From baseball to singing: the story of Stray Kids’ Seungmin (2024)

Seungmin of Stray Kids: how the K-pop singer’s baseball dreams became musical ones, and why he feared growing up

Stray Kids were a “super rookie” nine-member boy band unveiled by K-pop company JYP Entertainment in 2018. After Woojin, one of the original members, left for personal reasons nearly two years after debuting, the group became an eight-piece outfit noteworthy for writing and producing their own music.

Let’s take a look at the group’s main vocalist, Seungmin, who was born Kim Seung-min.

His early life

Seungmin was born in Seoul in 2000 and, inspired by his grandfather’s success as a baseball pitcher during high school, he wanted to become a baseball player. When he was nine, Seungmin was photographed throwing the ceremonial first pitch at a game for the SK Wyverns, a South Korean baseball team. His sporting dreams, however, were crushed when his family’s financial situation took a turn for the worse, he said in an interview with XportsNews.

From baseball to singing: the story of Stray Kids’ Seungmin (1)

Seungmin began exploring music while in fourth grade, where he joined nursery rhyme competitions and performed in a choir.

At high school, Seungmin was close friends with Lee Dae-hwi, who later joined K-pop boy groups AB6IX and Wanna One. Before Lee transferred to the School of Performing Arts Seoul, he became a trainee at JYP and encouraged Seungmin to attend trainee auditions.

Seungmin, then 16, sang a cover version of K-pop singer Kim Dong-ryul’s Old Song, which earned him the first runner-up position at JYP’s 13th round of open auditions.

About a year after joining JYP, Seungmin and eight other trainees competed in idol survival show Stray Kids. Unlike other idol shows, Stray Kids made the trainees work together in missions handed out by JYP.

After 10 episodes, Seungmin made his debut as a member of Stray Kids.

From baseball to singing: the story of Stray Kids’ Seungmin (2)

His role in Stray Kids

The main vocalist of the group is known for his baritone voice and ability to hit low notes. On Stray Kids’ first single, Hellevator, Seungmin opens the track with his low and breathy voice. On more recent tracks, such as Mixtape: Gone Days and Mixtape: On Track, Seungmin has explored using a higher register with soft falsettos.

Seungmin is also the group’s resident photographer. “I like to take photos. I go around with my camera or phone and take pictures of members or the scenery,” he said on variety show Weekly Idol.

His solo career

Seungmin does not have a substantial solo career but, during an XportsNews interview, he said he dreamed of one day holding a solo concert for his fans. “I’ll work harder to make this happen sooner,” he added.

Outside his musical work, Seungmin has regularly hosted television variety shows – he was a host on We K-pop on the KBS World channel and Arirang TV’s After School Club for 22 episodes.

From baseball to singing: the story of Stray Kids’ Seungmin (3)

His image

On One Kid’s Room, a show that profiles Stray Kids members, Seungmin’s fellow members described him as “diligent”.

During the show, as Stray Kids member Hyunjin discussed the band’s “Young Wings” mixtape album, he said: “Seungmin still tells me, ‘I’m not happy with the recording quality of it’. He’s been saying that for two years. He said: ‘Because it’ll be around forever, I need to give my best’. That’s why he’s so obsessed with it.”

Seungmin holds himself to high standards when it comes to singing. When he has an upcoming performance, he will not turn on the air conditioner – even for his dance lessons. He always wears a mask and warm clothes so he doesn’t get ill.

Still, despite his serious persona, Seungmin allows himself relax with his bandmates, often playing tricks on them and scaring them by letting out squeals and randomly entering their rooms for no reason.

From baseball to singing: the story of Stray Kids’ Seungmin (4)

In his own words

Becoming a K-pop star had a great impact on Seungmin’s school life. During an interview months after debuting, Seungmin said he used to walk around with friends and play together while eating.

“But since making my debut, I eat in the classroom. After finishing my meal, I never go outside and only talk to my classmates,” he said. “I don’t always have the chance to talk to my classmates. But when I do, I ask what they’ve been doing and how they’re doing recently.”

From baseball to singing: the story of Stray Kids’ Seungmin (5)

Seungmin, who (according to Korean custom) officially became an adult at 20, said he had doubts about whether he could ever grow up.

“I want to stay a student. I don’t want to be an adult,” he said with a laugh in the 2018 interview. “The word ‘adult’ seems awkward, even though I’m a young adult.”

The following year, though, Seungmin seemed to have figured it all out. On One Kid’s Room, he said: “I’d like to be someone who finds meaning from what he’s doing and doesn’t look back.”

From baseball to singing: the story of Stray Kids’ Seungmin (6)

From baseball to singing: the story of  Stray Kids’ Seungmin (2024)


Why did Seungmin not become a baseball player? ›

He was introduced to baseball by his grand-father. He initially dreamed of becoming a baseball player but he had to stop because of an injury and other problems. Still, he liked singing ever since he was little.

Is SKZ disbanding I.N 2025? ›

Stray Kids disband date [year] is said to be 2025 and once their contract has ended, they can choose to renew for a certain number of years or to disband. Since their contract is a 7-year contract and they debuted in 2018, it's very likely their contract will end in 2025.

Who gets the least lines I.N Stray Kids? ›

Stray kids line distribution is all of over the place, sometimes it's ok but other times it's completely unfair. I'd say Han or Bang Chan have the most lines and Felix usually has the least lines. And I.N is not the main vocalist, it was Woojin before he left but now it's probably Han or Seungmin.

How did Seungmin learn to sing? ›

A few years ago, Seungmin decided he wanted to get vocal lessons outside of their company, JYP Entertainment. He hired his own teacher, and over the course of several months he noticed a huge change in his voice. It was richer and more powerful. He had more control.

Is Seungmin injured? ›

Neither the members nor the staff travelling in the vehicle were “seriously injured” but they “sustained mild muscle pain and bruises”.

Is Hyunjin getting married? ›

Is the Stray Kids members married? Yes, they all are. I will personally introduce them myself. Recently Hyunjin just got married to his fiance of a year Americano (iced) I was personally hired to sing the Americano song at his wedding that he co wrote for me and also Han to sing.

Will Stray Kids overtake BTS? ›

Stray Kids are the anomaly among their countrymen (and women). At the rate they're going, Stray Kids may very well tie BTS's record by the end of 2024. If they can produce another two No. 1 albums next year, they'll match the boy band that came before them.

Will Felix do military service? ›

If he chooses to have a Korean citizenship he will have to enlist, but if he does not, it is not a requirement. Felix and Bang Chan both have Australian citizenship, so no, they will not be completing their manual military service because of that.

When did Itzy disband? ›

Itzy debuted in 2019 under jyp entertainment. Usually contracts get over after 7 years of debut, and after it gets over then the idols either renew it for another 5–6 years or completely end it. So according to this, itzy's contract would end in 2025–26 and they might or might not renew it.

Why does Felix get no lines? ›

His deep voice - Usually when an idol has a deep voice, they don't have a lot of lines. I think that's because their voice fits well in specific parts of the song. So, Felix doesn't a lot of lines because he is given lines that show off his voice more.

Who chose Stray Kids? ›

Straying from tradition, the entertainment company entrusted Bang Chan with the decision on which members would make the cut, instead of deciding on their own. And the rest as they say is history — with a whole lot of earworm-y K-Pop tunes. Think you know Stray Kids?

How many #1 does Stray Kids have? ›

Rock-Star marks Stray Kids' fourth No. 1 on the Top Album Sales chart.

What race is Seungmin? ›

Kim Seung-min (Korean: 김승민; born September 22, 2000), known mononymously as Seungmin, is a South Korean singer and songwriter.

Can Seungmin speak English in Stray Kids? ›

Jisung (Han) went to an international school ( a school with an American system) in Malaysia which taught English. Seungmin also speaks English and has great pronunciation, but he is not as fluent as Chan or Felix.

What is Seungmin's English name? ›

Seungmin- Not long after Han's and Felix's birthdays is Seungmin's which is September 22nd 2000 making him 22 years old as well. His Legal name is Kim Seungmin and his english name is Sky.

Why did Seungmin leave ASC? ›

On July 18, it was announced that Seungmin of Stray Kids and Han Hee-jun would co-host with Jamie. Seungmin left the show on December 12 due to scheduling conflicts. Seungmin's last episode aired on December 25.

What baseball team does Seungmin support? ›

His favourite sports are baseball and basketball. He is a fan of the Lotte Giants baseball team.

Who is the adopted Korean baseball player? ›

Refsnyder was born in Seoul, South Korea, and adopted by a couple from Southern California when he was five months old.

What game did Seungmin pitch for? ›

Stray Kids' Seungmin took the mound on March 18, before the Team Korea vs LA Dodgers exhibition game of the MLB World Tour Seoul Series.


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