From when he first dreamed about becoming an artist to releasing his first solo album, MINO has gone through many twists and turns to be where he is now. 

His debut as a member of Block B was turned over, while his team BoM broke up while he was a member of the group. He also had difficulties after making debut as WINNER due to a long vacancy but turned things around with the success of WINNER’s album released last year and his appearance on tvN’s ‘New Journey to the West. However, he had to walk through another tunnel in the beginning of the year due to a panic disorder. 

MINO is now able to calmly say, ‘There were times like that’. The boy who shouted, “Give me the answer if you’re looking at me now” to his father through the song ‘Fear’ has now grown with his music and thoughts. 

MINO in variety programs, MINO as a member of WINNER, and MINO as a solo artist. While sincerely approaching his given role every moment, his recently released solo album received favorable reviews and grabbed both musicality and the public, enabling him to start walking a meaningful path as a solo artist.

While receiving favorable reviews not only from the fans but also many listeners that he grabbed both musicality and mass appeal through his album, MINO proved that his brand power as ‘MINO’ is strong. Like the phrase ‘The beginning is half of the whole’, how will MINO fill up the other half as a solo artist?

Q. We heard that you participated in the overall creative process of the album.

I participated in not only making music, but the overall concept including packaging and logo design. It was my first time directly participating in the design, and it made me respect the agency’s design team and many people that have been helping me. 

Q. Where do you get inspiration from when you’re creating?

I get inspired by everything. When I think about creating, sometimes my ideas get exhausted and I get stuck. Then I watch a movie or documentary videos.

Q. You previously had controversy over your lyrics, did you take that into account while working on the album?

My thoughts changed a lot after the controversy over my lyrics. I talked about it in a song on this album. A song titled ‘TRIGGER’. The song contains the message that I’m different from who I used to be. That the new me is now reborn.

Q. Did you exclude members of WINNER on this album on purpose?

I wanted to differentiate MINO of WINNER and MINO as a solo artist. I wanted to work with the members through unit and WINNER albums and wanted more variety as MINO on myvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvv solo album.

Q. The title song ‘FIANCÉ’ was played through ‘New Journey to the West 6’ a day before its release.

I didn’t know they would play it that long. I was there shooting the program, so I know what it’s about. It was a very interesting part, but I couldn’t focus on the show. I was watching with my eyes but only my ears were open, focusing on how long the song is playing. I was very surprised and felt grateful towards ‘New Journey to the West’.

Q. Aren’t you worried about your identity on you image earned through variety programs?

I always had thoughts regarding my identity. I received generous attention through ‘New Journey to the West’, but estrangement also came along. I asked people like EUN JIWON, who previously had the same experience. My mind came to ease when I thought if I admit that I’m me in variety programs and when I’m making music and work sincerely, people would notice all of that. 

Q. We heard you had a panic disorder in the beginning of the year.

It just came without me realizing. My responsibilities and suppressions perhaps exploded. It was very hard. I got better by expressing myself through music and paintings. I received a lot of help from the members. My condition probably improved the most while I was active a member of WINNER. 

Q. How much do you think you improved as a solo artist?

In terms of rapping, I’m still improving and getting different. I feel different from myself form 2 years and 4 years ago, and I’m still changing while finding my own tone. I try to improve myself by studying how I can pass on and express my message rather than writing meaningless words. 

Q. Is there a gap between MINO of WINNER and MINO as a solo artist?

I just do my best in each part, as a member of WINNER and as a solo artist. My goal is to do my best as someone who fits in with the team’s color as MINO of WINNER and perfectly illustrate my music and messages I’ve dreamt of since I was young as a solo artist.

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