2015

Three Korean Entertainment Agencies to watch in 2015

2015 has seen some incredible talent debut thus far from some of the biggest agencies in Korea, as well as long-awaited comebacks from top artists. However, there is a trend emerging this year – the rise of some major label contenders that house equally talented, if not more talented acts under their roofs. Today there are three labels I’d like to talk about whose artists are incredibly talented, and the companies themselves are also making waves – Mystic89, Wellmade Yedang and Antenna Music.

1) Mystic89Mystic89

Founded in 2001 by legendary singer and songwriter Yoon Jong Shin, Mystic89 has gone from being a small outfit to one of the most attention-grabbing companies coming up in the last few years. Home to a great many names, both relative newcomers and veterans to the industry, Mystic89 prides itself on the diversity of what it’s capable of as a company. Just to name a few big highlights:

– Currently in a strategic partnership with Dream Factory, which houses acts like Lee Seung Hwan and Salt’n’Paper (MYK)

– Acquired Family Actors (home to Son Eun Seo, Shin So Yul etc.) and APOP Entertainment (home to Ga-in, Cho Hyung Woo and ex-MBLAQ member Thunder) to become a multi-faceted label

– Roster includes Lim Kim, Jo Jung Chi, Hareem, Eddy Kim, Park Ji Yoon, Uhm Jung Hwa, Kim Yeon Woo, Jang Jae In, Puer Kim and Togeworl

– Currently in the process of recruiting trainees for Mystic89’s first ever idol group since fall of 2014

 

2) Wellmade Yedang

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Originally, WY was actually two separate companies – Wellmade StarM (founded in 1976) and Yedang Entertainment (founded in 1992). In 2014, Wellmade StarM proceeded to purchase stocks in various entertainment agencies to not only become more multi-faceted, but to even the playing field with many of the other companies becoming multi-tiered and multi-functioning labels/agencies. Here is what Wellmade Yedang looks like since its inception last year:

– The company is comprised of Wellmade StarM (home to Lee Jong Suk and Ryu Hwayoung), Yedang Entertainment (home to C-Clown, EXID and MC Mong) and DreamT Entertainment (home to Girl’s Day and Jevice)

– Wellmade Yedang also became the major shareholder in two other entertainment companies – Duble Kick Entertainment (founded by hit maker duo Duble Sidekick) and Cashmere Records (founded by producer Shinsadong Tiger)

– Worked with legendary 90s artist Seo Taiji on producing his comeback concerts for his 9th album last year

 

3) Antenna Music

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Founded as Toy Music in 1997 by legendary singer-songwriter and producer Yoo Hee Yeol, Antenna is the smallest of the three labels mentioned. But there is a special reason it has been included in this list – the attention it’s been getting since it took over for SM Entertainment as one of the three labels represented on the hit SBS program ‘Kpop Star’, starting during the third season. While most people know Yoo Hee Yeol from his work as a member of the group Toy, as well as his show ‘Sketchbook’, he is also a very level-headed CEO and talent finder. 2015 is gearing up to be a big year for this label:

– Current roster includes Toy, Lucid Fall, Jung Jae Hyung, Park Saebyul, Peppertones, Sam Kim and Kwon Jin Ah

– The current season of Kpop Star is the second season to feature this label, and many expect some new signees following the end of the season

– Yoo Hee Yeol (Toy) released his long awaited 7th album last year, featuring collaborations with many of the artists featured on Kpop Star in past seasons, as well as artists like Sung Shi Kyung, Crush, Zion.T, Lee Juck and more

 

While much attention is placed on the Big 3 (SM, YG, JYP), more attention will be placed on these three labels for all the incredible talent they house and all the big projects under way for this year. Looking forward to what’s ahead for each company!

3 replies »

  1. This post speaks well with my project, ‘The Attic Playlist’! Many of the musicians I have introduced and will be introducing are part of these labels. Great post! :)

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