VIXX (Korean: 빅스 pronounced “vicks”; acronym for Voice, Visual, Value in Excelsis) is a six-member boy band, formed by Jellyfish Entertainment. All members participated in Mnet’s survival reality show MyDOL and were selected via an elimination system through viewer votes. The group name, VIXX, was also decided by viewer votes. VIXX consists of N, Leo, Ken, Ravi, Hongbin and Hyuk. They are predominantly known as a concept or performance group whose music, lyrics, choreography, and overall stage performances are crafted together to tell a story or concept.
2012–2013: MyDOL, debut, Hyde and Voodoo
Before their official debut, the original VIXX members were 6 out of 10 contestants featured in the Mnet survival reality show MyDOL. Pre-debut, the members made several guest appearances in the music videos of fellow artists under Jellyfish Entertainment. N, Leo, Hongbin and Ravi were featured in Brian Joo “Let This Die” music videos. N, Leo, and Ravi were also featured in Seo In Guk’s “Shake It Up”. Hongbin was featured in Seo In Guk’s “Tease Me”.
VIXX debuted with their first single, “Super Hero” on May 24, 2012 on M! Countdown. Their first overseas performance was at the Otakon convention in Baltimore, Maryland on July 27. On August 14, VIXX released their second single album with the song “Rock Ur Body”, where Sistar’s Dasom appeared in the music video.
VIXX was part of Jellyfish Entertainment’s first live concert Jellyfish Live at Tokyo’s Zepp Diver City in Japan on September 12, 2012. The group also attended KCON 2012 on October 13. VIXX participated in Jellyfish Entertainment’s winter project, Jelly Christmas 2012 Heart Project, with their label mates Lee Seok Hoon, Park Hyo Shin, Seo In Guk and Sung Si Kyung. The title track, “Because It’s Christmas” was released digitally on December 5, 2012.
On January 6, 2013, VIXX pre-released a single, “Don’t Want to Be an Idol”, from their third single album On and On. The title song “On and On” was then released on January 17 along with the album itself. Their first mini album Hyde, with the same-name title song “Hyde”, was released on May 20. A repackaged album titled Jekyll was later released along with the title song “G.R.8.U”, on July 31. In the months of October and November, VIXX held their first global showcase tour, The Milky Way Global Showcase which was held in South Korea, Japan, Italy, Sweden, Malaysia and America.
On November 8, 2013, VIXX pre-released a single from their upcoming full-length album Voodoo, as well as the music video for the song, “Only U”. On November 20, the title song “Voodoo Doll” was released with the album release following shortly after on November 25. On December 6, VIXX grabbed the top spot for that week’s episode of Music Bank with “Voodoo Doll”, making it their first music show win since their debut. VIXX, along with the artists of Jellyfish Entertainment, released their annual Christmas song on December 10, titled “Winter Confession” for 겨울 고백 (Jelly Christmas 2013). The song topped the Instiz chart for 2 weeks in a row, the Billboard K-Pop Hot 100 charts and also the Gaon charts.
2014–2015: Darkest Angels, Error, Boys’ Record, VIXX LR and Chained Up
On March 5, 2014, Jellyfish Entertainment announced that VIXX would be having a comeback in mid-April or early May. On May 18, the title of VIXX’s fourth single album Eternity, was revealed through the group’s official fancafe, where the music video teaser was released on May 22. On May 27, the music video for “Eternity” was released along with the album itself.
On May 19, Jellyfish revealed that VIXX will be making their official debut in Japan with a full-length compilation album, Darkest Angels, on July 2. The album charted at number 10 for five consecutive weeks on the Oricon chart and sold 12,332 copies. On June 20, it was announced that VIXX will be attending KCON from August 9 to August 10, this being their second year attending the festival since the first in 2012. They received awards that were voted by their fanclub, such as Best Visual and Best Actor. From July to September, VIXX held their first VIXX Live Fantasia tour Hex Sign visiting Japan and several countries in Europe. On September 25, 2014, Jellyfish Entertainment confirmed that VIXX will be having a comeback on October 14. On October 4, the title song and track list of VIXX’s second mini album were revealed via their official website. On October 10, VIXX released the music video teaser for “Error”, with the music video later released along with the mini album, Error on October 14. On December 10, VIXX released the Japanese version of “Error” along with the Japanese version of “Youth Hurts”.
On February 8, 2015 VIXX was invited to The KKBOX Music Awards that was held at the Taipei Arena. VIXX became the first Korean artist ever to be invited to the event. On February 20, the music video teaser for “Love Equation” was released. On February 24, Boys’ Record was released along with the music video for “Love Equation”. After its release, the song was an all-kill on all the music shows. The group achieved their first triple crown on The Show. From March to May, VIXX held their second VIXX Live Fantasia tour Utopia in several countries including South Korea, Japan, Philippines and Singapore. On March 18, 2015, VIXX marked their first official entry into the Chinese and Taiwanese markets with the release of “命中注定 (Destiny Love)”, a remake of Harlem Yu’s “Destiny Love” as part of Boys’ Record. It was released through Avex Taiwan. A music video was also released through Avex Taiwan’s YouTube Channel. On July 7, VIXX entered the Chinese and Taiwanese markets again with the Chinese-language version release of “Error” in China through QQ and in Taiwan through KKBOX.
In 2015 VIXX LR was confirmed to be VIXX’s first official sub-unit; it is composed of Ravi and Leo. Their debut mini album, Beautiful Liar, was released on August 17, 2015. On August 29, VIXX appeared on the Billboard Social 50 at number 16 and later climbed to number 14.
On September 9, 2015, VIXX made their second Japanese comeback with their second Japanese single “Can’t Say”. In late October Jellyfish announced that VIXX would be having a comeback on November 10, with their second full studio album. On November 1, Jellyfish released individual image teasers on VIXX’s official Facebook and Twitter and a group image teaser on their official website along with the upcoming title, Chained Up. On November 10, VIXX’s second studio album Chained Up was released along with the music video for “Chained Up”. On November 30, Jellyfish] and CJ Victor Entertainment revealed that VIXX will be releasing their first original full-length Japanese studio album, Depend on Me, on January 27, 2016. On December 15, 2015, Jellyfish released their Jelly Christmas 2015 – 4랑 single album featuring the song, “Love In The Air” (Hangul: 사랑난로). The announced participating the Jellyfish artists were Seo In Guk, VIXX, former Jewelry member Park JungA and Park Yoon-ha.
2016–present: Depend on Me, CONCEPTION: Zelos, Hades and Kratos
On January 7, 2016, Jellyfish and Victor revealed the jacket photographs which will be used for all three editions of VIXX’s first Japanese studio album Depend on Me, and released a teaser to the music video. On January 18, VIXX released their first original soundtrack recording for the fantasy action-romance drama Moorim School with the song “Alive”, the drama’s main theme song, released in Moorim School OST Part. 1. Viewers of the drama have shown positive responses to the refreshingly edgy theme song. It was revealed that VIXX hoped to express their support for Hongbin’s first drama lead role as the troublemaker Wang Chi-ang by contributing to the soundtrack. On the same day, the short version of VIXX’s first Japanese album Depend on Me’s lead single’s music video was released in Japan. On January 27, VIXX’s first Japanese studio album, Depend on Me, was released which features the single “Depend on Me” and previously released Japanese singles “Error” and “Can’t Say”. On the same day of the release, Depend on Me charted at number 4 on the Oricon daily album chart. To promote the album VIXX held “Mini Live & High Touch” events in Sapporo, Kobe, Tokyo, Osaka and Fukuoka from January 13, 2016 to January 31, 2016. On February 1, 2016, Moorim School OST Part. 2 was released with the title song “The King” by VIXX.
On March 29, 2016, Jellyfish Entertainment released the Conception Art Film, which was said to signal the start of their year-long project VIXX 2016 CONCEPTION, through which the group would show their wide musical and conceptual spectrum and would be themed around the gods that appear in Greek mythology.
On April 14, 2016, the group revealed the Zelos Concept Film, along with the release of the track list and highlight medley. On April 19, 2016, the group released their fifth single album, Zelos, along with the title track “Dynamite” (Hangul: 다이너마이트). The music video for “Dynamite” was released on the following day. In April and May VIXX won 1st place five times on the music shows and achieved their second Triple Crown on The Show. Zelos charted at number 1 on the Gaon album chart selling cumulative 89,910 copies in April, with the title song “Dynamite” charting at number 14 on the Gaon Digital Chart and number 4 on Billboard World Digital Songs.
On June 29, 2016, VIXX released their third Japanese single “Hana-Kaze” (花風?). The single charted at number 3 on the Oricon Albums Chart and sold 32,411 cumulative copies.
On August 12, 2016, VIXX released their sixth single album and the second part of their VIXX 2016 CONCEPTION trilogy, Hades, along with the title track “Fantasy”. The music video for “Fantasy” was released two days later on August 14, 2016. “Fantasy” has a darker theme that emphasizes the concept of Hades, Greek god of the Underworld, unlike the first 2016 CONCEPTION release that was conceptualized around Zelos, representative of zeal and jealousy. In August and September VIXX won 1st place three times on the music shows for “Fantasy”. Hades charted at number 1 on the Gaon album chart, with the title song “Fantasy” charting at number 22 on the Gaon Digital Chart and number 5 on Billboard World Digital Songs. Hades sold cumulative 97,222 copies in August.
On October 31, 2016, VIXX released their third mini album and final part and of their VIXX 2016 CONCEPTION trilogy, Kratos along with the title track “The Closer”. Kratos is conceptualized around the God Kratos; the personification of strength, might, sovereign rule, and authority in all its forms. Kratos charted at number 2 on the Gaon album chart, at number 5 on Taiwan’s FIVE-MUSIC Korea-Japan Album Chart and Billboard’s world albums chart, with the title song “The Closer” charting at number 8 on the Gaon Digital Chart and number 14 on Billboard World Digital Songs. Kratos sold cumulative 57,456 copies in October.
On November 21, 2016, VIXX released a special compilation album to wrap up and celebrate the end of the VIXX 2016 CONCEPTION project titled VIXX 2016 Conception Ker, supported by a music video and a new song titled “Milky Way”. VIXX 2016 Conception Ker charted at number 2 on the Gaon album chart and sold 18,082 cumulative copies in November.
VIXX participated in Jellyfish Entertainment’s winter project, Jelly Christmas 2016, with their label mates Seo In-guk, Gugudan, Park Yoon-ha, Park Jung-ah, Kim Gyu-sun, Kim Ye-won and Jiyul. The title track, “Falling” (Hangul: 니가 내려와) was released digitally on December 13, 2016.
Image and artistry
The members are heavily involved in the development of their concepts and their “commitment to concept is especially impressive with live performances of songs”. Micah Levin Isla from The Philippine Star commented, “You can be someone who’ll never be truly on board with this whole K-Pop craze. But there’s something about VIXX that’s really fascinating and intriguing. Their music and appeal have this lingering effect.” VIXX has cemented a “niche in the theatrical side of K-pop” with performances that follow a storyline that is carefully put together. In a review of one of their concerts, journalist Park Jung Sun commented, “They presented live performances which broke prejudices people have towards idols. VIXX presented a musical-like stage as coming off from the-usual-concert which displays singing and dancing. VIXX led their fans to UTOPIA that they constructed”.
Lyrics and musical style
With many of their releases, VIXX has tackled themes such as hope, dreams, falling madly in love with a girl even though it hurts, such in the songs “On and On” (Hangul: 다칠 준비가 돼 있어), which literally translates into “I’m Ready to Get Hurt”, “Voodoo Doll” and “Chained Up”; breaking up with their lovers “Love Equation”, “Don’t Want to Be An Idol”‘; generally sad or dark love songs, with the themes of obsession and insanity such as the songs “Hyde” and “G.R.8.U”; and emotional breakdown in “Error” and the timelessness of love in “Eternity”. Most, if not all of their songs, play on the depth of raw human emotion. VIXX plays an active role producing their music, with all members participating in the ideas and concepts. Ravi, and more recently Leo, play an active role in composition and lyric-writing of their songs.
In 2012, VIXX became the Goodwill Ambassadors for The Salvation Army as a part of the 2012 Salvation Army Christmas Kettle, with the 14th of December 2012 as their Kettle Day—a date which was chosen by fans.
In November 2013, VIXX along with Boys Republic became ambassadors for “Eye Camp Expedition,” a charity campaign, joining other volunteers in Vietnam to help those visually impaired. Their charity work was documented through a four episodes reality show aired on SBS MTV. In 2014, VIXX became the official ambassadors at the Korea & Korean brand Commodities Fair (KBEE) in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
In 2015, VIXX helped Daewhan, a fan of the group who became afflicted with muscular dystrophy to see the VIXX Live Fantasia – Utopia concert after Daewhan’s mother started a Twitter account and tweeted to VIXX. Enough money was donated to the fund to allow Daewhan travel to and from the concert venue safely, and provided a bed for him to lie upon. Daewhan met with VIXX after the concert.
In 2013 VIXX became models for the global Swiss watch brand Jowissa, and the company launched a “VIXX Black Edition”, in six different colors.
In 2014, VIXX became the new faces of Modern SPA’s clothing brand, STAFF, after finishing a photo shoot for the 2014 spring and summer season collection.
In late October 2015, VIXX was appointed as the new models for the South Korean casual clothing brand Feltics.
VIXX LR (Korean: 빅스 LR) is the first official sub-unit of VIXX formed under Jellyfish Entertainment. Established in August 2015, VIXX LR consists of one of VIXX’s main vocalists, Leo, and rapper, Ravi. The sub-unit debuted with their first mini album, entitled Beautiful Liar, on August 17, 2015.