To frankly say, there are even some times that Kpop fans forget these artists’ existence.
There are many reasons to explain for the delays of artists’ music releases such as: artists are in the midst of resting period, production is still in progress, the company or the artist is looking for a new music vibe or concept, the artist is busy with another field other than music,… Maybe some explanations are genuine, but maybe several of them are just made to cover the delay or divert the public’s attention.
In reality, each company has to answer two questions before making the decision to let its artist make a comeback. First, whether the new comeback can become a hit and win against its rivals promoting at the same time. If the answer is no, the company will have to improve the quality of the upcoming music products in order to make sure that its artists won’t “flop”, and on the other hand, to ensure the stable growth of the company. Second, whether the new comeback can make profits. If yes, where the profits will come from and how these profits can be maximized. For example, while boygroups are able to sell more albums and concert tickets, girlgroups having good records on digital music charts are able to perform in many music events, appear in variety shows, become CF models,… Once the matter of “hit” and “profit” is on balance, the company can start planning for its artists’ comeback.
However, it’s easier said than done, in fact, there are many artists who have been put in the frozen state for a long time without releasing any music products, and the reasons for these cases are still unknown.
Among these artists, some endure the hiatus, follow the schedules and enjoy their private life. But some other, via social media and chances to appear in front of the public, strongly stand up against their companies’ restrictions and express their desire to return to the stages again. These artists really gain sympathy from even non-fans. They are talented and passionate enough, but unable to get along with their companies. It won’t be surprise that once their contracts expire, these artists will immediately leave the companies to decide to their own future.
YG Entertainment: Lee Hi
Being the runner-up of one of the best audition shows in Korea, Lee Hi chose to be a YG’s artist with the hope that she would be able to show off her original strengths. At the beginning, YG did fulfil her dream. The young female singer quickly had many impressive hit songs as a solo artist. Yet, YG suddenly froze her activities for 3 years. In 2016, Lee Hi made a comeback with a new album, she worked really hard for the promotion but after that, YG continued to kept her in the “dungeon”.
It has been almost 2 years since Lee Hi’s latest comeback. It’s noteworthy that last year, in a TV Show, Lee Hi cried while sharing how YG helps everyone’s singer dream to come true. Still, apart from the promises to let Lee Hi return in 2017, YG has not made any move to prepare for the comeback of the owner of the hit “1,2,3,4”, although it’s the middle 2018 now.
SM Entertainment: F(x)
Until now, the fact that SM Entertainment stops promoting f(x) although the group is still in the peak of its career make many Kpop fans curious. After f(x) stopped releasing music products, each member, one by one, tried to develop personal career. Everything seemed to be fine until Amber posted a message to complain about SM and expose the truth about her company. SM didn’t reply to Amber’s message and instead, the company arranged new schedules for f(x) members.
Currently, all 4 f(x) members have their own paths and plans. However, the return of f(x) as a whole team is very faint and the members may not re-sign their contracts in the future.
JYP Entertainment: 15&
Among Big3 companies, JYP is considered to have the best relationship with its artist, but many fans are still curious about the case of 15&.
15& is a girlgroup formed by the combination of two outstanding vocals: Baek Yerin and Park Jimin. The group impressed everyone with the two girl’s singing abilities and great teamwork. Moreover, both members had their own solo releases and achieved certain successes.
However (again), the group’s latest album was released in 2014 and the members’ latest solo products were released in 2016.
Talking about the fact that she can’t make a comeback for such a long time, in a livestream broadcast in the end of 2017, Park Jimin shared that she liked Hip hop/R&B genre, but JYP Entertainment only wanted her to sing Pop/Ballad as other JYP’s artists did. As a result, the company forced her to join in vocal classes so many times that she felt that she couldn’t sing anymore. “I want to sing on stages, want to stand in front of everyone and burn myself with passion, I always desire to sing for you all. But I just wish that the company thinks about me. I have a lot of songs that I want to release, but the company doesn’t like them at all. So…”