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I wasn't respectful enough, I wasn't quiet enough, even my appearance, "You look too American"
David Frazer said this in my lj comments; it deserves its own post.

Chocolat's contracts expired in February, and Melanie has given an interview to Kpopalypse.

To summarise, they never earned any money, the CEO was useless, the staff constantly pressured them to work harder and lose weight, and Melanie became depressed and began self-harming. And after thinking up the biracial gimmick the CEO decided that Melanie was "too American" and needed to look and behave like a proper Korean girl.
The interview does speak for itself. I'll add here that Melanie's whomp of a wail of "I want it all, all or nothing" in "I Like It" — a song she felt nothing for — showed right off that she had major talent. Even before that, in her narration of the first ChoColat publicity clip she was easily alive and playful in front of the camera. So, was management entirely obtuse, given that they picked Melanie to narrate right at the get-go, and had her loud and highlighted on the second single? Also, management chose good songs every time (i.e., songs I like), which is extraordinarily rare, and for all we know the girls themselves would have chosen worse.

So, we don't know management's own view of this, or the other girls': Still, if you're choosing performers because they're different, it seems lunkheaded to then try and squash down the differences. And if your training technique is psychologically backfiring on one of your talented singers, you should try to change the technique, right? (Yes, I realize this isn't so easy or even always possible when there's more than one performer involved, with each potentially responding differently to the coaching but all more or less needing to be given the same rules. Still...)

Also — I don't know this and obviously haven't done the research — but I had the impression back in 2011 that Korea was developing a body of case law that said that if a youngster signs a 7-year contract at age 12 or 15 or something and she subsequently sues to get out of the contract, the courts will back her and invalidate the contract. Of course, having a right to sue doesn't make actually doing so emotionally or financially feasible, or protect her from getting blackballed for it.

This entry was originally posted at Comments still welcome here, there, and anywhere.

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Sarah Wolfgang, was Hanhee of Tahiti, dropped out partly because of eating disorders. Similar background as Melanie; grew up on a military base. Q&A on reddit three years ago:

Had signed up basically as stepping stone to acting, not for the music. Now she does have some musical hopes for herself (jazzhop) but doesn't like K-pop at all. Does like some Korean hip-hop. In her experience, idols had utterly no artistic input. She does have a friend who trained with YG who said it was different there: YG actually teaches music production to its trainees! She says there's abysmally bad social mobility in Korea, incredible gap between rich and poor. (I might question some of that, given the almost total transformation of the society from rural to metro in the last sixty years.)

Kpopalypse interview:

Balancing her distaste for idol music, she says that idol fans shouldn't just pay attention to the performers but all of the others involved in creating the songs, the talented songwriters, choreographers, etc. Her life difficulties seem to have made her generous.

(Note that it was Sarah's interview with Kpopalypse that inspired Melanie to get in touch with Kpopalypse/Asian Junkie.)

Her YouTube site:

Edited at 2017-07-03 04:47 pm (UTC)

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