BTS’s creator also complains, FIFTY FIFTY’s independence scandal shakes the Korean entertainment industry

Currently, Korea is in the “heyday of idol groups”. Young idol groups appear all the time, produce hit songs, and then disappear. Only a handful of artists survive there. FIFTY FIFTY’s independence scandal shakes the Korean entertainment industry.

The reason why idols are promoted as a group is because each group has its own role. The center person is beautiful, and the people around her are in charge of vocals, dancing, rapping, etc., so at least four members are required.

Korean people tend to look for “out-of-reach beauty” in artists rather than “the girl next door” friendliness, so there are many artists who are beautiful even if they are not the center of attention. Additionally, Koreans do not accept diversity in beauty, so many people have somewhat similar facial features, which can make it difficult to tell who is who unless you are interested in K-pop.

And even though they may appear to be the same idol group, artists from major agencies tend to be more popular. This is probably because the major companies spend far more money on music, dance, promotion, etc.

BTS's creator also complains, FIFTY FIFTY's independence scandal shakes the Korean entertainment industry

Still, on rare occasions, a popular idol group is born from a small agency.

BTS is a big artist born from such a small agency. Bang Si-hyuk, a music producer and entrepreneur who nurtured BTS, has worked hard as one with BTS. Now it is listed on the stock exchange and has become a large firm that cannot be recommended.

4-member female idol group’s global breakthrough

This year, a female idol group that is expected to be “post-BTS” broke out. They are a four-member idol group called “FIFTY FIFTY” who belong to a small agency.

He made his debut in November last year, and while his first song didn’t receive a great response, his second song, “Cupid,” became a big hit. “Cupid”, which was released on February 24th, was ranked on the prestigious “Billboard” “Hot 100” in the United States for 16 consecutive weeks.

It was also the shortest time for a Korean female idol group. By the way, the Korean female groups that have entered the Hot 100 are Wonder Girls, BLAKPINK, TWICE, NewJeans, and FIFTY FIFTY.

FIFTY FIFTY’s promotion strategy was to distribute the song and video on short forms of social networking sites such as TikTok and Instagram’s Reels. The buzz was caused by overseas fans playing “Cupid” on fast forward.

“Cupid”: A Short-Form Korean Idol for the Future

“Cupid” is available in Korean and English versions, making it easy for overseas listeners to listen to. It was also used as background music for the recent short-form trend on social media, such as the challenge of dancing to music.

BTS's creator also complains, FIFTY FIFTY's independence scandal shakes the Korean entertainment industry

Since then, “Cupid” has continued to make rapid advances. Ranked into the top 10 on the UK Official Chart. Recorded sales of 1 million units in the U.S. Recorded the No. 1 audience K-POP girl group record on Spotify. Recorded the No. 1 spot on Billboard Global (excluding the U.S.) for 2 consecutive weeks. Selected as the best song of the first half of this year by Rolling Stone magazine contributors・Selected as one of the 50 best songs of the first half of this year by Billboard staff. Debuted on the World Digital Song Sales Chart on the 113th day Ranked in 8th place – Became the shortest Korean idol to rank on the Bubbling Under Hot 100 chart – Remained on the Billboard Hot 100 chart for 16 consecutive weeks As such, it first became a buzz overseas, and gradually became popular in Korea as well. It started to become popular. However, it seems that FIFTY FIFTY‘s popularity will end soon before we can remember their faces. At least in Korea.

The quagmire of independence riots is turning into a lawsuit battle FIFTY FIFTY’s.

On June 23rd, ATTRAKT, FIFTY FIFTY’s agency, announced that “external forces have slandered our company, caused our artists to make wrong decisions through sweet talk, and have effectively denied exclusive contracts.” “They are ignoring the contract and engaging in illegal acts of inducing them to conclude a contract with us.”

Then, on June 27, ATTRAKT filed a lawsuit against three people, including the representative of “THE GIVERS,” who had been working with the agency to manage the FIFTY FIFTY project and carry out operations, for fraud and breach of trust. Then, the next day, a “provisional injunction lawsuit to terminate the exclusive contract” was announced by the members of FIFTY FIFTY against ATTRAKT (filed on June 19th).

On June 29th, THE GIVERS also commented on ATTRAKT’s accusations. The company announced that it will take strong legal action against ATTRAKT’s representatives for making false accusations and continuing to spread false information.

Why did this drama turn into such a quagmire over a rookie group that had only one shot overseas?

Since the lawsuit is still ongoing, we don’t know for certain, but ATTRAKT’s claim is that when the artists they discovered and spent all their free money developing, sell a little, they seduce them with sweet talk, and steal from them. There are people who steal it and try to sell it. And he names the representatives of THE GIVERS as the masterminds.

By the way, the representative of THE GIVERS is a former music producer and has been producing FIFTY FIFTY with funding from ATTRAKT.

In addition, FIFTY FIFTY members allege that they have violated the obligation to provide payment materials in good faith, violated the obligation to manage the members’ physical and mental health, and lacked human and material resources and support capabilities.

In response, ATTRAKT announced that they had invested 8 billion won (approximately 800 million yen) for FIFTY FIFTY and that the surgery was performed to restore the members’ health, but they did not disclose the name of the illness. He insisted that he provided them with a rest period and did not force them to pursue activities.

BTS creator’s harsh advice

In the midst of these battles, the media outlet “Dispatch,” which can be called South Korea’s “Bunshun Cannon,” reported on evidence favorable to ATTRAKT’s president. As the battle continued, major global projects that had been scheduled were cancelled. The filming of the music video for the Hollywood movie “Barbie” was canceled, the commercial with a famous soccer player was canceled, the commercial with a global electronics company was canceled, and the Korean culture festival “KCON LA 2023” to be held in Los Angeles in August was also canceled. Ta. 

It was also revealed that the parents of FIFTY FIFTY members applied to register the group’s name as a trademark right before the trial began. Applications cover a wide range of products and services to which trademark rights apply. We apply for trademark rights for most products that could be trademarked, including broadcasting, performances, entertainment, clothing, jewelry, stationery, supplements, and cosmetics. Previously, ATTRAKT had applied for a trademark only for the English letters “FIFTY FIFTY.” The parents of the members confirmed that there was no trademark for Hangul yet and applied for an application.

It seems that the Korean entertainment industry is also paying attention to this situation. On July 5, the Korean Entertainment Producers Association criticized the series of events as follows. “Recently, our association and member companies have been paying close

attention to the difficult situation ATTRAKT, which created the miracle of the group FIFTY FIFTY within a few months of debut despite the harsh conditions, has fallen into a difficult situation.”

The poaching and advance contact of members who were currently working in the company hindered normal business activities and brought about negative results for both the company and the celebrities

. “This is an act that destroys the foundation of the growth of producers and artists who created the foundations of K-POP.’

‘ “Our association will never turn a blind eye to such acts and will take strong action against them.’

‘ It seems that Mr. Bang Si-hyuk, who raised him, could not remain silent and gave the following harsh advice to the members of FIFTY FIFTY, which was also shared on social media.

BTS's creator also complains, FIFTY FIFTY's independence scandal shakes the Korean entertainment industry

“There should be trust between the agency and the artist.Of course there are contracts and conditions, but success will only be possible if the relationship allows each other to overcome these.Up until now, even when debuting as an idol or singer, I’ve seen many people disappear without their faces being shown on TV, but they should know how important the opportunity they’ve been given now is if they want to become the next face of K-pop. If you have a dream, you have to realize that the way you’re doing things right now is the wrong direction.”

However, the words of the creator of BTS do not seem to be reaching them so far.


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