In preparation for Don Jess’ >>performance at Music Core<< on Saturday, I’ve written an article that I found originally at Allkpop. It brought some things to my attention and I couldn’t help but agree and notice the truth in what was said. You know you like it when I talk Kpop, behbeh.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you should know by now that MBC released a mini-album of the seven songs that over 20 people participated in. Some formed duos while the rest formed groups, but none the less, the entire concept turned out to be a hit! On the show Infinity Challenge: Olympic Duet Song Festival, where several of these project groups competed against each other, many comedians teamed with singing artists to produce songs. The result? Sales of over 30,000 in less than one week, high demand on performances, and uproar.
Music experts in Korea have been buzzing about the “ass backwardness of the Korean music industry”. Over the years, sales of albums and singles have dwindling compared to what it was, let’s say, 10 years ago. So it’s no surprise that companies now have joined the mini-album bandwagon and no longer release two singles and an album per year. Yet, it seems to be one album or maybe two mini-albums per year. The cause and effect? Mini-albums are slightly cheaper than full-length albums, you get more pictures and album cover artwork, more songs than a single, less songs in a full length album so that you can remember every song and there will be less chances of you hating one (or all) off the songs, and lastly- less money and time is spent by the company. It’s a win-win on both sides. Mini-albums being cheaper, more people are going to buy, more album sales will be made, and you have enough songs left over from recordings to put out a second mini album some time soon. Artists will now find it hard to disappear for a year or two if teh industry has found such an easy way to release new tunes semi-annually!
However, even with this new “fool-proof” plan, album sales have only improven slightly. However, when Infinitey Challenge released their mini-album, they seemed to have defied the laws! Not only was this album put together so hastily, but those singing in most of the songs are not even singers to begin with! These songs were written, sung, and produced in a span of no more than two or three hours! Choreography took no more than two days, putting a total of no more than eight to ten days in the entire production. That’s something highly comparable to the three months it takes most artists to come back with their mini-album.
Now it only makes you question… Are artists really working that hard or are they just exaggerating the “long and stressful process” of making a comeback? And what about those poor artists who really do work so hard to debut and make a comeback! Months of hard work and dedication and some barely sell a total 30,000!
Korean music critic, Kang Tae Kyu said it best when he stated the following,
The huge success of the Infinity Challenge mini-album is kind of like an insult to the present Korean music industry. No matter how much effort or hard work you put into producing an album, as long as you promote it on a popular variety show or become a popular search term on portal sites, the album would sell very well. This is a crushing blow to many of those who wants to make music and it seems like, you have to know the tricks of promotion to get good sales volume. The sales volume is not dependent anymore on how hard the singer works behind the scenes.
As much as I loved many of the artists working in this project- After School Sluts<3, Tiger and his wifey Tasha, E-tribe with Jessica, Lee Jung Hyun, etc- I just couldn’t help but rant on about this. When I read the original article, it was just so surprising to see that I am always right! No matter how hard you try, as long as you have the right people and know what the people “want” or can make the next new trend, you’re freaking set.
I’m starting to think people really don’t like talent anymore. Hmmm. Or maybe that’s just the skeptic in me.
Anyway, forgive me if the above made absolutely no sense to you. I’m just writing this as I go and I’m not even going to bother to re-read and edit (because when do I ever do that? XD).