MTV recently aired their 5th episode in the show “The Vice Guide to Everything.” This episode featured a short segment on the topic “Korean Boy Bands.”
Ryan Duffy visits Seoul to give a rundown of K-Pop and the nature of boy bands. Duffy states, “When you’re waking down the street in Korea, it’s almost impossible not to be inundated with boy band stuff” as he pulls up to a store and finds socks, notebooks, magnet sets, post cards, and such merchandise with faces of boy bands and idols.
Focusing on boy groups, Duffy finds that “It’s about becoming a star through the music. K-Pop stars are literally manufactured by entertainment conglomerates who develop and test new boy bands…”
To gain a better understanding of the process, the crew visits and interviews Teen Top, a boy band from TOP Media that debuted in 2010. While interviewing Kim Tae Jin, a team manager in TOP Media, they find that a boy band takes years in the making and members can begin training as early as grade school.
From following Teen Top, Duffy learns that everything from fitness, nutrition, dance, language lessons, mind traning, interview coaching, and more is controlled by the company on a daily basis.
Teen Top’s rapper, L.Joe, reveals that he “sacrificed everything, like play time with my friends, my family. I have no freedom. I just practice everyday to be K-Pop star.”
Duffy ends his visit with the understanding that there is a minimalistic chance for being a successful idol in the competitive Korean market.
You can watch the segment here (begins at 17:00).
(Warning: comments on MTV page may be unpleasant)