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E.via splits with agency, forced to use new name, chooses Tymee
Sad situation: E.via posted on Twitter that she's split with her agency, Dline Art Media, and that they're not letting her take her stage name E.via with her. The issue seems to be almost total nonpayment over the last two years. (Allkpop provides a translation.) Even if we take into account that we're only getting her side of the story, it nonetheless does seem as if she's acting as decently as possible and the agency is being vindictive and destructive. Yes, it's by her own account that she looks good, and of course the smart strategy is to appear generous and understanding when one is recounting the alleged bad behavior of others.* But her tone and generosity are entirely consistent with what else I know about her. The goodness seems credible. Not that I know much at all; I haven't had a lot of time to follow Korean performers in their role as personalities beyond the singing, dancing, and dressing. But E.via was one of the very very very few to speak up to the mob that was attacking T-ara, she didn't have to do it, it was a risk, and she did it in a kind rather than an accusatory manner. Art heroes aren't always wondrous human-being heroes, and they don't have to be, but here's one who most likely is.

 photo E.via grinning rap.jpg

Another thought, though. Yes, she's an indie rapper, not a product of the idol system. But nonetheless, she's recognized internationally, she's been in the top 30, she's appeared on Music Bank. She's something of a star. Yet in effect she's been working for not even peanuts, for practical purposes an artist in her garret, her art life as shoestring and/or part-time as that of any writer or poet or painter laboring in obscurity or hanging around little-known fringe scenes. Even doing okay in the fame business, she's getting thrown down the ladder in the business business. That's the way things shake out, money and power generally going to the people who already have it.

Here's my E.via tag, if she's new to you. My most substantial posts about her are these two:

E.via (artist of the year, 2010)
The Five Faces Of E.via

Anyway, love to you, 이옥주, Lee Ok Joo, Napper, E.via, Tymee.

h/t davidfrazer

*A strategy that I rarely manage myself, I must say. Not my temperament.

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please, please read carefully please

Actually, in a part Allkpop doesn't print, she may or may not be getting tougher. Here's the experimental avant-garde confetti Google Translate prints out for a section some of which seems to be advice to aspiring performers:

travelers also need to know the fans are confused that you have the right to think, contemplate and writing, even close friends . "Via " going to still wrote the article has been removed and now half of my identity , bank called life that they should be erased from the mind where you need to tell whether stuffy hands were trembling, and entering other cheat black heart. loving family, friends, Fan Good inconvenience worry, we're sorry a hundred times I'd like to tell you, but I can keep things , although I will keep a small space, but it means you can communicate with fans, even if deprived is really painful, and, above all, music invariably promised will wants and dreams and ambitions with music all contracts and all those hundreds of thousands of times throughout the document, please, please read carefully please. too many friends around me who loves music purely, happen again if you think that will be a sad commentary embroiled is no longer obtained a part-time job did not cost more than revenue gamyeo music that people like me, there is hope. entertainment There is not a clean and honest agency will , but nine out of the front and back are different, and sometimes personal imprinted as being insulted, and if that law or contract value for those of you who do not know, kicks things frequently and hope through counseling and the lawyers and patent attorneys will see damage like me, if it had not been I require compensation for damage in the meantime, worked isn is not trying to harm someone the benefit of the public, if not to prevent the damage of an unspecified number written article. celebrity hush-Dirty, dirty, dirty showbiz to the nature of the undetected fantasize about getting bigger too, so I think someone should talk anymore would not damage the beholder. everyone across the crossing to know, is to know that's not a rumor story 'Then came the entertainment industry by saying, " I'm no smoke. smart perfected world that does not lose money. again without legal basis for or psychological pressure, no obligations, such as the contents of the above, if you're going to push things forward will be tough response. again burdening inconvenience to all sorry. other future activities will already ask a lot of attention and love in music (Tymee) NAPPER .

If the issue is what E.via is owed for the last two years, and that means 2011 and 2012, the amount likely won't be as much as she'd have been due for 2009 and 2010, the years of "Hey!" and "Oppa! Can I Do It?" and "Shake!" and "Pick Up! U!" But still, if what she was being told is accurate, the numbers the agency is giving her do seem ridiculous. Not that I've seen the books or know. Maybe the agency can point to legitimate expenses that they can subtract under contract (which would make the contract the issue not whether Dline Art Media are following it; maybe the contract is ridiculously bad; maybe it's normal; maybe it's normal and the norm is ridiculously bad).

Slightly related (while taking this in and thinking to myself that while things like this seem to happen the fact that she can't keep her name seems very weird and something I personally wouldn't have given up on that easily (maybe it isn't given up on easily, but it seems like she wants to move on more than anything and I'd try to work abit more on that with some lawyers before moving on) - in general prices for the digital download services here in Korea have doubled as of January 1st. Will be interesting to see how it affects Gaon and if labels will report increased earnings.

"This raises the share of profits from music files sales that go to copyright holders from 50 percent to 60 percent. An extra 10 percentage points will be added each year until 2016." (not sure what the last sentence means)

Edited at 2013-01-07 12:06 pm (UTC)

I remember the great general admiration for Johnny Rotten when, after he quit the Sex Pistols, he changed his stage name to his real name, John Lydon, abandoning "Johnny Rotten" and its high-name recognition and commercial appeal. He was considered wise (his understanding that if you tried to institutionalize and repeat and live off the Sex Pistols' achievement, you were in effect undoing that achievement) and therefore full of integrity (his refusing to coast commercially on his past with the Sex Pistols). But what I hadn't known, and what I don't think was generally known, was that Sex Pistols' manager Malcolm McLaren said he had the rights to the name "Johnny Rotten" and had gotten an injunction against Lydon using it. (One caveat: this is according to Simon Reynolds, in his book Rip It Up And Start Again, and Reynolds sometimes gets things wrong.)

Lydon may well have decided to dump the name anyway. I haven't done any research myself (haven't even checked Wikip) to see if he made an effort to keep it or purchase it.

Perhaps Dline calculated that by claiming ownership of the name "E.via" they held a trump card, but E.via called them on it, said, "Okay, play your trump." (This being entirely speculation on my part.) Actually, the company seems to be acting out of straight vindictiveness. But that's by E.via's account as translated by Allkpop.

Don't know if the price rise indicates that the money that the agencies, artists, etc. have been getting from downloads just isn't enough (except for acts that are putting up huge numbers). Or maybe it's the exact opposite, the agencies perceiving a rise in demand for mp3's so raising the price accordingly.

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