Oh Jong Heon, director of Play M Entertainment, recently interviewed Star News for their “Star Maker” series and talked about the history and future of the agency’s artists.
Oh Jong Heon described his titles as Director of Production 1 Department and Management Director. He explained that the agency is divided into two production departments, with Apink, Huh Gak and VICTON in the first and their new girl group Weeekly and soloist Lim Jimin in the second.
The director said that he joined the agency in October 2017 and has worked with Apink since their album “Five”.
When asked to share his memories of Apink when he first met her, he said, “As soon as I entered the company, I went to their practice room to meet the members. We introduced ourselves and talked about the direction of the group. At the time, I thought that they were purer than I expected. They were already one of the top girl groups at the time, but given their professional years they looked very young, pure and friendly. Perhaps I could say that they were clearly still young. “
Oh Jong Heon also shared his thoughts on the reason for Apink’s longevity. “I think the leader played a big role in this,” he said Park Chorong. “Another factor was that their teamwork is still great. The members also have a lot of affection for their group. At that time we didn’t have many employees in the company. Apink did a good job and took on the role of a founding member of the company. “
Apink went through a concept change two years ago, and Oh Jong Heon talked about this transformation.
“Apink had an” innocent idol “image and they kept releasing tracks that felt like” healing songs “with a hopeful message, but they changed their image with” I’m so sick, “” he said. “We have been thinking a lot about how it was time for them to show maturity as they gained more years of experience. Of course, it is possible that the public wanted Apink, which used to sing healing songs. However, they were obviously able to show different sides of themselves, and they were at a point in their careers when they should do so. So they made a change. Black Eyed Pilseung, who was responsible for the production, thought a lot about it and the members also participated a lot in the production. “
He said that it wasn’t easy to reach an agreement, but in the end, “I’m so sick” gave Apink a chance to make another leap and it became a turning point for them.
Oh Jong Heon said that the agency would like to prepare something for the fans next year with Apink’s 10th anniversary to express their thanks. “As soon as their promotions for” Dumhdurum “were over, we started meetings,” he said. “Of course, the members also prepare many things individually.”
The interview then went on to talk about VICTON, the agency’s boy group. After their debut in November 2016, VICTON applied steadily until their single “Time of Sorrow” in May 2018, after which they took a 1.5-year break. In 2019, members Han Seung Woo and Byungchan went on the survival show “Produce X 101” and received recognition for themselves and the group, after which VICTON could become a breakout success.
The interviewer mentioned to VICTON that Play M must have a great sense of anticipation for VICTON’s promotions.
“I feel sorry for the members and I am grateful to them,” he replied. “I’m excited to see how they grow. I have to make sure that I can do more for them in the future.”
Then he was asked what he thought the group had received from “Produce X 101”.
“I think after the two members started the program, fans recognized and enjoyed sites from VICTON that they hadn’t shown before,” he said. “I [once again] feel grateful to the members. It is true that I thought about it a lot at the time and wanted to give the members opportunities [such as appearing on programs]. Because regardless of the results, it was an opportunity for VICTON to make a new leap. Now I have to support VICTON well so that they can continue to grow and make their dreams come true. “
He added: “VICTON had originally planned an Asian tour in May, but due to the COVID 19 edition this has been delayed for the time being. We continue to prepare for your next steps. “
Oh Jong Heon then described the direction VICTON has to go.
“Although it is a time when the K-pop market is becoming very industrialized, I think they have been given a chance as well,” he said. “I think we should create a direction for them to increase their popularity by making different content available to different fans, including fans in Korea.”
He said that while he believes they have grown significantly in the industry, it is his goal to do so that they can continue to maintain and expand their fandom. “I think now is the most critical time for VICTON,” he said. “Members will also rarely leave. We are open to opportunities for various content such as online communication with fans and will investigate them and do what we can. “
Apink released her hit “Dumhdurum” in April, while VICTON is currently preparing for a comeback in June after releasing “Howling” in March.
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