This Month’s Beat: X1

Jenina Cunanan contributed to this article.

It’s just been a short time since one of the most anticipated boy groups made their debut! If you watched the recently concluded Produce X 101, then there’s no doubt you know who we’re talking about! 

X1 was formed through the survival competition series Produce X 101. What made this season different was that of the members 10 were chosen via audience votes in the final week of the show. However, the final member, known as Rank X member, was chosen among the remaining trainees with the highest combined votes across all episodes of the show. The name “X1” was suggested by netizens through the official Produce X 101 website. It was taken from the show’s title song “X1-MA”. X1 means “11” in Roman numbers, and also represents 10+1.

After Produce X 101 ended, the group’s debut reality show X1 Flash premiered on August 22 on Mnet. The show follows the members as they prepare for their debut, and gives viewers insight into the group’s dynamics and honest thoughts.

X1 finally made their much-awaited debut on August 27 with the release of their EP, Emergency: Quantum Leap. This contained their debut single “Flash.”

The group also held their debut showcase concert, “X1 Premier Show-Con”, at the Gocheok Sky Dome. The tickets were sold out on the same day they went on sale. Here, X1 performed other songs from their EP, including Produce X 101 Concept Evaluation songs “U Got It” and “Pretty Pretty.” 

X1’s debut was met with commercial success. Their EP sold over 250,000 copies on the day of its release, breaking the record for the most copies sold by a group on the first day of their debut on Hanteo. On September 1, the group earned their first music show win on SBS MTV’s The Show, 5 days after debut. This makes them the second fastest boy group to get their first win! 


With X1 off to a great start and showing no signs of stopping any time soon, let’s get to know the members of this potential super-rookie group!


Real Name: Lee Eunsang

Date of Birth: October 26, 2002

Position: Sub-vocal

Agency: Brand New Music

Why Eunsang should be your one-pick: This season’s Brand New trainees had a lot to live up to after Season 2’s young hopefuls gave us an intense audition with a self-composed and self-choreographed number in Welcome to My Hollywood. Thankfully, they did not disappoint, also going with a self-composed song called Go Get Her. Eunsang stood out for his visuals and bright red hair, but what cemented him as a potential bias were his quirks and complete inability in games. The other members of the “U Got It” team definitely had their hands full during Produce X’s sports festival. That same sports day also gave us the iconic “Priki?” duo of Eunsang and Wooseok, giving us one memorable moment. 


Real Name: Kang Minhee 

Date of Birth: September 17, 2002

Position: Lead vocal

Agency: Starship Entertainment

Why Minhee should be your one-pick: After the success of Starship trainees in the previous seasons of the franchise, there were a lot of expectations to live up to. Fortunately, this year’s batch was able to deliver. Some eagle-eyed fans will recognize Minhee as the boy in Ailee and Mad Clown’s “Thirst” music video with NewKidd’s Ji Hansol and labelmate IZ*ONE’s Ahn Yujin. Aside from being a good singer, he also studies well. In fact, he was in the top 5 of his school. He’s like one of those kids you’d expect to see on Sky Castle. People say he resembles NCT Dream’s Jaemin with his sweet smile and wide eyes.  


Real Name: Cha Junho

Date of Birth: July 9, 2002

Position: Sub-vocal

Agency: Woollim Entertainment

Why Junho should be your one-pick: When the trainees were first revealed, people pointed out a lot of trainees who resembled well-known idols. Initially gaining attention for his resemblance to INFINITE’s L and his strange fluency in Goblin language, Junho then became known for his visuals, and as Woollim’s robot for his never-changing expressions. However, his more playful side was revealed when viewers got to see his interactions (read: bedtime cuddles) with friend and teammate Kim Yohan. Together with Han Seungwoo, the three of them are known in international circles as Produce X’s We Bare Bears because they’ve been in the same group in all evaluations, eventually debuting together. Now though, you can find him either suffering from — sorry, we meant basking in Hangyul’s affection during V-LIVES or making his bandmates laugh with his funny antics.


Real Name: Nam Dohyun

Date of Birth: November 10, 2004

Position: Maknae, Main rapper 

Agency: MBK Entertainment

Why Dohyun should be your one-pick: If you think Dohyun looks familiar, it’s because you’ve seen him on another reality show, MBC’s Under 19, which aired in 2018. He is the group’s English speaker, having studied abroad in Denmark and Japan. His English skills could be seen in one of Produce X’s behind videos, where he is seen explaining to Thai trainee Peak what they’re supposed to do with the camera. Hailing from MBK, he and fellow member Lee Hangyul said early on that they aimed to save MBK. Dohyun then endeared himself to many fans with his rapping and beatbox skills, along with his craving for pork spare ribs. Fair warning: Dohyun is not the member you want by your side when you want to go inside a haunted house — he will run, shriek, and won’t be of much help once you’re there. The usual Produce X ghost prank is enough evidence of this. Since being announced as a member of X1, Dohyun is now one-third of X1’s Team Rocket line because of the mischief he gets up to with Hangyul and Seungyeon.


Real Name: Lee Hangyul

Date of Birth: December 7, 1999

Position: Main dancer, sub-vocal 

Agency: MBK Entertainment

Group: IM 

Why Hangyul should be your one-pick: Survival show fans know where they have seen Hangyul before. He and some members of his group IM had participated in KBS’ The Unit in 2017. There he ranked 13th, which was just a few ranks short of making it to UNB’s lineup. He had also participated in promotions for UNB’s “Black Heart.” Older K-Pop fans will recognize him as a backup dancer for MBK senior artists T-ara’s Eunjung and soloist Shannon. He didn’t gain people’s attention until he slayed that center position during their “Finesse” performance for the position evaluation round. Other than his visuals and acrobatic skills, Hangyul also endeared himself to the viewers because of his gag skills. In fact, he is one-third of X1’s Team Rocket line with Seungyoun and Dohyun because of the stuff they get up to. Despite all these likeable things about him, he has difficulty accepting compliments. In fact, he has the funniest reaction faces whenever he hears anything positive about him.


Real Name: Son Dongpyo

Date of Birth: September 9, 2002

Position: Lead dancer, sub-vocal

Agency: DSP Media

Why Dongpyo should be your one-pick: There’s a reason Dongpyo was chosen as the first center of “X1-MA.” It’s because he can pull off cute concepts such as “Pretty Pretty” as well as bad-ass concepts like NCT U’s “Boss”. Before being scouted, Dongpyo was a part of the dance group ARTBEAT, a K-Pop cover dance group. During the show, he and Seungwoo had developed a father and son-like relationship, which endeared them both to the viewers. However, Dongpyo isn’t above throwing his teammates under the bus. After all, he had exposed that Minhee didn’t take a bath in four out of the five days they were learning “Pretty Pretty” during Produce X 101. Fun fact: It was Son Dongpyo’s idea to make the OT11 version of “Pretty Pretty” happen. Everyone, repeat after me: “Thank you, Dongpyo!”


Real Name: Cho Seungyoun

Date of Birth: August 5, 1996

Position: Lead vocal, lead rapper

Agency: Yuehua Entertainment

Group: UNIQ 

Why Seungyoun should be your one-pick: Seungyoun used to play football for Brazil before he moved back to Korea to pursue a music career. Did you know that Seungyoun used to attend Reedley International School in Ortigas to learn English? His late father also used to run the Korean barbecue restaurant Nowana U&I in Quezon City. Unfortunately, he only knows how to say “Ikaw,” “Ako,”  “Magkano,” and “Mahal kita”, but he has said that he misses eating sinigang! After debuting with Uniq, he participated in Show Me The Money 5. He also started producing and releasing solo music under the names Luizy and WOODZ. He produced “It’s Okay” for Chinese survival show Idol Producer. He’s a part of M.O.L.A., a self-created music collective with his friends 15& Park Jimin, producer Nathan, Pentagon’s Kino, and Seventeen’s Vernon. Check out their songs “My Way” and “Chillin’”. In Produce X 101, he won over fans because of his talents and gag abilities. In fact, he is one-third of X1’s Team Rocket line with Hangyul and Dohyun. Seungyoun reveals that his and Hangyul’s room has a cafe-like vibe because Seungyoun loves to decorate.


Real Name: Song Hyeongjun

Date of Birth: November 30, 2002

Position: Lead dancer, sub-rapper

Agency: Starship Entertainment

Why Hyeongjun should be your one-pick: With his curly hair and wide eyes, Hyeongjun looks like the protagonist of a romance manhwa. That is, until you get him to dance. He’s the member you’ll see doing the most girl group dances, having done covers of Twice’s Dance The Night Away, Celeb Five’s Celeb Five, and even modified Sunmi’s Gashina with some of his own choreography. Like fellow member Minhee, Hyeongjun is also from Starship and stood out as the dance leader of X Class while they practiced for X1-MA. He then made several of the hyungs and national producer’s representative Lee Dongwook want to adopt him after his speech at the first eliminations. He’s come a long way since then, even stepping into the leader role once again during the debut evaluations for the trainees who performed To My World.


Real Name: Han Seungwoo

Date of Birth: December 24, 1994

Position: Leader, main vocal 

Agency: Plan A Entertainment

Group: Victon 

Why Seungwoo should be your one-pick: In another life, X1’s leader would have been a UFC fighter instead of a K-Pop idol. However, singing along with his older sister (former Secret member Han Sunhwa) whenever she was on TV influenced him to want to become an idol as well. Although he debuted as a rapper with Victon, he has been recognized as one of the best vocalists from all of the fellow trainees in Produce X 101. He can imitate Pikachu’s voice and make goat noises. He is also capable of sounding like a dolphin, like that time he screamed at Eunsang during sports day on Produce x 101. He’s also a master of doing things alone, apparently. #OneOfUs. He also has a father-and-son-like relationship with Song Dongpyo, which has endeared him to many fans. When they were choosing a leader for X1, Seungwoo was the only person who didn’t vote for himself because he chose Seungyoun instead. Seungwoo, Yohan, and Junho are known as the “We Bare Bears” trio because they have performed every song together on the show.


Real Name: Kim Wooseok

Date of Birth: October 27, 1996

Position: Lead vocal 

Agency: TOP Media 

Group: UP10TION

Why Wooseok should be your one-pick: Debuting in 2015 as UP10TION’s Wooshin, Wooseok initially drew attention during his first debut for his resemblance to actor Park Bogum. Nicknamed as Desert Fox, don’t let his angelic face, sweet vocals, and soft features fool you though. Wooseok’s nickname among Honey10s is Satanseok because of his wit and playful nature. Before being a member of X1, Wooseok was a host on The Show with soloist Jeon Somi. Wooseok had won over viewers with his visuals, vocals, and his relationships with the other trainees on the show. Along with UP10TION’s Jinhyuk being Jinwoo’s second dad, Wooseok has helped guide Jinwoo, becoming close with him in the process.


Kim Yohan

Real Name: Kim Yohan

Date of Birth: September 22, 1999

Position: Center, sub-vocal 

Agency: OUI Entertainment

Why Yohan should be your one-pick: Having trained in taekwondo for 13 years, Kim Yohan won first place twice in the National Junior Sports Festival. However, he nursed a dream to perform on stage and decided to give his dream a shot once he had reached adulthood. While the trainers expressed some worries over his inexperience at being a three-month trainee during the filming of the first episode, Yohan won over everyone’s hearts with his audition to Se7en’s “Come Back to Me”. He also surprised everyone by using Heelys and fueling our nostalgia. He then stayed in our hearts for the next few months with his rapid improvement in each stage, never leaving the top 5 and showing off his hidden charisma and sexiness. Fun fact: He is the first center to come from the vocal position, as Jeon Somi, Kang Daniel, and Jang Wonyoung all came from dance position during their respective seasons.


What do you think of X1 so far? Who is your favorite member? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Clara Palma
A frustrated supermodel/ballerina/novelist who lists Super Junior, EXO, and Infinite as some of her favorite groups, Clara’s first exposure to all things Korean was through K-dramas Lovers in Paris and Goong. She is willing to talk about fashion, beauty, dance, books, all things baduy, and figure skating over a cup of tea. She co-runs a figure skating blog You Only Lutz Once with fellow KStreet contributor Bea. Check out her blog or follow her on Twitter.

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