K-pop boy band Vixx ditch their dark image for clean-cut, preppy look

In February, when K-pop boy band Vixx released the video for their new single, Love Equation, many fans were pleasantly surprised at how sweet - and normal - the visuals were.

In Love Equation, a sunny, upbeat number, the sextet are decked out in casual jumpers, jackets and trousers, shooting hoops, playing video games and goofing around.

For any other K-pop boy band, a video like this is almost de rigueur.

But Vixx, who debuted in 2012 and comprise N, Leo, Ken, Ravi, HongBin and Hyuk, have not trodden the conventional path to success.

Their debut studio album Voodoo (2013) ventured boldly into macabre, gothic territory.

The album's lead single Voodoo Doll boasted boundary-pushing imagery. Besides spine-tingling scenes of body modification, the boys wore fake contact lenses and eyeliner, making them look like demonic vampires.


The video for their follow-up single Eternity (2014) was less creepy but just as mysterious. It featured surrealistic scenes of floating clock gears in a dimly lit clock tower.

So what made Vixx decide to drop their edgy look - US-based K-pop website Seoulbeats calls them "dark princes" - and go all clean-cut and preppy?

In an e-mail interview with M ahead of their upcoming concert in Singapore, 24-year-old group leader N explained that it was the band's collective desire to "show something new and different".

"Whenever we put out new material, we want to try something diverse. So we can't quite say that we have ditched our 'dark concept' for good," he said.

"There are numerous concepts that we are planning to try in the future, so we hope our fans will continue to look forward to our different ideas."

Four years into the music business, the group's bond remains strong.

There is no rivalry among the members and they don't mind if one has the lion's share of the spotlight.

"We think that Leo gets the most female attention. He is a man of few words but sexy at the same time," said Ravi, 22.

"And Hyuk is the 'clown' in our group. He never fails to make us laugh."

Their concert on Friday night will mark Vixx's first visit to Singapore.

Leo, 22, said that he and his bandmates are already psyching themselves up for the trip.

"Everything's new to us. We are preparing the best we can for our Singapore fans, who have been waiting for us for a very long time," he said.

They are also hoping that they have time for sightseeing and local food.

"We heard that the chicken rice and chilli crab are famous in Singapore. We are dying to try those," said Ken, 21.

"We also want to see the Merlion statue. Its appearance, with a lion's head and a body like a mermaid, would be an amazing sight to behold!

"While we're there, we'd like to take pictures for memories' sake, since it's such a popular tourist attraction."

Vixx's star has been rising in the last couple of years, not just in Asia but also America.

They had gigs in Dallas and Los Angeles in 2013. Last year, they performed in Chicago and New York.

"There were a lot of places we wanted to go, but we didn't have much time to do so," said HongBin, 21.

"In New York, we ate pizza at a famous pizza place and then walked along the streets of Times Square. We hope we can have more free time the next time we are there.


Vixx Live Fantasia Utopia In S'pore

May 29, 8pm

The Max Pavilion @ Singapore Expo Hall 10

$128, $168, $228 AND $288 FROM SISTIC (SISTIC.COM.SG OR 6348-5555)

This article was first published on May 27, 2015.
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