“Real V- V.I. X. X., VIXX! Wow~” Meet VIXX, a six-member male idol group under Jellyfish Entertainment! VIXX stands for “Vocal, Visual, Value in Excelsis” (they were supposed to be VIX initially, but added the extra “X” for aesthetic value). VIXX was put together through MNet’s reality program MyDOL, which started on April 12, 2012 and ran through right up to VIXX’s debut in May. Let’s meet the winning members!
Name: Cha Hakyeon (차학연)
Stage name: N
Birthday: June 30, 1990
Blood type: A
- N choreographed “Starlight” for OTAKON and the “know-it-all” dance for “대.다.나.다.너 (G.R.8.U)”
- N was a trainee for almost 5 years
- @[email protected] is N’s favorite emoticon
- N really likes to karate chop the other members’ necks
- N really likes banana milk
- N gets scared really easily
- N really likes reading
- If he could have super powers, N would be like Spider Man
Name: Jung Taekwoon (정택운)
Stage name: Leo
Birthday: November 10, 1990
Blood Type: O
- Leo is the baby of his family and has three older sisters
- Leo knows Taekwondo
- Leo is ambidextrous
- Leo’s favorite cooking is his mom’s
- Leo is very athletic, and especially good at soccer
- Leo has a very special rosary from his mother that he holds on to when he needs comfort
- Leo is known for his “poker face”
- Leo trained for about three and a half years before debuting
Name: Lee Jaehwan (이재환)
Stage name: Ken
Birthday: April 6, 1992
Blood Type: AB
- Ken constantly tries to get his own feature on VIXX TV called “KEN TV”, but it’s usually sabotaged by the other members
- Ken’s signature line has become “오또카지(Ottokaji)”, a slurring mispronunciation of “어떡하지(Oh-tok-ha-ji)”, meaning “What to do?” (he even uses it for the theme song for “KEN TV”)
- Ken really likes Chopper from One Piece
- Ken loves to draw
- If Ken could have super powers he’d want to have x-ray vision or another type of power that people couldn’t tell he has just by looking at him
- Ken usually introduces himself as VIXX’s “cute main vocal”
- Ken was the last member to be chosen through MyDOL to be in VIXX
- Ken is the “mood maker” of the group, and easily makes people laugh
Name: Kim Wonshik (김원식)
Stage name: Ravi
Birthday: February 15, 1993
Blood Type: O
- Ravi has never introduced himself before his rap in the same way twice
- Ravi gave the name “ROVIX” to VIXX’s mascot
- Before wanting to be a rapper, Ravi wanted to be a bodyguard to protect his sister
- Ravi is Jellyfish Entertainment’s first rapper
- Ravi is good at graffiti
- Chris Brown and G-Dragon are Ravi’s favorite singers
- Ravi’s most treasured item is a notebook he uses to write lyrics in
- If he could have super powers, Ravi would be like Iron Man
Name: Lee Hongbin (이홍빈)
Stage name: Hongbin
Birthday: September 29, 1993
Blood Type: B
- Hongbin has two older sisters
- Hongbin is a HUGE Park Hyo Shin fanboy (Park Hyo Shin is also under Jellyfish Entertainment, which is part of the reason why Hongbin joined Jellyfish)
- For many episodes of VIXX TV, Hongbin poses as Ravi’s ‘artwork’ (sculpted by Ravi himself! Check it out at the end of VIXX TV ep. 13 )
- Hongbin really enjoys photography
- Out of all the members, Hongbin is the best at speaking Japanese
- Hongbin lived in a temple as a child and was a child monk
- Hongbin wanted to be a veterinarian if he didn’t become a singer
- If he had super powers, Hongbin would be like Captain America
Name: Han Sanghyuk (한상혁)
Stage name: Hyuk
Birthday: July 5, 1995
Blood Type: B
- N thinks Hyuk is the cutest thing ever
- If Hyuk was given a wish it’d be to make N mute
- Hyuk is lactose intolerant
- Hyuk’s favorite colors are black and white
- Hyuk doesn’t eat snacks
- If Hyuk could be an animal, he would chose to be a baby dinosaur
- Hyuk’s most valuable item is a necklace given to him by his older sister
- If he had super powers, Hyuk would want to be like the Hulk
About the Group
VIXX is definitely a group that moves fluently through concept styles. They made their official debut on May 24, 2012 with their upbeat, energetic first single “Super Hero” and then kept their style fun and active with their super adorable, super fun to dance along to single “Rock Ur Body”. “Rock Ur Body” especially has a special place in my video game loving heart with its 8-bit intro and arcade music video setting. Plus, SISTAR’s Dasom is the female lead, for all the STAR1’s out there!
VIXX changed it up for their third single and first mini album by switching to a much darker style. “다칠 준비가 돼 있어 (On and On)”, their third single, had the boys rocking highly stylized suits, crazy contact lenses, smoky eye makeup, and black nail polish. “다칠 준비가 돼 있어 (On and On)” is by far my most favorite VIXX release! “I need therapy, la la la la la therapy~” is, to me, the catchiest line VIXX has ever sung. Plus the build up to the each chorus always makes my heart race, no matter how many times I’ve listened to this song (and we’re hitting far over 1000 by this point). “Hyde” followed “다칠 준비가 돼 있어 (On and On)”, continuing their dark trend with another very strong song. “Hyde’s” sound has this way of constantly building itself up. It creates a high level of tension in the listener that just winds tighter and tighter until it ends almost abruptly. I find this aspect of “Hyde” fascinating as it contributes to the dark, intense and obsessive meaning of the song and MV. You can feel the strain the boys are undergoing in the song as they bounce back and forth between loving and hating, happiness and anger as they sing. It is a really all-encompassing feeling that transforms listening to the song into a fully immersive experience.
Using a very clever play on opposites, VIXX followed “Hyde” with their first repackage called “Jekyll”. The title track “대.다.나.다.너 (G.R.8.U)” was about as opposite to “Hyde” as VIXX could get, going from black backgrounds, dark clothes, and strangling their loved ones to one of the most colorful and smile-inducing songs, and my favorite release from Summer 2013! Not only is the song fun, but the video is crazy impressive. The entirety of the group acting scene was filmed in reverse- meaning the boys had to learn their lines backwards! The whole MV is filled with brilliant cinematography, but the reverse filming and the choppy, paper doll style animation really makes it a standout. Check out not only the MV but some of the cute, behind the scenes filming for it as well!
Behind the scenes: VIXX TV ep. 60 (Also, let’s all take a moment to really appreciate Kenyonce because that is just the greatest <3)
VIXX switched right back to their dark sides with probably the most frightening video of 2013 for “저주인형 (Voodoo Doll)”. For a rookie group, many were surprised by how gruesome the official, unclean version of this music video was. If you can handle the shock, though, definitely give it a watch! Like “Hyde” the song and video really work well together to create this very dark, rather haunting experience that fit perfectly with the “저주인형 (Voodoo Doll)’s” fall release. Plus it won the “Mordney’s Choice Award” for the 2013 Eat Your Kimchi Awards! It is most definitely a perfect song for horror and Halloween.
Probably what I love most about VIXX is how subtly clever they and Jellyfish Entertainment both are. “다칠 준비가 돼 있어 (On and On)”, “Hyde”, “대.다.나.다.너 (G.R.8.U)”, and “저주인형 (Voodoo Doll)” were all 2013 main promotional releases that carried a single story line running through all four songs. “다칠 준비가 돼 있어 (On and On)” sets the mood for the story with the line “I am ready to get hurt”, starting VIXX’s apparent descent into obsession over this girl—their readiness to undergo pain to be with her. “Hyde” keeps this theme going in two ways: as the boys repeat, “just can’t control” and through the semi-schizophrenic sounding bridge and obsessively needy chorus as they try to convince her of their love. Although “대.다.나.다.너 (G.R.8.U)” doesn’t seem as fitting within the four tracks since it is definitely lighter in mood and sound, it falls right into place with their love for this person. They reference “Hyde” with the line “I think I’m losing control” and definitely present an opposite way of presenting a similar message to this girl that “Hyde” was aiming at. “저주인형 (Voodoo Doll)” brings the story full circle. Lyrically, the song connects back to the beginning through the repetition of “I am ready to get hurt” and then follows with a story of a man who has succumbed entirely to this girl. In the end, they have become her puppets after their long, maddening pursuit of her. If that’s not impressive lyrics work then I don’t know what is!
Two other notable songs from 2013 include a pre-release track for from their first full-length album titles “대답은 너니까 (Only U)” and a collaboration song with OKDAL called “여자는 왜 (Girls, Why?)” Both songs showcase softer vocal abilities and demonstrate VIXX’s versatility both musically and visually. And aside from their promotional tracks, VIXX’s mini and full albums are riddled with a wide array of really beautiful, fun, heart-pumping B-tracks—some of my favorites include “어둠 속을 밝혀줘 (Light Me Up)” from Hyde, “어떡하지 (Say Love)” from Jekyll, and “Say U Say Me” from Voodoo!
May 27th marked VIXX’s comeback with “기적 (ETERNITY)”! Sticking to their darker themes, “기적 (ETERNITY)” outlines the aftermath of a bad relationship. It could be taken as a continuation from “저주인형 (Voodoo Doll)”, as the boys express a strange confliction between the sadness of losing this girl, and a simultaneous realization that, even if not having her is better (after all, she controlled and hurt them throughout the last video!), they’d rather be trapped in a dream world where they can relive this time with her and not have to face the reality of how awful this relationship really was. Putting all the analysis aside, “기적 (ETERNITY)” is just an amazing video to watch. The whole dance is really intricate and the way all six members play off each other is jaw-dropping! Eternity as a single is a pretty cool piece because all three songs connect to their own story of love loss as well. “Sad Ending”, my favorite track of the three, has a despairingly dreamy message as they attempt to let this girl go but ensure they’ll protect her. “Love, Lalala” seems to show them getting really lost in their dream as they attain their girl once more. VIXX are true story tellers, there’s no doubt about it!
On October 13th VIXX made their comeback with the emotionally intense track “Error!” They kept fans on the edge of their seats since the announcement back in September, boasting this to be their strongest concept ever. Compared to previously powerful tracks like “Hyde” and “저주인형 (Voodoo Doll)”, many wondered just how VIXX would top it all this time around. VIXX took on a cyborg theme, embracing jaw dropping CGI throughout the video’s story as well as still shots of the boys with robotic skeletons. The MVs story is subtle but heart-wrenching, and is a true testament to Hongbin’s (and KARA’s Youngji’s) acting abilities. And speaking of Hongbin, it’d be impossible not to mention the shock he caused Starlights when his deep register in the beginning of the track! This dance, much like VIXX’s previous, really stands out in how the members intertwine with and break away from one another. Moreover, it carries the cyborg theme beyond just the CGI in the video with how precisely their bodies carry out each movement (also the end move, but I won’t spoil how cool that looks here, you’ll have to check it out for yourself!). All in all, the track is beautiful, expressive, and evocative. It takes VIXX in a direction away from the pop sound they had in many of their earlier releases and continues down melodious the path that “기적 (ETERNITY)” started. The vocal talent that these boys possess is undeniable and between each members individually sung lines and the stunning harmonies that are woven throughout the track, “Error” is definitely a song that’ll stay on repeat for a long time!
Also, VIXX released a series of promises they’ll carry out depending on how many views the MV receives, so don’t forget to keep showing the MV a lot of love and a lot of views!
Why you need to ADORE THEM
For a group that has only been out for two years (and who celebrated their 2nd anniversary this past Saturday, May 24th!) VIXX are definitely global idols. Soon after their debut they were invited to OTAKON, a Japanese animation convention held in Baltimore, Maryland as one of their musical guests. VIXX continued their U.S. exploration as a part of KCON 2012 and through their Milky Way Tour that stopped in both California and Texas. They’ve also been to many events elsewhere like Malaysia, Japan, and Canada, to name a few of the countries they’ve already explored in their short time after debut.
To me, what make VIXX so endearing is not only their amazing abilities as performance idols, but their charisma. Since debut, VIXX has been releasing shorts under the title of “VIXX TV” where they keep fans up to date on what’s happening in their schedules. VIXX TV is far more than just a news platform, it’s a way for VIXX to come closer to their STARLIGHTS and show them more than just their stage personas. VIXX TV, on VIXX’s official YouTube channel, is also subbed in English—making it accessible to STARLIGHTS outside of Korea as well. VIXX is very good at this sort of communication. Although it’s impossible for every VIXX fan to attend all of their stages and fan meetings, through VIXX TV and Twitter and other social media platforms it’s very easy for fans from all parts of the world to feel just as connected to and loved by the boys of VIXX. They’re an incredibly expressive and welcoming group, and I have found it very hard not to fall head over heels in love with everything they do. Here’s a few of my favorite VIXX TV episodes, to hopefully give you a taste of their adorable, playful nature.
(Also, they make pretty fantastic women, wouldn’t you agree? Check out their full performance as VIXX Girls here!)
Are you a longtime VIXX fan? Have you just started listening to them? What’s your favorite thing about the boys? Favorite song?
– Samantha, NYC writer <3