Is YMC The Next Rising Entertainment Company?
In the world of the Korean entertainment industry, there are entertainment companies that are known as the Big 3, namely SM Entertainment, JYP Entertainment, and YG Entertainment. They have been putting the industry in their reigns since the late 90s and still continue to dominate it until the early 2010s. Yet, with the third and fourth generation of K-Pop, specifically, there has been a change in tides with the rise of iconic boy bands, such as BTS, Seventeen, and Wanna One. These three bands are managed by a company outside of the big three and still manages to dominate the K-Pop scene.
Wanna One, in particular, a band that was formed from the survival show Produce 101, has been managed by YMC entertainment since their debut in 2017. This came as a surprise to most, as the company is mostly known for managing solo artists and rappers such as Jessi, Ailee, and Comedian Shin Bo-ra. So how did such a successful band was left to be managed by an underdog in the industry? What were the troubles that came to be when they managed a phenomenon as big as Wanna One? Let’s take a closer look at YMC Entertainment, their company profile and the story behind Wanna One’s exit from the company!
YMC Entertainment is an entertainment company founded in 2010, under the leadership of CEO Cho Yoo-myung, famous for taking artists, such as Ailee, Jessi, I.O.I, and Wanna One under their wing. The company itself is located in Itaewon-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, a neighborhood famous for having a lot of foreigners and a mix of cultures. More information about the company can be found on their official website, www.ymcent.com.
One of YMC Entertainment’s most notable singers is songstress, Ailee. She has been with the company ever since 2010 when she moved from her original company in America to YMC Entertainment in order to focus her music to the Korean market. She released her first big hit when she started participating in the variety show, Singer and Trainee, and followed up with her role in Dream High 2. Another notable artist under the label is Jessi, the strong female rapper most known for her appearance in the original Unpretty Rapstar. Her strong presence was very memorable and gave birth to many memes. Not only that but she was also the rapper in JYP’s hit, “Who’s Your Mama.”
Another notable Unpretty Rapstar alumni under the agency is Kassy, the singer turned rapper, who was one the contestants in the third season. Although, as of now, she has moved to another agency, that is Nextar Entertainment. Other artists, previously managed by the agency are I.O.I and Wanna One. It seems most artists under YMC Entertainment have one thing in common, all of them have taken part in a variety or survival show. Among the ones who haven’t been contestants in a survival show is band Soulights, actress and comedian Shin Bo-ra, and actress Kim Ji-ah.
There are three main ways you can audition for the company, as stated on their website, either through sending the needed documents through regular mail, e-mail, or a friend recommendation. There are four different types of castings you can audition for, which is singing, acting, music, and others. The mandatory documents, which show one or two of the following outlined roles, you have to send depend on which casting you are going for.
All participants are expected to submit a demo or video showing skills that pertain to that aspect of entertainment. For example, people auditioning to be cast as a singer must be able to send a video of them singing and dancing. The videos and form containing their personal information would then either be sent through mail or e-mail to YMC Entertainment. All the other details can be found on their website, under the category auditions.
The head of YMC Entertainment is Tae Jin-ah’s eldest son, Cho Yoo-myung. It seems that the musical blood runs in the family as Tae Jin-ah is a very famous trot singer in South Korea, and is also the father of famous K-Pop singer, Eru. There’s not much else known about Cho Yoo-myung aside from his accomplishments under YMC Entertainment.
Wanna One Leaving YMC
Ever since the first season of Produce 101, Mnet has always sent the debut group to be managed by a third party company. This proved to be a challenge as the debut group is made up of trainees from various companies with, what at first was a non-exclusive contract. Thus, after reaching an agreement with the companies involved, Mnet decided to contract YMC Entertainment to manage the winning group, from I.O.I to Wanna One.
Yet, as of June 2018, Wanna One has reportedly moved from YMC entertainment on to a newly formed one named, Swing Entertainment. This was due to reports of several mismanagement issues done by YMC Entertainment that caused fans to be very upset with the company. It all started out with news of mismanagement of stalker fans, mostly known as sasaengs. Sasaengs are a very big deal in the Korean entertainment industry, especially for idols, as they are a security liability with their desire to follow idols wherever they go and get the idols to recognize them through very dangerous acts.
Fans have knowingly identified some of the sasaengs that went as far as to follow them to private schedules, breaks in between promotions and to their dorms, but it seems that YMC had done nothing about those concerns. Other things that made fans upset with YMC involved a problem that occurred with the use of another fandom’s colors in most if not all Wanna One’s promotional material. At the time, Wanna One had just debuted and decided to carry over colors from the Produce 101 series, baby pink and baby blue, as their merchandise color scheme. What was not thought through is the clash of those colors with another fandom that has a similar color scheme, Seventeen’s fandom colors being Rose Quartz and Serenity.
This led to fans being angered on social media platforms, with screenshots of proof that those colors are actually just the same colors marketed with different names and asking YMC to respond to these claims. This led to some problems with the fandom at hand, until YMC finally announced Wanna One’s official fandom colors. This is not their only fault though, as fans have also pointed out that the members are not being treated fairly, or in this case, somewhat related to the ranks they have achieved on Produce 101. Some claim that their favorite members aren’t given the center position they rightfully earned on the show, while others with lower ranking members claim that their favorites are not on variety shows or any schedules enough.
Their mistreatment of members bled onto other behind the scenes things such as bothering other artists with Wanna One related problem, such as Jessi’s snapshot of Wanna One gifts that have piled up in the YMC building, and not giving Wanna One members the rest they deserved. Fans claim that these problems stack up with one another to paint a clear picture that YMC seems to not care about their flagship boy band. They overwork and mismanage most if not all their schedules, exhausting them to the point where some members have been seen going to the hospital to get shots to improve their health. This raised concerns that could no longer be tolerated by fans.
This led to fans trending hashtags on social media to raise the concerns to YMC and other related companies, that have had their trainees taken to be part of Wanna One. Thankfully, with their ravenous campaigns, fans were able to attract the attention of YMC, that led to an apology and the plans to move Wanna One to a different entertainment agency.
There has been no more news about the possible comebacks or song releases under YMC Entertainment, with Ailee and Jessi both taking a break. Usually, their schedules are filled with OST appearances or performances at festivals but as of now, as it is winter, they are taking a break and have some quality time with family. We are anxious about what they will bring forth in the year ahead. So what do you think about YMC Entertainment? Are they the next artists to become a part of K-Pop’s Big 3? Comment your thoughts and opinions in the section below!