Since ATEEZ debuted on October 24, 2018, they have seen a massive increase in their popularity over time with fans worldwide — and it’s incredibly well-deserved! Their gorgeous discography, incredible stage presence, and loveable members make it hard not to get into this group, and they’re well on their way to becoming one of the most popular and praised K-Pop groups of the fourth generation.
With the release of their latest album, ZERO: FEVER Part.2, just over a week ago, ATEEZ has become a hot topic in the K-Pop industry once again. If you’re curious to learn more about the members of ATEEZ, here’s a look at how all of them ended up joining KQ Entertainment and becoming a K-Pop idol!
Hongjoong is known by ATEEZ fans, and other K-Pop fans in general, to be extremely hard-working, determined, and passionate about his work. Even before debut, he was said to be a workaholic and a perfectionist, which shouldn’t come as a surprise to ATINYs!
He actually didn’t attend school as much as others because he spent so much time in the studio creating music. Hongjoong was motivated to become a K-Pop idol in order to express himself with his music and positively influence others through it.
His first step to getting to that dream was by joining SIMS Academy, and then became a trainee at KQ Entertainment. After that, he appeared on the YG Entertainment show MIXNINE. While he ended up placing 42nd on the show and wasn’t able to debut in the group created by it, ATEEZ fans can feel blessed because it allowed him to go to back to KQ Entertainment to become the wonderful and talented leader of ATEEZ he is today!
Seonghwa, the affectionately nicknamed “mom” of ATEEZ, was practically born to be an idol. His name means “to be a star” (“Seong” = star, and “Hwa” = to become), which basically set up his path since his parents gave him this incredibly fitting name!
He first passed his audition at KQ Entertainment, where he actually auditioned as a rapper initially but changed his position to vocalist later on. He also tried applying to take part in MIXNINE like Hongjoong, but didn’t end up making it onto the show. That’s alright, though — we can’t imagine ATEEZ without Seonghwa!
Yunho also had dreams of becoming a musical performer when he was younger, and attended the famous School of Performing Arts (SOPA) in Seoul, where he graduated from. He and future fellow ATEEZ member and friend Mingi actually both attended Seungri‘s Dance Academy as well, where they both honed their dancing skills.
Afterwards, they both also attended Joy Dance and Plug-In Music Academy, before eventually auditioning for and becoming a trainee at KQ Entertainment. He, too, auditioned for MIXNINE, but didn’t make the cut and ended up becoming the powerful and charismatic main dancer of ATEEZ instead!
Before Yeosang joined KQ Entertainment, he was actually a trainee at BigHit Entertainment! If he had stayed with the company, he might have ended up debuting as a member of TXT, but he instead left the company and ended up moving to KQ Entertainment instead.
Another member that auditioned for MIXNINE but didn’t pass to make it onto the show, Yeosang’s talents and experience from attending IB Music Academy when he was younger ended up earning him a spot in ATEEZ instead!
Considering how energetic and incredible San is on stage, many people are surprised to learn that he actually didn’t have any dance experience before joining KQ Entertainment! He did, however, have hard-earned strength and flexibility from practicing Taekwondo for years, which explains how he’s such an incredible performer.
After passing the audition for KQ Entertainment, San also applied for and didn’t make it onto MIXNINE. But this didn’t discourage him, and he became the lovable vitamin and amazing performer that he is in ATEEZ today!
Mingi had an interest in rap and dancing since he was young, and before he joined KQ Entertainment, he was a trainee at Maroo Entertainment instead! Also as stated earlier, he attended Seungri’s Dance Academy, Joy Dance, and Plug-In Music Academy when he was younger as well, honing his skills in dance.
He was also one of the four members of ATEEZ that applied for and made it onto MIXNINE, where he ranked at 23rd at first but ended up finishing at 62nd. It’s impossible to ignore his incredible rapping and dancing skills, though, and ATEEZ is so much better with him in the group!
Wooyoung decided that he wanted to be a K-Pop idol after performing on stage at school, thinking that he would enjoy the feeling of being on an even bigger stage. He attended Hanlim Multi Arts High School, where he was in the same class as Golden Child‘s Tag! He ended up joining BigHit Entertainment as a trainee for a while, the same as Yeosang, where the two became friends.
Also like Yeosang, he ended up leaving BigHit Entertainment in order to join KQ Entertainment instead. He was another member that applied for and made it onto MIXNINE, where he ranked 57th at the showcase and ended up finishing 72nd. Despite this, he still debuted with ATEEZ and has become an incredibly successful young K-Pop idol!
Before Jongho discovered his singing talent, he was actually really into sports when he was younger. This is likely why he is strong enough to break an apple in half with his bare hands! Eventually, however, he decided how much he enjoyed singing (how couldn’t he — his voice is phenomenal!) and decided to pursue that talent instead of becoming an athlete.
After auditioning for and joining KQ Entertainment, Jongho also participated on MIXNINE. He ranked 27th at the showcase and 43rd in the finale, so he ended up becoming the beloved maknae and power vocalist of ATEEZ!