From Lost Letter To Leader: The Unexpected Start Of ATEEZ Hongjoong’s Career

The global idol group leader details the fateful start of his career.

American radio personality and longtime K-Pop fan Zach Sang recently interviewed 4th-generation K-Pop group ATEEZ and covered topics including the group’s intricate storyline, their successful world tours, their creative process, and the unique way their group was formed.

(From left:) ATEEZ’s San, Yeosang, Seonghwa, Yunho, Hongjoong, Wooyoung, and Mingi | @ATEEZofficial/Instagram

After the eight talented members introduced themselves, Zach Sang asked the group to tell viewers more about how their career began, including the unique way leader Hongjoong joined KQ Entertainment.

ATEEZ’s Hongjoong | @ATEEZofficial/Twitter

Hongjoong revealed that he had heard KQ Entertainment had no plans to debut a new idol group when he contacted them.

Because he really liked the 3rd-generation K-Pop group Block B, managed by Seven Seasons, a sub-label of KQ Entertainment, Hongjoong decided to write the company a letter.

Block B | Stardom Entertainment

I heard that there [was] no plan to make a new idol group, new K-Pop star, but I really like the senior group Block B. [I liked] their music and their style, so I just sent a letter to my now-boss.

— ATEEZ’s Hongjoong

The letter went unanswered for a year and was only discovered when KQ Entertainment moved company buildings.

They moved company [buildings] and found my post. From there, they contacted me… ‘Oh, are you still making music?’

— ATEEZ’s Hongjoong

The now-leader shared that he told the company he was still making music and ended up joining KQ Entertainment as their first trainee.

Zach Sang noted how incredible the story was, pointing out that companies often scout idols on the streets or through competitions and auditions.

Hongjoong contacting the company himself showed the future leader had the necessary determination for his role and knew precisely what he wanted.

That’s incredible, because you know most times it starts with somebody being found or going for an audition or whatever, but a letter..?

— Zach Sang

Hongjoong explained that he was 17 years old at the time and wrote the company to tell them he writes music, asking them to listen to samples he included.

He expressed his desire to work with KQ Entertainment and asked them to contact him should they be interested in his work.

I [wrote] that I’m Hongjoong and I write some music, so please listen to this music and if you have some interest in me, please contact me… I really want to [work for your] company and make some music with you.

— ATEEZ’s Hongjoong

From letter to leader, Hongjoong is now the beloved captain of ATEEZ and works alongside the group’s music production team EDENARY, which includes producers EDENBuddyLEEZ, and Ollounder.

| @ateez_official_/Instagram

Of course, it wasn’t as easy as just writing a letter; Hongjoong had the skills and dedication to support his dream.

Producer EDEN revealed in a 2020 interview with MTV that he even tried to convince Hongjoong to give up music when he first joined the company.

Hongjoong’s response to EDEN’s efforts only proved his dedication and talent, changing the producer’s mind. He has a strong friendship and working relationship with EDEN to this day.

ATEEZ’s Mingi (left), EDEN (center), and ATEEZ’s Hongjoong (right)

In another recent interview, ATEEZ discussed their hit song “Guerrilla” and the unexpected challenge that comes with performing the song live.

Check out more on that in the article below!

Hongjoong And Yunho Spill On The Unexpected Challenge ATEEZ Faces While Performing “Guerrilla,” Which Shows Their True Professionalism

Source: MTV and YouTube