This week, in compliment with our TOMORROW X TOGETHER cover story, we’ll be rolling out individual spotlights on each member of the K-pop act. Today, we spend some time with the group’s leader, Soobin. Also check out our Yeonjun, Beomgyu, Taehyun, and Hueningkai interviews, and don’t forget to get your copy of the limited edition magazine collector’s box featuring six exclusive TXT covers and more at the Consequence Shop.
Soobin, the leader of TOMORROW X TOGETHER, is a very tall young man. Most of the members of the group tower over their peers in the K-pop world — three of the band members clear six feet — and Soobin has them all beat.
Sitting in a hotel room in Osaka, Japan, it’s almost as if Soobin, cozy in black sweatpants and a matching T-shirt, is unaware of this fact. With his stature, he could presumably be intimidating if he wanted to be; instead, he’s unfailingly polite and remarkably sweet. He bows to shake my hand as he sits down, offering an off-the-record recommendation for an anime on Netflix as we get comfortable. Soobin is soft-spoken enough that the interpreter in the room with us sometimes has to lean in to catch his responses. He dips his head again when he gets up at the end of our conversation.
“I’m not usually the talkative type,” he says, smiling shyly. “I don’t know how to make things flowery and eloquent.”
According to his bandmates, though, Soobin’s leadership strength isn’t dependent on locution. “Soobin is in charge of communications, and we can look into each other’s eyes when we are rehearsing and tell just from that how we’re feeling,” fellow TXT member Taehyun explains. For the group, the concept of communication extends beyond public-facing comments and speaking responsibilities.
At 22 years old, Soobin is not the oldest member of the group — that would be 23-year-old Yeonjun — but when TXT debuted in 2019, he was introduced to the world as the leader nonetheless. This is not uncommon in K-pop, as this title and its responsibilities often have more to do with personality than age. Soobin seems to be a generally agreeable person who is comfortable with taking a backseat a lot of the time, as he does when his bandmates are in the room the day we all meet.
That laid back attitude extends to his downtime, as well. In the past, a day off for Soobin would involve a lot of “watching animation lying down.” Recently, though, free time means spending the day with friends, catching up on movies, or going swimming. He’s also trying to become a better cook; one of his more recent endeavors was dakbokkeumtang, a Korean dish of braised spicy chicken.