‘Smooth like butter’ — that’s how effortlessly South Korean singer Kim Taehyung, aka V, has conquered hearts and the global music industry. With his first solo album on the way, the multifaceted member of the K-pop powerhouse BTS, V is one of the most successful Hallyu stars of this century.
A singer, dancer, rapper, songwriter, actor and art enthusiast, V debuted as a BTS member on 13 July 2013. He is one of the fastest K-pop soloists to reach 14 million followers on Spotify with just three K-drama soundtracks outside his group act — “Sweet Night”, ” It’s Definitely You” and “Christmas Tree”.
In June 2023, the baritone singer became the fastest K-pop soloist to cross 300 million streams on Spotify with “Christmas Tree”, his Original Soundtrack (OST) for the 2022 Netflix K-drama Our Beloved Summer.
From being robbed by a cab driver on his first day in Seoul to finally making his much-awaited solo album debut on 8 September 2023, BTS’ V has come a long way. Find out more about the legendary singer.
Interesting facts about Kim Taehyung, aka V
V is called Daegu Prince
Born on 30 December 1995 in Daegu, South Korea, V is often referred to as Daegu Prince by fans and people from his hometown.
A Capricorn, V belongs to the Year of the Pig. According to the Chinese zodiac, people born in this year are deemed easygoing, honest, trusting, educated, sincere and brave.
V was never supposed to audition for BigHit
V once accompanied one of his friends to an audition for BigHit Entertainment. As luck would have it, the company became interested in V and asked him for a tryout as well. While his friend failed the audition, V went on to become a trainee under BigHit Entertainment for about three years and finally debuted as a BTS member in 2013.
V wanted to quit being a K-pop trainee
V revealed about having a difficult time as a trainee on tvN‘s variety show You Quiz On The Block and said that he wanted to drop out of being a K-pop trainee.
He said, “Being a trainee was so hard that I called him (Dad) crying. When I told him I wanted to quit, he told me, ‘If it’s too hard, you can quit. There are lots of other jobs. Let’s look for one together.’ I had nothing to say to that. I felt embarrassed that I said that in the first place. As time passed, those words touched me and I made up my mind to never quit.”
Why the stage name V?
Kim Taehyung has often shared that before his debut, he considered multiple stage names like Lex and Six. However, the singer finally chose V, which in a way, means victory for the group.
A baritone singer with a wide vocal range
In the K-pop industry dominated by tenors, V shines as a singer with a baritone voice and a wide vocal range.
Although most BTS songs are written for a lower tenor range, V’s vocal abilities enable him to hit high notes with ease. Journalist Tamar Herman from Billboard noted that his lower range is a prominent piece of BTS music. Similarly, the singer’s tonality on “Singularity” was noted as a prominent “tone setter” for BTS’ album Love Yourself: Tear (2018), by music critic Blanca Méndez.
Additionally, during BTS’ 2021 BBC Radio 1 Live Lounge debut performance, V’s deep voice stood out the most and made him a breakout topic on social media.
He is a saxophonist
Did you know V initially aspired to be a professional saxophonist?
The multi-hyphenate played the saxophone for three years in middle school. However, he later realised that he enjoyed singing the most.
His unique songwriting process
During one of his V lives, Taehyung shared that he usually prefers writing the melody first before the lyrics.
He said, “I try to write the lyrics for every note or until that part ends. I write eight bars of melody, then write lyrics for those eight bars before I move on. Or I write all the melody before I write the lyrics.”
The BTS singer added, “If I write the lyrics first, the melody changes a lot according to the lyrics. So, sometimes I can’t write the melody I want. It’s pretty frustrating. So, I write the melody first.”
Jazz is one of his favourite genres
Described as the “most serious connoisseur of music” among BTS members by South China Morning Post, Kim Taehyung, aka V, loves classic jazz music. Some of his favourite musicians from the genre include Bing Crosby and Louis Armstrong.
He once recommended BTS ARMY the 2021 movie The United States vs. Billie Holiday — a biography on the life of jazz singer Billie Holiday.
V of BTS is ambidextrous
Kim Taehyung was initially left-handed. However, he can use both hands with equal prowess. He flexes his ambidexterity mostly while playing sports for the BTS variety show Run BTS.
He is a Guinness World record holder
According to Guinness World Records, it took just 43 minutes for V to break the record for the fastest time to reach 1 million followers on Instagram. The figure jumped to 10 million in just four hours and 52 minutes. The Cartier brand ambassador ended up breaking a second record — the one for the fastest time to reach 10 million followers on Instagram.
Did you know about V’s painting prowess? The BTS singer loves experimenting with colours and is often spotted customising his phone cases and spray painting his jackets.
In the BTS reality show In The Soop season 2, V made three paintings of dramatic and exaggerated versions of facial features that reflect the singer’s artist self.
V is especially fond of Vincent Van Gogh’s works and has shared artworks inspired by the latter on BTS’ official Twitter account. He also loves visiting art galleries and considers them one of the best parts of his tours abroad.
V of BTS is a KAWS enthusiast
V is a huge fan of American artist and designer KAWS.
From displaying his couch full of KAWS figures to capturing his adorable pet Yeontan with KAWS toys, V has been wearing his ‘KAWS collector tag’ forever.
Some of the pieces from his extensive range of KAWS figures include the KAWS Holiday UK Vinyl Figure Grey, KAWS Holiday UK Vinyl Figure Black, KAWS BFF Dior Plush Blue and the KAWS BFF Dior Plush Black.
Additionally, the official account of KAWS also reposted one of V’s many appreciation Instagram videos about the artist’s works. It shows V playing the trumpet on his couch at his home, featuring the KAWS Sesame Street Uniqlo Plush Toy Complete Box Set.
V for Vante, the photographer
Besides music, art and fashion, the K-pop idol is quite interested in photography.
The vocalist uses the hashtag “Vante” for sharing his photography work — a tribute to his inspiration, the Sydney-based photographer Ante Badzim.
He is obsessed with video games and his pet dog Yeontan
V’s love for video games is so deep that some nights, he prefers gaming over sleeping.
The singer likes hosting live gaming sessions with ARMY and is a big fan of the multiplayer first-person shooter game Overwatch. His bandmate Jungkook once revealed that the duo spend hours playing Overwatch and mostly go to bed in the early mornings.
V has also been spotted playing video games like League of Legends, Fall Guys and Goose Goose Duck on multiple occasions.
The “Sweet Night” singer is also head over heels for his teacup Pomeranian, Yeontan. Also known as Tannie, the pet was officially introduced to the world during Jin’s birthday V live broadcast on 4 December 2017.
V coined the term ‘I purple you’
The widely used term ‘I purple you’ by BTS and ARMY was first coined by V in November 2016.
It was during BTS’ 3rd Muster fan meeting that V used the term ‘I purple you’. He said that purple is the last colour of the rainbow, and it means that “I will trust and love you for a long time”.
V’s gift to ARMY — Layover
A short 17-second video, two heartfelt letters and an official announcement — this was how BTS’ V teased the release of his debut solo album Layover.
Thanking fans for looking after him for 10 years, V expressed his desire to personally deliver his solo album as a gift to the BTS ARMY worldwide.
Layover includes five songs along with a bonus track. The five songs “Rainy Days”, “Blue”, “Love Me Again”, “For Us” and the title track “Slow Dancing”, each come with a music video.
V’s debut album is produced by NewJeans’ music producer Min Hee-jin and is expected to be a medley of pop, soul and old-school R&B.
You can pre-save and pre-order the album here.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Is V releasing an album?
– Yes, V of BTS’ debut solo album ‘Layover’ drops on 8 September 2023.
Which one is V’s solo song?
– As a part of BTS, V has released solos like “Winter Bear”, “Inner Child”, “Singularity” and “Stigma”.
(Hero and featured image: Courtesy ELLEKorea/Twitter)
This story first appeared on Lifestyle Asia India