The Process of Manufacturing KPOP Groups

The One With a Little Lamb | A Tree Chicken Enthusiast

KPOP or Korean Popular music:has anyone stopped to think about why it’s so captivating?

KPOP is structured so that a person first auditions at an entertainment company. If chosen, they get to train at that company for about three to five years, seven at most, and maybe more if the company decides to keep them from debuting, also known as “being in the basement.” If not, the person approaches other agencies and tries again.

But what happens during auditions? As depicted in some variety shows in South Korea, the audition process is rough

Credit: alkpop.com | Girl’s Day is one of the most slimmest KPOP girl groups.

and the events after that are even tougher. The training process is like a school. You have to learn how to sing, dance, rap, speak another language, and be entertaining during a variety show on television.

You may train ceaselessly, but your chances of debuting in a group are slim.

These artists are also pressured by South Korean entertainment companies to diet and maintain very skinny frames.

Continuing with appearances, many  South Korean celebrities also get plastic surgery to fix features that have been deemed as blemishes by their entertainment company. Examples would be Brown Eyed Girls, Jessi, and Six Bomb, a debuting girl group that is using plastic surgery as a marketing strategy and concept.

The personas created by these artists, also known as concepts, are the primary reason  KPOP is so captivating. Their clothes, hair, makeup, and song lyrics all promote specific identities to appeal to a specific audience.

Furthermore, entertainment companies are not satisfied with only Koreans being pushed through this process. When a boom in KPOP occurred during the early 2010s, many artists from different countries surfaced. For example, Super Junior had three or so Chinese members before the 2010s, which spurned a growth in other KPOP groups to include foreign members.

Many people from all over the world audition to become KPOP artists. Significant and well-known artists that are not Korean are Mark Tuan (GOT7, Taiwanese-American), Jackson Wang (GOT7, Chinese), Lisa (BLACKPINK, Thai), Bambam (GOT7, Thai), Amber Liu (f(x), Taiwanese-American), Mina, Sana, and Momo (Twice, Japanese), Henry Lau (Super Junior-M, Chinese-Canadian), Fei (Miss A, Chinese), Jun and THE8 (SEVENTEEN, Chinese), and Alexandra Reid (RaNia, American).

The three largest entertainment companies behind some of South Korea’s most popular groups, nationally and internationally, are YG Entertainment, SM Entertainment, and JYP Entertainment. YG Ent. is responsible for Big Bang and 2NE1, and soloists such as PSY, the mastermind behind 2012’s “Gangnam Style.” SM Ent. is behind TVXQ/DBSK, Girls’ Generation (SNSD), Super Junior, SHINee, f(x), and EXO as well as soloists such as BOA. JYP Ent. supports GOT7, 2PM, Wonder Girls, and Miss A, and soloists such as G.Soul.

The reason that they are dubbed the “Big 3” is because of how they market and sell their artists. Big Bang and 2NE1 were groups that came out with their own style and popularized it through originality. SM Ent. excessively markets all of their artists, which is why their artists get so popular, an example being EXO. JYP Ent. gets an audience due to the fact that the CEO is a very well-known artist himself, Park Jin Young.

Credit: celebmix.com | BTS posing for their “Blood, Sweat, and Tears” photoshoot.

However, there are also many groups that have become famous without the help of these companies. The most prominent of these is Bangtan Sonyeondan, otherwise known as BTS, who is under contract with Big Hit.

KPOP has had such a large growth following the viral “Gangnam Style” video and many do not know of the intricate steps artists such as PSY must follow to climb their way to success.

Header Credit: cdn.koreaboo.com

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