Producers Park Jin-young and Psy, who founded their own entertainment agency after reaching the peak of their K-pop careers as singers, are now on a search for unique talent to lead the booming K-pop scene with SBS's new audition show "LOUD."
"This is a joint project by Park Jin-young's JYP Entertainment, Psy's P Nation and SBS to form two worldwide boy groups, one for each agency… unlike previous audition shows that focused on the participants' appearance, dancing and singing, we value what's inside them," said series production chief Park Sung-hoon, known for the hit audition series "K-pop Star," during an online media conference for "LOUD," Thursday.
"The two producers (Park Jin-young and Psy) have something in common. They are both singers, producers and directors that lead the hallyu business. And when they first debuted on the K-pop scene (in the 1990s and early 2000s, respectively), they were quite sensational," the producer said. "With the two, we tried to capture the synergy they will create when meeting competent millennials from these days."
Both Park Jin-young and Psy had groundbreaking careers as singers. Debuting in 1994, Park stirred a sensation with out-there fashion ― pants made of transparent plastic and tight, fishnet shirts ― and sensual dance moves to his high-pitched vocals. Psy stormed the K-pop scene in 2004, making hits with unique, catchy songs that had humorous lyrics and powerful dance moves.
The two said they will use their creative backgrounds as singers to establish own way of scouting the most talented people from the audition show.
"K-pop has such a high reputation already. So instead of showing the side of K-pop that has already been spotlighted, I wanted to show there's more to it than that, like how there can be oddballs like myself and Park," PSY said, adding that the two had an "unusual" style of appearance. "For the 20 years of my career, I've always strived for something different, asking myself, 'How come no one has done this way?' like singing songs other than a love song. And it goes the same for the show."
Noting that there are certain expectations on how K-pop should be, not just in Korea but also globally, Psy said he wanted to break the established stereotype of the cultural genre. "I'm looking for people with something special who can show that this is not what it's all about, that there's more to K-pop,'" he said.
Park Jin-young added that intends to show viewers how "idol" groups are made in the K-pop world and what features are valued in becoming part of a group.
"I contemplated a lot about what an individual should have to lead the future idol generation because there are too many girl or boy groups these days," he said. "A person who seems quiet outside but is actually filled with his or her own stories to tell. I believe that kind of person will have what it takes to lead the next boy band."
The singer and producer, who was the judge for all seasons of "K-pop Star," said he had a hard time balancing between being an artist and being the head of the K-pop agency when he starred in the series.
"To be frank, you cannot express artistic vision as musician and be an idol at the same time, it's one or the other," he said. "And while our agency was producing idol singers, there were a lot of artistic musicians at the K-pop Stars, which made me feel like I was living in two separate realities."
With "LOUD," the JYP chief says he will strictly comply with choosing the "most suitable" talent to become a member of an idol group.
"I'll be able to show what criteria I hold when scouting an idol singer, which is different than casting around an artist or musician," he said. "An idol only needs one edge (that sets them apart from others). Even if a participant is not all-around, he just needs to play his part in the team. In that sense, we created a different set of standards to evaluate the participants in LOUD."
Adding that he will also value participants' characteristics, other than their ability to sing and perform, he added: "Nowadays it's hard for singers to cover up their attitude, personality, and incompetence. So we tried to find a real talent, whose mindset speaks for their musical work."
"LOUD" will premiere Saturday at 9 p.m.
source: The Korea Times