In my ongoing quest to make Stephanie and my other friends fall in love with the groups I adore, I have to carefully think through which groups make sense for each individual and how best to market them. I have a pretty good track record for most people, especially when I know them well enough to recognize when to push and when to step back and let things ruminate. There are, however, those groups that I don’t end up pushing on anyone because they aren’t an obvious match in aesthetic or in musicality. I still throw their MVs into chats or mention them periodically when something wows me, but I don’t expect a ton of reaction.
And that’s cool. It’d be nice, but I don’t have to share all of them.
Plus, KpopontheDL almost always already loves them so I automatically have a co-lover.
But, the soul is a mysterious place and who we end up falling for is sometimes so out of character nobody could have predicted it. Enter, Stephanie’s newfound appreciation – dare I say, burgeoning love – for M.O.N.T.
M.O.N.T., aka Members of the National Team, are a three-member group on FM Entertainment that, though they’ve kind of been around a while, officially debuted in January 2019. The trio trained with their company in the mountains of Korea and first made waves during their audition for MIXNINE. They were rough around the edges, their styling wasn’t good, but they had so much charm and charisma and worked so hard that even He Who Shall Not Be Named said that he would trade all of his own trainees for the set of them.
They did, well, decently as a group on the show, coming in at 104, 103, and 33. Not bad for so little exposure to current trends in the music industry. Since the survival program, though, they’ve really started to put themselves out there. There are behind the scenes and variety type stuff on YouTube, they’ve recognized that most of their fanbase is international and worked their bums off to learn English, and they’ve dropped an EP and a single in 2019.
It’s admittedly scary loving this kind of group. They are strictly C to B tier and on a tiny company in the middle of nowhere. There isn’t a lot of money and they don’t have as much access to the crowds. It’s a risk because the chance of their disbanding is higher than someone on a more established label. But they’re quirky, interesting, and fun. They stand out because they aren’t the same as everyone else debuting these days. I love that.
So when Stephanie dropped a link into our chat for one of their new songs, I was a bit surprised that she’d come across them and that they’d stuck out to her…but then again, maybe I’m not so surprised. They’re actually kind of in her wheelhouse with their dramatic overtures and bold choices. They aren’t perfect, but that’s what kind of makes them perfect for her.
That being said, let’s all support them. Let’s buy some albums and request some concerts and keep them around for a long time. Please.
Will You Be My Girlfriend, M.O.N.T.