Here's Everything You Need To Know About The Grueling Process Of Becoming A K-Pop Star
Ever wonder how these K-Pop bands manage to slay their choreography in complete unison? Or how their harmonies never stray a sour note? Well, turns out it’s not just some happy-go-lucky accident.
You may boogie it out to BTS’ “Blood Sweat & Tears” or get rowdy to Big Bang’s “Fantastic Baby” but did you know that these guys, along with their other K-Pop idol friends, have gone through years of intense physical and mental training?
If you don’t know much about the journey that a Korean idol would go through before you see them on YouTube, allow us to enlighten you...
1. You have to train to audition, to then train some more!
Yep, you read that correctly. Aspiring entertainers must pass an initial acting/singing/dancing audition held by one of the big three Korean record companies. And given the amount of talent you’re up against, it’s not uncommon to audition up to 30 times before getting accepted into a program. It’s all about getting noticed with the very, very, very limited time you have.
2. You can literally be dropped at any time.
Just because you sign a contract with a company, does not guarantee you will actually become a Korean pop star. Passing the audition essentially means the record company see potential in you - and it’s only gonna get harder from here. There have been many cases of trainees being dropped because they just couldn’t take the heat. Yikes!
Also, as seen in the music videos from Girls Generation, BLACKPINK and 4 Minute, you’ve somehow got to look sexy yet sweet, gangster yet elegant all at once! And if you can’t manage to do so...anyoung!
3. Training is F*cking Intense.
The training process for these idols is structured around perfecting your weaknesses and building your performance stamina. If you’re a fantastic dancer but a bit iffy on the singing part, the majority of your training-time is probably gonna be centered around hitting those high notes. Also, a trainee will often need to perform for the president of their company on a semi-regular basis, who will then point out your weakness. We could not even imagine.
4. It also takes a very, very, very long time.
The training period for these talents averages out to four years, but it can be wayyyy longer. Take 2AM’s Jokwon for example, he trained for a whopping seven years before we even knew his name!
5. Contracts can also be hella restricting.
Don’t get us wrong, we’re not saying that it’s not worth signing the contract, but just be weary of how much these singers are limited from doing their own thing. Like remember in 2015 when SM Entertainment released the statement on the breakup of Yoona & Lee Seung Gi. Imagine your record company being that involved in your relationship they need to announce your break up. And don’t even get us started on the time Jessica was (allegedly) forced out of Girls Generation when she tried to work on her own personal brand.
6. Rehearsal is love, rehearsal is life.
Considering the fact that trainees start as young as six years old, adjusting to trainee-life can be very challenging. There’s the likelihood that you’ll need to balance schoolwork in your spare time with up to 12 hour rehearsal days (and that’s not including homework). Oh, and if you’re international? You better start working on your Korean skills because after that learning Japanese is probably on the cards too…. World domination is very much a goal for these record companies so you better be ready for it.
7. Did we mention you can audition?
If you crave the spotlight and think you have what it takes, then feel free to head along to an audition! It’s pretty likely that one of the three big record companies will come to Australia in the next few years so crack out your Korean dictionary and ramen now and get crackin'!
- Haydn Hickson.
9 Times K-POP Groups Were The Ultimate Style Goals For Your Squad...