H.Just past the first stop of their European fan meeting tour ‘Phantom’, Chinese group WayV panicked. With eyes as big as tennis balls, they stare at each other, then to the golden ceiling of London’s Eventim Apollo, and to the cheering audience below, whether they should fight or flee. Or should I freeze, I had no clue. What horrors faced them?
It turns out that the terrifying moment was just a misunderstanding. The fans stamped their feet in unison, sending the entire venue into resonance, a gesture of joy typical of European concerts. Having never performed outside of Asia before, WayV had no idea this was going to happen. case. “You scared us!” Ten shouted, noticing that neither the building was going to collapse nor the earthquake was coming. Xiaojun knelt down, clutched his chest and sighed in relief. “Is this a cultural thing here?” he asked.
Teng and Xiaojun, visibly recharged for the morning press conference the next day, along with bandmates Hendery, Kun and Yangyang (sixth member Winwin did not participate in the tour). , laughed about the emotional roller coaster they experienced. “I was going to run away, goodbye,” Ten jokes, but Xiaojun reveals that he intended to give the order, “Everyone down!” But once I realized what was really going on, the last impression was a surprise.
“They take time out of their day to come see us, and we feel we should give them that same energy.”
“We were really surprised,” says Yang Yang, an outspoken rapper and dancer who was born in Taiwan and lived in Germany for many years. “It was a memorable moment with so many fans coming,” said the Thai-born Ten, the group’s dance ace and one of the main vocalists. “WayV sings in many different languages, but our fans in London speak Chinese, English, and Korean, and they danced with us during our performance.”
WayV has been on the scene since 2019, but in many ways it’s just the beginning. A subgroup of SM Entertainment’s ambitious boy band NCT (with more than 20 members), they have been on hiatus for a year after several plans were stalled by the COVID-19 pandemic. activity hiatus followed by the departure of member Lucas Wong in May of this year. The fact that “Phantom” is their first foray outside of Asia says a lot about what they haven’t conquered yet, but combined with their planned participation in KCON LA in August, The second half of 2023 is becoming a big entrance for them. sextet.
“Phantom” is also the name of WayV’s latest mini-album, which will be released in December 2022. In support of this record, a fan meeting tour began in February in Seoul, followed by Manila, Bangkok, Jakarta and Hong Kong before being released in December 2022. London and Paris. With a setlist that favors most of the recent hits, fanmeetings are less intimate and rigid than concerts, and there’s a lot more room between audience and artist, like when WayV performed a great cover of The Beatles’ “Hey Jude.” has many connections.
“I thought ‘Hey Jude’ was iconic and a song that everyone could sing along to,” Yanyan says. “It really feels like London.” added.
Another highlight of the night was the fan-favorite “love talk,” a sensual confession between strangers who don’t speak the same language. “The lyrics are very… relatable,” says Ten. “and [the fans] I know what body talk is,” adds rapper Hendery, adding his deadpan humor to their every exchange. Yang Yang, who asked the audience during the show why they liked it so much, repeated the answer today. “Because it’s sexy!”
But for Xiaojun, the expressive and sensitive main vocalist, the melancholy “Broken Love” is his favorite. “It breaks my heart every time I sing this song. It’s so focused, the lyrics are so sad, the melody is so emotional.” Does he like being heartbroken? “No, no, no,” he laughed. “I love to sing emotional songs.” Teng also says his tastes have changed recently. “I used to love hard choreography, but lately I’m into Good Life songs because you don’t have to memorize the choreography, you just go. It shows how real each of us is. I think it really shows.”
Authentic might be the best word to describe WayV. “What you see is what you get,” says Yang Yang. “We’re not really hiding. We don’t wear masks when we go on stage. We’re just trying to be ourselves and show who we are.” While the discography has expanded the futuristic and experimental NCT brand with its own extravagant vigor (see “Take Off” or “Turn Back Time”), they’ve managed to create family-like synergies and chaos. He also became known for his antics.
Their dorm story caused an uproar on social media — they even filled a water dispenser with Coke — and their beloved three cats (Louis, Leon, and Levi) and a dog. (Bella) is part of C-POP (and K-POP)) greatest pleasure. “Is there a mess in the dormitory? I don’t think so,” Yang Yang wonders in a chuckle. “I mean, when we lived together at home, [old] Dorms, yes,” Hendery confesses. Ten intervene. “We used to share a room. Now we have our own room, but we still like to hang out together, like at dinner.”
Not much has changed during the trip, but I miss my pet so much. According to Teng, that feeling is partially tempered by regular updates from outside caretakers. “I haven’t seen Bella in three weeks. She feels very guilty,” Xiaojun says, covering her face with her hands. “It’s really weird not having a cat,” said Kun, the quiet and versatile leader, who agreed, but concluded that having to follow a busy schedule would be stressful for pets.
Touring is hard work for everyone involved, with all the arrangements, time constraints and endless rehearsals, but it’s also an opportunity for WayV to learn and grow. YangYang believes that seeing thousands of people come together because of them means their music has a profound impact. “They take time out of their day to come see us, and we think we should give them that same energy,” he says.
“I started to see what people liked. I love my fans, but I didn’t know how to make them like me [my performances]. I’m still studying, but I’m sure it will get better,” says Xiaojun. Similarly, Kun feels that with practice, he will be perfect. “I learned how to handle the mics better, how to sound better, and how to do better on the technical part. I became a real pro when it came to composition and such,” he says, referring to the other members of the band. cheered and praised him as “confident”.
“We’re always under pressure and intense, and we see each other every day, so it’s kind of hard to balance that.”
In the English version of “Phantom”, one of the final songs on the setlist, Kun sings: “You could say time tricked me / Block out the noise and just leave it alone.”. It’s a reminder of the fact that time is a tangible and unrelenting element in WayV’s journey. The lyrics of some of their songs show how they evolved, visibly and invisibly, despite the almost two years they had to wait before releasing “Phantom”. There is something that continues.
“I want a very relaxed and fun atmosphere, so I’m still trying to find the best way to spend time with the members. I’m learning how to get along, but it’s hard,” confesses Hendery. “But the biggest lesson for me is that sharing is happiness. I think that’s really important. . hyung, do you want to go too? 』
YangYang agrees. “We’re always under pressure, and we’re seeing each other every day, so it’s kind of hard to balance that.” We have developed a strategy to deal with all these conflicts. “When you work in this industry, you put too much pressure on yourself by thinking too much, so just don’t think about it. “Because, seriously, you can feel the music that way.”
WayV’s latest mini-album “Phantom” has been released.