Article where the CEOs of JYP Entertainment and SM Entertainment, Park Jin Young and Lee Soo Man reveals their concept behind grooming their respective talents. Now if only Yang Hyun Suk of YG was interviewed as well.
Park Jin-young: taking Korean talent to the West
“I wanted a group that was young but appealed to all ages with music and dance,” says JYP, the man behind the success of the Wonder Girls.
Park Jin Young debuted as a singer in 1994 and established JYP Entertainment in 1999. His company produced a list of K-pop stars like Rain, G.O.D, Byul and Noel. And in 2007, Park launched his first group manufactured girl band, the Wonder Girls. “The concept of the Wonder Girls is similar to the one I had with G.O.D, who have sold over 6 million albums. As a producer, I wanted them to be trend leaders, and I want the singers to become the top Asian vocal group through hard training and long hours of practice,” he says.
Everything about the Wonder Girls, from writing lyrics and composing music to costumes and choreography is controlled by Park’s magic hands.
Not just for the Wonder Girls but for every choice he makes, Park claims that personality matters the most. “I don’t just choose people with talent. Once chosen, they will have to spend a long time with me, and that is why I base my criteria on their personality and compatibility with my own. What is more important than singing and appearance is the person itself. Singing ability alone doesn’t captivate audiences, it’s the charm that wins hearts.”
Park has several new singers in his stable who are about to launch their debut albums in the U.S., like Min and G-Soul. His ability to discover new talent and his productions have won him worldwide recognition.
Lee Soo-man: promoting Korean talent in the East
“People in their 30s and the 40s are emerging as the main cultural consumers, and Girls Generation specifically targets men in that age group,” says Lee Soo Man (53), CEO and producer for SM Entertainment. “Likewise, Shinee targets women in that generation.” Lee debuted as a singer in 1971 and was an acclaimed professional emcee in the 80s. After establishing SM Entertainment, his first major breakthrough came with idol group H.O.T. in 1995. He has been dubbed a star maker, producing Shinhwa, Fly to the Sky, BoA and TVXQ.
Lee is especially known for his ability to read the market trends (consumer demands) just a second ahead of the curve. Taking advantage of his unique skills, Lee has been expanding his business to developing star-related contents. SM Entertainment is now involved in over 40 kinds of business, including album wholesales, entertainment agency, publishing, and licensing.
Lee Soo Man was at the forefront of the Korean (Hallyu) Wave that had swept all across Asia, defining the Kpop craze when he launched H.O.T. in the Chinese music market, and subsequently turning TVXQ and Super Junior into Asia’s top idol groups. BoA, extremely successful in Japan, was his “masterpiece,” borne of what in other sectors is called a localization strategy.
But Lee continues to place particular emphasis in China, as he believes it will be the world’s largest entertainment market soon. To expand his Asia dyansty, SMAC was setup in collaboration with Japan’s leading entertainment company, Avex, and China’s largest entertainment management company, Cheng-Tian.
Original article lifted from Digital Chosunilbo (English Edition).