Conflict Between Baek Cheong Gang and Kim Tae Won?
Is Baek Cheong Gang really leaving his beloved mentor Kim Tae Won?
Though the answer isn’t clear, in short, there is truth behind the rumors that there’s a serious conflict between the two. Even if they’re able to resolve all their problems and reunite, it’s likely that grudges will still exist.
Six months after their return to the stage, the members of Brave Girls can no longer be described as ′pretty′ but ′cool.′ So, what was the reason behind their transformation?
After winning season one of the hit audition show, ‘MBC Star Audition –；；； The Great Birth’, Baek Cheong Gang signed a contract with Boohwal Entertainment, owned by his mentor, Kim Tae Won. He also began training at Born Star Training Center, where Kim Tae Won presides as director, and prepared to make his debut as a singer.
However, news broke out about their separation, leading Baek to post on his Me2Day, “Everyone, please don’t panic. I’ve never thought of leaving my teacher Kim Tae Won.”
Though the fans were momentarily reassured, Boohwal Entertainment’s subsequent statement proved otherwise. The company posted on a notice on September 1, saying, “We have reached this conclusion after consulting Baek Cheong Gang′s officials. We have chosen a better way for him, so please pray for his luck.”
It’s clear that there was a lack of communication and conflict between Baek Cheong Gang and Kim Tae Won, and officials further validated this by saying, “there were many problems between the two.”
It was well known amongst entertainment officials that Baek signed a contract with a company with Chinese executives. An official revealed, “A management company came out saying they would take charge of Baek Cheong Gang′s activities in China. If his activities are divided between China and Korea it will make it hard for them to go smoothly. One side should take priority and take charge of all management, but the agencies are still undecided on that.”
Baek Cheong Gang garnered a great number of fans after winning The Great Birth, making him a hot commodity in China also. The aforementioned Chinese agency likely thought that it would be better for Baek to start promotions as soon as possible in China, rather than training and waiting to make his debut in Korea. This clash in opinions is speculated to be the cause of the clash between Baek and Boohwal Entertainment.
An official on familiar terms with Baek stated, “If he starts working in China immediately, he will be earn money faster, but it will darken his long-term future as an artist. Baek Cheong Gang has talent, but he’s still not ready for the professional stage. He needs systematic training. Both sides should never forget that.”
Photo credit: MBC, Boohwal Entertainment
Brave Girls, who was previously known for its revealing costumes and sensual dance, exhibited a 180-degree change with its most recent performance. Read on if you would like to know why.
The Brave Girls members, donning masculine suits that hid their waists and hips, looked as hot as ever during their intense dance routine. It seems it is no longer necessary for them to show skin in their performances.
Making a comeback with its new mini-album Re-Issue, the Brave Girls showcased its improved choreography, vocals, and stability through the title song Nowadays You. The members showed their steely resolution and proclaimed, “At least this time.”
Brave Girls don’t show any skin. What happened?
“After the showcase, many male fans asked if we were going to continue wearing [something similar]. In fact, it seemed like even our male directors were disappointed in the fact that there were no revealing costumes. Some fans have even commented that it is a crime to cover up the voluptuous body of Yehjin, haha,” Eunyoung said.
“[We are wearing] male suits that hides our body lines. We actually got our suits tailored at a male clothing store. While there were many people who were dismayed [with our suit selection], I hope they weren’t too disappointed. In the future, we would like to show a diverse change with our outfit selection,” Seoa said.
You all looked very pretty even while wearing men’s suits. What was the secret behind the successful transformation?
Hyeran said, “Covering our flaws was our biggest key. My chubby cheeks have always been my biggest complex, but many people have told me that I changed a lot, thanks to my rigorous diet.”
“In the past, I didn’t know what ‘getting a camera massage’ meant, but now I sort of understand [what it means]. When I was new, I was always worrying about looking pretty in front of the camera, but now that I have more experience, I am able to smile and act naturally in front of the camera. I also got better at smiling with my eyes. That’s probably why people are saying that we look prettier,” Seoa added.
Yehjin replied, “Maybe it’s because we saw each other every day, but it’s hard to believe that we got prettier. It’s probably because fans are looking at us more favorably.”
You commented that male idol groups are Brave Girls’ biggest rivals. Is that because of the suits?
“Our suit costumes played a big part," answered Hyeran. "We did, in fact, get men’s suits and didn’t tailor them to fit our curves. Even our choreography was a group dance (which is the predominant format of male idol groups).”
Yehjin added, “We wanted to show a powerful performance like the performances of male idol groups. Therefore, we prepared ourselves by imagining that we were competing with other male idol groups. In fact, if you look at us from behind, we really do look like guys. Maybe that’s the reason why we gained a lot of female fans.”
Even still, there’s no way to avoid the competition with the other girl groups. It seems like a new girl groups appears every day, with no end in sight.
“That feeling always seems to appear during our stressful times," sais Yejin. "We just have to continue doing our thing. While it may be difficult at times, competition will ultimately help us improve our music abilities.”
“Actually, there are some advantages to having many girl groups. The variety [amongst the girl groups] attracts more music fans and will only help in increasing the publicity of each group. Furthermore, it’s nice to see all of them working hard,” Seoa added.
What are your goals for your current promotions?
“All singers dream of being number one [on the music charts]. In 2012, I really want to be number one and see our CEO, Brave Brothers, cry,” Seoa replied.
“It would be nice if Brave Girls was immediately recognized by the public whenever we make an appearance. Fortunately, we are in a good position with many music broadcasting opportunities and have also received a lot of support from our fans,” Eunyoung said.
You mentioned wanting to make Brave Brothers cry. Seeing as how Brave Girls was his first girl group, do you feel any pressure?
“Our album title is called Re-Issue. We want a fresh start [just like our album title]. In the beginning, we received a lot of attention due to our CEO [Brave Brothers]; however, in the future, we would like to be recognized as Brave Girls,” said Eunyoung.
“Not too long ago, we went to Lotte World with our CEO. A lot of students were making a fuss nearby and, at first, we thought it was because they recognized who we were. Then they said ‘Look, it′s Brave Brothers,” showing their awestruck expressions. It was embarrassing, to say the least. If you think about it, we were the actual celebrities.. From now on, we want fans to notice us instead of our CEO,” Yehjin said.
Beyond being first [on the music charts], what are your long-term goals as a singer?
“Although we are an idol group, I would like to become more of an artist," said Seoa. "Fortunately, there are many composers and songwriters in our agency. Through my continued music study, I would like to showcase my improved image to the public. We will continue to work hard and make the public realize that we are the face of Brave Entertainment with good reason. On top of that, it would be nice to be known globally, [since a dream can’t really exist without] greed," added Seoa with a laugh.
Photo credit: Brave Entertainment
Translation credit: Ju Ahn Lee