What Happened to the Male and Female Hybrid Idol Groups?
By Staff Writer | July 06, 2012 07:47 AM EDT
There is one thing that all K-Pop idol groups share today; which is the fact that the idol groups all contain either all male or all female members. TVXQ, JYJ, Big Bang, Girls' Generation, Super Junior, f(x), SISTAR, Wonder Girls, KARA, 2NE1, 2PM, T-ara, 4minute... All the K-Pop idol groups that are hot right now are either all male or all female. It is a significant contrast of K-Pop in the 1990's. Why did this happen?
One of the numerous representatives in the entertainment industry stated, "It is very difficult to create a distinct concept that would be a good fit for both male and female members." Although each individual member of all the idol groups seem to have a unique color of their own, most of the time they are all described along the lines of, "Big Bang, the group with amazing sense of music, 2PM, the group containing members with the hottest bodies." Individual characteristics combine and become one general characteristic of the group itself. However, with a hybrid idol group of male and female, it would be extremely difficult to create a specific concept for them.
Another representative explained, "Even when two female groups are from the same entertainment agency, like Girls' Generation and f(x), they portray completely different characteristics. The cute and innocent image follows after the Girls' Generation as opposed to f(x), who are described as powerful and trendy. For a hybrid group of male and female, it would be significantly more difficult to find a concept that both sexes could relate to and portray."
A representative from Cube Entertainment (4minute and B2ST) stated, "When the concept of the group itself becomes ambiguous, it becomes even harder to target which group of the population they would appeal to" and "Currently, there is a clear line that differentiates K-Pop girl groups from K-Pop boy groups, which was created by two completely different communities of fans. It has been discussed that the reason why there are no hybrid groups is based on the analysis of how the entertainment 'market' is going."
From the interviews, it can be concluded that the reason behind the lack of male and female hybrid idol groups is the result of each agency's preference to adapt and change to the entertainment market.
Park Eun Suk, a main stream music critic, stated, "It can be compared to Indi-music groups that are all usually formed independently by people who share similar ideas about their music." Also, another representative added, "When one agency debuts a male and female hybrid group and the group succeeds, other agencies will begin forming idol groups containing both male and female members. The entertainment market has changed from one that places emphasis on the music itself to the one that exists today with the emphasis on performance.
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