K-pop stands for Korean pop, which is from South Korea. Kpop is heavily influenced by American pop. Within this article I'm going to explain the basics of Kpop.
In kpop there are a lot of companies, but the major ones (also called the Big Three) are SM Entertainment, JYP Entertainment, and YG Entertainment. These three entertainment companies were formed in the 1990's and are formed by earlier Kpop idols. SM Entertainment was founded by Lee SooMan in 1989. The company originally was an abbreviation of the founder's name but now it stands for Star Museum. SM Entertainment is the home to some of the most popular kpop idols including SNSD (Girls Generation), Super Junior, F(x), BoA, SHINee, TVXQ, and Trax. SM Entertainment's current CEO is Kim YoungMin. Some scandals SM Entertainment has had are their 'slave contracts' that supposedly sign the singer to thirteen years with the company. JYP Entertainment was founded by Park JinYoung in 1997. JYP Entertainment most notable points are the success of the current idols under their company which include Miss A, 2pm, 2am, and Wonder Girls. Also JYP Entertainment is known for the many previous trainees that they had that have now transferred to a new company and idol group. The most notable are HyunA of 4minute (Cube entertainment), 3 members of Beast (DongWoon, KiKwang, and DooJoon) all are under cube and CL from the group 2ne1. Last but not least is YG Entertainment. YG Entertainment was founded by Yang HyunSuk in 1996. Yang HyunSuk was a former member of Seo TaiJi and the boys. YG Entertainment is known for having a strong R&B and Hip Hop feel to the music it produces. The artist that YG Entertainment house are Big Bang, 2ne1, and Se7en.
Even though each company has a different type of feel to the music it produces, they all have one thing in common: Training. For SM Entertainment it is not easy making it into a group to debut. SM Entertainment has auditions every saturday at their offices in Los Angeles and in Seoul. Aspiring artist take part in SM's 'youth best selection' where applicants are classified into certain groups and battle it out to be the winner of that group. Every year more than 7, 000 people compete in the ' youth best selection' which is held in 5 cities across Korea. SM Entertainment also holds global auditions. Trainees go through vocal, dance, acting and foreign language lessons. Training last for a long time it usually takes years. Snsd members went through an average of five years of training. Jessica, SooYoung, and HyoYeon went through seven years of training to debut. Also SM Entertainment regularly holds recitals so trainees are expected to push themselves to be better.
In YG Entertainment the trainees are guided by Yang HyunSuk's words "Before becoming a singer, you must first become a person". It is Yang HyunSuk's policy that character should be given priority, though ability is also important. Trainees usually start young and practice really late into the evening, and Sunday is their only day of rest. A YG Entertainment trainee abandons their personal life to devote their time to training. YG trainees go through dancing, singing, foreign language, and physical training. The trainees are supervised by a vocal trainer two to three times a week in order for them to learn basic sing techniques and to learn how to sing live. Dance training is also done two to three times a week. YG Entertainment employs international dancers to teach its trainees. Trainees study English, Mandarin Chinese, and Japanese three times a week also. YG Entertainment, in the past did not hold public auditions, unlike SM Entertainment. In 1998 4, 000 applicants tried to join YG Entertainment no one succeeded.
In JYP Entertainment passion is most important. "Sincerity and passion, like what Wonder Girls' Sunye and Lim Jeong Hye has shown are the most important". For JYP Entertainment an applicant's passion is the most important. JYP explained that to become a star he or she must desire for sing and a passion to dance and a passion to be the best. JYP Entertainment auditions are every 1st and 3rd Sunday of every month. More than 1, 000 hopefuls participate every Sunday. The most important criteria when selecting the applicants are passion, star quality, and skills. Applicants are processed on a first come first served basis for the first and third Sunday auditions. Trainees are not accepted weekly because if no one catches the attention of the audition masters no one will be chosen. Trainees undergo vocal, dance, foreign language and other trainings. Though training differs for each trainee because each has their own strength and weaknesses. Training time can be as long as seven years to as short as two years. Miss A's Min trained for nine years.
These are just the basics of K-pop. K-pop has many different layers to it and as you get into it more the more you understand the basics and can build your knowledge from there.