Sunday, May 13, 2007

What if Rain Parts Ways With JYP

Perhaps Korea’s most internationally recognized entertainer, the singer and actor Rain came to the end of his exclusive contract with management firm JYP on Thursday. Rain will decide where to go after his world tour ends in June. There are rumors he will move to another firm or set up an independent company, but it cannot be ruled out that he will stay with JYP. "Nothing has been confirmed. No matter what decision Rain makes, Rain and JYP chief Park Jin-young will remain close friends,” an insider with the agency said.

Park Jin-young's strategy has played a critical role in making Rain a global star since his debut in April 2002. The ChosunIlbo asked experts what the gains and losses will be if Rain leaves JYP.

◆ Gains

Rain stands to make a lot more money if he says goodbye to JYP. The listed management firms that are jostling to attract Rain have more capital power than JYP. Ahn Suk-jun, a vice president with Warner Music Korea, said, "Except listed enterprises which can invest large amounts, other management firm won’t be able to break even given the big money it would take to lure Rain." If he leaves JYP, Rain will have decisive power in business and music, and he would emerge fully from under Park's wing.

Pop music critic Kim Jak-ga said, "Rain hasn’t had many big hits domestically, compared with his success overseas.” Leaving NYP, he could “team up with different songwriters and make more popular songs." Woo Hyun-jung, a representative director of MusicWell, said leaving would be “a bid for musical independence. Regardless of success, that attempt is worth making."

◆ Losses

One source in the music industry said Rain still has ambitions to be a world star. “Without Park's JYP, there is no company that could meet Rain's desire to be a worldwide star. If Rain quits working with JYP, he might lose all the contacts and know-how in the U.S. music and movie industry that Park has developed."

Some say Rain can make up for that if he picks a major Japanese management firm with close ties with the U.S. entertainment industry. Kim Jak-ga said, "There is a high chance that Rain will see success as an actor in the U.S. It will help if he works with a Japanese firm that has strong bonds with Hollywood." Rain has been offered a part in the new movie by the Wachowski bothers of “Matrix” fame.

Music critic Lim Jin-mo said if he changers his management agency, Rain faces some confusion. “But in any case, I hope he’ll do his best to keep the Korean Wave alive," he added.

Source : Chosunilbo

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