Boy band Monsta X’s twelfth EP “Cause” dropped on Jan. 9 and is shortly seeing success — reaching No. 1 the next day on the iTunes Prime Albums charts in 15 nations together with the USA, the iTunes Prime Songs charts in 10 areas and the YouTube Music Movies Trending Worldwide Chart.
The lead monitor “Stunning Liar” peaked at No. 27 on Korea’s Melon Chart; a big achievement contemplating that male Okay-pop teams have currently been onerous to identify on home streaming charts.
However to Monsta X’s followers dubbed Monbebe, the album means extra than simply one other hit. What makes the brand new launch most particular is the truth that it is Monsta X’s first comeback since member IM moved to a distinct company from the opposite members.
In August 2022, Monsta X’s company Starship Leisure introduced that 5 of the six members — Shownu, Minhyuk, Kihyun, Hyungwon and Joohoney — renewed their contracts with the company, however IM determined to not and signed with Sony Music Leisure later that December.
From the start of 2022, followers had been nervous about how the contract renewal would end up. Monsta X debuted in 2015, and a star and company’s unique contract can solely final seven years most at a time—making 2022 that fateful yr for Monsta X members’ contract renewals.
This seven-year restrict was established by the Korea Truthful Commerce Fee with a view to forestall excessively lengthy contracts that would doubtlessly hinder an artist’s freedom. That very same piece of laws, nonetheless, additionally gave beginning to the Okay-pop phenomenon referred to as the “seven-year curse,” which sees many Okay-pop teams lose members or disband altogether round their seven-year mark.
The curse could have been made to sound superstitious, however it’s a pure results of some members selecting to not renew their contracts with the identical company after the seven years ran its course. That is additionally why Okay-pop followers start to worry when their favourite teams strategy their seventh anniversary, worrying about whether or not their favourite member will signal to remain on the company.
As a rule, members leaving the company might be logistically unable to proceed collaborating within the group’s schedules. So the company both declares their departure or they continue to be within the group solely in identify. If a big portion of the members select to not re-sign, it typically leads the group to disband altogether.
Another excuse as to why failed contract renewals make Okay-pop idols susceptible to breaking apart is how these acts are fashioned within the first place. Okay-pop idol teams aren’t fashioned by highschool buddies who begin a band in their very own storage, as generally seen within the West. The company that introduced the members collectively is commonly the one linchpin protecting them collectively and energetic as a workforce.
So if a gaggle plans on working collectively even after some members transfer to a distinct company, administration capacity and collaboration between the companies are key. The members’ willingness to proceed as an energetic a part of the group, adjusting his or her solo schedules accordingly, can also be essential.
Luckily for Monbebe, each Starship and IM emphasised of their statements that Monsta X will stay a gaggle of six and can proceed to be energetic. “As all six members share the identical ideas and affection in direction of the group and Monbebe, IM has agreed to proceed and take part within the group’s future plans,” Starship mentioned on the time.
5 months later, the company and 6 members have certainly saved their phrase by coming again to the Okay-pop scene with “Cause.” IM is at present underneath Sony Music Leisure, however his actions as Monsta X are managed by Starship Leisure.
Circumstances like Monsta X add to the constructive precedents of long-lasting Okay-pop teams who work out a method to stay a workforce even underneath completely different managements. One other current instance of teams going “separate however collectively” is GOT7, a boy band that debuted underneath JYP Leisure in 2014.
All seven members of GOT7 determined in opposition to renewing their contracts with JYP and signed with six completely different companies in early 2021. However resulting from every member’s willingness to regulate and the cooperation amongst their companies, the boy band got here again in Might 2022 with its twelfth EP “ GOT7.”
Warner Music Korea, a separate company, was chosen to handle GOT7’s actions for that particular EP. The seven members additionally labored out their schedules to host a fan live performance that month. Not solely did their followers respect the members’ sturdy willingness to stay a workforce, however in addition they praised the spectacular collaboration between the seven completely different companies that made it doable. “GOT7” topped the iTunes Prime Albums charts in 95 areas.
Lady group Ladies’ Era additionally debuted underneath SM Leisure in 2007 and now, three out of its eight present members are underneath completely different companies. They had been capable of come collectively in August 2022 to launch their seventh full-length album “Ceaselessly 1,” which noticed nice recognition among the many basic public.
If not finished proper, nonetheless, the “separate however collectively” concept can backfire. Son Na-eun of Apink moved from IST Leisure to YG Leisure in 2021 however remained a member of the lady group. They’re deliberate to be a part of Apink’s tenth anniversary comeback in early 2022, however she was unable to take part in any promotional actions resulting from conflicting schedules. Followers expressed their disappointment over the damaged guarantees, and the friction between the 2 companies was seen as they gave differing explanations as to why Son couldn’t make it.
Nonetheless, as extra healthful precedents accumulate, Okay-pop teams could have a wider array of choices of their future as a substitute of merely selecting between contract renewals and disbandment after seven years collectively.
“They are saying idol teams face a disaster round their seventh or eighth yr,” Monsta X wrote in a written assertion launched with its newest EP. “We’re joyful that we overcome that essential level united as one, and had been capable of come again to you guys as Monsta X once more. That is what makes this EP so treasured.”
BY HALEY YANG [email@example.com]