Former DMTN member Jeesu has made his solo debut as Kixs (pronounced “kiss”) under Soulshop Entertainment. Although DMTN was never formally announced to have disbanded as a group, the members have gone their separate ways since the release of their last single. Originally the face and vocalist of his group, Kixs is now one of the few former members that is still performing, and his solo debut allows for these charms to shine through.

Kixs’s debut single “Beautiful” is impressively composed by the artist himself, with the help of Duble Sidekick, and featuring rapper San E. The song’s title in Korean (“비율 A+” — it’s meant to sound similar to the word “beautiful” in English) literally means “proportions A+,” and it does a pretty good job capturing the overall idea of the lyrics, which are about just that.

The song is centered around praising a girl’s figure, stating she’s “short but [she has] the perfect proportions.” While I’m sure vertically challenged people like me would appreciate the shoutout, I’m not a fan of the message of lyrics as a whole, which basically attribute the singer’s attraction to the girl to her body. Nevertheless, the lyrics are playful and unserious, with some rhyming that is at times borderline funny — looking at you San E and your “want to become [her] body lotion.”

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AJ29X5Dwang]

In the music video, the A+ figure in question is represented by Kara’s Goo Hara, who features as Kixs’s on-screen girlfriend. Throughout the video she’s seen posing around a house and teasing a lovesick Kixs, looking undeniably beautiful, though the short outfit that she’s seen in at the beginning of the video has caused it to be labelled as unfit for the viewership of minors.

The MV gives the impression of being filmed in one take — the changes between transitions are more than enough indication that it of course isn’t — and follows Kixs as he alternates between chasing Hara around the house and breaking into dance during the chorus of the song. The set’s bright lighting and colour create a lively atmosphere, but it doesn’t take the focus away from Kixs.

And it’s Kixs himself that makes the video as fun as it is. His comedic expressions, his heads-over-heels acting and everything down to those glittery eyebrows of his create a lighthearted mood that is reflective of the song. On that note, it’s good to see him bringing those varied expressions (and those brows) with him on live stages; they’re really what make his performances come alive.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=guqpKqnKuKM]

With a bouncy rhythm and a easy-to-follow melody, the composition of “Beautiful” follows the formula of a public friendly song and does it well — the tune is a pleasant earworm that carries hints of ’90s dance music, further reinforced by the dance break present in Kixs’s live performances. The song plays to the artist’s strengths, as his unique vocals are strongly suited for the upbeat track that “Beautiful” is, and the timbre of his voice conveys the perky tone of the piece.

150215_seoulbeats_kixs_haraHis rough high notes in particular add an interesting sound to the music, best represented by not only the ad-libs penetrating the last refrain, but also the lift of the note on “wow” in the chorus, which maintains the listener’s attention. San E’s parts also slides in smoothly with the rest of the song, and his rapping is on point as usual — his tone and pacing adopt a playful quality that adds to the enjoyment of “Beautiful.”

Kixs’s solo debut shows promise with his refreshing first single and the charisma he shows as a performer. Overall, “Beautiful” is a fun listen that makes one glad Kixs’s voice is still present in the music industry; all the best to his new solo career!

Rating: 4/5

(YouTube [1][2], SoulShop Entertainment)