Topping the charts with their latest comeback, K-Pop group VERIVERY has quite literally rocked the world with their sensational second single album, SERIES ‘O’ “ROUND 1: HALL.” The group made their official comeback last month with their reggae-pop track, “Get Away.” The song charted #1 on Billboard’s “World Digital Song Sales” charts for two consecutive weeks, a feat only accomplished by a handful of K-Pop acts in the history of the chart. “Get Away” is the act’s second single to top the chart followed by their last title track, “G.B.T.B. (Go Beyond The Barrier).” With two, back-to-back charting tracks, VERIVERY are proving themselves as one of the most promising acts to debut in recent years.
Catching up with them as they wrap up a month-long series of promotions, the boys took time out of their busy schedule to sit down with us and have a little chat. Covering everything from facing one’s inner darkness to sharing their hopes and dreams for the future, the members of VERIVERY (sans Minchan who is still on hiatus) opened up to us in an engaging conversation that went a little something like this…
KPC: Last year, you concluded your FACE it trilogy, where you explored the concept of facing the many sides of oneself. Now that you’ve moved on, could you please share with us how SERIES ‘O’ “ROUND 1: HALL” serves as the next chapter in this narrative?
VRVR: First of all, FACE ME, FACE YOU, FACE US, were all about discovering and facing ourselves. SERIES ‘O’ “ROUND 1: HALL” is an extension of the previous series, and brings with it a desire to go deeper. Not only is SERIES ‘O’ “ROUND 1: HALL” a prelude to our new series, but it serves as an extension of the previous series as well. With its release, we hope to delve into a deeper, more profound subject, than what we were promoting with FACE it. This album is about VERIVERY being invited to a wild party by a stranger. In it, we convey a concept of discovering and facing the inherent dark side in each of us. We think you’ll be able to see that we all have darkness within us, but this darkness isn’t ultimately bad. Also, you can see a more mature and fatally sexy VERIVERY through this album.
KPC: As you’ve said, the concept of “Get Away” is much darker. What challenges did you face in taking on this darker concept? Was it difficult making this transition, or has it been fun working with this darker side?
VRVR: We’ve learned and felt a lot through the FACE it series. In order to face the dark side, we think you should understand and accept the darkness first. The process could be complicated, difficult, but once you learn and accept it, you can utilize the darkness to live a better life. Based on this, we have discovered and faced our own dark sides and tried to express that through the music video, with our facial expressions and skills, to deliver the concept. We worked very hard to present this concept of discovering and facing the dark side inherent in us, especially during the filming of the music video. It does a good job of telling a story while presenting our message. We were all very much into the concept at the time and we really enjoyed filming it so we hope you have a chance to watch it!
KPC: What do you hope your fans will take from this message? What have you learned?
DONGHEON: I hope our fans can accept various aspects of themselves and love themselves, especially in the time we are living in now, when it’s easy to sink into depression. I think about my own dark side a lot. I think I learned and grew through the process of facing it.
HOYOUNG: I tried to face myself so I could truly understand the concept. When I took a moment to really look at myself, I had the chance to see the dark and negative sides of myself. I came to accept myself as I am which made me feel much better and allowed me to gain more self-confidence. It made me realize that by looking back and understanding myself often, both on and off the stage, I can become a better person.
GYEHYEON: I just want to tell you not to look away from the darkness but accept it, learn how to handle it, and understand that having a dark side is not all bad. I don’t want you to receive the message in any negative way, because the message we want to deliver is not negative. We don’t want you to neglect your dark side, but rather accept and embrace it and live on. There were many times, before debuting, when I had doubted myself, especially in regards to my abilities, but I have come to think more positively about myself. I am working harder to not let my personal frustrations get me down and have come to think more positively about myself as I am learning how to turn negative thoughts into a motivating force to work harder.
YEONHO: When you find the dark inner side, it’s easy to think that the darkness, and the difficult situations you find yourself in, are really bad. But what I’ve learned while preparing this album is that this dark inner side is ultimately a piece of myself. So I’ve thought a lot about how to face this side of me and how I can both handle and utilize it.
YONGSEUNG: I would like people to interpret this inner darkness from various perspectives, as the darkness can be perceived differently. I want to emphasize that there are multiple aspects to this dark inner side, and that it can be found in everyone. But that is not necessarily a negative thing. I tried to focus on that thought and this concept a lot while preparing for the album. I wanted to immerse myself in the concept and really grasp its mood. It felt much more relaxing once I accepted my dark side as it allowed me to understand myself better.
KANGMIN: I hope you can face your dark side and feel that part of yourself. If you come to know and understand the differences, you will be able to improve yourself and ultimately, find yourself in a better place.
KPC: During the songwriting process, songs tend to go through multiple revisions before they’re finally ready for release. In some cases, the song could be vastly different from its original version. Have you experienced this with your own music? If so, what was it like to watch your songs grow and change into the final version? What is your favorite part of this process?
VRVR: We feel really proud when a song we have worked on is completed. In the process, the lyrics, choreography, and vocal parts change. But we think that by sharing our opinions and ideas with each other, the music becomes stronger. We’re proud of our process and how a song is modified along the way. As a song morphs during the mixing process, seeing how its quality improves over time is exciting and fun. All of the editing ultimately makes for a better performance and through this process, each track becomes a much more meaningful masterpiece. Working meticulously on our songs makes us happy and we are really proud of them all.
KPC: It’s been a few years now since your debut and obviously, you’ve grown a lot since then. What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned since your debut?
VRVR: First of all, we would like to thank our fans who always support and love us. We are able to exist as VERIVERY because of our fans, and they are both the reason we work so hard and the reason we have met with such success. They are our driving force, our motivation to work hard and our inspiration. Promoting can be hard but they bring us so much joy. That’s why we feel that communications with our fans is the most important thing. We wouldn’t be here without our fans and we’re so happy they can find comfort in our music, our dance performances, and our stages.
KPC: This past year has presented some pretty big challenges for all of us, but especially for artists such as yourselves. Despite everything, some artists have found new inspiration during this global pandemic. Could the same be said about you?
VRVR: We’ve been so sad that we haven’t been able to meet our fans and it has taken us a long time to get used to this change. Once again, we feel that our fans are precious but we have really come to understand just how valuable our fans are, since the energy and atmosphere on the sets just isn’t the same without them. We’ve thought a lot about how we could use this time apart. It’s hard, but we have tried to turn this situation into an opportunity. We have spent a lot of time immersed in various creative activities, including writing more songs. We’ve tried to communicate more with our fans online and have studied non-face-to-face performances in order to communicate better. If we suffer, our fans may suffer even more, so we’ve worked really hard to communicate and connect virtually with our fans. We studied more on how to deliver the most ideal performance for an untact stage.
KPC: While it may be hard to connect with fans now, in the past you’ve been a group that has really spent a lot of time with your fans. Looking back, what have been some of the best compliments you’ve ever received?
DONGHEON: “You are doing good.” I think that compliment cheers me up the most.
HOYOUNG: “I’m always cheerful and energetic when I work because of you, HOYOUNG.” That was the most memorable compliment for me. Anytime VERRER tells us that VERIVERY means the world to them, or is everything in their lives, or that we give them strength, it means a lot. We’re all energized when we hear things like this and it makes us think that we need to work harder, but it also gives us so much strength.
GYEHYEON: I feel grateful whenever I hear fans say, “My life has gotten so much happier since I came to know VERIVERY.”
YEONHO: “Thank you for being my singer. You are always doing well.” These words are the most amazing and memorable compliments.
YONGSEUNG: “You are a good dancer.” It’s a simple sentence, but it makes me feel the best.
KANGMIN: Whenever VERRER write something funny, I always smile while looking at them. I am always thankful for them.
KPC: We’ve asked a lot of serious questions so now it’s time to lighten things up a bit and have a little fun, if that’s alright with you. What’s something you’ve never done before but have always wanted to try?
DONGHEON: I would like to learn bass guitar.
HOYOUNG: My hair is usually black originally, but it’s been more than two years since I’ve dyed my hair black, so I would really want to try it again.
GYEHYEON: I want to have a concert with our fans. I really hope we can do it as soon as possible.
YEONHO: I want to go paragliding. I heard, from people who have done it before, that it is an astonishing and moving moment. People who’ve tried said it’s a really touching moment so I’d like to try.
YONGSEUNG: Showing a perfect synchronization is fun, but I would really like to stand on the stage, using just a stand mic, and focus on singing. Performing a perfectly synchronized dance is fun, as it’s one of our strengths, but I would like to put on a performance focusing solely on singing with a stand mic, which is something I haven’t tried yet.
KANGMIN: I would like to try bungee jumping.
KPC: If you had your own personal YouTube channel, what sort of content would you like to create?
DONGHEON: I want to try a daily Vlog for fashion and shopping.
HOYOUNG: I want to do a Vlog with my puppy, when I get to raise one.
GYEHYEON: I would like to try making content out of my daily life, like a composition Vlog, or just a daily life Vlog. Something that I could share with my fans.
YEONHO: I want to try mukbang and singing on YouTube. I would like to create a personal YouTube channel later.
YONGSEUNG: I would like to try a lot of different things, like choreography videos, a Vlog, games, and a communication broadcast with fans.
KANGMIN: I would like to give a Vlog a try, and also a music channel.
KPC: You’re always posed questions from the media and your fans. We want to turn the tables and ask, is there anything that you’ve always wanted to ask your fans?
DONGHEON: Hey, VERRERs, you guys didn’t forget us, right? We miss you so much.
HOYOUNG: Do you have any concept ideas that VERIVERY could do in the future?
GYEHYEON: I would like to ask fans if they have taken up any new hobbies recently, to help them overcome these tough times.
YEONHO: I want to know what they think and how they feel while listening to our music.
YONGSEUNG: Did you have your meal? Always take good care of yourself!
KANGMIN: Please let me know what my attractive points are.
KPC: Is there one question you’ve always wished someone would ask you but never have?
DONGHEON: No matter what the question is, anything that is related to me would be significant. I would love to be asked any question regarding me personally, regardless of who asked the question or even what the question was.
GYEHYEON: I would like to be asked if there is any music style or genre I would like to challenge myself with.
YEONHO: I would like to receive questions such as ‘what kind of life do you want to live in the future.
YONGSEUNG: I love talking about dancing, so if someone were to ask me what I think about dancing, I think I will have fun answering it. I would love to share my philosophy on dance and what I think of it. I think I would have a lot of fun answering these questions.
KANGMIN: Rather than I answer, I would like to ask DONGHEON, what you think of me as the youngest member in VERIVERY?
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Kpopconcerts would like to thank VERIVERY, Jellyfish Entertainment, and Edward Leary for the interview opportunity.