[SHOWCASE] Vanner ready to 'Veni, Vidi, Vici' with its first EP
Hard work doesn’t always pay off, but it definitely did for Vanner. It took four years for the boy band to win that much-awaited spotlight, but now its members are ready to aim even higher and conquer the K-pop scene.
“Just a few months ago, we were working part-time jobs so that we could follow our dream,” leader Taehwan told reporters during a showcase held Monday at the Yes24 Live Hall in eastern Seoul for the release of the band’s first EP, “Veni, Vidi, Vici.”
“Just being here still feels unbelievable and overwhelming. Our golden time has come and we’re ready to race toward our dreams with this album.”
“Veni, Vidi, Vici,” or Latin for “I came; I saw; I conquered,” is a six-track EP including new lead “Performer” and a 2023 version of the band's 2020 single “Form.” The album comes a year and a half after its third single “Take Off” (2022) and is the band's first new music since winning cable channel JTBC’s K-pop competition program “Peak Time” last April.
“I feel more nervous today than the day I first debuted,” Taehwan said. “We’ve been called by many different media outlets since ‘Peak Time’ so we’ve been keeping ourselves busy. We’re so grateful for everything that’s happened since then.”
With the new lead track “Performer,” Vanner aims to bring a “refreshing sexy” vibe to summer listeners. The electro-punk dance pop conveys the members’ excitement before they go on stage as well as their urge to perform for all their listeners and fans.
“There are so many things we want to do,” member Hyesung said. “We became well-known due to ‘Peak Time’ so we want to enjoy our peak time, just like the show's title. And as part of that, we really want to go on a world tour. We want to be on the stage and meet with fans for as long as we can."
Vanner debuted in February 2019 after training themselves over 200 live performances in Japan until the release of its first album “V.” The group’s name is a combination of the words “victory” and “banner.”
Despite its ambitious debut, however, the band endured four years of lukewarm reactions from a K-pop market that was hit with the Covid-19 pandemic soon after the group hit the scene.
By 2023, all of the employees at the band's agency had left, leaving the chief and the band's five members to manage Vanner. The members took part-time jobs to make ends meet and took care of managerial work, such as updating their website, as there was no one else to do it.
This year, Vanner finally got a second chance on JTBC’s reboot program for undervalued boy bands in a show named “Peak Time” as Team 11:00. The series aired from February to April and highlighted boy bands who had already debuted but were not as well-known.
Vanner won the show due to its excellence in all aspects throughout the series, winning a cash prize of 300 million won ($223,201) as well as an opportunity to release a new album and hold a showcase.
“The best thing is that we can just focus on our music without having to care about the other things,” Taehwan said. Taehwan was nicknamed the 10-job worker by fans because he had to take care of the band’s marketing, video editing and more due to the agency's lack of staff.
“Everything we’ve been wishing for has been coming true, so we thought maybe we could be called the ‘Genie-dol,’” the leader said when asked by a reporter what nickname they wanted for themselves. Genie was taken from “Aladdin” and dol from Idol, the Korean reference to K-pop artists.
“We do hope to achieve big things with this album, but I think the realistic goal is to introduce Vanner as a group and our music to a wider audience.”
BY YOON SO-YEON [email@example.com]