[Herald Interview] From Brazil to Europe, VAV hopes to expand global footprint

By Hong Dam-young

Published : Feb 14, 2018 - 16:47
Updated : Feb 14, 2018 - 17:04

Having recently returned from a tour in Brazil, K-pop boy band VAV isore motivated than ever, with a goal in mind to expand its reach all around the globe.

"It’s really interesting that more than half of our social media followers were from Brazil, even before we visited the country. We didn’t realize our popularity in Brazil until we got there,” said Ayno from the seven-piece group in an interview with The Korea Herald in Seoul on Tuesday.

VAV, from “Very Awesome Voice,” may sound unfamiliar to local K-pop fans, but it has a strong presence outside the country.

 

VAV poses after an interview with The Korea Herald in Seoul on Tuesday, wearing Korean traditional dress hanbok to celebrate the Lunar New Year holiday. (Park Hyun-koo / Korea Herald)


Fueled by the act’s growing popularity in Brazil, St.Van, Baron, ACE, Ayno, Jacob, Lou and Ziu toured Brazil and held meet-and-greet events in Rio de Janeiro, Fortaleza and Sao Paulo in January. Shortly after the tour, the act released its third EP, “Spotlight,” at the end of the month. The group debuted in 2015 with its first EP, “Under the Moonlight,” but it wasn’t until “Spotlight” that the act began to gain recognition as global K-pop idols.

Band leader St.Van said the group’s popularity in Brazil was totally unexpected, as the country had not been on its radar at first. After it began to see a growing fan base on social media, the group was officially invited to the country, he said.

VAV appeared on major local TV channels and gave several interviews, including with Zoeira, one of Brazil’s most influential magazines. #They performed in the country‘s famous annual cultural event “Anime Dreams 2018 in Brazil” and even met popular Brazilian actress Naty Meg, an avid fan of the group who attended VAV’s fan events.


VAV poses after an interview with The Korea Herald in Seoul on Tuesday, wearing Korean traditional dress hanbok to celebrate the Lunar New Year holiday. (Park Hyun-koo / Korea Herald)


Brazilian fans’ unbridled passion also took the members by surprise.

“One of our fans had a tattoo of our group name on her arm, which was mind-blowing. Some fans said they had waited at the concert venue for seven days, just to see us,” Ayno said.

So what is it about VAV that it enjoys such popularity outside of its home country? There could be a lot of factors, but the members agreed its social media activities and contents have been major reasons. In an attempt to engage with global fans, the group has been releasing its own “V Cam,” with foreign subtitles, more than three times a week.

“I could really feel the power of social media, as we could see the growing number of hits on those videos,” Lou said. The act also shared that Naty Meg became a fan of VAV after seeing the group on Instagram. 


VAV poses after an interview with The Korea Herald in Seoul on Tuesday, wearing Korean traditional dress hanbok to celebrate the Lunar New Year holiday. (Park Hyun-koo / Korea Herald)


The group’s unique dance hall sound may have also caught the attention of Brazil. The band said “Flower” and “She’s Mine,” powerful dance-driven tunes accompanied by catchy hooks from its recent album, were the most popular sing-alongs in Brazil.

“Our songs feature upbeat rhythms that could sound unfamiliar to Koreans. But for global fans, maybe our unique sonic style sounded attractive. After seeing our Brazilian fans singing along to our songs in Korean, I felt more responsibility as an idol promoting K-pop around the word, on the opposite side of the globe,” Baron said.  


VAV poses after an interview with The Korea Herald in Seoul on Tuesday, wearing Korean traditional dress hanbok to celebrate the Lunar New Year holiday. (Park Hyun-koo / Korea Herald)


The group’s next stop will be in Europe. From March 22 to 29, VAV will hold fan events in European cities including Moscow, Cologne, London, Madrid and Warsaw. But the group will not forget to focus on local promotions as well, considering it has a comparatively lower profile in Korea. The group plans to travel around Korea to continue its “Wing Car” guerilla concerts and hold fan meetings more often.

Asked about plans for the upcoming Lunar New Year holiday, VAV said the band would keep preparing for its upcoming European tour.

“After our Brazil tour, we set a new goal. We hope to visit anywhere in the world, whether it’s Europe or Asia, if there are people who want to see our performance,” ACE said.

(lotus@heraldcorp.com)

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The Korea Herald by Herald Corporation