Ravi Debut as VIXX
Ravi was one of ten trainees who were contestants in Mnet’s survival reality show MyDOL. He was also one of the six contestants selected to be part of the final line-up of the new boy group VIXX. The group debuted with the song “Super Hero” on May 24th, 2012, on M! Countdown. During MyDOL, Ravi was featured in the music videos for Brian Joo’s “Let This Die” and Seo In-guk’s “Shake It Up.” Ravi participated in writing “Super Hero,” VIXX’s debut single. In 2013, he appeared in episode 4 of the SBS television drama The Heirs alongside his group members.
VIXX’s Ravi Subunit VIXX LR
VIXX LR is the first official subunit of the popular South Korean boy band VIXX formed by Jellyfish Entertainment. Established in August 2015, VIXX LR consists of VIXX’s main vocalist Leo and main rapper Ravi. The subunit debuted with their first mini-album, titled Beautiful Liar on August 17th, 2015. The name of VIXX LR is a combination of VIXX (Korean: 빅스 pronounced “Vicks”; acronym for voice, visual, a value in excelsis) and the initials of the members’ stage names, with “L” standing for Leo and “R” for Ravi. In an interview on Pops in Seoul, VIXX LR said their name also stands for “left” and “right” which meant that their contrasting qualities and images created harmony when on stage. The letters “L” and “R” also represent the first and last letter of the word “liar” in their debut EP Beautiful Liar and its title track.
On August 7th, 2015, Jellyfish Entertainment released a video trailer on VIXX’s official website after a mysterious countdown with a silhouette of VIXX’s last special album Boys’ Record. As time went by, members of VIXX disappeared until finally only Leo and Ravi were left behind, which caused fans to speculate that it meant another comeback for all six members. A video trailer of VIXX LR was then revealed. VIXX LR was confirmed by Jellyfish Entertainment to be VIXX’s first official subunit composed of the main rapper Ravi and the main vocalist Leo. Their debut mini-album, Beautiful Liar, was released on August 17th, 2015. On the same day, VIXX LR held their first showcase for Beautiful Liar at Yes24 Muv Hall in Seoul′s Mapo-gu. The duo started promoting on August 18th and they had their first debut stage performance on SBS MTV’s The Show.
VIXX LR debuted on the Billboard World Albums chart at Number 2 and on the South Korean Gaon Album Chart also at Number 2. On September 1st, VIXX LR gained their first ever music show win since their debut on SBS MTV’s The Show with 9,464 of the votes making them have the second-highest all-time score, behind their parent group VIXX with “Error.” On September 4th, 2015, VIXX LR wrapped up their three-week promotional cycle for Beautiful Liar on KBS2’s Music Bank with a goodbye stage performance. VIXX LR’s “Beautiful Liar” was nominated for two awards at the 2015 Mnet Asian Music Awards; for Best Collaboration and Unit and Song of the Year. In January 2016 VIXX LR held showcase performances in Nagoya, Tokyo, and Osaka as part of their first live showcase tour Beautiful Liar in Japan.
On July 19th, 2017, Jellyfish Entertainment announced that VIXX LR is aiming to make a comeback and release a new album in August. On August 14th, VIXX LR announced that their second mini-album Whisper would be released on August 28th, 2017. On January 24th, 2018, VIXX LR released their first compilation album in Japan, titled Complete LR which consisted of every track from their previously released mini-albums and included two new songs, one of which is a Japanese version of “Whisper.” VIXX LR also held their first concert Eclipse in Seoul on November 18th and 19th, 2017, Tokyo on January 25th and Osaka on January 27th and January 28th, 2018.
VIXX’s Ravi Debut as a Solo Artist
On December 26th, 2016, it was announced that Ravi would debut as a solo artist with a release of a mini-album titled R.EAL1ZE on January 9th, 2017, and will hold a series of solo concerts starting from January 6th to January 8th at the Yes24 Muv Hall in Seoul’s Mapo District.
What was originally a teaser by his record label as the “Real1ze Project” was revealed as VIXX’s main rapper’s plans to debut as a solo artist. In his mini-album, he will feature rappers San E, Microdot, R&B singers Esbee, Jero, his bandmate Ken, and Jung Yong-hwa of idol band CNBlue.
Before the record drops, he will unveil a song from his album on January 4th, and will later hold a solo concert at the Yes24 Muv Hall at Mapo District, western Seoul from January 6th to 8th. Tickets for all three dates sold out within ten minutes on December 15th.
The idol rapper previously worked with a number of popular artists in his past solo efforts. His self-produced mixtape R.ebirth featured Show Me the Money rappers Basick, Donutman, and Hanhae. He later worked with rising DJ group SAM&SP3CK and rapper Superbee on his later singles.
Padding Friend and Ravi
Several of the popular South Korean idols have their own friends or squads. Usually, they are more familiar with friends who are not much different from them or were born in the same year. One of the famous friendship groups is the so-called “Padding Squad.”
Padding Squad consists of famous boy band members, such as BTS’ Jimin, SHINee’s Taemin, EXO’s Kai, Ex-Wanna One’s Ha Sung-woon, Hotshot’s Timoteo, VIXX’s Ravi, and there are also a few non-artist friends.
The name of the Padding Squad was given by the fans. On one occasion, SHINee’s Taemin gave each member of the Padding Squad a windproof jacket known in South Korea as “Padding.” Therefore, fans refer to their friendship group as “Padding Squad.”
Ex-Wanna One’s Ha Sung-woon, tells the beginning of the formation of the Padding Squad. Ha Sung-woon, who is also a HOTSHOT member, was introduced to SHINee’s Taemin and EXO’s Kai. He was introduced by Timoteo who used to be a member of the same group with him, HOTSHOT.
As you know, HOTSHOT’s Timoteo was once an SM Entertainment trainee. Because of that, he knew EXO’s Kai and SHINee’s Taemin who were also under the auspices of SM Entertainment. Besides being introduced to Kai and Taemin, Timoteo also introduced Ha Sung-woon to his school friends who were not artists.
Finally, the Padding Squad members multiplied. Then, EXO’s Kai brought VIXX’s Ravi into the Padding Squad and introduced him to the other members. And the last member to join the Padding Squad was BTS’ Jimin. Ha Sung-woon brought Jimin’s BTS to the Padding Squad. Before getting to know BTS’ Jimin, Ha Sung-woon was a friend of J-Hope who was a group mate of Jimin.
J-Hope introduced Ha Sung-woon to his group mate, Suga. Then, Suga introduced Ha Sung-woon to BTS’ Jimin. Because he could get close, Ha Sung-woon “recruited” BTS’ Jimin to become a member of the Padding Squad. “The fans came up with the name Padding Squad. Taemin bought us the same padding jacket,” said Ha Sung-woon in episode 397 of Weekly Idol.