The South Korean boy band VERIVERY (@the_verivery) is halfway into their third year together, and throughout an occasionally tumultuous industry – their stalwart brotherhood remains as solid as their individual regard for music.
In a fairly short amount of time, VERIVERY (VRVR) has managed to stay in the spotlight as a strong, compatible unit placed together by Jellyfish Entertainment, also home to the influential and adored group VIXX. All seven of the VRVR’s members (DONGHEON, HOYOUNG, MINCHAN, GYEHYEON, YEONHO, YONGSEUNG, and KANGMIN) were selected by the company with the objective to redefine a new generation of greatness sparked by a kindred desire to present authenticity.
Almost immediately, the group made it clear to the public that they intended to break boundaries from the very start of their careers – coining their own ‘DIY’ series of art through song and video production. Unafraid of any prospect of experiencing failure or being misunderstood, VERIVERY designed long-running series to help its members prosper while discovering if their idea of music could successfully attract listeners. Not only did the group manage to hit sales numbers that veteran artists would be pleased with from their debut mini-album, but guaranteed themselves a faithful fanbase and the trust of their company to follow their intuition.
Over time, this would slowly help the group gain traction with global fans as well, earning themselves a US tour in 2021, nearly 500,000 albums sold to date, and music videos that steadily surpass over 10 million upon release. Musical talent aside, their willingness to go all-in with various reality series, vlogs, and the occasional display of friendly competition, only contributes to their admirable nature – because, for VRVR, the idea of hard work also means an opportunity to pursue their dreams to the fullest.
Having already found their niche, the group was recently able to finally launch their debut album at the end of April with their title track “Undercover” showing a recognizable shift in demeanor that comes with time. Regardless of their widely cherished consistency from the starting point of their career, the confidence they embody in “Undercover” somewhat feels like an unexpected fresh starting point for VRVR. In first week sales alone, the new album SERIES ‘O’ [ROUND 3 : WHOLE] has already surpassed 100,000 copies, with a guarantee of much more to come.
As our first all-male K-Pop group to be featured as our digital cover star, the members of VRVR opened up about their admirable careers and complete respect for one another.
A Refined Version Of VERIVERY
Series ‘O’ Round 3: Whole is your first official studio album in the three years you’ve been together, so I can only imagine the emotions that came out of this experience! What were some of your initial impressions or reactions to the news that you’d finally be bringing this to life?
VERIVERY: Since it’s our first full-length album since our debut, we’re very excited, nervous, and have a lot of emotions going back and forth. First of all, we’re so, so happy. We prepared it for a long time and put a lot of effort into this, so we hope many VERRERs like it. We’re so excited to perform various songs and performances. We’re also looking forward to seeing the different reactions where fans can relate to our new music in their lives.
You’re known for being a group that thrives when you get to self-produce or when you’re actively involved in the process, and that comes with some unique territory that not every singer is prepared for! Did this lengthier process for a studio album create any new variables or challenges?
VRVR: It was a very tight schedule because we prepared for it alongside the last digital single album, but since it’s a full-length album, the number of songs has increased a lot, so it’s physically difficult and the recording process has not been easy. But, as hard as we’ve worked on it, we feel proud when we hear the results. We feel excited and happy just thinking of showing you good music and performances.
Sonically, how would you say that the album shows off the growth and changes that you’ve undergone as a tight-knit group over the years?
VRVR: We’ve been together for a long time and have built strong bonds together, so we have a lot of faith in each other. This bond seems to have made the fears of, ‘Can we do new things?’ disappear little by little. We can now enjoy and accept challenges that were hard to think of in the past. This album is one of those processes. And it shows that we can do various styles of choreography as we continue to challenge various genres and show that we have no limit.
Switching gears a bit – I really enjoyed your reality series and online content because it provides an opportunity for people to see VERIVERY in a more personal way. Out of all of the things you’ve done together, from traveling to gaming, and sports, what’s something that you still hope to do together in the near future?
DONGHEON: I want to go on a trip in the near future. When I have a day off, I’m planning to go on a trip alone, although I do think it’d be better if the members were with me.
HOYOUNG: I want to play sports together again! I also want to take everybody somewhere and hang out together.
MINCHAN: I want to go camping with the members!!! I haven’t been there yet, but I want to actually set up a tent, open fire, and cook delicious food.
GYEHYEON: I want to go surfing with the members again, just like the last time we did before our debut when we were on a reality program.
YEONHO: I personally want to travel abroad with the members. We’ve been on a lot of schedules [work trips], but we’ve never been abroad for a trip, so I want to go on a trip together.
YONGSEUNG: I think our fans will enjoy it more if we show a more natural image of us traveling and playing games in the near future.
KANGMIN: We haven’t been able to go on a trip on our own since our debut. I want to go on one.
As time goes on, it seems like people are still actively discovering VERIVERY and your incredible combination of personalities and artistry. If you were each going to introduce the group for the first time, what would you say is a fresh and unique ‘selling point’ for the group?
DONGHEON: I think our group is a group that’s hard to define. At first, I thought a lot about what kind of team we would be, but if someone asks me what kind of team VERIVERY is, I think my answer would be: ‘I can’t give you an exact definition.’ but in a good way!
HOYOUNG: I think I’d say, ‘We’re VERIVERY, with a rainbow-like charm.’
MINCHAN: Our members have a variety of charms that can’t be explained in words. Because it’s hard to express it all at once, I think it’d be good if each of us probably displayed a pose that would express our charms.
GYEHYEON: We’re a group that’s on the rise, with only uphill battles from here, so taking that same passion into consideration, I’d introduce our group as an ‘entrance’.
YEONHO: If I were to introduce a group for the first time, I’d like to introduce us with the line, ‘We’re a group like a blank canvas.’ This is because a blank canvas can be covered with any color.
YONGSEUNG: I think it’s best for people to understand us by saying, ‘Check us out yourself!’ [laughs]
KANGMIN: I’d like to introduce us as a group that continuously improves. Our members are always trying to improve through their personal reviews and feedback on each other.
New Music, New Heights
From a chart perspective, you’re actually getting to see that growth in real-time too, with a recent placement at No. 2 on Gaon, and almost 100,000 albums sold for SERIES ‘O’ [ROUND 3 : WHOLE]! As your platform expands and you get to explore larger releases, have you developed any new goals/hopes?
DONGHEON: Since we are promoting VERIVERY to many people little by little, our next goal is to step out and tell our stories on a larger stage.
HOYOUNG: My next goal is for us to win first place on a music program. Also, it would be great if VERRERs would be there celebrating with us. Being with VERRERs would be the best because winning first place wouldn’t have happened if it weren’t for VERRERs.
MINCHAN: I want to let more people know about us through this album and if possible, I want us to win first place on a music program.
GYEHYEON: I hope more and more people will recognize and acknowledge our music and performances.
YEONHO: Rather than a new goal, I have a goal that I’ve been thinking about since our debut. I hope VERIVERY can promote together for a long time. I want to win No.1 on music shows this year!
YONGSEUNG: I’m the type to always thank the fans for their support. I’d be really happy if we could do that, show our thanks, for this album as well. I also want us to win first place on a music show.
KANGMIN: I really want us to win first place on a music program this time.
At the end of 2021 you also went on your first US tour which looked like such a phenomenal time! What are some of your favorite memories from that adventure?
Adoration For Our Fans
VRVR: Actually, every moment of the performances would be what we consider most memorable for us, but if we were to pick something that happened off stage, it was the first fansign event held overseas. It’s been a really long time since we met the fans and heard their cheers. We remember the thrill from that time and it cheered us up a lot. After the concert, we have many memories of us talking and playing games with each other [the members] while eating at our hotel.
I appreciate that fashion totally plays an important role in music (especially in K-pop) when factoring in concept images, stages, and more, which you’ve always committed to! With that said, what would you say should be deemed as a classic VERIVERY style?
DONGHEON: I think VERIVERY’s signature style is modernity.
HOYOUNG: We like being comfortable. Comfortable-styled outfits are our signature style.
MINCHAN: Actually, I’m not very interested in fashion myself, so I don’t know… I think it’s a style that’s comfortable and casual.
GYEHYEON: I think our signature style is the fashion that looks like a group outfit but also expresses our individual traits.
YEONHO: Rather than defining VERIVERY’s signature style, I think the members become cooler when they wear suit-concept outfits.
YONGSEUNG: We always dress neatly, but I think any look that fits our age without being too much is our ideal fashion.
KANGMIN: I think fashion is a really important part of K-pop. It’s a way to tell the direction of the song and what we want to express. I think VERIVERY’s signature style is the outfits that we wore for all the album promotions.
In closing, thank you so much for becoming our newest digital cover star, and congratulations on your monumental release! Are there any final messages or thoughts you have for Vanity Teen readers and the ever-passionate VERRER?
VRVR: Vanity Teen readers and VERRERs! Since it’s our first full-length album, we worked really hard so that you can enjoy it for a long time. We hope that we can be with you together for a long time as a memory, your comfort, and some excitement throughout our promotions. Please show a lot of interest and love for this album. Look forward to VERIVERY’s performance! Take care and we love you!