VAV Are An Underrated Sensation, Coming to Shake Up the K-Pop Industry
If you're looking for another boy group to stan, look no further. VAV have held successful tours everywhere from South America to Asia, garnered almost 700,000 subscribers on YouTube, and were the first ever K-pop group to perform in Uruguay (which resulted in them being awarded a plaque of appreciation for it).
VAV are a 7-member group consisting of St. Van (leader, main vocalist), Baron (main dancer, lead vocalist, visual), ACE (lead vocalist, lead dancer), Ayno (main rapper, main dancer, vocalist, visual), Jacob (rapper, vocalist), Lou (main rapper), and last, but not least - Ziu (main vocalist, youngest member). They are from A Team Entertainment and debuted on October 31, 2015. They re-debuted in February 2017 with 'Dance With Me with the members Lou, Ayno, and Ziu.
I came across VAV a couple of months ago when I heard the song, "Venus (Dance With Me)."
From there, I fell down the VAV wormhole slowly and I'm very glad I did. I went through and listened to every single song VAV ever released and that really gave me the chance to really appreciate the different tones and vocal colors in each of their voices. Sitting down and going through their discography gave me the opportunity to hear how well their voices blend together so seamlessly. Every single member comes with their own unique style and sense of individuality, but they are able to mesh together. Also, their ability to effortlessly switch between genres from retro pop to tropical house to Latin pop should be noted.
You may have seen a lot of VAV content on your Twitter timeline recently based on the influx of fan service being shared.
BUT, outside of their ability to engage with their fans in a hilarious yet wholesome manner, they are incredibly talented entertainers and deserve recognition for their passion, incredible singing abilities, and dedication to their craft. With their complex dance routines, diverse collaborations, supportive relationships of one another, and fun to watch music videos, VAV have developed a dedicated fanbase (called VAMPZ) all across the GLOBE.
I had the opportunity to interview some VAMPZ from all over the world and they had a lot of positive things to share about the group and their interactions with other fans within the VAMPZ community.
Levi, @Thrillakillaszn, from the United States said “I really enjoy their music and the production of the music videos they release." He added on, "They're definitely a safe space and outlet to escape from reality for a few moments and let go of whatever negative feelings I harbor."
Kelly, @jihoneyb, from London, England said, "I’m a fan of VAV because I love their music and how much they love their fans. They give me a bit of a 2nd Generation K-pop vibes, which I LOVE." Kelly adds, "They’re also really goofy and likeable as well as super talented, especially Ayno and Jacob."
Daisy, @WANG7_VAV, said "VAV are one of THE most loving and welcoming idols out there. They’re very open with their fans and one of the things that has always stood out to me is how much they keep in contact with us as VAMPZ, regardless of the language barrier, how far we are from them, etc."
Daisy also goes on to mention VAV's struggles and their growth along the way. "Another huge thing that stood out to me was the struggles that VAV has gone through and how they got through it. Regardless of all the obstacles that they faced, they never gave up and fought harder and harder everyday for themselves but also, as they always say, for VAMPZ. VAV and VAMPZ have always been and will always be ONE."
It just goes to show how connected VAV are to their fan base considering how much of an inspiration they are to those who follow and support them. Daisy concluded with, "VAV have taught not only me, but every VAMPZ out there, around the world, that despite what obstacles we face, we are all strong enough to get through each and every one of them. Every member of VAV has always shared pieces of their life with us. The struggles, the victories, the failures, but most importantly what we all are together. We are family and VAMPZ have always proved that."
Another fan named Amy, @Anotherhardstan, from (North) Germany said, "VAV are super passionate with their music and a real inspiration for VAMPZ to keep going and never give up, no matter what they are going through. She adds on, "VAV means a LOT to me. I had the chance to meet many new friends that are now almost as close to me as the friends I have in real life. The possibility to meet people through the VAV World Tour have created some of the best memories I have! It's really amazing how I was able to find friends all across the globe that I hopefully can meet one day!"
If YOU are looking for a song to get into VAV, one of my favourite music videos and dance performances from VAV is “POISON”, which garnered over 15 MILLION views on YouTube. It's their most recent comeback and I can honestly say it did NOT disappoint. From the visuals, the cinematography, the slick choreography, and the song itself, this was so intensely beautiful to both listen to and watch.
Another song that I recommend and is absolutely timeless is ‘Gorgeous.’ This song is so much fun. It's like the kind of song you would play at the introduction of a happy-go-lucky, coming-of-age teen movie of someone about to attend their dream college and live the life they’ve always dreamt of. It's just so joyful and easy to listen to. On top of that, the choreography is SO smooth. It's not too chaotic and all over the place. It's just right and I'm sure all 6 million of their viewers felt the same way watching it. This was the song that really helped solidify why I’m more than happy that I became a fan of VAV.
When I asked Faith, @lovinglou, why she became a fan, she said "I became a fan of VAV because of their love for their fans. I saw that they did so much shows and busking, they met fans any chance they had. For them it’s always been about the fans, never about winning award shows or getting money (which is never a bad thing)."
Faith goes on to say, "I became a part of this fandom back in 2016 which isn’t long but still enough time to see their progress and glow up. I just want people who don’t know them to see the group for who they really are - talented, funny, amazing, crazy at times and loving. Without VAV I wouldn’t be as happy as I am now. They helped me make so many friends and connect with many people of different cultures."
Zhy, @nugu_cult, from India said that she discovered VAV after she graduated from highschool and after watching one video, she couldn’t stop. Zhy said that, “they're special because I never thought I would like a post-2012 K-pop group to this extent. I like a lot of older groups, so I was pleasantly surprised when I found myself going back to them.”
With that being said, VAV also developed a HUGE Latin American audience after the release of the song, ‘Senorita,’ so it's incredible to note that they've released a music video for BOTH the Spanish and English versions of ’Give Me More.’ They collaborated with De La Ghetto and Play-N-Skillz to help promote this song to their international audiences.
Michelle, @michkpop16, said, "I am a fan of VAV because their music is very interesting to me, always surprising us with a different style. An example would be when VAV did a collaboration with De La Ghetto and Play-N-Skillz named ‘Give Me More’. And making a Spanish version called 'Un Poco Mas’."
VAV have also:
1) Collaborated with hello82 in a funny yet cute video to test their Spanish abilities
2) Sang ‘Poison’ in Portuguese
3) Reacted to ICONIC Latin music videos
4) And, also challenged the notably talented Latin girl group, Belladose, in a song challenge.
These efforts to break into garnering a larger Latinx audience is worthy to note considering how large the Latin music market is. In fact, the Latin music market has become one of the most important streaming music markets thanks to an escalating smartphone adoption, web access penetration, the democratization of creativity thanks to new technology and the availability of streaming services-dominated by Spotify. The fact that VAV are successfully tapping into this market is incredibly exciting considering how there aren't many other Korean pop groups who are doing the same.
VAV even performed in Uruguay and were the first ever K-pop act to do so, which resulted in them receiving a plaque of appreciation from the Korean Embassy for doing such. Mar, @giveittxme, from Uruguay said that when it was announced that VAV were coming to her country, she was very surprised because no one had ever done that before. She looked them up and was hooked instantly. She said, “I loved the diversity in their songs, their voices, their styles and everything they had to offer.” She even has ‘VAV’ tattooed on her wrist because of how much they mean to her and how much immense joy they bring her.
When I asked what encouraged Chyenne, @neocitychen, to become a fan, she said "I'm a fan of VAV because their music brings something fresh and fun to the k-pop scene. In a time where EDM kind of took over k-pop, VAV actually revamped their entire sound and added a little more groove to their music, which set them apart from other groups."
She goes on to say, "I always believed that they could become a popular group one day, not only because they're so talented and work so hard, but also because of how much they constantly show love and appreciation to the fans who continue to support them." She ends off by saying, "It means a lot as a VAMPZ to see them grow from basically an unknown group to now gaining millions of views on their videos and touring so many different countries where people are genuinely rooting for them...they deserve that and more."
Another reason why many people stan VAV is because of all of the funny content they've put out for their fans. From playing improvisational games with popular YouTuber, Whitneybae, at her acting school and doing Fortnite dance challenges with her, as well, the viewers were in for a treat.
Mia, @KeonheeLovesYou, said “VAV means a lot to me because they have created beautiful memories for me. I struggle with depression and they are always so happy that it makes me also want to be positive. They make me want to reach my goals just like they strive for theirs.”
Another example of VAV’s wholesome interactions was Q2HAN, twins from South Korea, interviewing VAV while they gave a lucky fan a makeover.
There was also Heyitsfeiii who hung out with VAV for an entire day and the viewers really got to see how personable, humble, yet funny all of the members are. It didn't even feel like I was watching rising K-pop stars hang out with a popular YouTuber. It felt like a group of young adults just vibing and that made me appreciate them even more.
With all of that being said, VAV are a rising K-pop group and they've shown their outstanding skills through their discography, their performances, and their dedication to their loyal fanbase. VAV are incredibly ambitious yet underrated, so I'm wishing them the absolute best and I can only hope that all of their efforts bring forth more success, recognition, and prosperity in the near future. I know that their loyal and growing fan base is rooting for them, as well. I genuinely appreciate their ability to delve into new styles, aesthetics, and genres so effortlessly while still staying true to their image. I'm excited to see what the future has in store for VAV and I, along with other VAMPZ, will be supporting them through it all.