The Ningin Round Table is a new feature in which we pose an Asian entertainment news-related question to Ningin writers and they give us their colorful opinions and thoughts on the matter. Given recent news of the debut of a 21-membered boy group called A-Peace, we asked our writers, “Which do you think is better, big KPOP bands, or small bands? Which is better in terms of market success? Which is better in terms of making good music? Which do you prefer personally?”
Victoria Huynh: With so many rookie KPOP bands out there nowadays, you most likely don’t recall the super big group A-Peace, or if you do, you probably lost interest in them quickly after having the thought of trying to remember 21 different names and faces. Contrast to groups with an enormous amount of members, like A-Peace, I think smaller KPOP bands will be able to do better and will be more successful. With big groups, it’s more difficult to shine as a star. A song is typically around 3-4 minutes long, which also means the bigger the group, the less time each person has to sing. In A-Peace, I highly doubt every single member has more than one line. This goes for the music videos as well. I think the music would be pretty messy and the quality wouldn’t be as good.
Not only are their names, faces, and talents are masked behind the intimidating label of being a 21 member group, but they will hardly get any profit in return. Entertainment companies need to provide idol groups money for dorms, hotel rooms, clothes, stylists, managers, food, transportation and a lot more. With big groups, that’s a whole lot of money for all the members combined. The members also have to split all their earnings between themselves, which leaves A-Peace very little to live on. Going on variety shows, having good teamwork, and even fitting on stage would be problems for big groups like A-Peace. Luckily for A-Peace, they will soon be splitting into three sub-groups of seven. Being split into smaller groups will definitely allow them to shine and show their true abilities for their fans.
Sharmaine Mendoza: So which is better, big Kpop bands or smaller bands? Since that question is very broad let us better take a look at it in different aspects. In terms of what you call market success, I guess big Kpop bands are better. Though I’m not generalizing that small bands don’t do well because I know a lot of them are topping charts as well. Let’s take SNSD as an example. This group is undoubtedly very talented and skilled in various areas. So whenever the group takes a hiatus in the music scene, the girls can still be seen in other fields such hosting, acting, modeling and such. In short, more people = more promotion. Regardless of how, everything really boils down on how the company handles the band and how the fans respond as the success is totally dependent on them (fans). That’s why netizens have so much power in the industry. Now, when it comes on the topic of which makes better music, I’m going to say that it’s either of the two. Even though some of the members of SNSD only had few lines on ‘Gee’, the song is unquestionably very addicting and just good. It also depends as all of us have different preference. Maybe the song that’s good for me sounds bad for you and vice versa. Personally, I like smaller groups, not just because each member gets to have more spotlight, but it’s simply because there are less to memorize.
Ivy Wong: Super Junior, a name that may sound like a joke at first, has now progressed to being one of the top Asian male groups in the world. With 14 members in total (from the main group and sub units), it’s a group with many talents in dance, acting, singing, music composition, and many more. That is one of the many reasons why I prefer bigger Kpop groups. One may argue with the memorization of names is difficult in itself for the general public, but Super Junior has overcome that obstacle by being involved in every aspect in the entertainment industry. For example, Eunhyuk, Leeteuk, and Shindong are regulars on many shows like Star King and Strong Heart. Yesung also recently replaced Eunhyuk as a DJ on Kiss The Radio. But it doesn’t end in Korea. With the sub-groups like Super Junior H, T, KRY, and M, Super Junior has been able to reach out to different levels of audience in many Asian countries. SJM’s promotional activities in Taiwan are very successful at the moment, and the fact that Donghae and Siwon are acting in a Taiwanese drama makes Super Junior that much more well-rounded.
In terms of their music, one could say that “Sorry Sorry” is basically the nucleus of the Hallyu wave effect. Every time a song is produced by Super Junior, the music charts around Asia is bound to be dominated by that song. The group focuses not only on hip pop or “addictive” song, but a variety of ballads, of which really showcase their vocal talents. Also, with more members, their songs are able to have more layers of voices, which I personally find is a very positive aspect for their music.
And now you all have the floor — tell us do you agree or disagree with round table? Which is better, big or small idol groups?
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