Thursday, September 15, 2011

Idols non-idols

Article from

The latest trend clearly shows that singers have to appear on variety shows to gain popularity. Such a trend as this has been bitterly criticized on the grounds that the music industry and TV variety shows have developed a sort of back-scratching relationship. In this environment, however, we can see a few ‘idol’ singers who seem to have the courage to keep themselves off the shows that hardly have anything to do with music.

It’s not easy for singers, even those belonging to a giant agency, to gain popularity without appearing on variety shows. 2NE1, however, have the remarkable record of dominating music rankings five times in a row without appearing on TV variety shows.

2NE1 has dominated music-download sites with almost all of the songs from this year’s album: “Don’t Cry,” “Lonely,” “I’m the Best,” “Hate You,” and “Ugly.” Of course, it’s hard to deny that the group’s giant agency has given trusted support, but without the members’ efforts and music abilities, the achievement would have been impossible. This is what differentiates them from other girl groups.


This seven-boy group gained the nickname of “trend-leading idols” by ranking top two weeks in a row on music shows in a year when it came out with its new album Be Mine.
Since it made a successful debut with “Come Back Again” in June 2010, Infinite has shown steady growth, gradually expanding its fan base.

Infinite has displayed restrained group performances and trendy music almost entirely excluding electronic sounds but smartly making use of distinctive guitar sounds. Since then, “She’s Back,” “BTD,” “Nothing’s Over,” and “Can’t You Smile” have followed with huge success. The group has tried to cover such various music genres as pop, hip-hop, and acoustic music.

Rather than frequently appearing on variety shows, they took a different strategy of focusing on honing their music abilities. They have survived the fierce competition with other ‘idol’ groups. What’s more, Infinite is not a group well trained and supported by a giant agency.


JYJ is a group that clearly shows how powerful and supportive fans can be. From the outset, JYJ has hardly carried out any activities on TV, but they have climbed to the top position on music-download sites with “Get Out” from their first Korean album, In Heaven.

The album gained explosive popularity, selling 300,000 advance copies. The online site responsible for selling the album was temporarily shut down because the site got swamped with visitors who wanted to order the album.
By Choi Na Young (
Source: Osen (Original article in Korean)
Photo from Osen
Translated by Geum Jae /