Today, millions of fans know V, but that wasn’t the case in early 2013, when BTS was preparing to debut.
V began his journey to superstardom not as an aspiring idol but as a supportive friend. When V accompanied a friend to an audition at Big Hit Music (then Big Hit Entertainment), the company asked him if he would like to audition too. Soon after, V became a trainee.
[Big Hit Entertainment] asked me if I would like to try out so I said yes. I danced and they said do you have something else? I sang for them and they asked do you have anything else to show us? I beatboxed and they asked what else? I rapped and they said what else? I brought my saxophone and played it for them to which they responded do you have anything else to show us? It was then that I finally said no I don’t have anything else to show you.
Although V joined the company in 2011, his face wouldn’t be revealed to the public until his first teaser photos dropped on June 2, 2013, just 11 days before BTS’s debut. The rest of BTS had begun to introduce themselves to fans through photos and video logs as early as 2012.
Being the “hidden member” wasn’t easy for V. In his first “Bangtan Blog,” he revealed how lonely and left out he felt during that time.
When all of the members were shooting for their own logs, I was the only one who couldn’t, so I was very sad. When the hyungs were shooting their logs in the studio, I would follow them and shoot my own but I couldn’t upload it. Shooting alone, I would say, ‘Today is this day of this month in 2013. I did this. This probably won’t get released, right? I’m sad.’
V’s “hidden member” days are long behind him, so how does he feel about them now? “I actually can’t understand it whatsoever,” he told Rolling Stone, with a laugh. “Why did they do that? Why was that the concept? I really had no idea!”
HYBE founder Bang Si Hyuk, the man behind BTS’s formation, explained why he decided BTS should have a hidden member and why he chose V for the role.
We needed momentum to announce that the team called BTS was finally complete. V had great charms in terms of appearance and personality, so I thought it would be impactful when he was revealed last. It was an effective strategy in forming the team’s overall image, as well as leaving an impression of each member.
— Bang Si Hyuk
Read more from BTS’s Rolling Stone interview here: