MONSTA X’s I.M has officially signed with Sony Music Korea following his departure from longtime agency Starship Entertainment.

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Sony Music Korea announced the addition of I.M to its roster of artists on November 16, an “exclusive” partnership the label said will “accelerate his growing career as a solo artist”. Other musicians currently housed under the label include Korean rapper sokodomo, singer-songwriter Demian and indie singer msftz. K-pop girl group EXID are also managed as a unit by Sony Music Korea, notably since they reunited as a group in September.

“I can’t wait to make my personal sound with Sony Music Entertainment Korea, especially as I continue to develop my music career and mature as an artist,” I.M said of his new move to the label in a press statement. “I’m eager to show my fans a different side of me and connect with them on new music.”

He also added that he felt “sincerely grateful for the experiences I’ve had over the past seven years, and for the career I built with my MONSTA X team members”. “I look forward to new challenges ahead and the opportunity to push the boundaries as an artist,” the Korean idol concluded.

Sony Music Korea’s managing director Bobby Ju also spoke about I.M’s new contract with the agency. “I.M has had a very successful career. Sony Music has been a launchpad for so many talented artists worldwide and we’re excited to be partnering with I.M in the next phase of his music journey,” he told press.

I.M’s move to Sony Music Korea comes about four months since he opted not to renew his contract with longtime label Starship Entertainment in August, making him the only member of MONSTA X to do so. However, both Starship Entertainment and Sony Music Korea confirmed that I.M has a separate deal with the former company to remain part of the K-pop boyband, despite being housed under different labels.

In a handwritten letter shared shortly after his departure from Starship, I.M told fans that he chose to leave the company in favour of “a new challenge with a different meaning”. “So after a lot of thinking, I came to this decision. I want to sincerely thank my Starship family members who I’ve spent many days with, laughing and crying together up until now,” his letter read.

The post MONSTA X rapper I.M officially signs with Sony Music Korea appeared first on NME.

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