Choi Jun-hong (Hangul: 최준홍; born October 15, 1996) better known by his stage name Zelo, is a South Korean rapper, dancer, singer and beatboxer. He is best known as a member of the South Korean K-Pop group B.A.P as the youngest and the lead rapper of the group. He made his recording debut with the single "Never Give Up" under B.A.P's sub-unit Bang&Zelo in November 2011. He is currently signed under TS Entertainment.
1996–2013: Early life and career beginnings
Zelo was born on October 15, 1996 in Mokpo, South Korea. He has one older brother. He aspired to be a soccer player when he was young, but then changed his dreams to becoming a singer as he chanced upon music and grew interested in it. He started practising beat-boxing and dancing at home. In 5th grade, Zelo was introduced by an acquaintance who recognized his talent to Joy Dance - Plug In Music Academy located in Gwangju, which is a well-known music academy as Big Bang's Seungri had attended it. He is a former YG Entertainment trainee. He auditioned for several recording companies but did not succeed generally because he was too young. He was finally accepted as a trainee at TS Entertainment. He graduated from Seoul School of Performing Arts in 2015.
2011–Present: "Never Give Up" and B.A.P debut
Zelo serves as the lead rapper, dancer, as well as being the youngest member of the group.
Artistry and influences
Zelo is the lead rapper of the group. Zelo is influenced by Hip-Hop, R&B and electronic music, and cites will.i.am and Kanye West as his role models. He also named 50 Cent and other rappers as his musical influences.
For Zelo's work with B.A.P, see B.A.P's discography.
Bang Yongguk & Zelo
|Year||Title||Peak chart positions||Album|
|2011||"Never Give Up"||65||Digital single|
|"—" denotes releases that did not chart or were not released in that region.|
Special Feature with Song Jieun
Zelo was featured in a track on labelmate Song Jieun's 2013 digital single album, Hope Torture. Zelo and Jieun performed their collaborative track, "Vintage" during a showcase for the album on September 30, 2013.
Collaborative Single with DPR Crew's V-Hawk
On March 9, 2015, V-Hawk of DPR Crew released "R(x)PLAY", a free single featuring Zelo. "R(x)PLAY" was Zelo's first independently-produced track and arguably the first track of his professional career that could solely be categorized as belonging to the rap genre.
Solo Track "No-Title"
Not long after the release of "R(x)PLAY", Zelo announced via Twitter on March 26, 2015 that he would soon release an independently-produced solo track that he had worked on while on hiatus in Canada earlier in the year. Zelo had previously alluded to solo work via his Instagram account at the end of 2014, when he posted a photo of himself and members of the Toronto-based production company Soundsmith Productions. His solo track, entitled "No-Title", was released by Zelo via a SoundCloud account on May 21, 2015. "No-Title" was Zelo's first self-composed track, for which he wrote both the melody and lyrics. It was produced by Soundsmith Productions and mixed by Sunny Diamonds as credited on Zelo's SoundCloud.
|2012||SBS MTV||Ta-dah It's B.A.P||Robot Zelo||Regular cast|
|Mnet||B.A.P's Killing Camp||Himself||Regular cast|
|2012||Mnet||M! Countdown||Guest MC||With B.A.P, RT M! Countdown (2012-02-23)|