VXON started out like how many P-Pop groups find their start today: complete strangers who came together through auditions.

Composed of members Patrick, Franz, C13, Sam, and Vince, the quintet came from different walks of life before becoming trainees at Cornerstone Entertainment. They were all involved in the entertainment industry in one way or another; C13 and Sam worked in TV, Franz was a contestant on The Voice Philippines, Patrick and Vince had done some modeling work in the past. The five of them reveal that they didn’t come together at the same time, with each member chosen and oriented one at a time. Vince, the group’s visual, was the first to be picked, while Franz, the main vocals, came in last. The boys share that they were all shy and introverted at the start — with the exception of Patrick.

Si Patrick kasi, parang totoy… na makulit na bata (Patrick seemed like he was childish… like a stubborn and high-energy kid),” Vince says while laughing. Patrick was the most extroverted of them all at the start, actively reaching out and talking to the other boys.

The boys then continue talking over each other with their first impressions of one another. They thought Sam looked like a BGC boy; Franz shocked them with his singing skills; C13 looked like a rich kid from Korea (which apparently, they reveal, he spent some time in Korea growing up); Patrick was very talkative, and Vince was the “shy type.”

vxon sandal

Universal Music Group Philippine

“‘Yung tingin ko sa kanila talaga ay mga boys at the back, mga makukulit (I thought that they were like the stubborn and loud boys at the back),” Franz shares, who started out as very shy when he first joined the group. “Actually hanggang ngayon, mga boys at the back!” (Actually, even until now, still the boys at the back!)

Despite their initial impressions of each other, they’re now closer than ever, bonding over their shared love for local hip-hop. It’s the sound that has shaped their latest release, “Sandal,” a smooth and suave number that sounds as if it came from a hip-hop collective rather than a P-Pop group — a sound that is unique to the industry thus far. The use of hip-hop in P-Pop isn’t new, but other groups lean more towards how rap is used in traditional K-Pop songs. What sets VXON apart is that they draw inspiration from Filipino hip-hop contemporaries — think Flow G, Skusta Clee, and Shanti Dope — who serve as the group’s inspirations and their personal favorite artists.

Patrick and Franz open up about how they know that their first release, “The Beast,” is very different from “Sandal.” Many P-Pop groups start off that same way, where their earlier catalogs tend to sound like their K-Pop counterparts. Sam and Vince explain that that’s the direction they want to take their music into the future. That direction and new sound is what they hope to contribute to the P-Pop industry. Their upcoming album, which is slated to be released sometime next year, will hone in on that local hip-hop and R&B sound.

“Right now, gusto naming makilala na may sariling sound [kami] (Right now, we want people to know us by having our own sound),” Franz says, to close. “Kunwari, pag narinig [ng mga tao] na may ganitong kanta, [iisipin nila] na ‘oh, VXON ‘to!’ Parang may distinct personality, identity, and sound na pwede nila makilala (For instance, when people hear a certain song, [they’ll think] ‘oh, this is VXON!’ It’s kind of like we have a distinct personality, identity, and sound that they get to know).”

Listen to VXON’s newest release, “Sandal,” here.