“We Will Work Harder to Visit You in England Soon, so Please Continue to Show Us a Lot of Interest and Love.” – In Conversation with JUST B, a K-pop Idol Group
JUST B is one of those rookie groups that ought to be on your radar if you are a K-pop fan. Debuted in June 2021 with the EP JUST BURN, the sextet impressed many with their vocals and stage presence. LIM JIMIN, GEONU, Bain, JM, DY, and SANGWOO are unique individuals, and while they’re still building their fanbase in Europe, they have already lit up the hearts of fans in Latin America.
JUST B’s first release contains five songs, including their titled track, DAMAGE, which was produced by Bang Yongguk, a well-known rapper and a former member of B.A.P. Having such a talented person produce the aforementioned song had to be an exciting yet overwhelming experience.
“[Yes], we worked with Bang Yongguk almost two years ago. We are grateful as he is a person who helped JUST B grow and develop”, the group confesses, then adds: “When we think about that time, we still feel a bit nervous and excited. It was a great opportunity to work with a senior, whom we highly respect, on our debut. DAMAGE and Get Away are still our favourite songs [of that EP]”.
In October of 2021, JUST B revealed a single called JUST BEAT, consisting of TICK TOCK along with two B-side tracks, Vindicated and Try. With this passionate and dynamic release, I started to enjoy following the group’s musical journey and witnessing their personal growth as men and idols. Try is probably my favourite song from JUST BEAT, simply because of the top-notch line distribution. All the vocals complement each other, and on top of that, the members sound very good while performing the bridge, Bain in particular.
JUST B’s third mini-album, [= (NEUN)], which was released at the end of 2022, was something that not many had expected from a rookie group. [= (NEUN)] is not only a mature and meaningful release, but it also carries a vital message of equality. And while chatting with the group, each member was keen on adding their thoughts on the mini-album and what equality means to them.
As LIM JIMIN says, “JUST B has the motto of drawing a new future by empathising with various concerns through music and performance. I think that many people might think about equality at least once, and it’s also a topic that I’ve wanted to talk about for a long time”. And while GEONU confesses that equality seems to be present in his daily life, it is important for people to listen to the aforementioned mini-album to simply see the group’s view on the subject. Bain, on the other hand, speaks about equality in a more serious manner: “We live in a world where we should acknowledge each other’s differences. Equality is one of the most important basic [human] rights”.
JM candidly admits that for him, equality means listening to everyone’s opinions, and respecting people regardless of the outcome. And while DY says that everyone interprets equality in various ways, SANGWOO recognises the fact that, although everyone tries to be very understanding, he thinks that the older members comprehend equality to a larger extent.
During last year’s Korea Model Awards, JUST B won the Rising Star Award, their first award since their debut. “We were so happy to receive the award. We were very thankful, not only to the fans who support us, but also to the people who help us with our activities, therefore, [after winning], we decided to work [even] harder”, the group confess, then continue: “We didn’t aim to win the award, but [when we did], it was a happy moment for us and ONLY B [official name of the group’s fanbase]. We will continue to work hard so that we can share more good news with our fans”.
K-pop is an international phenomenon, bringing joy to many fans, with JUST B giving their all to satisfy even the most demanding listeners. Although gaining a huge number of fans has never been easy for any rookie group, JUST B are on the right path to become successful.
“Thank you so much to the fans who support us, not only in Korea but also [those] from far away. I will work hard to become a great singer – I’m always thinking about working on music”, LIM JIMIN candidly admits, with GEONU adding that, “Everyone is working hard to develop their skills during individual practice. I am also constantly participating in creating the choreography, and as fans from various countries are interested in our work, I’m willing to work harder”.
Although it has been just under two years since the group’s debut, JUST B truly appreciate their fans. “As ONLY B have been supporting us since our debut, we’ll work harder, so please continue to listen to our music”, JM tells View of the Arts.
On February 14th, JUST B released a song called MBTI as Part.1 of their new album [JUST Be With You]. With its medium R&B tempo, featuring interesting electric guitar sounds and an addictive synth loop, the members’ vocals shine through the track. Notably, the song was created as part of a collaboration with AleXa, an American K-pop artist.
“Following our third mini-album, [= (NEUN)], MBTI is a song that also conveys the message of equality. And through this project album, we collaborated with AleXa for the first time, therefore, we think it was a bit different from when we were working on our previous releases. We also had different experiences when we practised the choreography and filmed the music video”, JUST B explains when asked about their new song.
As previously mentioned, MBTI is a collaboration with AleXa. The song itself is a part of a global project, [JUST Be With You], on which JUST B delivers messages through music and performances.
“The title song, MBTI, contains the message that no matter who you are, we are all equal. Overall, the project conveys the theme of ‘all humans are equal’, and introduces various languages and music styles so that many people can empathise with it, the group explains, and adds that when the opportunity to collaborate with AleXa presented itself, JUST B were very keen on working with her. The members of the group also said that, “As we announced the start of the project through the Part.1 album, we will continue to prepare and show you good music [containing valuable] messages”.
A while back, JUST B visited Canada and Mexico to display their talents and see their fans. And at the end of January of this year, they flew to Mexico once more to spend more time with their supporters.
“First of all, it was our first time visiting both places, and we were very happy that [Canadian and Mexican] fans welcomed us with cheers”. The group then adds that, knowing that there are so many fans supporting them all over the world, they realise that they must work harder to bring a more refreshing image with each future release.
With their colourful, energetic videos, vibrant and eye-catching choreography, and a wide variety of themes, JUST B admit that whenever they release new music, there is always that feeling of anticipation and worry attached. As the group always aims to satisfy their fans with their upcoming project, they also say that “it is important for people to enjoy our music”, and that “we are the happiest when we perform in front of our fans. As much as you’ve waited for us, we’re working hard to show you a better performance [in the future]. We want to be artists who are looking forward to the next performance rather than standing out through another performance”.
And while the members appreciate their entire repertoire, a few of them admit that when it comes to sound and style, they have their favourites.
“I think all the songs that have been released so far represent JUST B, but if I have to choose one, our debut song DAMAGE comes to mind first. Since it’s the first song that the members performed together, I think it’s the most representative song of JUST B”, confesses LIM JIMIN. However, GEONU opted for Lights On and Night Stroll as “the two songs are fan songs”. JM, on the other hand, says that, “Since a variety of songs came out, I’ll go with MBTI that was just released”. It’s not only the style and sound that work for JM, but also “the message of equality that represents us – JUST B”.
“I think for me, it’d ME= (NANEUN). I think it’s close to the music that we aim for because it’s the song that received the most love”, DY sums up.
The beginning of 2023 has been relatively busy for JUST B, nevertheless, whenever the members find spare time, they enjoy doing various activities.
“I like working out. I don’t think about anything else when I work out. It’s a good way to relax your body and mind, so I recommend it to many people”, LIM JIMIN says with a chuckle.
“I like listening to music, so I listen to it a lot even when I rest. I try to listen to various genres [nowadays]”, GEONU confesses, and lets Bain answer the question: “I tend to do many things. I watch Weverse a lot, I watch videos on YouTube, go to see musicals, or go to the cinema”.
And like Bain, JM enjoys films, too: “I like watching Netflix at the dorm or watching movies at the cinema. I recently watched the movie Avatar: The Way of Water and it was so impressive that I [ would like to] recommend it to ONLY B [to watch]”. Meanwhile, DY likes to get some proper rest, which means eating good food and getting a decent amount of sleep.
“I like to exercise, too, and that includes running. I enjoy running along the Han River whenever I have time”, SANGWOO confesses.
Before ending our interview, JUST B wanted to pass a message to their fans in the UK: “Hello, British fans. We’re JUST B. First of all, thank you for your interest and for reading the interview. Our new album was released on the 14th, and we are really curious to see if you’re going to enjoy it! We hope you leave a lot of comments! And we will work harder to visit you in England soon, so please continue to show us a lot of interest and love”. The group also adds that knowing they have fans even in the UK gives them a lot of strength to continue as a group.
“We hope you listen to MBTI. It won’t take long for our next comeback, so I hope you continue to listen to us! Thank you”.
Written and interviewed by Maggie Gogler
*We would like to thank BLUEDOT Entertainment for their assistance with the interview.
View of the Arts is a British online publication that chiefly deals with films, music, and art, with an emphasis on the Asian entertainment industry. We are hoping our audience will grow with us as we begin to explore new platforms such as K-pop / K-music, and Asian music in general, and continue to dive into the talented and ever-growing scene of film, music, and arts, worldwide.