Get to Know More About Seven Seasons!
Do you know Block B? Block B fans have surely heard about the group’s controversy with their former agency. Even after signing with a new agency, some people assume that they are also being mistreated by their new agency. What happened to them? What kind of controversies did they have? In this article, we will provide you more information about Block B and its new agency, Seven Seasons.
Seven Seasons was founded and established by Kim Gyu-wook in 2013. It was originally created for Block B as a result of their lawsuit with their former agency, Stardom Entertainment, which resulted in the group’s departure from the agency. In June, 2016, it was announced that Seven Seasons became a subsidiary under KQ Entertainment, but its function to be solely dedicated to Block B remained the same. However, recently, Seven Seasons has received a lot backlash, especially from Block B fans, due to their controversies with the group.
Block B and Seven Seasons
On August 29, 2013, Seven Seasons reported through a press release that Block B had left Stardom Entertainment and all of its members’ contracts had been transferred to another company. They also revealed that the result of the negotiations between the Block B members and their former company had met both’s satisfaction. In addition, Seven Seasons thanked Block B fans for loyally waiting and also going through the difficulties along with the group. They said that they would do their best to ensure that Block B would come back to music scene again. Later, a news outlet, OSEN, revealed that Seven Seasons was created specifically for Block B and the company’s name reflected the seven members of the group.
Block B made their first official comeback after joining the new agency on October 2, 2013, with the mini-album Very Good, after dropping a pre-release single, “Be The Light”, on September 22. They then continued to release digital singles and albums.
After signing with the new agency, it appears that Block B still had many difficulties under the new agency. Seeing them like that, BBC (Block B fans) didn’t just stand still, and took further action to defend the idol group. On September 24, 2016, it was reported that BBC began to boycott Seven Seasons due to their mistreatment and neglect to the group. The BBC administrators even asked the members of the fandom to refrain from buying the latest DVD, Blooming Period Production Note, that was released by the agency at the time. If they had purchased it and it hadn’t been shipped yet, the fans were asked to cancel and ask for a refund. They had reached that point because they thought the agency had done many bad things, including mistreatment and neglect of the group. The fandom administrators posted 20 specific reasons why they went that far, in the popular South Korean online community, Instiz, titled “Seven Seasons’ Barbaric Action”. As translated by Koreaboo, here are the 20 reasons:
- During his trainee days, member Jaehyo had chronic knee damage due to a car accident. In the year of 2014, Jaehyo began feeling pain in his knee again, but the agency completely disregarded the member’s health condition and sent him out to compete on KBS‘s sports activity show, Dream Team, in October of the same year. Ultimately, the member had to receive surgery and ended up performing on stage while sitting in a chair for a minimum of six whole months.
1-1.While still recovering, member Zico had to guard Jaehyo at the airport himself, because the agency failed to provide any bodyguards to help protect the members, especially the injured Jaehyo, from chaotic fangirls who came dashing towards them, even though this is something that they should be providing at all times.
- When the group’s main vocalist, Taeil, released his first solo digital single with the song, “Inspiring”, the agency didn’t do any publicity to help promote the release, nor did they release any articles about the song. On top of it all, they released the song at 12:00 in the afternoon. Because of this, most fans weren’t even aware that the song was released.
2-1. Member Park Kyung‘s first solo digital single received attention and support only after he had promoted and publicized it himself, since publicity from the agency’s behalf was nonexistent.
- After the release of H.E.R in 2014, Block B went through a group hiatus of one year and seven months before releasing a comeback as a whole.
- Member Jaehyo wanted to hold a live Naver V-App broadcast because he wanted to do something with his fans, so he planned out a whole concept and took it up with the agency to get approval. However, the only response he received was, “Who would watch it if you were the one hosting it?”, along with the terrible words of, “If it doesn’t do well, you’re responsible for it.” When the said member still pushed forward with his plans despite what they said, only one member of the broadcasting staff (who was sick with a cold) showed up, with one lousy camera (stuck to a cellphone) to film Jaehyo’s CCTV.
4-1. When the Block B members asked to appear on more variety shows, the agency lowered their self-esteem by pointing out how unpopular they were and that they weren’t good enough to come out on the shows.
- The agency uses Block B’s official Twitter account to only retweet or share news articles. They don’t even sort or censor which articles they share. Recently, the agency even used the group’s account to tweet about something company-related and not Block B-related.
5-1. After the group’s official Instagram account was created, the agency only flooded it with puzzle-like cuts of the group’s album cover and nothing has been updated since.
- After fans began inquiring and asking the agency for feedback regarding their barbaric actions, they uploaded photos that were all blurred out onto the group’s official fan cafe photo library.
6-1. Every time fans have shown disappointment toward the agency or requested feedback from the agency regarding a complaint, Seven Seasons has always tried to “cover-up” or “brush the complaints off” by releasing unseen photos of the Block B members, thinking it will ease the fans.
- When it was the group’s 2000th day since their Korean debut, the agency sent them to spend the anniversary with a majority of Japanese and Thai fans, even though it was the day of their debut in South Korea. The weirder part is, it was held in Seoul. Even Japanese fans showed disappointment in this issue.
7-1. Today, September 24th, is member Taeil’s birthday and Zico’s birthday was on the 14th of the same month, but the agency has only held a birthday party for Taeil and not Zico. Again, this was held in Japan while something like this was never held in Korea before.
- (This was has been omitted as it has been said to be false.)
- The group’s official homepage and its hosting server has expired, but the agency has just kept it that way for the last four days. They finally got it renewed and fixed yesterday, but they updated Zico’s birthday with the incorrect date, as seen below. (His birth date is September 14th.)
- The group’s official homepage should always be updated with a current calendar of the group members’ schedules, but it is always left empty and never updated. Due to this, fans have to find out what the Block B members are doing through news articles. Fan-run blogs and SNS accounts that are much faster at updating the members’ schedules than the actual agency.
- The agency pretty much never promotes or publicizes their artists. Park Kyung was featured in Ceci Magazine‘s October 2016 issue, but fans only found out after other fans purchased the issue and randomly saw him in there. There was never any news or updates about his appearance on MBC‘s Idol Star Athletics Championships nor Radio Star.
- Ever since Block B went under the management of Seven Seasons in 2013, the group has promoted on music shows for their comebacks for only 93 days in total. However, from the beginning of their management until September 6, 2016, they have been on a hiatus for a total of 978 days.
- In their most recent comeback, the song “A Few Years Later” was revealed as an album pre-release, which means it was released before the whole album was. Fans requested for that song to also be a title song, beside “Toy”. However, the agency completely ignored the request.
- In 2015, Block B held two days of concerts in South Korea, while holding 22 different concerts in Japan. The chart below shows the dates of the concerts in both countries.
- The group’s activities on Naver V-App have gotten noticeably low. Despite video interactions being one of the most concrete ways to make new fans, the agency fails at utilizing the tools right in front of them and they don’t even try. Park Kyung even said on one of his close celebrity friend’s Naver A-App broadcasts that he is always wanting to have his own broadcast and that he is always willing to hold one, but his agency will not let him.
- At a recent overseas activity called KCON, Park Kyung was unable to attend. Even though the other members stated that it was due to personal reasons, in actuality, it was because the agency made a mistake and did not properly apply for his traveling visa.
- In 2013, when they were first creating the entertainment company, they said that they would become “an agency made for Block B”. However, earlier this year, the corporation renamed itself KQ Entertainment, demoted Seven Seasons as a company in lesser standing than KQ Entertainment, and also claimed to start creating rookie idol groups under a new, separate agency called KQ Produce.
- The album that the group released earlier this year was only a mini-album, but the agency released a “production DVD” at the price of 30,000 KRW (approximately $27.00 USD). The DVD’s features include one mere music video, a music video ‘making’ clip, and one photobook. Because it didn’t sell as well as the agency had expected, they posted a notice on the group’s official fancafe about an upcoming fansigning event.
- Yesterday, without any notice, the agency deleted their official YouTube channel. Fans were worried that all the view counts, likes, and subscriptions, along with all the music videos and behind-the-scenes making videos would disappear or reset. However, the channel was restored back to normal, but fans had to find out the hard way through actual news articles and not from the agency’s notices.
- Since the 2013 start-up and creation of the agency and until this day, the company’s headquarters still don’t have a training studio or a recording studio. Block B has been, and still is, renting a venue for each practice session and until this day, each member has had to hire an individual vocal trainer on his own.
Block B’s Future
On November 23, 2018, it was reported that Zico’s contract had ended and he chose to part ways with the agency and Block B, itself, in order to establish a one-man agency and return as solo artist the next year. In response to the report, Seven Seasons released an official statement regarding Zico’s contract. They confirmed about Zico’s departure from the agency but issued a denial about him leaving Block B. They clarified that the direction of Block B as seven-member group had not been decided and that they still in discussion with all the members. In addition, the agency revealed that the other six members of the group had renewed their contracts with the agency. They concluded by expressing gratitude towards Zico as Block B’s leader and producer, and wishing him the best for his future.