Let’s Take A Look at B.A.P’s Zelo’s Career Journey!
For all of the K-Pop fans that have been here since the 2nd Generation era, it is impossible to not know about the boy group B.A.P. Once dubbed as BTS’ strongest rival during their debut era, the group was a huge success in their early career before they were swiped up with the contract conflict in their company. Although the group faced conflict, their bonds got even stronger as they faced it all together as a group. B.A.P is known to have six charming members, one of them being Zelo, which is famous as being the maknae and rapper of the group. Unfortunately, on December 24th, 2018, S Entertainment as the agency that oversees the group made a statement that confirmed that Zelo officially would leave B.A.P. They explained that Zelo’s exclusive contract ended on December 2nd, 2018. However, Zelo chose to stay with B.A.P until completing his tour in Europe titled Forever with BABYz. Not long after, B.A.P decided to disband as of February 18th, 2019.
Although the group no longer exists, the memories will always stay in the fans’ minds. So now, in order to cherish the memories of the group, let’s take a look at Zelo’s complete career journey from the beginning to now by scrolling down the article below!
Zelo’s Full Profile
Stage Name: Zelo (젤로)
Birth Name: Choi Jun-hong (최준홍)
Date of Birth: October 15th, 1996
Zodiac Sign: Libra
Height: 187 cm (6’2″)/190 cm (6’3″) (Approx. real height)
Weight: 74 kg (162 lbs)
Blood Type: A
Website: ZELO OFFICIAL
- Mokpo, South Korea, is his place of birth and hometown
- He has an older brother named Choi Jun-seo and a pet dog named Mochi
- He studied at Sungdae Middle School and School of Performing Arts Seoul (Class of 2015)
- Noona “Killer” was his nickname
- Besides Korean, he can also speak English
- To become a soccer player was his childhood dream was but he changed it after he began developing a love for music and aspired to be a singer
- Dancing and beatboxing are his passion
- At the age of 10, he was introduced to a very well known music academy in Gwangju, which former Big Bang‘s Seungri and BTS‘ J-Hope had also attended, where he received training for rap and dance
- He went to several auditions at an early age but came back with no success due to him being very young
- In 2011, he joined TS Entertainment and debuted within the same year in a hip-hop duo called Bang & Zelo along with former groupmate Yongguk
- In total, he was a trainee for six years
- Grey, green, and red are his favorite colors
- Kimchi is his favorite food
- Out of all the other B.A.P members, he was the closest to Jongup whom he used to share a room with
- He has two tattoos and one nose piercing which he got in 2016
- He wants to be called “Oppa” by all of his fangirls, regardless of their age
- On Celuv iTV’s I am Celeb, it was revealed that he is a close friend of Seventeen’s Hoshi
- His shoe size is 285 mm
- He and former groupmate Himchan used to be awkward around each other
- On March 16th, 2019, he disguised himself as a fan and went to Yongguk’s solo fan signing event
- On January 26th, 2012, he re-debuted with B.A.P under TS Entertainment where he served as the lead rapper, lead dancer, and the ‘cute and pure’ maknae
- Will.i.am, Kanye West, and 50 Cent are his musical influences/role models
- He described his ideal type as “a person with a pretty smile who’s good at English”
- On December 2nd, 2018, his contract with TS came to an end, and he decided not to renew it
- Although he left the agency, Zelo chose to stay with B.A.P until completing his tour in Europe titled Forever with BABYz because he wanted to see the Babyz
- Although they have disbanded, all B.A.P members have hinted the possibility of future reunion under a different name
- In January 2019, he collaborated with artist Lee Ye-joon for the song/MV “You, Me and Us (너와 나 우리)”
- In early summer 2019, he debuted as a solo artist under A Entertainment
- In February 2019, he had his own first fan meeting in Japan
Debut with B.A.P
In March 2011, TS Entertainment announced that they would be debuting a boy band in 2012. Bang Yong-guk was the first member to be announced as a member of the upcoming boy band with the singles “Going Crazy” (ft. Secret’s Ji-eun) and “I Remember” (ft. B2ST’s Yang Yo-seob). Then, Kim Himchan was the second member to be introduced and revealed that he would be an MC on SBS’ The Show. Later, during an interview with Allkpop, TS Entertainment announced Zelo as the next member to be introduced by releasing a statement:
“Zelo is the youngest member (maknae) of the members who are scheduled to debut, but he is a talented individual who has great potential, which he can rap alongside doing acrobatics and dance. Zelo comes from ‘Zelos’, the god of competition in Greek mythology. He is named that because we see how hard he tries among all his older members.”
On November 23rd, 2011, TS Entertainment finally debuted Zelo as a member of a subunit with Yong Guk as they released the single “Never Give Up” as the first single. “Never Give Up” is featuring the South Korean choir Heritage.
One year later, after Zelo’s debut in the south unit, he re-debuted again with the group B.A.P in January 2012, releasing the debut single titled “Warrior.” Zelo filled the position as the dance leader and rap leader, as well as the maknae of BAP. Their debut single met them critical acclaim as various media outlets dubbed the song and its music video, “strong and charismatic.” They even held a debut showcase in Seoul, South Korea which was attended by more than 3,000 people on January 28th, 2012.
The group stood different than other K-Pop boy groups at the time as they played a new role in the image and musical direction. They are one of the first boy groups that displayed a “tough, bad-boy” image instead of a flower-boy persona. The group also attracted attention with their similar blonde hairs during the debut.
The MV itself has been watched for more than 23 million views since it was first uploaded in January 2012.
Take a look at their unwavering charisma and Zelo’s incredible skils in the MV below!
Zelo began his career as a solo artist when he signed a contract with A Entertainment in March 2019.
The announcement was released by A Entertainment on March 18th, 2019, as they stated, “Zelo has signed an exclusive contract with our agency.”
They went on to reveal that Zelo would presume his solo activities with a fan meeting in Japan. They said, “[Zelo] will be holding his first solo fan meeting on [March] 22nd in Kawasaki, Japan. Starting with this fan meeting in Japan, we will fully support Zelo’s future solo activities.”
On June 7th, 2019, the agency then revealed the teaser foto for Zelo’s first debut mini-album Distance.
— ᴢᴇʟᴏ (@ZELO96) June 7, 2019
The announcement of his solo debut was also revealed on Zelo’s personal Instagram where he mentioned that he would be releasing his album somewhere in June 2019.
He then dropped his debut mini-album, Distance, and its title track “Questions” on June 21st, 2020.
The MV was full of colors and the song was a medium tempo track that can make you dance and sing along. In this album, it was also revealed that Zelo joins at the composer for all of his songs and even wrote the lyrics.
The MV was met with various praises from fans who missed him as they commented:
“What Zelo did: 1. Join as a composer for all the songs in his 1st mini-album, 2. He also writes the lyrics, 3. He Rap, 4. He sings, 5. He dances. How can you do all of this 😍,” wrote one user.
“Beautiful.✨ I wish you a lot of success in your career and that everything goes well.💕💕🍀 I send you a lot of love and support from Mexico, we love you and we will support Zelo💖,” wrote another fan.
“OMG ZELO! I AM SO PROUD OF YOU! THE ALBUM IS AMAZING,” commented another fan.
Shortly after his solo debut, he decided to leave A Entertainment and began to promote his work independently starting October 2019.