Wednesday, August 17, 2011

BEAST Secret to Success: Hard Work

All season is a boy group generation, their secret to success

Currently, Dong Bang Shin Ki and Big Bang are the two main boy groups that had been dominating the model of boy groups. If we were to add an extra team to make a model with three groups? Many people in music industry will point to the group BEAST without any hesitation.

Compared to the sundae groups who had spent 5~6 years since debut to get to this position, BEAST had not even passed 2 years yet. They are not even from the big entertainment groups like SM, YG, JYP which had conquered the entertainment market. However, they had "conquered" the Korean music industry and is even "popular" overseas. Looking at the album sales number complied by Gaon Charts, the artists that had sold more than 100,000 albums this year are Dong Bang Shin Ki, Big Bang, BEAST, and Kim Hyunjoong. The first official album, 'So Beast' they had released on the 10th made it as second place on Oricon daily album charts and placed first on both on and offline daily album sales. Including 'Fiction' released in June, 'Shock', 'Bad Girl', and more tracks had all placed as the upper ranks on Japans's greatest mobile site, Recochoku, continuously.

Recently, for about a month, BEAST had launched a large scale fan meeting / concert in Maylasia, Singapore, Thailand, and more. With more and more locals demanding them, they have Japan, China, and Taiwan planned in their schedule as well. In Paris, where the SM Town concert was held, fans had even started an online petition to bring BEAST and later in the year, BEAST and other Cube Entertainment singers plan to head on to the stage for a London concert. It's almost as if they had taken the "Hallyu Star" title. What is their secret to success.

One of the traits that can be detected first is the strange combination and personality of members. Each member in BEAST, consisting of 6 members, has their own distinctive looks, talents, and character. The main vocal Yang Yoseob (21) has a cute image with sharp wits, while leader Yoon Doojoon (22) had gained the titles "Dating-idol" and "Boyfriend-idol" with his friendly manliness and sucked in all the older female fans. Jang Hyunseung (22), who shows off powerful dancing and singing, had gained popularity with his "bad boy" image and Lee Kikwang (21), who had show a lot of activity in variety shows and acting, is overflowing with familiarity. Yong Junhyung (22), who is in charge of rap, is noted for his musical talent and the youngest Son Dongwoon (20) is called "Male God" thanks to his flower boy image. Choi Yonggoon, a pop culture critic stated, "These days the idol groups have the tendency to have members who are hard to tell apart from each other, but these guys show off their distinctive looks and charms very well." He also added, "It is also important to note that other members who had not been on many variety programs like Lee Kikwang and Yoon Doojoon have more enthusiastic fans."

It is also said that BEAST has the skills in musical areas, which is easily criticized for many idol groups. Music critic Im Jinmo stated, "Not only that Shinsadong Tiger (Composer who mainly composes BEAST songs) makes really good music, BEAST has the ability to digest it very well. In particular, member Yong Junhyung participating in the music making process creates an image that they are a skilled group." He added, "Since the group's concept is distinct and they have the skills, there is a high chance that they will be successful in Japan."

Communication and care for the fans had helped them establish a strong fandom in a short time period. SBS Inkigayo's Kwak Seungyoung PD commented, "BEAST is a group who knows the importance of fans and the stages, and they show it well too. There are a lot of people who change for the worse after they become a star, but maybe it is because BEAST endured a lot of hardships since they were young, BEAST always remain the same." Any idol group has to go through a long time as trainees, but for BEAST members, the time period had been much more "rough." Jang Hyunseung had spent a very long time as a trainee for the group Big Bang, but at the last challenge, he ended up in elimination. Back then Big Bang had planned to be a six member group including Jang Hyunseung, so the elimination was a bigger blow for him. Lee Kikwang had debuted as a solo artist from being a JYP trainee, but he wasn't able to receive a good response and Yong Junhyung had left the team XING after being a member for a while. Yoon Doojoon, after he had been chosen through a TV audition program, he ended up spending trainee times with 2AM and 2PM members in JYP for many years. Due to these events, when BEAST debuted in October 2009, they were given the unfortunate nickname, "recycled group."

Their fan services is to the point of chaos. Unlike the other idol groups who travel in black suntanned vans as if they are on a 007 mission, BEAST exposes themselves to the fans on and offline. It is easy to find them talking to their fans through twitter and find them giving out cold refreshments or hot packs to the fans who come to visit them on broadcasts. They even show off the generosity of taking digital cameras and cellphones of the fans and use it take a picture or video of themselves before returning it. Kwak PD stated, "Usually when an idol group is making a comeback 500-600 fans show up, but in June when BEAST made their comeback, more than 1000 fans showed up."

It is also important to note their luck in timing. When they were promoting, there were mainly girl groups promoting. Also, Dong Bang Shin Ki and Big Bang were on their break, 2PM were in state of weary with the Jaebum leaving issue.

One associate stated, "It looks as if their basic star qualities and modesty combined with the perfect chance made them able to explode. If they just make the chance to learn the culture and language of the oversea countries, they will have the possibility to rise as a hallyu star that has a very strong impact overseas."


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