The Home of Your Favorite K-Pop Groups
Do you know that behind every great K-pop group, there is a K-pop agency that worked really hard for them? Of course, we wouldn’t know who BTS, Twice, Blackpink, Seventeen, etc. are if there weren’t such things as K-pop companies. The K-pop companies form the groups, build the concepts, and mostly produce the songs, too.
Before your favorite K-pop groups or singers debuted, the K-pop companies gathered trainees, potential youngsters with talents. Over time, the K-pop companies trained them to have what it takes to be an idol. Not only can they sing and dance, but some K-pop companies also teach them to act or model. Now that K-pop has gone global, they also teach them about different languages.
Hmm, so, what are some of the K-pop companies in the K-pop industry? You must have heard about the Big 3, but what about other K-pop companies? Keep scrolling down to find out more!
SM Entertainment: Artists, Background, and Building
If you’re a K-pop fan, you must be familiar with SM Entertainment. There are a lot of K-pop fans that started their K-pop journey after knowing SM Entertainment’s K-pop artists. SM Entertainment is one of the oldest K-pop agencies in the industry. They have been operating for over 30 years!
The founder of SM Entertainment is Lee Soo-man. If you see his given name, Soo-man, it has the same initials as SM. Well, that is because it was taken from his name!
SM Entertainment started its journey in 1989. Before becoming known as SM Entertainment, they used the name SM Studio until 1995. Ever since then, many legendary K-pop artists were born. SM Entertainment is one of the agencies that started the K-pop generation. They debuted the first generation of K-pop’s idol groups and singers such as H.O.T, S.E.S, Shinhwa, BoA, etc. in the 1990s.
In the early 2000s, SM Entertainment produced more high-quality groups such as TVXQ, Super Junior, and SNSD. They also debuted their next K-pop boy group and girl group, SHINee and f(x). This was the start of K-pop spreading globally. Whether you’re a fan or not, you must have heard about these groups before you became a K-pop fan, right?
In the 2010s, the K-pop virus spread even wider. With the huge phenomenon of K-pop, SM Entertainment debuted a new boy group with an interesting concept, EXO. They also introduced their trainees differently than other agencies with SM Rookies. Some of the trainees debuted in other groups such as NCT, Red Velvet, and aespa.
SM Entertainment is known for its amazing visuals and vocals. If you’re a fan of SM Entertainment’s idols, your bias must be either extremely gorgeous, have fantastic vocal skills, or even both?
JYP Entertainment: Artists, Background, and Building
Unlike SM Entertainment that formed at the end of the 1980s, JYP Entertainment was founded near the end of the 1990s. The founder of JYP Entertainment is JY Park or Park Jinyoung. And, yes, the name JYP is synchronic of JY Park. JYP Entertainment started operating in 1997. They started with the name Tae-hong Planning Corporation and finally changed to JYP Entertainment.
Most agencies were built by a businessman, but JYP Entertainment was founded by a singer. JY Park is a singer and a songwriter. Besides being the founder and producer, JY Park also promoted himself by releasing songs with JYP Entertainment. Pst, for your information, before founding JYP Entertainment, JY Park auditioned for SM Entertainment but didn’t pass!
This fact is also something that JY Park used to motivate his trainees. Even though he wasn’t recruited by SM Entertainment, it didn’t mean that he didn’t have talent. In fact, JY Park managed to develop his talents by making a new agency.
Of course, it wasn’t easy in the beginning, but JY Park and the whole JYP Entertainment team were able to contribute to the first generation of K-pop. They debuted the popular boy group named g.o.d in their first year, 1997, which was huge in South Korea.
Later on, in the early 2000s, JYP Entertainment introduced the world to other big things in K-pop. With the globalization of K-pop, JYP Entertainment debuted a solo artist named Rain, the girl groups Wonder Girls and Miss A, and two boy groups with different genres, 2PM and 2AM.
After releasing a lot of famous groups, JYP Entertainment didn’t stop there. They trained their trainees hard, and finally, other huge groups appeared. In the 2010s, JYP Entertainment debuted their 3rd generation of K-pop, GOT7, Day6, and Twice.
JYP Entertainment is known for having talented singers with good personalities. JY Park once said that he preferred someone with a good heart instead of talent. Talent can be trained, but if the personality is bad, it can’t be changed. JYP Entertainment also manages their artists’ mental health by offering therapy.
If you’re a JYP Entertainment stan, your bias must be having a really good personality!
YG Entertainment: Artists, Background, and Building
JYP Entertainment and SM Entertainment’s names came from their founders’ names. So, what about YG Entertainment? The founder’s name is Yang Hyun-suk. If that’s the case, then the agency should be HS Entertainment, right?
Well, little do we know, YG is short for Yang Goon, which also refers to Yang Hyun-suk and his brother Yang Min-suk. The agency was founded after the debut of a group called Seo Taiji and Boys, one of the first generation of K-pop boy groups. Yang Hyun-suk was one of the members of Seo Taiji and Boys along with Seo Taiji and Lee Juno.
Near the end of the 1990s, YG Entertainment which started its journey in 1996 debuted its first groups, Keep Six, Jinusean, and 1TYM. Since they were still learning to be a great K-pop agency, they didn’t hit success at first. But, that didn’t stop YG Entertainment from trying out its concepts and ideas.
Luckily, they didn’t give up, because if they did, we wouldn’t have seen how great their next groups would be. In the early 2000s, YG Entertainment was one of the agencies that helped the K-pop virus grow bigger. Well, who doesn’t know Se7en, BigBang, Epik High, and 2NE1? Don’t forget about the huge popularity of “Gangnam Style.” The singer of “Gangnam Style,” Psy, was a singer under YG Entertainment, too.
After getting their name big, YG Entertainment continued going. They debuted their next generation of K-pop groups. In the 2010s, YG Entertainment debuted two groups in a row, WINNER and iKon. Both of the groups have unique styles. They also debuted soloist Lee Hi and the phenomenal K-pop girl group that is now known worldwide, Blackpink.
YG Entertainment has other subsidiaries such as The Black Label. They debuted artists such as Jeon So-mi and produced good songs, too. In the 4th generation of K-pop, YG Entertainment debuted Treasure, a boy group with Korean and Japanese members.
The unique style of YG Entertainment is the hip-hop style that can’t be found easily in other companies. It usually produces hip-hop songs and has a “swag” vibe. If your idols came from YG Entertainment, they could be a really good rapper or an idol with a lot of swag!