This post is about something I’ve mulled about for some time know.
Now, everyone who visits here will know how much I love AKB48, and J-Pop in general, but most people don’t know that I have an equally strong like of K-Pop as well. That started about a little over a year ago, when I found out about the K-Pop group Girls Generation, which has now become quite the phenomenon. When I was getting into K-Pop was also around the time I was getting into AKB48, so I’ve liked both for an equal amount of time. Now, I love both J and K Pop just as equally, but I have begun to notice just how much more goes into making music in Korea.
Lets take a look into how groups are formed. AKB48, for instance has occasional auditions to find new Research Students, who will eventually have a chance at being put into one of the teams. Now, as far as I know, these auditions are open to anyone in Japan (as long as your a girl, obviously) and essentially if your chosen, you begin performing almost immediately, though obviously not on the same level as actual members. The RS’s backdance and do fill in for other members on occasion. Now, one thing I am unsure of is what training comes with being an RS, or even a full member, but as is apparent, you don’t have to have any formal training to audition. I expect they get some pretty lousy people audition, which brings to mind all those hilarious auditions you see every season in American Idol.
Now, what I’ve seen in the Korean music industry is quite different. Auditions are still present, but the training seems to be far more intense, almost to the point where it seems like a boot camp for the music industry. Lets take a look at SNSD (Girls Generation), before any of those girls actually debuted, they went through YEARS of training. Years. Some more so than others, but the one thing that is for sure is that these girls didn’t audition and then immediately start performing or pumping out singles and what not. For example, one of SNSD’s lead singers, Jessica, trained for over 7 years before debuting with the group. That’s devotion if you ask me. I don’t think any of the girls of AKB48 or Morning Musume can attest to that.
Now, of course, I still love AKB48, regardless of whether these girls had proper musical training. One thing that seems to seperate these 2 groups is simply why they were made in the first place. AKB48 is an idol group, and more of its focus is on the girls themselves, not actual talent. That’s not to say AKB48 doesn’t have its share of tremendous talent. It does for sure. It just seems to me that K-Pop groups seems to have a better focus on the musical talent of its performers.In SNSD’s case, not one of them are a bad singer in any way. They all have fantastic voices.
There are times when listening to AKB48 when I wonder how some members actually passed their audtions, and it becomes obvious image is the key factor here. All I am saying is why can’t the idol world of J-Pop be more like the Korean music industry, where image AND musical talent are both valued just as equally.