Eight months earlier, BEOMGYU told us he didn’t want to lose to himself. Now he says he’s found a way to persevere.

You mentioned you were very happy and healthy throughout the second tour.

BEOMGYU: I didn’t get bogged down by the fear of what happened that one time. I was determined to overcome it. I did plenty of preparing physically and mentally in order to avoid a repeat of last time and handled everything well. I envied the other members of the group during the last tour and was sad that I couldn’t fully enjoy the concert experience due to my physical condition. I put all my worries aside this time and just focused on performing and I was a lot happier.

Have you mastered how to handle yourself in the face of extremes and how to overcome them?

BEOMGYU: Even though it was tough, things still worked out in the end, so I thought, Everything’s fine—it’s not like I’m going to die. (laughs) I kept experimenting by trying different things to check if I still felt my best after. I tried not eating before concerts, drinking energy drinks some days, taking arginine on other days. In the end, I found it’s always best to eat and having one multivitamin is enough to give me energy without putting a strain on my body. It’s like I found my own personal winning formula. (laughs)

Have the positive emotions you experienced during the tour carried over to have an effect on your everyday life? You mentioned in a previous interview that you felt like you had attained spiritual enlightenment. (laughs)

BEOMGYU: I mean, I’m happy. (laughs) Not a lot has changed, but while I felt like I was in a sort of state of nirvana back then, now I feel like I’m taking care of what I have to do every single day and accepting things for what they are—just going with the flow. These days I keep thinking, even if I don’t understand something, it’ll all turn out okay in the end if I just go with the flow. At the end of the day, I’ll just go home and get some sleep. All things shall pass. And then I feel fine. There’s no reason to get all worked up about things and let them get to me.

I guess that’s what you meant when you said that—“all things shall pass”—during the tour, which turned out to be like a catchphrase for you.

BEOMGYU: Exactly. But I was trying to make myself believe that before and pushing myself, whereas now it’s how I really feel.

It seems like you’re continuing to live the life of an artist as you overcome those things that you feel you just aren’t naturally compatible with.

BEOMGYU: I was absolutely born for the stage, though. No matter how nervous I get, I always have a phenomenal time once I get on up there. But what I found emotionally draining once we got on tour was that every place in the world has different views and I had to learn to adjust quickly to those. That was a difficult process. Not to mention I became a lot more introverted after we debuted, so I found it really hard communicating with all those people while promoting internationally. The pressure from that kept weighing on me while we were touring. But we did similar promotions recently and I went out of my way this time to go up to people more and reacted to things in over-the-top ways despite my terrible English. (laughs) But it was pretty good. I think I’ve learned some ways to overcome things.

Have you also changed the way you recover and distribute your energy now that you’ve been to so many different environments?

BEOMGYU: That part’s still the same. I get in, drink some barley tea (laughs) and fall asleep watching Netflix. I’m the type to pour 100% of my energy into everything I do. I try to be as energetic as possible whether I’m on a variety show or performing on stage, so my batteries are always going from 100, down to 0, back to 100, to 0, and on and on. (laughs)

And the stages you perform on keep changing, too. There’s something new to grasp and adjust to every time, so you must have to be hyperfocused.

BEOMGYU: Interestingly, if you perform 30 times, you’d think it would be easier by the 30th time. But if you keep doing the same thing over and over? Then you actually start to mix things up. I don’t know if it has something to do with complacency, but I make mistakes more frequently as time goes on. So the more you go on, the more you have to really focus on each performance. The idea is to never mess up the parts that have changed or I’ve messed up once before, ever again.

It’s amazing how you took the most impressive moves in “Back for More” and made them that much better by putting your own spin on them.

BEOMGYU: I think I mentioned before that, when I first hear a song and see the choreography demo, I can picture things, like how to convey certain parts, or maybe if it would look cool if I looked away like this. It can be a little hard to explain because it’s all in my head. I thought a lot about the part in the chorus after the second verse where we jump up and whip our hands in particular to figure out how to make it look cooler.

And were you satisfied with what you landed on?

BEOMGYU: Yes! But I always end up liking what I do. (laughs) I’m really proud of it. (laughs)

You said before that you watched your old dance videos to prepare for the tour and that you found a lot of parts that weren’t up to your standards. Do you feel you improved while learning the single “Chasing That Feeling”?

BEOMGYU: I used to be obsessed with putting the maximum amount of energy into my dance moves. Then I got some messages from friends after the year-end awards shows, saying, “You were too intense. You should tone it down a bit.” I thought the best thing for those big performances was to put more and more energy into them, but lately I’m trying to dance in a more balanced and elegant way. The choreography for the new single isn’t that intensive, so I picked it up really quickly, but I know I have to practice how to express myself in a greater variety of ways. I always feel like, if I perform something live once, it’s a lot different from when I’m practicing to get the hang of it. I think it all becomes clear after performing it.

You struggled a bit singing the last album’s single because of the pronunciation. Did you face any similar challenges this time around?

BEOMGYU: There’s a line in the verse—“cheonguk-eul deungjin nan”—and to make that eu sound in the syllable deung, you have to narrow the inside of your mouth. I tried singing it 10 times, and missed the mark 10 times. But then, I once again attained enlightenment. (laughs) Now when I sing it, my voice never cracks. I figured out how to shape my mouth to pronounce it correctly and persevered. I wasn’t originally supposed to be the one to sing that part, but as soon as I heard the song, I said, “I have to be the one to do this! Can I? Please, just trust me. Give me a chance. I’ll make it work.” And I got the part. So I studied the part carefully to make sure I could get it done no matter what.

Songs that align with your vibe, like “Deep Down” and “Skipping Stones,” really bring out what makes your voice so alluring.

BEOMGYU: I’m especially fond of “Skipping Stones,” and most of the other songs off the album are all in genres and styles I like, so it was really fun to record the vocals. Sometimes I’ve done things where I thought, This doesn’t really let me show off my vocals, but I think the new album let me sing in a way that’s closest to my natural voice.

Are there also songs you helped write the lyrics to that you find easier to get into since they’re in your style?

BEOMGYU: The songs I find the easiest to get into are those where the emotions are most realistic and I can be honest about my feelings. For example, thanks to my own personal experiences, I can take on topics like liking someone or dealing with difficult emotions and add my own personal touch to them. But songs that are like The Star Seekers are written to conform perfectly to a theme. Was that a really T thing to say? (laughs) To be honest, I feel like I’ve already said everything I have to say about seeking stars, going through hardship, and growing up on repeat. (laughs) But I really liked writing “Blue Spring” since it’s truly about us.

You also produced that song. How did that go?

BEOMGYU: I pictured people singing along to it right from the outset, so I purposely gave it simple chords when starting out. There’s three or so songs I made while just playing around on guitar at home. We spent hours poring over chords in the studio, too, but I ultimately chose the track I made at home. “Maze in the Mirror” and “Blue Spring” are both about how I felt before and after knowing MOA. As you know, we went through a lot of hardship, and now we’re out there singing for all of them. I remember how hard those chilly blue days were, but I also know how happy I am now, so the song really tugs at my heartstrings. I have to hold back my tears whenever we sing the line, “No one knows about that winter,” in concert.

You’ve seen MOA as your best friend for a long time now, but when I watch your most recent Weverse Lives, I get the feeling that you want to have an emotionally closer relationship with them based on how you keep your streams laid-back.

BEOMGYU: I think it’s better to be natural and keep it real when I do Lives by myself than to be TOMORROW X TOGETHER’s very own BEOMGYU. Sometimes I just, you know, put my phone down next to me with music playing like a radio or something, lie down, and start talking. All I want from my relationship with MOA is to have honest, human conversations—not artist-to-fan conversations, but casual, natural conversations.

It's a dead giveaway that you’re looking to have a genuine relationship with them when you let MOA listen in on your phone conversation with your mom in the middle of a Live. (laughs)

BEOMGYU: I want to show them how I really live. (laughs) I can show MOA the kind of chemistry I have with other people. I’m always quick to call my mom when the other members pull a “Tallulah” on me. I don’t like that my mom doesn’t take my side, but I know she’s just having fun. (laughs)

TAEHYUN once said you have a knack where “he can talk and everyone would not find him annoying.” It seems to me like you already know the others will still find you cute no matter what kind of annoying jokes you play.

BEOMGYU: I’m good at walking that tightrope. (laughs) I was born with it. (laughs) I’m always messing around with SOOBIN, too, but if I think he’s being serious, I back off right away. I can usually tell how someone’s feeling just by the look in their eyes, so I intuitively keep my balance while walking that tightrope. (laughs)

What are you like when you’re with your family? It seems like your dad really means a lot to you, seeing as, when you were asked if you could live as someone else for a day, who would it be, you answered, “my dad.”

BEOMGYU: I’m better behaved when I’m with my family, and I like chatting with my mom and dad. We can talk for hours when we talk about the things they want to know about me, things I want to know about them—that kind of stuff. Like I always say, if I ever become a dad, I want to be just like mine. He’s considerate, and he and my mom are still like a new couple. They’re so cool. I even told that to my dad recently and he said, “Thank you for being my son and for growing up into a wonderful young man.” We still say “I love you” to each other. Our family’s full of love. (laughs)

I remember you said that you kept looking for MOA and their dads watching your concerts together.

BEOMGYU: Most likely those dads were there because their daughters or sons like us and they tagged along. I thought it was really cool that they were right there with them having a good time. I spent a lot of time with my dad when I was younger, too. One time I woke up at three in the morning and went all the way out to Taebaek with him to watch motor racing, and we would play soccer or baseball together before school. It’s experiences like that that let me know how good those memories are going to be for MOA when they look back on them someday.

You’ve said the other members of the group are like a second family to you. It was especially touching when you were nervous before going on stage and you said, “When I’m with the other members, I’m not worried.”

BEOMGYU: I was actually three times as nervous for our performance at the MTV Video Music Awards than any other concert. My heart wasn’t going ba-bum, ba-bum—it was going babumbabumbabumbabum. But right before we got on stage, we put our hands all together and yelled, “Fighting!” And then we hugged each other. That really brought me comfort. The other members are the only ones I can lean on whenever I find myself in that kind of unfamiliar, difficult environment. When I see one of them having a hard time, I feel like I should put my own problems aside for a while and work harder for their sake. And I think that’s all possible because we’re a family.

Is that also why you decided to work together to reach the very top, like YEONJUN and TAEHYUN talked about on SUCHWITA?

BEOMGYU: I had a really hard time during and after our first world tour, and I was certain that, unless I’m healthy, there would be no point in making it to the top. I was firm about that. So if I’m being honest, I felt pressure because of YEONJUN and TAEHYUN’s vision. I’m the kind of person who strives for happiness in his everyday life, but they said they feel like making it to the top is what would make them feel happy. What could I do? We’re a team, after all. We work together for the sake of each other’s happiness. I thought it over and said, We’re a team, so I want to work together to make it happen. If that’s what everyone wants, I’ll work hard alongside you. Let’s put in the effort and make it to the top.

That makes me think of how you made a point to say you like movies to have a happy ending no matter what.

BEOMGYU: I don’t like when they’re left open-ended, and I can’t stand sad endings. I get completely absorbed in the plot of movies and all the emotions there when I watch them, so it feels like I am the main character. I root for that character with all I’ve got and hope they’re happy ever after.

And you see the happy ending you wished for in your future, don’t you?

BEOMGYU: It certainly feels like I’m moving towards it. (laughs)

Article. Lee Yejin
Interview. Lee Yejin
Visual Director. Jeon Yurim
Coordinator. Lee Jiyeon
Visual Creative Team. Jung Sujung, Kim Seoyeon, Sohn Yoojung(BIGHIT MUSIC)
Photography. Jang Dukhwa / Assist. Kim Eunji, Yoon Mingi
Hair. Kim Seungwon
Makeup. Noh Seulki
Stylist. Lee Ahran
Artist Protocol Team. Kim Daeyoung, Kim Jisoo, Shin Seungchan, You Juekyung, Ko Youngwook