OnlyOneOf: The Boy Group Breaking K-Pop Boundaries

Meet the six members of K-pop’s newest rising boy group


Lauren Nakao Winn

Words by Jovita Tedja

In the ever-evolving world of K-pop, OnlyOneOf stands out as a trailblazing group, fearlessly challenging the norms of the industry with their bold and sensual concepts. Debuting in 2019 with members KB, Rie, YooJung, JunJi, Mill, and Nine, the group’s discography consists of powerful tracks like “savanna,” “sage” and “seOul drift,” captivating listeners with a unique blend of ethereal melodies and raw emotions. As their music resonates with an ever-expanding audience, OnlyOneOf emerges as a rising group in the K-pop scene. The band just concluded a month-long inaugural tour spanning both the United States and Latin America, impressing audiences with their electrifying performances across all 18 shows.

“I think it was a very fun and happy tour because I was able to meet so many lyOns (OnlyOneOf’s fandom) from all over the world. I would definitely like to go meet more lyOns afterwards as well. Please wait for us,” Rie shared in our recent interview, reflecting upon the group’s successful tour.


Lauren Nakao Winn

While OnlyOneOf displays immense charisma as they command the stage, behind the curtains, the boys exude a friendly and comfortable aura, with a sense of warmth amongst the members. We heard about their love for snacks, especially Mill’s love for Doritos, so we prepared a bag of iconic American treats for the boys, a hit with KB especially.

From their tour, Mill recalls a fun episode involving Nine’s mother’s home cooking: “During our tour, Nine brought his mom’s homemade beef gochujang (red pepper paste). We miss Korean food so much, so all the members and I ate Nine’s mom’s gochujang together. I still remember that moment because it was so delicious.”


Lauren Nakao Winn

Through social media, the boys have shared many cherished memories of their time in the United States, like their visit to New York’s iconic Times Square, their break basking under the sun in Miami Beach, and their candid friendship captured backstage. Yet arguably, the most memorable event that happened during OnlyOneOf’s tour was when the boys helped a queer fan propose to their partner during their concert in Minneapolis.

As a group, OnlyOneOf has consistently been vocal about their support for the LGBTQ+ community and advocating for inclusivity. Having returned back to South Korea, the group is about to start their first challenge as actors, with all six members set to star in the Boys’ Love series Bump Up Business, based on a popular webtoon of the same name. While taking on roles in this queer production is not an easy challenge for them, JunJi assures fans that OnlyOneOf will “do their best and give it their all.” By participating in this project, the group would contribute to the visibility of the LGBTQ+ community in the Korean media.


Lauren Nakao Winn

This is certainly not the first time OnlyOneOf has taken steps to increase LGBTQ+ representation through their work. In 2022, the group launched the undergrOund idOl project, where each member showcased their talent through solos that identified the different kinds of love amongst individuals. The group also split up into three pairs to portray queer relationships in the music videos for this project. This was a groundbreaking moment in the history of K-pop, being one of the very few times a mainstream K-pop act presented a whole project on LGBTQ+ stories. 

Speaking on undergrOund idOl, KB sincerely hopes that everyone enjoyed their music and the authentic stories they shared. “I think there are many kinds of love in the world, such as friendship with friends, parental love, between lovers, and many more. There may be some things that we can’t express, but I think the message we want to convey through this series is to accept, empathize, and enjoy things as they are without prejudice,” he says.


Lauren Nakao Winn

Since their debut, OnlyOneOf has continuously pushed the limits of K-pop through their provocative, yet artistic concepts. For example, their two-part album Instinct discusses the intricate beauty of human desire and sexuality. While many people were shocked by the sexy yet enchanting title track “libidO,” OnlyOneOf has been insistent about unapologetically sticking to their mesmerizing visions. The group has also actively participated in the production of their music, with members taking part in songwriting.

On their creative process, Nine explains, “When it comes to concepts or themes, I make sure to write notes whenever I come up with something, and after making music, I match a theme or concept that fits the song. Sometimes, I’ll have a title first that I like and write a song to go with it. I don’t have a set routine because I often write tracks on the fly when I’m inspired and have a good idea. That’s why I think the most important thing is to listen to a lot of music on a daily basis to keep building up inspiration through new mediums.”


Lauren Nakao Winn

“I’m looking forward to the next project because I feel like I’m trying different things and learning a lot each time,” YooJung comments. While the members enjoy bringing their own ideas to life, YooJung also wishes to collaborate and work on music with other artists.

OnlyOneOf has their eyes set on the world stage, with KB mentioning that he looks up to international artists such as The Weeknd, Justin Bieber, Billie Eilish, Rosalía, Post Malone, and more. “I want to work harder and harder and strive to be on stage with them,” KB adds. It’s an exciting goal that keeps the group going.


Lauren Nakao Winn

Yet, despite the big ambitions they are chasing, the group is still the most grateful to their fans, lyOns. “There are still so many accomplishments that we have yet to achieve, but most of all, I’m really proud that we’ve gained so many lyOns so far. They are our loved ones who are walking the path of blossoming together with OnlyOneOf,” JunJi says.

Even as one of K-pop’s rising stars, OnlyOneOf is still grounded and humble. They look forward to their new adventures as artists, gearing up for more exciting opportunities ahead.

We end our interview with a classic question amongst K-pop fans. When asked if they can share any TMIs, YooJung discloses that he just dyed his hair. Is this a sign of their next promotion? OnlyTimeWillTell.

The six members of OnlyOneOf.

Lauren Nakao Winn

Published on June 1, 2023

Words by Jovita Tedja

Jovita Tedja is a K-pop journalist with a skill set that extends to set design and concert photography. Originating from Indonesia, she is currently pursuing her studies in mechanical engineering at the University of Pennsylvania, while maintaining a presence in both New York City and Philadelphia for her work in the K-pop industry. She has collaborated with many renowned K-pop artists, including Suga of BTS, ENHYPEN, CIX, P1Harmony, Dreamcatcher, LUNA of f(x), and ONEUS.

Photography by Lauren Nakao Winn

Lauren Winn is a pop culture whackjob who works in fashion. She is a sucker for genre-meshed aesthetics, a textbook workaholic, a bonafide digital media queen, and the sum of many rotating hyperfixations. If you want to get on her good side, greet her with a LaCroix or follow her on insta @laurennakaowinn.