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K-Pop Rewind: First Generation Groups Will Return To The Stage For DSP Media's Festival

By Adrienne Stanley | November 01, 2013 01:29 PM EDT

DSP Media will celebrate 22 years in the K-Pop industry.

Following a recent concert in which the members of SS501 reunited to provide a celebratory military send off for member Heo Young Saeng, it was announced that the group would join former agency DSP Media for its first family performance. The concert is entitled DSP Festival-22nd Anniversary and will commemorate the agency whose more recent acts include Rainbow, KARA, and AJAX. With a twenty-two year history, what is significance of DSP Media to K-Pop?

DSP Media has undergone numerous name changes, having been previously known as Daesung Entertainment, then DSP Entertainment. In the late nineties, DSP Media was responsible for the launch of girl group FinK.L and the male group Sech Kies, two acts which played a key role in the development of current day K-Pop. Other prominent artists whose careers began with DSP Media include former FinK.L member Lee Hyori and SS501 leader Kim Hyun Joong.

FinK.L, which was meant to abbreviate, Fin Killing Liberty, were formed during a time when the names of K-Pop acts were less based on the English translation of words. Much like SM Entertainment's H.O.T  (High-Five Of Teenagers), FinK.L helped to establish what the future of groups in Korean entertainment would look and sound like. FinK.L was viewed as a direct competitor to S.E.S, which was seen as the sister group to H.O.T. As opposed to S.E.S and H.O.T, which relied heavily on the bubblegum sound that is now synonymous with SM Entertainment, FinK.L was more heavily influenced by rhythm and blues. The group ended unofficially in 2002, with Lee Hyori pursuing a successful solo career.

DSP Media was also responsible for the launch of Sech Kies, whose name was Germanic for six crystals. Sech Kies was formed by DSP which the intention of creating a male group that could compete with the phenomenal success of H.O.T. Sech Kies began as a hip hop duo, but pursued different approaches to music during their career, including the incorporation of traditional Korean music like trot. Although, Sech Kies was very successful in the K-Pop market, the group disbanded in 2000.

Two of DSP Media's most recent acts to drive success for the agency have been SS501 and girl group KARA. SS501, who debuted in 2006, was led by Kim Hyun Joong. Hyun Joong gained worldwide notoriety for his portrayal of white knight Yoon Ji Hoo in 2009's Boys Before Flowers. This success in acting, along with group mate Park Jung Min's pursuit of an a theatrical career, led to the formation of an SS501 sub-group. This three member sub group known as SS501 Project Group, gained notoriety for their single UR Man, as well as their contribution to the original soundtrack for Boys Before Flowers, Because I'm Stupid. Upon completion of their contract, the members of SS501 pursued different agency representation, although they have declined to say the group is disbanded.

With KARA, Rainbow, and Ajax currently leading the roster at DSP Media, it is clear to see that the illustrious history of the label continues on. It will be fascinating to see the stage performances of the 22nd Anniversary concert. The concert will take place on Friday, December 14th at Jamsil Indoor Stadium with proceeds from ticket sales benefiting needy families.

Tagged :  DSP Media, SS501, FinK.L, Sech Kies, Kim Hyun Joong, Lee Hyori, Park Jung Min

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