by Ciara of The Kpop Writers’ Workshop & newest writer for Asia 24/7
What’s the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear the names TVXQ, Big Bang or 2pm?
If you’re a hardcore TVXQ fan you might think of amazing acapellas. A Big Bang fan perhaps? Maybe you would think of their ability to turn any stage into their own concert. As a Hottest, you probably have fainted over 2pm’s beastly performances. However, for those who aren’t as familiar with Kpop artists, it’s probably the opposite. Although each group listed above, has created and carved their own path in Kpop history, they all have a substantial factor supporting them – their company.
SM Entertainment, YG Entertainment and JYP Entertainment are known as the top three agencies in Korea. Although there are other agencies such as Starship Entertainment, which houses the artists Sistar and K.Will or TS Entertainment, home to B.A.P and Secret, being in a top agency such as those of the ‘Big 3’ definitely has its advantages’. Perks such as being the ability to have higher quality performances, more opportunities to go on tour or hang with famous stars are great not only for personal reasons, but also great for future career moves. Although advantages are nice, there are also disadvantages – having little to no creative control, subpar concepts or not being able to collaborate with artists of your choice. Not to mention contract terms. So what do you do? How do you gain control over your career?
You become independent.
In 2013, Jay Park announced that he had successfully created his own company AOMG (Above Ordinary Music Group) that would
help him not only have creative control over his music, but also create a path for him to help foster underground artists as well. As of March 2014, AOMG houses 10 artists whose talents range from music production to graphic design. A former artist of JYP Entertainment, Park made the successful, albeit bumpy, journey from idol to artist. In 2011, he released his first solo single “Abandoned” and his debut album “New Breed” in 2012.
Even though most idols don’t have creative control at their companies, one would be surprised that seasoned artists would have the same downfall.
Korean Hip Hop royalty Tiger JK left Jungle Entertainment; a company founded by JK and his late father, Seo Byung Hoo, and formed a new company FeelGHoodMusic that houses JK, Yoon Mi Rae and Bizzy (aka MFBTY).
In various interviews, MFBTY has stated that the reason they couldn’t release albums was because of disconnect with their former company. In a recent interview on Danny From LA, MFBTY mentioned that Tasha and Bizzy’s albums were complete and that they will be released sometime in the future.
Because of issues such as creative control and company – artist differences, more artists are starting to take initiative by either writing, composing or producing their own songs. The fact that more artists, especially those that have more seniority, are stepping out and making moves for themselves, gives hope to artists who would like to be in their footsteps one day. It signifies that it is possible to not only be a talented artist, but a talented CEO.
Who are some artists that you would like to see as CEOs? Leave your comments below!