While there are many people who love listening to K-pop and wish to become a K-pop idol themselves; the truth is, the journey of becoming an idol is a rough path that requires years of hard work and sacrifice to dedicate to training.
Thanks to the success of some K-pop groups, there are millions of people worldwide who listen to this music genre and watch videos of their favourite idols or groups. But some people don’t have any idea of the difficulties their idols had to go through to become who they are today. Read on to find out if you have what it takes to become a K-pop idol in South Korea!
Practice and audition
Whether you plan on being a K-pop idol or just wondering how your favourite idol started, this is how it starts. The first goal is to get into an agency and sign up as a trainee. However, this is not the case for everyone – there are a few lucky ones who might be discovered by a talent scout at random, but most of the people who want to be an idol are required to go through an audition.
There are several entertainment agencies in Korea that hold online and live global auditions to open opportunities to those who want to pursue their dreams. One example of this is Blackpink’s Lisa; she is the only one who passed YG Entertainment’s audition in Thailand during her time, and the only foreign YG trainee to have debuted and become an idol.
Idol life training
Signing up to become a trainee is the first step to becoming an idol, but this is where the real challenge comes in. Commonly, a contract with a span of an average of seven years will be offered, and during these years, the agency will evaluate several factors: trainee’s talent, trainee’s ability to blend in a group, and the trainee’s capability to survive the hardships of ‘idol life’.
Beyond practising their singing skills and dancing skills, trainees are also expected to manage or maintain their public images such as maintaining a certain weight, media training, basic etiquette, and most importantly, staying out of trouble including drugs and scandals. Being a trainee can also catch the attention of media and other entertainment groups, so while being a trainee, they are allowed to accept other jobs such as TV commercials, music videos, or modelling for brands, which requires them to be well-versed in a wide variety of things.
After years of assessing the trainees’ performance, the entertainment agency decides whether they are ready to debut. However, debuting as an idol isn’t the finish line for these aspiring K-pop superstars. The world of K-pop consists of various groups, and while groups quickly catch the attention of thousands to millions of fans, others fall by the wayside. Fortunately, falling on the wayside doesn’t mean a dead-end; these idols can get a second shot by joining survival shows to have a chance to retrain and re-debut.
The road to becoming a K-pop idol is a physical, emotional, and tough journey that requires a number of sacrifices. The process to become South Korea’s pop idol is an intense one, in which only a few make it to the end and those that make it face a new whole set of challenges to maintain their spot.
Whether you plan on being an idol or just want to visit some of the famous filming locations where your favourite idols have been, you should take the chance to learn the Korean language! At Sejong, we are a Korean language school in Singapore that utilises exciting and interactive teaching methods to help you master the language before your next trip to Korea!