K-pop is on the rise because of popular K-pop groups that lead the Hallyu wave. Groups like Super Junior, TVXQ, BTS and EXO have proven to be international successes over the years with their fandoms spanning over 100 countries. Some of them have even successfully released solo albums and/or singles.
This brings me to what I’m going to talk about today, just to discuss briefly about the future of a solo career in the kpop industry. Like what many celebrities say, being a celebrity is a lonely job. Being a celebrity further highlights the need to keep private and work lives separate, with a clean line for clear distinction. If even idols in k-pop idols in groups think that it’s lonely, how much more lonely can a solo artist get?
During comebacks, you practice alone, you record new songs alone and although it might be good sometimes to only have your own mind on your own songs and ideas, sometimes maybe they just wished for someone to talk back and maybe suggest something new, speaking as someone from their same level.
Personally I think that surviving the loneliness is already a mean feat but to overcome it and become a greater person is something I think we should take our hats off and salute our dear solos in the Kpop industry.
When you’re in a Kpop group, the members sometimes get to share the work of parts in a song or if one member gets popular, the group might be known for a certain something like how ZE:A became popular because of Kwanghee’s variety personality and likewise this happened to M.I.B with Kangnam bringing laughter to everyone through the screens. However, when you’re a solo artist, you are simply – alone. You do everything by yourself and at some point it must get tiring. This brings into question the livelihood of a solo artist as compared to groups.
Recently, it was announced that Juniel has officially signed with C9 Entertainment after leaving FNC Entertainment when her contract ended early this year. It seems like a move like this for her was emotionally difficult as she was known to be FNC’s first female trainee and trained for a long time before officially debuting in first Japan then Korea in 2012.
C9 Entertainment is home to many successful solo artists such as Jung Joon Young, Younha and Cheetah. And I hope that Juniel’s new home will bring her even more chances to let her talents shine through!
Younha as also recently announced that she would be going on an indefinite hiatus due to nasal health difficulties and also expressed that her condition has actually worsened over the years. She was also informed that if she does surgery, she would have to learn how to sing again and she admitted that there wouldn’t be enough time to do that and as such she is taking a break to recuperate.
I assume this means that she’s halting her activities completely and this also does indirectly place her career in a dangerous position.
On the other hand, the recent days have proven that some people do outshine the others by doing what they do best. An example is Zion.T who sings songs that have a chill funk and uses orchestral instruments in the background to blend it all up proves to be a crowd-pleaser with his hits “Yanghwa Bridge (양화대교)” and his most recent release in October 2015, “No Makeup”. By keeping up with his unique style, a glib tongue and a queer sense of humour, Zion.T has successfully kept his audience glued to the screens or should I say, radio?
Hard work, talent and luck are a huge part in determining the successfulness and also survivability of any artist, and even more for solo artists who are almost virtually fighting for themselves in this harsh and competitive Kpop industry.
My wish for the year 2016 is for the industry to have more breathing space for up and coming solo artists such that they will have a chance to showcase their unique talents and give everyone a fresh twist with some new sounds and new sights.
Who is YOUR favourite Kpop solo artist? Leave his/her name in the comments section below ^^
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Article by: Cass Zheng @ KAvenyou