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"Elementary school students don’t really know who TVXQ are?" plus 24 more

"Elementary school students don’t really know who TVXQ are?" plus 24 more

Elementary school students don’t really know who TVXQ are?

Posted: 08 Oct 2012 08:50 AM PDT

9-year old idol group TVXQ are once again vying for a position at the top with 'Catch Me', their first Korean album in one year and eight months. TVXQ, who give off quite a manly aura, have returned with a greater appeal to the public.

"Elementary school students these days don't really know who TVXQ are."
TVXQ, who deserve the title of the 'Best second generation idols', will be celebrating their 10th anniversary next year. It can't be denied that TVXQ are now considered as veterans, with their debut song 'HUG' being played during the popular drama 'Answer 1997′.

But it is also true that TVXQ have not been able to close the gap between them and the public because their specialty, high-intensity performances have branded them as 'cool' singers, rather than approachable ones.

U-Know Yunho said, "We couldn't return with the same style of song as 'Why'. We set the goal of becoming more approachable, we worked hard to make a song with a melody that was easy on the ears but that didn't lose our unique color."

A portion of this change can be accredited to producer and composer Yoo Young Jin's consideration for the group. "He was very considerate of us because it's our 10th anniversary next year. He said, 'I want you guys to think about appealing to the public as singers.'"

U-Know Yunho stated that elementary school students these days don't really know who TVXQ are and said, "People who were elementary school students when they started listening to our music are all now over the age of twenty. We're thinking about targeting elementary school kids for this comeback." He jokingly added, "We've even added choreography that younger people can follow along with."

Choikang Changmin emphasized the importance of appealing to the masses when he said, "Younger kids don't know who the first generation idols, who we grew up looking up to, are. If we become singers who can appeal to a wide range of age groups and if younger people can enjoy our music, I believe that we will be able to give back to the singers of the next generation by giving them someone to look up to (like the first generation idols did for us)."

"Now that it's been almost 10 years since we made our debut, we've been experiencing first-hand that past trends are returning. Our current goal is to take on a variety of genres and we're still in the process of achieving that goal. In this album, there are many genres that we're trying out for the first time."

U-Know Yunho – Choikang Changmin, the 'Why' of Two People "A Comeback That Gave Us Confidence"

TVXQ wasn't always a two-member group. It couldn't have been easy for U-Know Yunho and Choikang Changmin to fill the empty spaces that had been left on stage when they started their new beginning with their 5th studio album 'Why'.

Choikang Changmin said, "It was very strange for us because it was the first time we were performing as a duo, even though we were veteran singers with over five years of experience," and "When we were on our Japanese tour, we were worried because we had to sing 25~30 songs for 2.5~3 hours by ourselves."

But he also added, "I think we took on the challenge with more heart and soul than usual. Thanks to the experience, we learned how create a performance with just two people," and "We gained the confidence that we'd be able to take on the challenge of a long performance as a duo and succeed."

TVXQ, who have returned after gaining the confidence to perform as a duo during their hiatus from the domestic scene, have stated that the focal point of their comeback is to incorporate an easy-listening song with their signature intense performance.

U-Know Yunho stated, "We can't say that there are no difficult parts in our song. Because it's a song with our unique color incorporated after all. But we've made the chorus and bridge part a little easier to follow, and that's a theme that appears in most of the tracks."

U-Know Yunho, "I was more surprised to hear that we're now in the same company as Kim Byeong Man than Jang Dong Gun."
SM Entertainment's recent takeover of AM Entertainment means that TVXQ are now in the same company as actors Jang Dong Gun and Kim Haneul.

U-Know Yunho said, "Growth in the company could mean more opportunities for everyone. It's realistic to say that there will be more support for the celebrities as more experts of the field will come join us," and "I think they are trying to give their artistes more opportunities."

Stating that he hadn't yet met AM Entertainment's Jang Dong Gun or SM Entertainment's recent addition Kang Ho Dong, U-Know Yunho confessed, "I never thought that we would ever be working in the same company."

He drew everyone's attention for his affection for Kim Byeong Man when he added, "I was more surprised that we are now in the same company as Kim Byeong Man than Jang Dong Gun," and "We were in a tv show together and when his father passed away, I visited him. I think of him as an amazing person."

He also stated, "We contact each other often. I called him as soon as I saw the news article, but his phone was turned off. I think he was in the jungle."

Kim Byeong Man may not have been able to pick up his phone because he is currently filming for SBS' 'Kim Byeong Man's Laws of the Jungle in Madagascar'.

U-Know Yunho and Choikang Changmin have both stated that they are eager to take on an acting career as they have both already made their debut as actors. The addition of more actors into their agency could result in a synergy effect that helps both parties.

Model students? "I think we can slow down and relax a little now."
TVXQ, who are known for their good manners, are so polite that it is difficult to believe that they are idols with nine years of experience under their belt. But sometimes this leads us wanting more of their honest and easy-going side.

Choikang Changmin foreshadowed a change in the group's image as he said, "It's true that we place ourselves in a set mold. We can't just suddenly act out unexpectedly or get into trouble," and "But I think we've gotten to a stage where we can relax a little more than before. I feel like we need to break out of our previous image."

Known for being a member of Kyu Hyun (Super Junior)'s Kyu Line, Choikang Changmin expressed his wishes for appearing on MBC's 'Radio Star' when he stated, "I watched 'Radio Star' and I really want to make an appearance on the show. I don't have that many friends who know me really well, so I think Kyu Hyun would be able to tear me apart as an MC."

U-Know Yunho, on the other hand, stated that he would like to appear on SBS' 'Healing Camp'. revealing that he is "A 'Healing Camp' fanatic," U-Know Yunho added that he would like to appear on various variety shows to show off a side of TVXQ that domestic fans haven't seen before.

TVXQ say that every time they stand on stage, they perform like their lives depend on it. 9 years worth of experience isn't easy to accumulate. Though they have already reached the top, they are still dreaming of a bigger world.

"In terms of our overseas activities, I'd like to increase the size of our nationwide tours in Japan and become the first overseas singers in Japan to hold a dome tour. I sometimes think about how great it would be to hold a TVXQ concert at Madison Square Garden, a place that even global pop stars think of as a dream."

TVXQ place importance on creating a performance that combines musical growth and substantive talent. "It's not only fanatics who come when we hold concerts in Japan; people from a wide range of age groups come just to enjoy the show. I'd like for us to be known as a team whose performances are fun and enjoyable."

"We sometimes dream of breaking away from reality, but we say NO to public relationships!"

Source: [star n news]
Translated by:

Lay's fans prepared extravagant gifts for his 21st birthday

Posted: 08 Oct 2012 08:24 AM PDT

KTO Hosts 2012 buzz KOREA Awards for Korean Hallyu Fans with 2PM & miss A

Posted: 08 Oct 2012 08:00 AM PDT

On October 30th, 2012, the KTO will be hosting the 2012 buzz KOREA Awards for the members of the KTO's website, The event was created to reward the active members of who have continuously posted and shared outstanding content on the website. 2PM and miss A, the official honorary ambassadors of the KTO, will perform and spend time with the members of during the event.

Along with the awards ceremony and the performance, the winning team with the most votes from the Touch Korea Tour that was held this past June, will also receive awards during the event. An online poll will take place to choose the winning team of the Touch Korea Tour during October 5th-15th. Those who voted for the winning team will also have the chance to win various prizes.

Members hoping to participate in the 2012 buzz KOREA Awards should watch the Touch Korea Tour video on, write a comment, and then send in the application.

*Tips on improving your chances of winning!
1. Vote which team seems to be the best team of the Touch Korea Tour
2. Cheer that team by writing comments, and share videos with your friends.
3. Write and send in your application to participate in the awards! 

Gaon Chart releases rankings for September 23rd – September 29th

Posted: 08 Oct 2012 07:49 AM PDT

Gaon Chart is the national record chart of South Korea. It is complied by the Korea Music Content Industry Association with an aim to create a national chart for Korea similar to the Billboard charts and Oricon charts.

[Rankings for Week September 23 – September 29, 2012]

Weekly Singles Chart

1. Naul : "Memory of the Wind"

2. Big Bang's G-Dragon ft. Kim Yuna : "Missing You"

3. Big Bang's G-Dragon : "Crayon"

4. Seo In Guk, A Pink's Eunji : "All For You"

5. Orange Caramel : "Lipstick"

6. SECRET : "Poison"

7. Naul : "Missing You"

8. JYJ's Junsu : "Love Is Like A Snowflake"

9. T-ara : "Sexy Love"

10. Naul : "Farewell Start"


Weekly Album Chart

1. TVXQ : "Catch Me" [6th Album]

2. Big Bang's G-Dragon : "One Of A Kind" [1st Mini Album]

3. Various Artists : "Reply 1997 Director's Edition Original Soundtrack"

4. Naul : "Principle Of My Soul" [1st Album]

5. PSY : "PSY Six Rules Part 1" [6th Album]

6. BTOB : "Press Play" [2nd Mini Album]

7. B2ST : "Midnight Sun" [5th Mini Album]

8. Various Artists : "Love Rain Original Soundtrack Limited Edition"

9. Various Artists : "Bridal Mask Original Soundtrack"

10. Various Artists: "Arang and the Magistrate Original Soundtrack Part 2"

SHINee & f(x) support TVXQ at Inkigayo backstage

Posted: 08 Oct 2012 07:31 AM PDT

SHINee's Jonghyun tweeted on 7th October.

He said,"TVXQ's Hulk dance hwaiting!Went to support them at Inkigayo,arms become long suddenly,that's amazing,make my legs longer TVXQ,amazing amazing TVXQ." and shared the photo above.

SHINee's Jonghyun and Key and f(x)'s Victoria and Amber are seen posing with Yunho and Changmin in the photo above.

TVXQ made their comeback recently with new song "Catch Me",garnering much attention with the unique Hulk dance and Dragon dance.

Fans commented after seeing the photos,"Hulk dance is amazing","Great performance" and etc.

Photos Source: Jonghyun's Twitter

TVXQ’s Changmin plants a kiss on Super Junior Kyuhyun’s cheek

Posted: 08 Oct 2012 07:29 AM PDT

TVXQ's Max Changmin, who recently made a comeback with "Catch Me", showed his close friendship with labelmate and Super Junior member Kyuhyun.

On October 8th, Kyuhyun tweeted, "A picture from two years ago. I'm uploading this to make Changmin's fans explode," and attached a photo of Changmin leaning in for a kiss on Kyuhyun's cheek.

Netizens commented, "Kyuhyun and Changmin are so cute," "Look at the sharp nose of Changmin," "Cute Changkyu couple" and more.

B.A.P takes over number 1 and 2 on German Asian Music Chart

Posted: 08 Oct 2012 07:09 AM PDT

The boys of B.A.P climbed to the top of Germany's music charts.

On October 5th, German Asian Music Chart revealed that B.A.P's first mini album title track "No Mercy" stayed its number 1 ranking while their repackage album title song, "Crash" was ranked number 2.

The group managed to beat out world star Psy, G-Dragon, Super Junior and other K-Pop artists, showing off their global popularity.

"No Mercy" has topped the chart for two consecutive months. The song also managed to stay on the top of Taiwan's G-Music chart for five weeks in a row. It's an outstanding achievement for the group who just debuted this year.

Source: Xportsnews

Lee Min Jung’s amazing look from the side

Posted: 08 Oct 2012 06:49 AM PDT

Actress Lee Min Jung's randomly taken pictures are becoming a hot issue online.

Recently on an online community board, several pictures of the actress have been posted titled, "Lee Min Jung's beautiful looks from the side".

The pictures showed Lee Min Jung having a talk at an event wearing casual shirts and a ponytail. Despite not wearing any fancy makeups, the actress displayed her beautiful face from the side. Lee Min Jung's perfect facial features are drawing the eyes of the netizens.

They expressed their praises saying, "She looks so beautiful", "She looks really pretty from the side" and "I hope to see her in person someday."

Son Dambi transforms into a barista

Posted: 08 Oct 2012 06:29 AM PDT

Singer and actress Son Dam Bi transformed into a barista for a day.

On October 6th, Son Dambi attended a charity event 'Change the Future' for the 'Save the Children' organization's project at Coffee Chu in Myeondong, Seoul.

The singer worked as a one-day barista, serving the fans and costumers herself. All proceeds from the event will be donated to 'Save the Children', a charity that helps starving children in Korea.

Son Dambi expressed, "I wanted to work harder as this is for a good deed. I hope that many people will keep paying attention to these meaningful events and take part in them."

Meanwhile, Son Dambi is currently busy preparing for her comeback.

Source: TV Report

Lee Byung Hun promises to dress up as ‘Gwanghae’ if movie is successful

Posted: 08 Oct 2012 06:09 AM PDT

Actor Lee Byung Hun recently made a pledge regarding his new film,

On the October 7th episode of MBC's 'Section TV Entertainment Relay', Lee Byung Hun and fellow actor Ryu Seung Ryong, who are starring in the movie 'Gwanghae: The Man Who Became King', sat down for an interview.

During the show, Lee Byung Hun made a commitment if the movie become successful. He promised, "If the movie reaches more than 10 million moviegoers when I am overseas, I'll dress up as King Gwanghae, make a video and reveal it in public."

Park Kyung Lim jokingly replied, "If you do that overseas, you might get kicked out." Lee Byung Hun replied back, "But I will definitely keep the promise."

Suzy shows her support for 15&

Posted: 08 Oct 2012 05:49 AM PDT

miss A's Suzy showed her support for new JYP Entertainment labelmate, 15&.

On October 7th, Suzy tweeted, "15& debuting today! With Ye Rin and Ji Min", and attached a set of photos taken with 15&'s Park Ji Min and Baek Ye Rin.

In the photos, Suzy and 15& displayed their close friendship as they smile brightly for the camera. Especially, the much slimmer look of Park Ji Min and her partner, Baek Ye Rin is drawing many people's attention along with Suzy's beautiful look.

Meanwhile, 15& made their debut with "I Dream" on the October 7th broadcast of SBS 'Inkigayo'.

Cast members of ‘Dream High’ reunite

Posted: 08 Oct 2012 05:29 AM PDT

The cast members of KBS 2's 'Dream High' season 1 recently met up for a reunion.

An online community board posted some pictures with the title, "Dream High reunion". The pictures showed the cast including T-ara's Eunjung, 2PM's Taecyeon and Wooyoung, miss A's Suzy, IU, and Kim Soo Hyun.

The former cast mates can be seen enjoying a late night party. Showing a friendly atmosphere, the stars are attracting attention for keeping their close relationship despite the hectic schedule each of them has.

Netizens commented, "It's good to see all the cast again after a long time," "They seem to get along well" and more.

Super Junior and f(x) release SPAO BTS video

Posted: 08 Oct 2012 05:23 AM PDT

Check out the BTS videos of SPAO featuring Super Junior and f(x)

Moon Geun Young wears her ‘Running Man’ nametag at BIFF

Posted: 08 Oct 2012 05:09 AM PDT

Actress Moon Geun Young showed off her playful side during the blue carpet event at the recent Busan International Filming Festival (BIFF).

On October 6th, her agency, Namu Exters posted on its official Twitter account, "Wow! 'Running Man' filming at the Busan Film Festival? No no~ it's a special event for the fans. A chance for a fan to personally rip off her nametag on the Blue Carpet! Anyone could eliminate Moon Geun Young!"

Moon Geun Young attended the blue carpet for the 17th Busan International Film Festival with her 'Running Man' nametag attached to the back of her dress. It features her autograph and the message saying, "Do you want to rip it? If you rip it, it's 500 won."

It is said that one lucky fan got to tear off her nametag.

TVXQ’s ‘Catch Me’ tops weekly chart for two weeks in a row

Posted: 08 Oct 2012 04:49 AM PDT

TVXQ has topped the weekly chart once again with comeback album, 'Catch Me'!

The duo's 6th album 'Catch Me' which was released on September 26, snagged the no.1 spot on various album sale charts for two weeks in a row. According to Hanteo's weekly chart for the week of October 1st~7th, TVXQ took 1st place yet again above G-Dragon, Junsu, Naul and Psy.

TVXQ has made its comeback on music programs last week and impressed the viewers with distinctive performances and charismatic looks. The choreography of "Catch Me," created by the world-renowned choreographer Tony Testa, has already grabbed attention.

KARA’s Hara and B2ST’s Junhyung spotted wearing couple rings

Posted: 08 Oct 2012 04:29 AM PDT

KARA's Goo Hara and B2ST's Junhyung have been spotted wearing couple rings.

An online community recently posted pictures with the title, "Recent pictures of Goo Hara and Yong Junhyung finally wearing a couple ring."

Taken by the fans, the collage of pictures showed the two idols sporting the couple ring during their respective performances, at the airports and in public appearances. The matching ring received considerable attention and became the top searched term online.

Netizens commented, "Finally!", "I hope they have a beautiful relationship" and "I'm envious."

Big Bang successfully concludes ‘Alive Tour’ in Thailand

Posted: 08 Oct 2012 04:09 AM PDT

Big Bang successfully finished their show in Thailand.

On October 5 and 6, Big Bang held its 'Alive Galaxy Tour 2012' at the Impact Arena in Bangkok, Thailand. The large-scale concert, which was their first concert in Thailand in four years, attracted a total of 20,000 fans.

Big Bang opened up the show with "Still Alive" before performing their hits like "Lie", "Day By Day", "Paradise", "Fantastic Baby", and many other special performance that they prepared for the show.

Especially when performing "Day By Day", the audience touched the members by lifting up placards that read, "Still ♡ Big Bang." Some popular Thai actresses and singers like AERIN YUKTADATTA and TON AF8 also came to the concert.

Meanwhile, Big Bang will be continuing their tour in Indonesia, Taiwan, Philippines, Malaysia, LA, New Jersey, Peru, Hong Kong and Japan.

Yoon Eun Hye talks about her first project as film director

Posted: 08 Oct 2012 03:49 AM PDT

Actress Yoon Eun Hye, who recently made her directing debut with "The Knitting", talked about her first film project as a director.

"The Knitting" was officially invited to be screened at the Wide Angle section for outstanding shorts at Busan International Film Festival (BIFF) on October 7th. Yoon Eun Hye as well as other directors who had been nominated for the Best Short Film attended the event.

Regarding her first film directing, Yoon Eun Hye stated, "It's too flawed to show off, or to be in competition with other people."

She continued, "I think directing can be a good lesson for me as an actress. If I ever get a chance, I want to shoot a film again. I've been always sad that I couldn't study enough when I was younger because I had to work. I believe my acting will become more sincere if I get some experiences as a director."

"The Knitting" tells the story of a woman who finds an unfinished knitting project while packing to move house. Yoon Eun Hye shot the flick while majoring in filmmaking at the Graduate School of Advanced Imaging Science, Multimedia & Film at Chungang University.

SISTAR's Hyolin flaunts her perfect figure

Posted: 08 Oct 2012 03:41 AM PDT

Photos of SISTAR's main vocalist titled "Unedited photos of SISTAR's Hyolin's hot figure" have become a hot topic among netizens recently.

The photos were taken at the filming set of a car CF.

Hyolin is seen posing confidently in mini dress,showing off her flawless figure in the photos above.

Fans commented,"I want her figure","Without PS,that's amazing","she's cute and sexy at the same time".

What do you think?

TOXIC releases teaser for ‘First Bridge’

Posted: 08 Oct 2012 03:21 AM PDT

Indie band TOXIC, who is the winner of KBS audition program 'Top Band', will be making its official debut with first mini album, 'First Bridge'. And ahead of the release, the band unveiled a video teaser.

'First Bridge' consists of six tracks including the title song, "Lonely", as well as "Get Out", "tired!!", "No More", a remix version of "Get Out" and an instrumental version of the title song.

The album is to be released on October 12th. In the meantime, check out the teaser below.

15& reveals practice video for “I Dream”

Posted: 08 Oct 2012 03:14 AM PDT

Having released their debut digital single and music video for "I Dream", as well as performing their debut stage on 'Inkigayo', new duo 15& revealed practice video for their debut title track.

On October 8th, JYP Entertainment released a new video on 15&'s official Youtube channel featuring Park Ji Min and Baek Ye Rin performing their debut track "I Dream" together in the JYP rehearsal room.

Debuted earlier this month, 15& is made up of two members Park Ji Min and Baek Ye Rin. Park Ji Min was the winner of SBS 'K-pop Star' while Baek Ye Rin previously appeared on SBS's "Star King" in 2007 and became known as the "10 year old ballad genius."

Watch the clip below.

Block B releases 2nd teaser ft. Jaehyo

Posted: 08 Oct 2012 03:08 AM PDT

Block B, who is gearing up for a comeback, released their second video teaser featuring member Jaehyo.

The group's official fan cafe recently confirmed that Block B will be releasing their first full-length album on October 17. This will mark the group's official return to the music scene since releasing a repackaged version of "Welcome to the Block" back in April.

Check out the teaser below!

DSP Media rides KARA success as brand name rises

Posted: 08 Oct 2012 02:50 AM PDT

This article focuses on DSP Media and KARA especially since KARA is DSP's cash cow now. And let's admit Kamilia, we are supportive of KARA's juniors just as our girls are. I've seen many Kamilia who are also Rainbow fans and who became A-light and who are watching Puretty's development.


Back with its new EP "Pandora," five-member girl group KARA is here, there and everywhere. The girls have been especially successful in Japan: Last year alone, the group won Japan's Golden Disc Award, K-pop Lovers! Award and Japan Record Award. 

Every EP released since KARA's Japan debut has been a hit. A line of dolls based on the girl group has been launched and the K-pop stars are the faces of various perfumes and food companies. 

KARA's success can be attributed to the hard work of its members, as well as the talent behind the scenes. But the ride with DSP Media, its agency, hasn't always been smooth.

In this fourth installment of the Korea JoongAng Daily's Inside K-pop series, we explore how the successful group came to be and the role its agency DSP Media played in the unexpected rise.

As a smaller agency compared to its competitors YG, SM and JYP, DSP Media doesn't hold annual concerts featuring a star-studded lineup of K-pop acts. Founded by Lee Ho-yeon, the agency is not a household name, but most would recognize the groups that it has churned out from the early 1990s. Before KARA, Rainbow and A-Jax, there were Sechs Kies, Fin.K.L and SS501.

But most struggled to stay in the spotlight. KARA hopes to buck the trend.

"Apart from Shinhwa, only a handful of idol groups have made it past the four-year mark of relevance like Super Junior, Girls' Generation, the Wonder Girls and of course KARA," says Yun Heung-kwan, director of DSP Media.

Unlike its three better-known contemporaries, DSP has not laid its eyes on a global audience - the agency focuses on the quality of its talents and the formation of idol groups rather than on marketing gimmicks. This has been a pillar of its K-pop model, for better or worse.

The making of KARA

In 2005, when the agency decided to launch a girl group, it wasn't as easy as you'd imagine.

"With the first round of auditions, we were really unimpressed," Yun says.

This led DSP to think outside the box, with the agency tapping into its vast Hallyu network.

Han Seung-yeon was eventually recruited through a dance school which trains Lee Hyori's backup dancers. Park Gyu-ri, a child actor, was introduced to DSP through another agency. Nicole Jung was introduced to the agency by a mutual friend when the agency heads were visiting the United States.

"A native English speaker is needed in this day and age, so we recruited Nicole for that reason."

In its initial stages, there was another member named Kim Sung-hee, who was a trainee at DSP from middle school. When she left, Goo Ha-ra joined the band through an audition. Then came Kang Ji-young, who was introduced by NS Yoonji, a relative.

If talent was the only thing DSP was looking for, then NS Yoonji would rightfully be a part of KARA today.

But when the 24-year-old soloist came in for an audition, she was told that she didn't exactly fit in with the group's vibe. She then recommended her younger cousin. 
Polishing the gem

With a minor reshuffling KARA spent just two months training before it launched its second album, and debut for its current members, "Rock You" in 2008. Needless to say, it wasn't an easy few months.

The plight of trainees is drawing more and more attention today as idol group members give their accounts of the training process once they make it big. Every aspect of a potential talent is scrutinized, from his or her age to looks, vocal, dancing skill and ability to connect with future audiences.

"With all things, we ask the simple question, 'Will they fit in with the group?'?" Yun says.

The director says that a potential star's "it" factor, or his or her ability to relate to the audience, also plays a big part in the auditions.

"Being a singer is all about entertaining the masses, but if a candidate can't stand in front of a crowd and sing, then there really isn't much that we can do for them."

It's also important that in today's interactive media environment stars are taught good manners from the beginning.

"Trainees are not celebrities, and we instill that in them," says the PR manager, Cha Hee-jin. "In many ways, trainers are harsh on them like teachers would be to students."

Life of trainees 

Like many other agencies, DSP boasts a new talent development team that manages casting and auditions which take place once a month.

Every month, 150 hopefuls register their interests online, but only about 20-25 make it through. Final cuts are even harsher, with only a handful moving on to become DSP trainees.

Currently, there are about 20 trainees who clock in at DSP after school. Although the agency doesn't pay its trainees, it does offer benefits and incentives such as rebates on gym memberships.

The trainees - both those who come in at 1 p.m. and at 3 p.m. - spend about five to six hours training in dance and vocals.

To equip them with the skills needed to reach its biggest target market, Japan, the trainees are also given Japanese language lessons.

In terms of the private lives of the trainees, the agency does try to moderate it to a certain degree.

"Like with any other adolescents, when trainees start dating, they lose a lot of time with which they could be spending on rehearsals, so we don't really endorse it," says Yun, who makes time to pull trainees aside to reprimand them if they are seen making moves rather than rehearsing new dance moves.

Being media responsive 

Despite this, Yun acknowledges that kids are kids, and you can't really keep puppy love from blossoming.

After all, DSP is one of the few agencies that has a talent who is in a public relationship with a fellow idol group member.

On KARA member Goo's public romance with Beast member Yong Jun-hyung, Yun has a laissez-faire outlook.

"After much deliberation, we told them, best of luck," he says, looking back on the time when the paparazzi snapped a picture of the two together.

Yun says that he has the "changing times" to thank for the somewhat relaxed policies of dating between idol groups.

"Ten years ago, it would have been fatal [for their careers], but now the relationships among fans and idol groups are changing."

In fact, many a time, Goo has received support letters from fans rather than death threats. 

"One time, a fan from abroad handed Ha-ra a letter with hearts and the words 'Ha-ra for Jun-hyung' on it."

Yun says that the agency is always keeping up with what the fans are thinking, and decisions follow soon after. 

"We monitor what's going on online so we know how to react. Even with issues like cosmetic surgery, you would just look like a fool in today's society if you denied that entertainers had work done."

Marketing the brand 

The agency says that KARA's success in Japan was a bit of a fluke, but how they capitalized on it with endorsement deals rolling in was creatively reactive. Due to its unexpected success in Japan, the group spends about 45-50 days of the year there.

Instead of coming up with a marketing plan for overseas markets, as a lot of bigger agencies have done, DSP maintains its focus on group formation.

"Of course when selecting idol group members these days they look for language abilities, vocals, rap and dance skills. Like other agencies, we look for these things too, but our point of difference is that we look for specific attributes that each member can bring."

Yun boasts that even physically, unlike many other girl groups, KARA members all have their unique appeal.

In terms of what they bring to the group, Jung raps and speaks fluent English; Han and Park are vocalists; and Goo and Kang are the best dancers.

Looking to the future

Through the feats of its artists, DSP says that it hopes to gain momentum in the K-pop industry and eventually expand its operations across the globe.

"Today the music environment is changing and many fans of bands become fans of agencies," says Cha, the PR manager who has seen her share of fan letters and bizarre propositions.

She added that it helps to see agencies as brands.

"If you like Apple, then you tend to buy a lot of Apple goods, and it's the same for the entertainment industry."

Apparently this philosophy works for recruiting talents too.

"There are some who will go to auditions at a specific agency every two months," Yun says. "It has a lot to do with a sort of mental fixation that a hopeful has."

One member from A-Jax, Jae-hyung, was such a case.

He had idolized Kim Hyun-joong of SS501 and came to DSP to follow in his stead. 

"He said at the audition, 'I want to make it here at DSP because Kim Hyun-joong is my role model.' Even to this day, he raves about the agency during various interviews."

DSP says that later on, it wouldn't be out of line to see a branch open up in America.

"With focus on our brand name, we hope to expand little by little, with a new studio and taking on more employees," Yun says.

As the agency makes a steady progress, it believes that time is and will continue to be on its side.

"The thing is that the music industry is fluid. Back in the '90s, the Korean music scene was dominated by Western pop," Yun says.

"But now, it's the other way around. In the United States, people are listening to K-pop and so there really has never been a time like this for Korean artists."

Source: Korea Joong Ang Daily

"To The Beautiful You" 22nd making film - Minho & Sulli kissed

Posted: 08 Oct 2012 02:33 AM PDT

Check out the 22nd making film of "To The Beautiful You",Minho and Sulli kissed in the clip below,have you finished watching this drama?

Miss A's Suzy is a "baseball beauty"

Posted: 08 Oct 2012 02:07 AM PDT

Miss A's Suzy updated her Twitter on 8th October.

She said,"I am proud to throw the first pitch!Won't throw down this time....have surprise presents during the opening pitch,so don't miss it."

She is seen holding a baseball in her latest selca.

Fans commented,"Gorgeous","Suzy hwaiting","what's the surprise present" and etc.