Exclusive Interview: Get To Know “Peak Time” Winner VANNER, Their Life After The Show, The Members’ Favorite K-Dramas, And More

Following their incredible victory as Team 11:00 on JTBC’s idol competition program “Peak Time,” VANNER sat down with Soompi to chat about their experience on the program and life after the show and also reveal some fun facts about themselves!

Check out the full interview below:

Your lives have changed a lot since your time on “Peak Time.” When does it really hit you that you’re receiving so much love these days? 

Yeonggwang: Our social media followers doubled, and the number of our fan cafe members quadrupled. From this, I could feel that we’re receiving lots of love [from fans].

Ahxian: Thanks to [“Peak Time”], we have a lot more scheduled activities, but it still doesn’t feel real.

Taehwan: When with our previous agency, I had to undertake a lot of different tasks myself. After achieving great results on “Peak Time” and meeting so many wonderful people, I can now put down all other tasks and just focus on my job as a singer.

Gon: There are now people who recognize me when I ride the subway. I think that is something that has changed since our win.

Hyesung: First of all, I think that we were able to win “Peak Time” thanks to VVS (VANNER’s fan club), so I would like to thank our fans. We actually just came from meeting Christopher, who is in Korea now for the Seoul Jazz Festival. I was so happy in that moment, and I felt happy thinking that we were able to win thanks to fans and even meet someone like Christopher in person.

You recently finished the “Peak Time” concert in Seoul. How did you feel about performing at such a large venue in front of so many fans?

Taehwan: It was our dream to perform in front of many fans at a big stadium. We really didn’t think we would be able to perform at Jamsil Arena, and we were very nervous since it was our first time performing at such a large venue. Although we were supposed to give energy to fans, I think we actually received even more energy from fans’ cheers.

VANNER as a group as well as the individual members all received lots of praise for your performances on “Peak Time.” Which performance do you think the member sitting next to you shined most in? 

Hyesung: Although Gon excelled at every performance especially as he helped us with the choreography, I think he shined the most during the “Love Killa” performance where he showcased his sexiness. He really put in a lot of hard work, and I think the hard work paid off.

Gon: I think Taehwan shined the most when he was singing “Way Back Home” with the Vocal C unit. He always shines, but I was so proud when he took the center position and really excelled at singing live.

Taehwan: I think Ahxian showcased his skills as a great rapper during the “MY BAG” performance with the Rap C unit. I think it was the performance where he really made an impression on the judges with his unique voice. I am personally also a big fan of his voice.

Ahxian: My personal favorite performance of Yeonggwang is the Dance C unit’s “Bad” performance. There is a part where Yeonggwang and Gon dance as a pair, and there is also a part where Yeonggwang dances the wave twice at the center in front of the audience. Every time I see him perform that part, I tell him, “You were really amazing when you did that part.”

Yeonggwang: I personally think Hyesung was amazing during the “Adore U” performance. We had to come up with performance ideas ourselves, and Hyesung gave us a lot of overall directions such as, “I think it would be great if this member could do this part like this.” He also dyed his hair pink, which I thought looked great on him.

Your fans have been sending you a lot of love and support. What do you like hearing from fans the most, or what would you like to hear from them in the future? 

Yeonggwang: After I bleached my hair, fans started calling me “Prince.” It’s a word that I’m not used to hearing, which is why I feel so grateful to fans, and I will do my best so that fans can keep calling such a great nickname. Thank you.

Ahxian: Although every word from fans gives me strength, I especially like when fans say, “찢었다” (“You slayed it”).

Taehwan: Fans have given me lots of nicknames, and one of them is “명창강아지” (singing master puppy) because I look like a puppy to fans. There’s also “singing master dolphin.” I’d like to thank fans for giving me so many nicknames, and I would like to repay them by becoming a better singer.

Gon: I really like to hear from fans [that I’m an] “all-rounder.” Recently, I also like to hear, “You look like a model.”

Hyesung: Personally, I was touched when fans said, “See you tomorrow!” at the Seoul “Peak Time” concert, which was held three days in a row. Before “Peak Time,” we didn’t have many chances to greet fans due to COVID-19, but as the situation got better and we started to get more chances to meet fans through the concerts, that phrase gave me lots of energy. It’s a phrase that I would like to hear more in the future.

What did you eat for breakfast this morning, or what kinds of foods do you usually tend to eat for breakfast? 

Yeonggwang: Yesterday, I had a salmon sandwich.

Ahxian: This morning, I had chicken leg salad. For lunch, I ate a sandwich.

Taehwan: I also had a salad with Paldo bibimmyeon sauce and buckwheat noodles in it. If I weren’t managing my diet, I would love to have samgyeopsal (pork belly) for breakfast.

Gon: I had bacon chili salad. I usually don’t eat breakfast, but I would love to eat tteokbokki (spicy rice cakes) for breakfast because I feel like this would keep me energized for the day.

Hyesung: I had salmon salad with Yeonggwang this morning with a bottle of Orthomol Immun. I personally like eating meat like Taehwan. I wouldn’t go for samgyeopsal for breakfast, but I would have something a bit lighter like beef. I really like chadolbagi (beef brisket).

Is there anything new that you would like to try learning in the future? 

Yeonggwang: I would like to try learning yoga or pilates to improve my posture.

Ahxian: For me, rather than trying something new, I would like to work more on my dancing and rapping skills.

Taehwan: I would like to learn about musicals in depth because I love musicals.

Gon: I would like to learn acting because I also dream of becoming an actor. I like musicals too, so I want to go learn about musicals hand-in-hand with Taehwan.

Hyesung: I’ve always been interested in perfumes and scents, so I would like to learn about creating perfume compositions when I get a chance.

What do you enjoy watching on YouTube these days?

Yeonggwang: As we are managing our diets, I can’t help but watch mukbang YouTubers. At home, I often watch mukbang videos while eating my [healthy] meal, pretending as if I am eating something else.

Ahxian: I enjoy watching travel YouTubers like Pani Bottle. It helps me relax.

Taehwan: Recently, I’ve been watching our concert videos taken by fans. After watching one fancam, the YouTube algorithm keeps recommending similar videos, so I’ve been watching a lot of fancams.

Gon: Me as well. Fans create lots of funny clips or Shorts of us. There is an incident known as “Ahxian destroying soondae,” and this became well-known thanks to a fan who uploaded a clip. It’s really entertaining to watch these funny videos edited by fans, so I’ve been watching a lot of them.

Hyesung: I think I watch a lot of variety show clips. Recently, I’ve been watching Yoo Jae Suk and Cho Se Ho’s “You Quiz on the Block” as well as “Ask Us Anything.” At night, I try to catch up on variety shows that I missed.

Are there any YouTube channels or variety shows that you would like to star on?

Yeonggwang: I personally enjoy watching MeatMan, a YouTuber who cooks various dishes with just meat. He doesn’t show his face and only shows his body. I want to appear with just my voice. I also want to guest on my favorite program “Running Man” if the opportunity arises.

Ahxian: There are a lot of shows I want to star on, but I especially want to appear on a travel channel like Pani Bottle. It would be great to travel with them.

Taehwan: I personally enjoy scary content, and I really like horror films, so I want to star on MBC’s “Midnight Horror Story.”

Gon: I want to guest on Lee Young Ji’s “Nothing Much Prepared.”

Hyesung: Can’t you not drink alcohol?

Gon: Since I can’t drink, I think it would be more interesting if I star on it.

Hyesung: I have two. First, I want to star on HWAN TV, which Taehwan personally creates. It hasn’t been uploaded since “Peak Time,” but he’s working hard on filming, so I want to star on HWAN TV and show that to fans. “You Quiz on the Block” is also a program I enjoy. I want to appear on the show and discuss this and that with Yoo Jae Suk, who I really respect, and let our team name be more known.

Speaking of HWAN TV, what is some other self-produced content would you like to try in the future?

Yeonggwang: Once in Japan, I ate four and a half packs of bibimmyeon in Japan. Ahxian said we should eat together but suddenly decided not to eat it, so I ate it all myself, and I think fans would really enjoy seeing that side of us. Like a mukbang challenge.

Gon: I also want to take on challenges like rock climbing or traveling around the country on a bicycle. I think content like that would be fun.

Ahxian: I like traveling, but I also like daily life content like shopping. I like going to malls and trying out clothes. I want to make lighthearted videos that can provide healing.

Taehwan: I’ve never gone to Jeju Island, so I want to go to Jeju Island with the members and film a vlog.

Hyesung: I want to try making travel content. I want to go abroad and personally film vlogs and upload them to my personal blog and YouTube.

Since you recently moved back into a dorm together, how would you like to decorate your individual rooms?

Yeonggwang: I’m trying to decorate with green colors. I originally liked blue, but these days I’m into green. I ordered green towels and a mattress. I’m thinking of going for woodsy vibes. The other members will not be allowed to enter.

Ahxian: It hasn’t been long since I started decorating my room because we recently moved into the dorm, but I have a Roy figure that VVS gifted me in the past. It’s a small standing figure, and even when we lived in our old dorm, I had it on the top shelf, and I think that’s the main point of my room.

Taehwan: I have yet to decorate my room, but I’m thinking of beige or white tones. There are also lots of gifts from fans such as photos and artwork that we put in our rooms.

Gon: I like modern interior looks, so I want to use black and gray colors on the walls, but I think realistically that would be difficult. I want to make an arcade with white tones and set up devices like a PlayStation and computer because I really like gaming.

Hyesung: I’m really conflicted. I’m the most interested in interior decorating among the members. Overall, I want a white tone with color accents [using items] such as rugs or plants. We get a lot of flower gifts, so I want to put those in vases. I will upload the details on my blog Honeylog!

What is a K-drama that you have enjoyed watching? 

Yeonggwang: My favorite drama is “18 Again” starring Lee Do Hyun. It was really impressive. The cast is all really good at acting, and it’s a story that really resonates with me.

Ahxian: The drama that comes to mind is “Reborn Rich.”

Taehwan: I was really impressed watching “Our Blues.” It’s one of the dramas I want to watch again, and there are a lot of heartwarming episodes, so I remember crying a lot.

Gon: I don’t really watch dramas, so the last drama I watched was “Secret Garden.” I really enjoy watching horror films such as “Hereditary,” and I’ve watched the entire “Conjuring” series. I really analyze what parts shocked me and what parts had the “wow” factor when watching films, especially when watching horror films. I’m also interested in directing. Others don’t really get in.

Hyesung: Yeah, I’m bad at watching horror films. I recently enjoyed watching “No, Thank You,” but my favorite drama is “Incomplete Life.” It was a drama I related a lot with in life, and I really enjoy dramas that aren’t too deep but talk about the small happiness in life. I would recommend “Incomplete Life” to international fans because it’s a great drama to understand Korean culture.

Who do you think is the funniest member these days?

Yeonggwang: I recently rewatched all of our YouTube content, and there is a video we filmed a while ago titled, “When Boyfriends Lose Their Girlfriends To An Idol.” There’s a scene where Ahxian acts cutely, and I laughed out loud in my room even with all my family members around.

Ahxian: Taehwan is the funniest. When he’s on his “off” mode, there are many funny aspects of him that aren’t shown to fans. I think fans would like it if they get to see him like that one day. For example, he extends the ends of his phrases very cutely when he talks.

Taehwan: For me, the funniest member is Ahxian. Fans have been uploading our old videos, and I watched the clip of Ahxian dropping the soondae a lot. He’s very humorous at unexpected moments.

Gon: After he spills the soondae, he just freezes for 30 seconds because he’s so shocked. I also think [the funniest] member is Ahxian. I mean this in a good way, but even just looking at him makes me laugh. I look at him when I’m feeling down.

Hyesung: It’s also Ahxian for me. Similar to the members, it’s fun to tease him since he’s a friend of the same age as me. His reactions are entertaining.

Are there specific parts of the world that you would like to hold concerts in? 

Ahxian: I want to visit fans around Asia. While filming “Peak Time,” many fans came to see us, and I heard many of them asking us to visit them. It would be great if we could go visit them.

Taehwan: I’ve never met fans from Europe, and there are a lot of European VVS, so I really want to go at least once.

Gon: Everywhere is good with me. Everywhere on Earth is good.

Hyesung: I really want to go to Thailand because I really like the food.

Yeonggwang: When we met Christopher earlier today, he personally shared with us that “venner” means friends in Denmark. If the opportunity comes, it would be great to perform for fans in Denmark.

What are some of your upcoming goals as a team and individually? 

Taehwan: This year’s goal as a team is to make a comeback soon and show fans new sides of us and how we’ve improved. Also, international fans really cheered us on and voted for us a lot. We think they will be waiting for us, so we want to visit them soon.

Yeonggwang: We got to perform at Jamsil Arena as one of the Top 6 teams on “Peak Time,” and since it was our first big stage, I think it would be meaningful for us to also have our own concert there.

Ahxian: My personal goal is to show fans what we weren’t able to show on “Peak Time,” to improve what we were lacking after monitoring “Peak Time,” and to return as better artists soon.

Taehwan: Personally, I want to work harder and perform at Coachella. I felt through “Peak Time” that dreams can come true, so I’m trying to dream again.

Gon: My goal is to chart on Billboard.

Hyesung: I personally want to study English, and I want to converse a lot with global fans, so I will try my best to study!

Please share a word for VVS across the world!

Taehwan: We want to sincerely convey our gratitude for giving us lots of love and voting for us while we were on “Peak Time,” and we will impress with new sides of us soon!

Hyesung: We want to meet fans abroad, and we will work harder so that we can meet international fans more frequently.

Check out exclusive selfies taken by the VANNER members on site of the interview!

Also watch VANNER on “Peak Time”:

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