in them the most, and this won’t change forever.

Among the members, who do you confide in when you have concerns?
During team meetings, I talk to the leader and sometimes to TAEHYUN, my roommate. Actually, I talk to everyone comfortably. It depends on what the concern is.

All members seem comfortable expressing their opinions.
Yes. I was the worst at expressing myself. Honestly, sharing opinions wasn’t easy for me. But I’ve improved a lot, and nowadays, all five of us speak our minds comfortably. I think it’s the easiest way to resolve anything.

I heard you love playing musical instruments.
I’ve been playing the piano for a long time and recently bought a guitar again. I practised it for six years but didn’t play for about five years during my trainee days. I recently started again to not let my skills go to waste.

Does your body remember?
My fingers remember, and it’s fascinating. It’s not perfect, but I still have the feeling. After buying it, I proudly showed off the guitar to MOA through Weverse Live.

But then, I forgot about it and bragged about it again about three weeks later, only to realise I’d done it twice; I guess I was too excited. [Laughs] I want to showcase various content playing the guitar in the future.

What do you think of when looking back on the journey from your debut to now?
I feel like I’ve been working hard to run forward constantly. I can see that my dancing and singing have improved; I feel there is no end to how much you can grow. Watching videos from the past, I thought, “Wow, I’ve really grown.” [Laughs]

What are you hoping for in 2024?
I want to make TOMORROW X TOGETHER more known to the public. As an artiste, I want to discover more charm; I think YEONJUN has that aura. I’m trying to find a way, but it’s quite difficult. I also want to be more charming. My goal for 2024 is to become a more charming person!

Photography Yoon Jiyong
Styling Lee Aran
Interview Choi Jiwoong, Kim Nahhyoun, Kwon Sohee
Art Lee Banghyeon