On February 14, 2011, Dalmatian made their first comeback with the release of their debut self-titled mini album with two lead singles, “Lover Cop” and “That Man Opposed.” Comparing the songs with Dalmatian, the group felt that the former showed dark feelings about unrequited love while the funny lyrics and soft and cute appearance of the latter depicted white feelings.
Dalmatian then released a remix of the song on April 4 which they promoted thereafter. Soon after promotions ended, one of their members, Dari, enlisted in the army on April 25, 2011. The group attempted to release a follow-up record but was faced with various delays by the circumstances surrounding their company.
Released on March 2, 2012, Dalmatian covered the acoustic song “The Romantic” for the original soundtrack of the tvN television series of the same name. Dalmatian released a second mini-album titled State of Emergency and the lead single titled “E.R” on May 16, 2012. The song was produced by the music duo Duble Sidekick who oversaw production on all tracks on the album along with the group.
DMTN released the song “Safety Zone” on January 29, 2013. After the release of the single, DMTN started regular promotions on Mnet’s M Countdown on January 31, 2013. Then, their agency stated that DMTN was on hiatus for several years and released their newest single titled “Never Forget” on June 19, 2020, for the group’s 10-year anniversary.
Dalmatian has appeared in several variety shows such as Dalmatian’s Manager Goes on Strike that was aired on Mnet from September 7 to November 9, 2010, with a total of 10 episodes and also hosted the entertainment program Idol TV Dalmatian on SonbadakTV which was broadcasted in 2012.
DMTN’s Career Journey
Dalmatian was formed as a hip-hop and dance group. They have a clear distinction of each position of their members between rapper and vocalist. The group strives to show its fierce and manly side and gentle charms through sentimental music.
Dalmatian was also inspired by one of the boy group concepts that had debuted before, which is g.o.d. According to Segye Ilbo, Han Jun-ho recorded the retro melody in the debut single of Dalmatian while praising the members’ outstanding skills in rapping and dancing.
In 1999, Inati was a member of the hip-hop group People Crew, and he suffered a rare intracerebral hemorrhage in April 2004 and fell into a coma. His bandmate, MC Mong, pleaded with Inati and promised to make an album for him if he regained consciousness; he remained in a coma for two months before waking up.
Later on, Day Day and Dari joined the group in the same year. Daniel was added later. With the addition of the last member, MC Mong officially announced a five-member unit in December 2009 with the aim of making its debut in February of the following year. The combination of the two words “dalmatian” and “musician” was chosen to signify the fashionable and distinctive unwavering loyalty to their fans.
Dalmatian made an appearance as a guest at the year-end concert MC Mong Variety Spirit in the third and final appearance of the series at the Olympic Gymnastics Arena in Seoul on December 31, 2009.
In March 2010, MC Mong founded the music agency Monkey Punch and served as the company’s CEO and record producer. Prior to the group’s debut, a member withdrew from the lineup to enlist in the military. He was replaced by Donglim in July, and Jeesu was added as the sixth member.
In August 2010, the management company MacroShore filed an injunction with the Seoul Central District Court against Monkey Punch to ban the distribution of Dalmatian’s music and videos, claiming that the agency abandoned Donglim’s exclusive contract with the company after adding him to the group in violation of the agreement, but the court dismissed the complaint a month later.
Time went by for Dalmatian’s career journey, and Day Day left the group for personal reasons. Later, Simon was added to the lineup, and Dalmatian as a quintet began working on new music. They prioritized their image transformation and maturity through a new concept and chose a more masculine impression. After the end of the group’s contract with IS Entermedia, they left the company and signed with 2Works Entertainment.
In 2013, Dalmatian changed their group name to DMTN (Desire, Motivation, Timing, Now) which was also derived as an abbreviation of their previous group name. Their agency explained the name change decision, commenting, “It is unheard of for the promoting group to change their name. However, it was a decision made after much thought to provide a different and more mature image than before. The original Dalmatian.”
Daniel is said to have come across the words that DMTN stands for himself. Following news of the group name change, a member of the group, Young-won, announced that he would no longer use his stage name and chose his birth name Donglim.
On March 8, 2013, an arrest warrant was filed against DMTN member Daniel by the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency. DMTN’s Daniel was suspected of selling and using marijuana. No marijuana was found on his body when police ran tests.
However, after further hair tests were carried out, the result was positive. On the same day, Daniel admitted to helping with the distribution of marijuana, but he and his agency confirmed Daniel did not physically use or sell marijuana.
He acted as an intermediary in the sale of marijuana 12 times and sold marijuana 4 times. He was sentenced to 1 year in prison and charged a fine of 7,160,000 KRW. 2Works Entertainment put the group on hiatus in 2013. The company commented, “For now, it is difficult to make any decisions until Daniel’s trial is over. The members currently carrying out activities will continue with them.”
Furthermore, the company denied rumors of DMTN’s Daniel leaving the group or the group continuing without him by clarifying, “We never thought of group activities without Danny.” This eventually culminated with DMTN’s de facto disbandment. Prior to disbanding, the group was scheduled to begin promotions overseas in April and release an album in May.