YG Entertainment has once again thrown open its doors, but only to boys. On August 7, the agency put the call out on Facebook and Twitter with a poster captioned ‘2015 YG Audition-NEXT GENERATION’. The confirmed schedule includes Busan, Seoul, Los Angeles, and New York on August 29, September 5, September 12 and September 19, respectively, with more coming in Tokyo and Osaka.
Thrilled with the popularity of his three boy groups, BigBang, Winner and iKon (who’s yet to debut), CEO and founder Yang Hyun Suk has obviously decided to double down on that strategy. The flip side obviously is that when it comes to YG’s brand of music- a mixture of Kpop and K-hiphop, girl groups are not very viable and may not be worth the investment.
2NE1 may be hugely successful, but they’ve also of recent been a bit of a handful to deal with, given Park Bom’s unfortunate situation. Also, as girl groups grow older, marketing them may also pose an additional challenge. The only challenge with boy groups as they transition into adults is their voice cracking, and that’s not an issue in hip-hop.
Comparing the western popularity of BigBang to 2NE1 is best illustrated with their last U.S. tours in 2012. 2NE1 had a great showing at the Prudential Center in NJ, but the concert was hardly sold-out. When BigBang then came to town about two months later, they had to schedule two shows also at the Prudential Center, because the first show sold-out in minutes.
Finally, when it comes to YG’s system, what the agency does is enable its artists to be creators and masters/mistresses of their own destiny. So YG artists are urged to produce and write their own music. Therefore, YG artists require less management and oversight, and are giving a level of independence unusual in the K-pop industry.
This maybe a challenge when it comes to girl groups. If anything, of recent there has been a significant amount of scandal in girl groups of late, that suggests girl groups require more management and oversight than boy groups. Which doesn’t work well under the YG system.
CL of 2NE1, who is currently on tour of North America with the Mad Decent Block Party is a bit of an anomaly. CL brings with her charisma and character that’s not often found in girls in that part of the world. And, that’s likely due to the fact that she didn’t grow up in that part of the World. She grew up in France, and the U.S. and attended international schools all her life. As a result, CL is fiercely independent.
In her interview with Fader she talks about being alone in her house in Los Angeles, and writing music. Papa YG must have enough faith in her to let her loose in a foreign country, and into a genre dominated by men. CL has proven she’s able to manage herself, and thrive in the masculine environment that constantly surround her. As her instagram posts show and recent single indicate, artistically she hangs out withe likes of Diplo, OG Maco, and Skrillex.
And, there’s still no word on the girl group that YG has been trying to debut since like forever.
(photo by YG Entertainment)
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