VERIVERY delivers an energetic expression of living in the moment while planning for the future in Liminality – EP.DREAM.
VERIVERY, a seven-member boy group under Jellyfish Entertainment – consisting of DONGHEON, HOYOUNG, MINCHAN, GYEHYEON, YEONHO, YONGSEUNG, and KANGMIN, made their official debut on January 9, 2019, with the mini-album Veri-Us and it’s lead single “Ring Ring Ring.”
VERIVERY is a rising star in the industry, not only for their skills in vocal, rap, and dance but also their talents behind the scenes. In particular, the members have participated in songwriting and album production, as well as directing and editing music videos, to name a few. The group has established itself as one that is worth listening to because of its versatile discography, delivering new songs and fresh concepts each comeback.
With their latest release, “Crazy Like That,” VERIVERY embarks on a new chapter – telling the individual journeys of the members as they chase their dreams. Regarding the group’s current dream or desire, leader DONGHEON explained, “We are currently putting our utmost effort into sharing our music and communicating with K-Pop fans and music enthusiasts around the globe in order to achieve our dream in this K-Pop industry.” It’s undeniable that the members have once again displayed their talents, executing on-point choreography and serving listeners with another dose of their vocal prowess.
To commemorate the release of their seventh mini album, Liminality – EP.DREAM, VERIVERY joined the media (Hellokpop included) for a roundtable interview to discuss their latest comeback, share details on the album preparation process, whether they are a planner or player, and more! Check out their interview below.
*Disclaimer: Minchan was not present for this comeback, as he is currently on hiatus.
Hellokpop: Your new title, “Crazy Like That,” has a more vibrant sound. It is brighter than your debut release in 2019. What inspired you to change your sound and vibe in your new title?
VERIVERY (YONGSEUNG): Though the new title song may sound like our debut song, I think they are quite different. We really focused on interpreting the song, which is not too bright nor too dark in our performances. It is something we have never tried before, and we are confident that it is something unprecedented in the K-Pop industry. We are really affectionate towards this title track, and we really hope that others catch that as well.
VERIVERY (KANGMIN): When we debuted, we put on cute performances asking the audience to remember and support us. The title track we released this time talks about dreams and encouraging people to work towards them, and I find this to be the difference between the two. We hope the listeners understand this as they listen to this song.
HKP: Can you tell us more about the song “Thank You, next?”
VERIVERY (GYEHYEON): This was something that we have never tried before, so we are certain that our fans will like the song. We have always put on very big, grand performances, so I think performing on this track would be something different.
HKP: What is the meaning of the parentheses in the title of the song, “Smile with you ( )” and can you tell me who came up with the idea? What was the production process like?
VERIVERY (DONGHEON): This song was written for our fans, who will be waiting for us in between our comebacks. The parentheses in the title represent blank, or the hiatus between our comebacks. We wanted to emphasize that.
HKP: What do you think is the killing part or the highlight of the song “Crazy Like That?”
VERIVERY (YONGSEUNG): I think it is DONGHEON’s part after the first verse. I really like how he sings like he is whispering. I’m sad that he does it only once in the song.
VERIVERY (DONGHEON): There are a lot of repetitions in the chorus, so that would just play automatically in my head when walking on the street. I hope that many people would experience the same.
HKP: What was the creative process like for each song, and what is the message that you would like to convey?
VERIVERY (DONGHEON): When I first heard that the name of the album was going to be “Dream,” I thought of the members and the fans. They are the closest beings there are to my dream, so I really wanted to share a message for my fans and the members in this album. In this process of working to achieve our dreams in the K-Pop industry, I can never leave out the members and the fans. So the songs are like my journal entries, like writing letters to my fans and the members. The songs are definitely pleasing to the ears, but please keep in mind that the songs are about our stories.
HKP: Was there a memorable moment when preparing for the comeback or music video?
VERIVERY (HOYOUNG): When we were filming the music video, there was a scene where all of us had to go high up onto a truck. We were all too scared, so we had to hold hands. Staff handed us some tissue to wipe the dirt off our hands, but we were too scared to even grab it from such a high place. The entire filming process was really enjoyable, though.
VERIVERY (KANGMIN): There was a small accident as I was filming a scene from the music video, so I went to get a quick checkup at the hospital. The director and the staff were really worried, but I tried to act cool as if nothing had happened. Later I was complimented on how I coped with the situation. Just sharing a compliment I got.
VERIVERY (DONGHEON): There is a scene where YONGSEUNG takes off his shirt. To film that scene, he went on a really harsh diet and exercised twice a day. I was really impressed by his effort. I hope you notice that in the music video.
VERIVERY (YONGSEUNG): It was really hard!
HKP: What part of the album are you most proud of and why?
VERIVERY (HOYOUNG): I’m just proud of our group in general. This is the fifth year since our debut, and ever since then, we have tried a variety of genres. We have tried our best to show our colors in all of the songs, and as a member, I know all the efforts that we have put into this group.
HKP: What was the preparation process like as you prepared for the album?
VERIVERY (YEONHO): We put a lot of thought into music as we prepared for this comeback. There were some different opinions among us as well as the company, when we were choosing the tracks for the album, but we managed to come to a consensus after discussing it among ourselves. We agreed that our title track is an easy-listening song, but it was more difficult to actually sing than we expected. So we had to consult each other on this to figure things out, and the recording process actually took longer compared to other albums. All of us put in our best efforts.
VERIVERY (KANGMIN): We didn’t get a lot of time to practice the choreography before we filmed the music video, so it really was challenging. But the final result showed that we actually were prepared for it, and we were really in sync.
HKP: How was the preparation process different between Limality-Love and Liminality-Dream?
VERIVERY (YEONHO): I don’t think there is a big difference between the process of preparing different albums, but the last album was very bright and feel-good, so we practiced conveying that to the listeners. This album, though it is bright, has some dark parts to it, so we tried to express that. I also think that we talked more as we prepared for this album compared to the last album preparation.
HKP: There are two versions of this album. Can you talk about the differences and whether you identify with being a planner or a player?
VERIVERY (YEONHO): The PLAY version talks about enjoying the moment, and the PLAN version talks about planning and preparing for the future. I personally think that I’m a player, as I’m spontaneous and I don’t plan things ahead. I tend to improvise when the time comes.
VERIVERY (KANGMIN): I think I’m a planner.
VERIVERY (DONGHEON): Liar.
VERIVERY (HOYOUNG): I like to plan things ahead, so I guess I identify as a planner.
VERIVERY (DONGHEON): I think I’m a player. The album visually portrays the different paths that people take when they achieve their dreams. PLAN and PLAY versions are two main paths, so I think it would be fun for the fans to think about what versions they relate to more as they listen to the songs.
VERIVERY (YONGSEUNG): Planning is a play for me, so it’s difficult to choose.
VERIVERY (GYEHYEON): I tend to get random spurts of ideas, so I guess I’m a player.
HKP: You have released soundtracks in addition to your albums. How is the preparation different from preparing your albums?
VERIVERY (DONGHEON): The soundtracks require us to fit into the mood of the drama rather than showing our unique colors. We really try hard to immerse ourselves emotionally into the world presented in the drama as we participate in the production process.
VERIVERY (KANGMIN): For our own albums, we think about how we can add our own interpretation of the music. But for soundtracks, we really need to understand the drama in general and work with the director and staff of the drama.
HKP: What are VERIVERY’s unique colors? What are your individual unique colors?
VERIVERY (HOYOUNG): I think all of the members are unique in their own ways, but we blend well as a group that gives away energetic vibes. Personally, I think I am a bright, playful person when I’m with the members.
VERIVERY (KANGMIN): DONGHEON, as the oldest member of the group, advised us to put in all that we’ve got into this for our fans out there. With his words of wisdom, I think the fact that we are giving our best and showing growth despite certain situations is our unique color. I’m not sure of my personal colors yet, so I’m still figuring it out.
VERIVERY (YEONHO): In my opinion, the first unique color of our team is our teamwork, and it is our strength that we can transform any genre of music into our own. And for me, giving off a bright and positive vibe is my characteristic.
HKP: What did it feel like when you got your first win, and what are your goals for the future?
VERIVERY (YEONHO): I first want to deliver a message to VERRER that the first win was possible all because of them. We are very grateful for that. Our goal is to make music that empowers many people around the world and to have more people recognize and love VERIVERY.
HKP: If you could give one piece of advice to your past self, what would it be?
VERIVERY (GYEHYEON): When we made our debut, I had to cut my hair short. Other people praised me for my look and encouraged me, but if I can give advice to my past self, I would tell myself to be more assertive and express my opinion that I don’t want to cut my hair short.
VERIVERY (KANGMIN): I had a big appetite until I was nine years old, but since then, I would wake up late and not eat well. I think that’s why I didn’t get any taller. I would tell my younger self to go to sleep early and eat well.
VERIVERY (YONGSEUNG): Mine’s similar to GYEHYEON. I would tell myself to focus on the things that I really want. Until now, I was focused more on what the tutors, the company, and the members wanted to see from me. I don’t think I have spent enough time on myself. I think it would have been better if I took that more into consideration.
HKP: What kind of words and reactions would you want to hear from your fans?
VERIVERY (YONGSEUNG): This title track is about all of us running towards a goal like crazy. I want the fans to be impressed by the title track and the message that we are sending. The process of working to achieve your dream is very beautiful, so I would like the fans to acknowledge that too.
HKP: January 2023 marked the 4th year of your debut. How has your teamwork improved over time, and what is the secret behind your teamwork?
VERIVERY (YEONHO): We were like colleagues and close friends right after our debut, but now we are more like family. I think the secret behind our teamwork is the leadership of our leader and the rest of us following him. Another thing is that we try to talk a lot amongst ourselves. Recently we promised not to look at our phones while we eat together. I believe such moments really improved our teamwork a lot.
VERIVERY (DONGHEON): But KANGMIN always uses his cell phone. Rule breaker.
VERIVERY (KANGMIN): It wasn’t easy for me because I was really young. We tried to understand each other in times of trouble, and it allow us to build a solid relationship as a group.
Check out their discography on Spotify.
Our kind thanks to VERIVERY, Helix Publicity, and Jellyfish Entertainment for this interview.
Photos and Videos: Jellyfish Entertainment and VERIVERY SNS