SHIN PENIEL : An Angel who can rap

SHIN PENIEL is one of the members of the group BTOB and its sub-unit BTOB4U.


SHIN PENIEL, also called SHIN DONG GEUN (신동근), was born in Chicago, USA on March, 10th, 1993. He has an older sister called JENNIFER and 2 nephews who love him. American citizen, PENIEL has no military dury in South Korea.


He fastly left his family and US to follow his dream in South Korea. After successing the auditions at JYP ENTERTAINMENT, SHIN PENIEL then started his life as a trainee. 2 years later, when he was about to debut with the band DAY6, he left the company and entered CUBE ENTERTAINMENT to finally make his debuts with BTOB.  He was the last member to join the group.

More than a talented rapper, he also has the role, sometimes, of a vocalist. On several videos, he demonstrated he’s a very good singer.

Unsatisfied of being a great artist who can play guitar quite well, PENIEL also proved he was a great producer. Indeed, in 2016, the first sub-unit of BTOB, entitled BTOB BLUE, made its debuts with the song “Stand by me“. The music video was produced by PENIEL. And it is truly amazing.


During a podcast show called DAEBAK SHOW, MC being ERIC NAM, who’s a friend of PENIEL, the rapper told his surprising story of how he entered JYP ENTERTAINMENT.

While his friends were applying for the auditions, PENIEL thought it would be fun to apply since he was quite a good guitar player. After he applied, he finally saw that there was a course for “models” and he changed his application. He thought “If I can do 3 poses and get hired, why would I try to sing?” Since he had no experience in modeling, he just followed the advices that were given to him. During the audition, that was happening in the USA, the mannagers suddenly asked him to sing and dance, what he did for an hour. After that, JYP ENTERTAINMENT called him to tell him he had passed the audition. This is how he left the US to live in South Korea, in 2010.

It’s in 2016 that he finally launched his solo career with some mixtaped projects. His first title, “Repeat“, featuring the rappers KAIROS & LEGACI, was released on Youtube on March, 23rd, 2016.

In 2017, he finally released his solo track for the concept “PIECE OF BTOB“, an album gathering the members’ first solo songs. His song is called “That girl“. SHIN PENIEL is, as of now, the only BTOB member who didn’t release a solo album. Thus, he released few songs on digital platforms

In 2016, PENIEL opened his own channel on YouTube where he uploads videos to share more moments with his fans.


In 2016, with a great courage during a TV show called “Hello counselor” (episode 299), SHIN PENIEL announced, in front of fans and audience, that he was suffering, since 5 years, of Alopecia Areata, which is a sickness that causes hairloss. He announced, with a big honnesty, that this sickness was the reason why he’s been wearing hats, caps & co for the past 3 years. 70% of his hairloss was due to stress and frustration because he wasn’t able to tell the truth. During this show, after revealing his past guilty feelings towards CUBE ENTERTAINMENT, BTOB members and the fans, he finally revealed his shaved head for the first time.

This announcement, that was shocking and full of emotions, was well welcomed by the fans and the members of the group, especially with YOOK SUNGJAE, youngest member of BTOB, who posted a very supportive message on his SNS:

PENIEL, you have the softest heart in the world. We support you, stay with us just the way you are.

Aside from this public confession that shown how brave he is, PENIEL also announced he was sometimes feeling frustrated because he was feeling like not helping to promote the band, as the other members were. With a hard beginning in South Korea, a country where he had everything to learn, from culture & tradition to language & writing, he announced in few interviews that his first years in Korea were quite hard for him. Thankfully, he got a lot of help from friends and members.

Because of those difficulties, PENIEL looked really shy in the early years of the group and was almost always rapping in English. During TV Shows, he always was the one who were shy and didn’t talk much. The members did teach him a lot and this is with BTOB 4U, the second sub-unit of the group, created in 2020, that the fans could finally see the singer in a new way. First leader of the unit composed by only 4 members, PENIEL shown  a new profile to the fans. Full of tease, more participating, more amused and especially more colorful, the fans agreed on the fan that this sub-unit revealed his true self.

SHIN PENIEL – Show your love MV

Young man with a pure heart, SHIN PENIEL is always smiling, even in hard times. He always shows up to support the members or taking care of them and their safety when they’re excited. In 2020, on the enlistment day of the 2 members YOOK SUNGJAE & IM HYUNSIK, a picture was taken and shared on SNS, showing him helping an old person crossing a dangerous road.

The other members see him as someone who doesn’t share his toughts and feelings easily. Thus, he has this special capacity to make anyone smile, no matter in which condition. Very positive, he takes care a lot of the people around him.


SHIN PENIEL is also a big fan of photography. He created a specific Instagram account dedicated to this passion. Also, he made all the photos for the solo album of LEE CHANGSUB, one of the vocalists, album entitled “MARK“.

He also has a dog, PENNIE, he kept with him quite some time in South Korea before sending it to his parents, in USA, as he couldn’t take care of it in a perfect way, due to his activities with BTOB. PENNIE was very loved when she was in South Korea, by PENIEL of course but also by all BTOB members that loved her a lot. PENIEL even made an Instagram account for her, where he was sharing a lot of pictures.

Finally, he does a lot of workouts and oftenly goes to the gym to keep his “perfect body proportions”. On SNS and during interviews, he said he was working out a lot because he was eating quite badly. Working out was a way to stay healthy while eating random stuff he likes.



SHIN PENIEL is a genius rapper, amazing singer and unique photographer with a soft heart. The fans call him “The Angel” because he always shows a lot of support and care to the other members, even though he isn’t good at expressing his feelings. He doesn’t like doing “aegyo” (cute actions) and it amuses his fans quite a lot when he is forced to. Active on SNS, he shares a lot of moments with his fans.


Journalist: Natacha
Translator: Natacha



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