(This interview dated back to June 28, 2012)
Cube Entertainment Representative Hong Seung Song.
Starting with the LP era, passing through CDs and now with digital releases, (he) worked his way up as a manager for musicians. He was with 공일오비, Kim DongRyul, Park JinYoung, Rain and 2PM and today, he established Cube Entertainment that houses BEAST, Hyuna, G.NA and more.
Q: If we were to compare with the past, how would management companies differ?
A: Business scope has grown with more variety as family members grew too. In the past, if selling 1 million or 2 million albums was their goal, then today, they should continuously re-model a new business scope. And since overseas operations are getting more active, there’s a need for human talents to oversee the marketing abroad.
Q: From the interview, what will be your main focus?
A: Whatever it is, the most (important thing) is passion. Entertainment agencies are never perfect to work with. Since companies are now climbing on steps, salary or benefits are lesser than normal corporations, that’s a fact. Yet, there are still many willing to work for entertainment agencies simply because of passion. Qualifications is only the next important aspect. You can study even when you’ve entered the company. But a person without passion would stop even within a day. There are two cases, one that would leave the company immediately on the second day, and the other, staying till the end.
Q: How would you prove that a person is passionate about music?
A: If you asked them questions about music, they would know about it immediately. A person with passion would naturally know a lot about musicians and music. Since we’re expanding with a global aspect, we would ask questions revolving (musicians and music). For example, ‘Our domestic market is small, how would you expand it?’ or, ‘How would you enter the overseas market with K-POP?’.
Q: Do you feel that there’s a future for Korean entertainment agencies?
A: K-POP is gradually dominating the Asia market. Asia population consists of more than 60% of the global population, so it’s possible that Asia stars can be global stars. Korea’s idol groups can put on performances like Lady Gaga. America’s composers have been working for Korean musicians seamlessly, and that has indicated that Korea idols have their capabilities.
After being employed, diligence is important as well. I go to club even now too. Trend changes breathlessly. If you were to neglect it for a moment, you won’t be able to grasp minds of the young people. In order not to lose that grasp, I often go to clubs to see how they play, what music they listen to, and what are they fascinated with.
Q: What’s the good points of working with an entertainment agency?
A: The creation of something is a very fun thing. Being able to create a new sensation with creativity, is really interesting. It’s not about producing stuffs, but rather reflecting own thoughts onto it that’s fun. If there’s no passion for music, that won’t be achievable.
Ahn HyoJin (Cube Entertainment Marketing Team)
Q: Please explain the marketing team of a management agency.
A: We market company’s musicians or other promotions. Recently, there are many overseas activities, not only for the domestic market, but we have to cater for overseas fans in all. That is, of course, breathlessly busy. Sometimes we work in Korea, sometimes we work on weekends together with the artists overseas. In fact, marketing is an all-weather job. It’s not just about introducing albums, but other activities such as coordinating magazine interviews, promotion marketing and more are our responsibilities.
Q: When you choose marketing employees, what will be your main focus?
A: Recently, there are many who come prepared with their portfolios. We prepared fictional characters and see how he plans to market them. Through this, those who are diligent and passionate about their job will be given a high score.
Q: What would you wish to say to applicants?
A: Working days for a management agency are not fixed and the amount of work is quite high. That said, your salary may not be as much as large corporations, and in many ways, it is a physically challenging task. However, if you’re always a person who loves music and wants to work in that field, then it will be an attractive job. Sharing musicians’ frustrations, growing together with them, there will be no prouder moment than when a musician goes well.—