“Not Possible” in domestic, “Welcome” abroad – JYJ’s Paradox
[PIC: Idol Group JYJ – first Korean singer who had a concert in SanTiago, Chile on March 09. The group is exploring overseas markets since its activities in Korea have restrictions. From the Left: Jaejoong Kim, Yuchun Park and Junsu Kim. – Photo from C-JeS Entertainment]
The trio group JYJ (Jaejoong Kim, Yuchun Park, Junsu Kim) is unique. It is difficult to see the group in the country, but the group is doing remarkable activities abroad. The team toured in Spain, Germany, Chile and Peru and the member Junsu Kim had his solo concert in Mexico – all as the first Korean singers who ever had concerts in each country. Why is the atmosphere from inside and outside is so different? You may see an equation of Korean Pop industry’s power structure.
◆ Aftermath of TVXQ Controversy?
[Junsu Kim who had solo concert in Mexico on Sep 6]
The three members of JYJ had their debut in the year of 2004 as the quintet TVXQ under SM Entertainment. TVXQ shortly stood at the top in Korean pop industry and had 100,000 members in its fan-club. In 2009, the three members moved to the present agency and formed JYJ after ‘application for injunction to terminate the validity of exclusive contract’ against SM, claiming that 13-year of exclusive contract was too long. The lawsuit with SM is still ongoing.
After this, they have had difficulties in album distribution, venue rental, TV appearances and other things. With tremendous number of album sales and popularity, the public has not seen them in any of music/entertainment programmes for the last 3 years at all.
For example, Yuchun Park appeared in ‘SKK Scandal(KBS)’ and ‘Rooftop Prince(SBS)’ as a leading role, but no one could see his face in entertainment programmes of the both broadcasters despite the fact that actors appearing in the same broadcaster’s entertainment programmes during their drama is an unwritten rule in order to promote dramas. Even in some cases, his appearances were flip-flopped after scheduling.
First, broadcasting companies’ stance is that ‘we cannot cast the singer under legal dispute’. However, JYJ insists that ‘Independent activities are guaranteed until the ruling of the lawsuit on the merits’. Some say that this situation is because of external pressure.
“I was concerned a lot about the present situation that I can be on TV only through dramas. But I decided that it would be better to do something I can do the best, (knowing promotion would be difficult) released a solo album in May”, said Junsu Kim at the press conference in Mexico. His music video of the title song ‘Tarantallegra’ which cost him half a billion Won to make, has never once been aired.
JYJ looked overseas instead. The group betted on overseas stages with the fandom they established since TVXQ.
◆ Idol’s new market
The Group JYJ has done..
The atmosphere at Junsu Kim’s Solo Concert at Blackberry Auditorio in Mexico City, Mexico on Sep 6 was just boiling. The concert was the part of his North/South American tour followed from New York and Los Angeles. 3,000 fans were shouting his name and ‘I Love You, Junsu!’ in Korean and sung ‘Besame Mucho(Kiss me much)’ together. Fans were all sung along his latest Korean lyrics such as ‘Set Me Free’. Junsu Kim is due to continue European Tour in the second-half of this year. JYJ also toured in 15 cities from the last year to the first-half of this year and met 210,000 fans around the world.
Paradoxically speaking, the restriction in Korea domestic has become the other way into the new steps. The agency says South American tours are deficit as they are too far from Korea, but it explains that “In the manner of investment, we are trying to go anywhere as long as fans are there”.
“JYJ’s case is a condensable example of the fact that the practical power belongs to management companies, the capital itself under this idol producing system, although the popularity is earned by an idol member”, Jakga Kim, the pop-music critic commented. He continued, “JYJ showed the possibility that an idol group CAN survive by themselves, not depend on the cartel which acts on collusion with management companies and broadcasting companies”.
<Newspaper Image on JoongAng Ilbo, one of the most famous newspaper in Korea>
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