Not making it into the K-pop act Wanna One during Season 2 of the TV series Produce 101, a boyband reality show, may have been a blessing for Lim Young-min and Kim Dong-hyun. After the series, they formed their own duo MXM.
Lim, 22, and Kim, 19, met as trainees in the South Korean hip hop company Brand New Music (BNM). MXM was a project unit that made its official debut in September 2017 with an EP titled Unmix.
MXM is an acronym for “mix and match” as well as “more x more”. This is because the duo makes a dynamic match for other K-pop boybands.
MXM is a sub-unit of BNMBOYS a.k.a. Brand New Boys, which features label-mates Lee Dae-hwi and Park Woo-jin, fellow Produce 101 Season 2 contestants who made the cut to form the 11-member boyband Wanna One.
MXM is also a sub-unit of YDPP, a four-member project that features Jeong Sewoon and Lee Kwang-hyun, both trainees from the South Korean label Starship Entertainment and fellow contestants on Produce 101 Season 2.
The fresh-faced duo was in Kuala Lumpur recently to promote their album at the MXM Match Up Fan Meeting. The private event at the HGH Convention Centre in Sentul, organised by IME Malaysia and Warner Music Malaysia, was attended by 1,000 fans.
MXM performed a selection of eight songs including I’m The One, Being Objective, Just Come Out and I Just Do from their first EP; Perfectly Perfect, Errday and Diamond Girl from their second EP Match Up; and Gone Cold from their latest recording, Rematch.
This being their first official visit to Malaysia, MXM said they were thankful for the Malaysian fan support.
“We got to know about the Malaysian support while we were in Korea. We had received so many welcoming messages from Malaysian fans that we were really excited to meet them,” said Lim, who spent five years in Singapore as a child but was too young to form any long-term memories.
“We also got to experience for the first time the warm hospitality from fans at the airport.”
Having teamed up with other projects, on top of working on their own music, MXM is banking on the chance to get into different genres of music.
“We have tried funky music and some combination of a tropical sound. We’d also like to try band music. And since our company is known for hip hop, we want to try that too,” Kim offered.
Talking about their newest release, Kim said, “Unlike our previous albums, Rematch showcases our maturity and composure, so we are happy to show a different side of ourselves.”
Lim added that the song Diamond Girl is actually for their fans. “We’ve included a message for supporters in it. Each time we take to the stage, we get lots of support from fans, so we are really thankful for that.”
As young artistes with a hand in creating their music, Kim revealed that he gets his inspiration from movies, TV dramas and poetry. “I’m not particular about the plot but more concerned about relationships, as in the interactions and connections between people,” he said.
Despite being a new group, MXM is making its presence felt in K-pop with nominations for Best New Artiste at various South Korean music events including the 2018 Soul Music Awards, 2018 Gaon Chart Music Awards, 2018 Golden Disc Awards and 2017 Melon Music Awards.
Given a choice, Lim said he wanted to be a talented idol who gives positive energy to fans listening to his music, while Kim said he wanted to be remembered as someone whose music gives comfort to the fans. “So that wherever you are, you will hear our music playing in your ears.”