How YG chooses their trainees
Yang Hyun Suk recently sat down with OSEN for an interview detailing what he looks for in a trainee. He first revealed that trainees join YG in two different ways: talented individuals will be approached by the company first, while others are chosen out of the hundreds that apply for the company.
He began, “YG only had a select few trainees, but we’ve been increasing the number since 2011. If you look at it one way, we get outstanding talent for free. Even though people know that it’s extremely hard to get into YG, kids from all over the nation will still come and try out on their own. The reason we’re increasing the number of trainees is because I realized that after 2NE1 debuted, we had no trainees left. We have about 40 now, and most of them were people we contacted first because they were famous for their skills. A few of them will definitely go on to become the nextBig Bang or 2NE1, albeit they’ll be different in music and style.”
And what about Kang SeungYoon, the contestant from ‘Superstar K2‘ who joined YG? Yang Hyun Suk revealed, “Whether it will take two years or three, it’s anyone’s game. It all depends on his skills.”When asked when he would be making his debut, Yang Hyun Suk replied quickly that he was adamant about not allowing trainees to stand on stage unless they were thoroughly prepared as singers. It’s not just Kang Seung Yoon who had to endure such a harsh training regimen — senior artists like Se7en, Big Bang, 2NE1, and Gummy also had to go through it as well.
It’s reality that while some trainees shine like stars, others end up in the dust like a flower that never got the chance to bloom.
“My trainees are all children who have talent not made through effort, but through talent they’re born with. To put it simply, only the kids who have it will survive. There are a lot of kids who let their talent rot and fail. Children with natural-born talents can be usually divided into two different types of people. The first are the types that rise to the position of ‘best’ because they continue to still strive to improve their talents. The second are the trainees who don’t practice because they know that they’re good. Of course, YG doesn’t let lazy prodigies just slide. We either let them die out or try to fix it. This is where the great system we’re known to have comes from,” he explained.
Concluding the interview, he said, “People say that I’m stingy with compliments but I think it’s definite that a YG trainee is talented and good. I have to play the bad guy that criticizes what they lack in the middle. Teens, however, always want to be praised in their hearts, and since I’m always only criticizing them, it hurts their feelings… If I always praise them and compliment them when they’re in their teens, they have a tendency to just settle for where they’re at. In the end, they’re going to be using what they learned during their training period for the rest of their lives as singers because there’s no time to practice once you actually debut. There’s a time and place for practicing.”