The Great Idol Steal

This post is a response to Dame Dr. Foxy Brown and Noelle of Always Rational Kpop Podcast, who brought upon themselves the power to formulate their own set of idols for an imaginary record label. I thought the idea was mind-scratchingly amusing, so I decided to form my own team of idols for my very own record label. This post, entitled ‘The Great Idol Steal,’ was “inspired by JYP & YG’s statements on what idols they’d take from each other’s companies.”

The rules are simple. I –

will fill out the roster of seven idols
And pick a producer and one choreographer total

Let’s begin, shall we? Since there wasn’t a restriction on whether all my seven steals had to be in one group, I took the liberty in divvying up my picks into several units.

First, I knew I wanted enough female idols to form a badass girl group, and 4 members felt like a sufficient amount. Considering my steals, I’m 100% convinced they would excel at just about everything. Check them out below!

Going into this, I knew I would run into the dilemma of whether to include a rapper or stick with a vocally-proficient set, and in the end I decided on the latter. 2NE1’s CL was one of the first idols that came to mind, because she’s so bawlin’ how could I NOT want her. But as my girl group came together it became clear that CL ~ as awesome as she may be ~ would throw this quartet completely off-balance. Substituting her for any of these four would cause an instability in the dynamics, and I can’t have that if I’m going for the best.

Here’s a brief run-down of my girl group:

Minzy (2NE1)
If I rejected CL, there was no way in hell I would pass up Minzy. Hands down, the best vocalist in 2NE1. She’s known as a dancing machine, and that’s partly why I chose her, but she’s also incredibly talented, vocally. Minzy has a good ear for intonation and she stays (arguably) more in tune than the rest of the group she hails from.  She has a gorgeous timbre and a weight in her low-to-mid register that would add so much body, and perhaps a little soul to the group. Did I mention she can dance? Yeah, I’m sure her breathing is fantastic considering she’s constantly dropping into the splits and dipping into back bends.

(Listen/Watch: HERE, HERE, HERE)

Sung Hee (ex-member of KARA)
I had to bend the rules a little to squeeze this one in (seeing as she’s not active or anything), but I was given the green light, and now my girl group is officially better than anything in existence at the moment. KARA’s ex-member Sung Hee was by far one of the most gifted singers to hit Kpop in the last decade. This is Sung Hee, people. Marriage and real-life priorities aside, this gem is now under my imaginary label, ready to slay all your biases in half. Sung Hee’s voice is impeccably smooth and unimaginably clear; so much so that I can’t even handle it. She knows how to decorate a song, as well as belt her heart out. You have to listen to her sing to understand the instrumental role she plays in my girl group.

(Listen/Watch: HERE, HERE, HERE)

Kahi (After School)
Kahi is probably the weakest singer of the four (maybe), but by no means am I saying that she can’t hold her own. What Kahi brings is a strong presence. She knows precisely what a song asks for and understands ~ almost intuitively ~ how it ought to translate to the stage, and she never fails to deliver in that respect. Kahi’s vocal range is limited, but she’s learned to work with what she’s got. She knows how to stretch it, and has developed a graceful way of projecting her voice. Match that with the sensuality in her dance, and now she’s bringing a whole new set of artillery on board. Also, I’ll go ahead and declare her the Leader in the group, simply for traditional purposes.

(Listen/Watch: HERE, HERE, HERE)

Seo Hyun (Girl’s Generation)
Poor Seo Hyun. Who I consider the most miserable member in Girl’s Generation, second only to Hyoyeon, Seo Hyun in fact has my favorite voice in the bunch and it pains me to not hear her enough – or at the very least, see her enjoying her freaking life when she’s performing. But all is good in the neighborhood, because I’ve stolen her and I’ll make sure she’s well taken care of because girl’s got skills. Seo Hyun is versatile, in that her singing is able to switch from airy and soft, to expressive and lush from one song to another. Listen to her sections in “Into The New World” and “Run Devil Run” and you’ll hear the distinction in her techniques. Flip flopping from cute to dark has allowed room for her to learn ways to manipulate her voice, and that appeals to me.

(Listen/Watch: HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE)

Three seats remain, and two of those I’ve decided to give to a male ensemble comprised of Onew and Yong Jae:

Onew (SHINee)
I knew I didn’t have enough free slots to piece together a proper Kpop boy band, so I opted for a killer duo whose vocal talent speaks more to me than the lack of coordination or sex appeal. Between Onew and Young Jae, Onew is the man for the lower harmony. He has a velvety lower register with a profound chest voice to boot. He’s a professional belt-er, and that is an extremely important component in his singing, especially considering who I’ve paired him with. And if you think I stole this duo to reserve them for ballads, you’re gravely mistaken. They won’t necessarily be bouncing off the walls a la-SHINee, but below is a 4MEN song that channels exactly what I would go for with these two.

(Listen/Watch: HERE, HERE, HERE)

Yong Jae (4MEN)
I don’t care if I have to cut someone; Yong Jae has precedence over everyone and if I can’t have him, no one can. Like Onew, Young Jae has his charms. His musical interpretations leave me speechless, and I can’t name another male idol singer who comes close to this man’s caliber and technical know-how. There’s gravitas in his singing, and his vocal prowess is stunningly epic. He has complete and utter control of his singing voice as well as a gorgeous timbre and falsetto. Yong Jae fills his performances with brilliant melismas, arpeggios, and pitch-perfect belts. Because his voice is predominantly higher end, that makes his merger with Onew that much more compelling. Basically, he’s amazing.

(Listen/Watch: HERE, HERE)

Below is a sweet performance from Immortal Song 2 that segues perfectly into my final steal.

Two of my steals together on one stage? I can’t even.

Since there’s only one slot left, of course it’s reserved for a solo artist, so I went ahead and gave that title to Hyorin. I think we can agree this singer doesn’t need a girl group to pay the bills.

Hyorin (SISTAR)
There isn’t a female kpop singer that comes near Hyorin, not even the enslavement known as Sistar. The reason why I’m giving Hyorin a solo career is because she has one of the broadest vocal spectrum, on top of stage presence, on top of star quality to hold her own. Sure, she can get a little shout-y and exaggerated from time to time, but I’d rather she over do a performance than underwhelm, especially as a soloist. Her transitions are sometimes rough, most notably when she starts climbing into her head voice (and vice versa), but this has been brought upon by the vocal strain she’s suffered in the last year (Kpop loves their Hyorin – can’t blame them). Many recent performances are scratchy because of this fact, but when she’s fully rested ~ and you know it ~ she explodes with crazy vocal acrobatics. Since Hyorin has her breathing in full control, it allows her to give it all she’s got on even the most challenging uptempos – which in my opinion are the type of songs that fit her to a T. At this point in her short Kpop career, Hyorin has already made a name for herself and has established a recognizable voice, both of which are goals that every soloist aims to meet, so props to her!

(Listen/Watch: HERE, HERE, HERE)

The last bit asks for my pick of one producer and one choreographer, to which I say – UGHH!

It’s hard enough narrowing down my picks to seven idols, but now one producer ~ ONE ~ who will churn out songs for every single one of my steals? Now that’s just mean.

*sigh* I guess I shouldn’t over think it. I am just going with…Yoo Young Jin? That is if he can get his shit together and quit vomiting one-note, pop disasters. I have to admit, I have respect for the man, because I know he’s got it in him to produce brilliantly composed tunes for the Kpop audience. I’ll just make sure to do some intense supervising to avoid any atrocities. Or he’s fired.

Actually I think I’ll just go with Chance of One Way. I like his production style and I think working on music for a slew of females will be a productive challenge for him. SOLD.

As for my one choreographer, it was a tough decision between Shaun Evaristo and Rino Nakasone, both who’ve worked with major Kpop groups, both amazing at what they do. But I think I’ll go with Shaun for this one. I love the blend of swag and sensuality in his pieces. There’s a fluidity from precise marks to smooth transitions in his choreography that drive me absolutely crazy. I know he’d be able to design amazing stages for my flawless girl group.

There you have it! I think somewhere in here I was to explain a contract, but that would take so long. Basically, I won’t over work them or undermine their creative spirits for the sake of popularity. I don’t know how contractual those grounds are, but it would honestly take a while to think through all the business crap, so that’s all you get.

Feel free to list your idol steals in the comments section below, and let me know what you think of my seven choices! Should I kick someone out? Should I make one giant group? Or maybe it’s not too Kpoppy? I want to hear your thoughts.


12 thoughts on “The Great Idol Steal

  1. Onew is totally on my steal list as well. It was between him and Key, I prefer Key’s voice but hes been sucking so badly lately I think I might have to go for the former.

    Can I just first say about your girl group:
    2) That picture of Seo is so… strange.
    3) If they don’t fall apart from the awkwardness in age difference, then yes, your girl group is very kick-ass.

    The fact Kahi is the weakest vocal there makes me think about the vocal prowess of After School… *shudder*. But your girl group is very well-rounded can I just say- like they’re all pretty much proficient in dancing as well as singing, so props to you. Not to mention they’ve got the aesthetic appeal down alright. Though if I had to choose a vocal from SNSD I’d go for Taeyeon, not just because she’s a powerhouse vocal blah blah blah, but because I genuinely love her voice because of its clarity. But since you want a kick-ass girl group, Seohyun would probably be the way to go if only because she’s the only good singer in her group that’s also a decent dancer.

    Hyorin going solo, hmm. I thought you’d choose Jonghyun or something of anything. But Hyorin is a really good choice, she needs to be heard on her own more often. She basically carries SISTAR, I mean that SISTAR19 thing was essentially Hyorin’s solo ft rapper.

    Man, if I were you, I’d totally go for YYJ. He’s more than still capable of producing sweet, baby making music. It’s just that he chooses not to. If I were you i’d take him, make him work, and then beat him for everytime he repeats a note more than twice.

    I’m liking your agency ;P Do you have a name for it?

    I really want to do mine now >..o

    • I highly encourage you to pick your idols too! It’s fun and kinda challenging at the same time because you know you only need 7 amongst the sea of idols in Kpop.

      Anyway, as for the steals – well, I picked Hyorin too! I truly believe she has one of the most versatile voices in Kpop right now. Gahee, well, we sort of forgot about her, so we made her our choreographer, haha! and Chance was also a producer pick by one of us.

      But the surprise for me really, was your vocal duo. If there was anyone I’d pick in Shinee, it would have been Jonghyun, but like I mentioned in Twitter earlier, he’s a good choice considering that he’s going to be paired with 4Men’s Young Jae.

      AND I AM TRULY JEALOUS OF YOUR GIRL GROUP! We picked more guys than girls, so we don’t really have much of a girl group to speak of, haha!

      Now I just hope your picks, especially the girls in the girl group, get along with each other… otherwise it would be hell for you to manage them… and if you’re not too careful, I might just steal them from you too! LOL! =)

    • haha, the age difference…is questionable, I’ll admit. But there are huge age differences in Kpop groups already, so I’m sure they can work it out. I think Taeyeon could have worked here, and she definitely crossed my mind. I just went with my fave, that’s all lolz

      I didn’t think of a name yet. something-something Entertainment lol

  2. Interesting choices. Not who I would steal though. Like how SM YG and JYP have their own ‘sound’, I can sort of imagine the type of ‘sound’ your company would have.

    My choices: CL, Se7en, Rain, IU, Taeyeon, G.O. and Seulong.
    I would have made CL a soloist. She’s an all rounder when it comes to performing and she’s got swag (I think ‘swag’ and ‘charisma’ are genetically predetermined lol).
    Se7en and Rain probably aren’t considered idols anymore, but I would steal them and make them a duo. Just because I’ve always been curious about them as a duo.
    IU, Taeyeon, G.O. and Seulong as a co-ed group. Maybe they’ll be a ballad group. I’m not so sure. However I do know that I like these idols as singers, so I reckon stealing them would benefit my company.

  3. IU is way overrated. anything she had after 미아 is evidence enough to take a pass on her. taeyeon would’ve also probably been a justified SNSD pick, but for the ningin edition of this, funny how you reached the same conclusion about CL being on the bubble. cause for all the things she can do well, with all due respect, she has nothing on tanks like hyorin.

    • We’re all entitled to our own opinions aren’t we? I don’t see eye to eye with you, but I’m not going to tell you you’re wrong. As interesting a discussion about which idol would be the ‘right’ steal, it would have a similar outcome to a discussion on religion.

  4. ooh, this looks fun! Will have to do one of my own.

    Your girl group is fire! I wonder how I can top it… :D I am in total agreement on Seohyun. Part of the reason I love SNSD’s Japanese album is that there’s a lot of her and she sounds friggin’ amazing. If I find she’s shafted again in their new Korean album I’ll be extremely upset.

    Also, I recall you being a serious Jonghyun stan so I’m surprised you went with Onew instead. I’ve always been drawn towards his voice, though, and it would definitely be a good fit for Yong-jae’s. I say you have a successful agency on your hands, my friend :)

    • haha, I wanted Jonghyun in here, I really did!!! But I also had to think of how he’d fit in with everyone else, and I just couldn’t find a place for him. Hyorin as a soloist was a no brainer, but having Jonghyun with Yong Jae? That would be a tough mesh, considering how out of control Jonghyun tends to be live. If I had an eighth spot, it would have definitely gone to a solo Jong. Hands down, haha :P

  5. Pingback: Episode 29 – How Dare Those People? | Always Rational Kpop Podcast

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