11 K-Pop Idols Who Started Their Own Record Labels

They took the future of their careers in their hand.

1. Hyorin

Hyorin started off in the popular girl group, SISTAR. She not only impressed everyone with her powerful vocals but also for her amazing stage presence. 

After SISTAR’s disbandment last year, it was only right that Hyorin would go on to create her own one-man agency and continue her path to success.

2. Rain

Rain is both a successful singer and actor. He is also a highly regarded mentor to rookie artists in the field.

In 2015, he opened his individual agency called “Rain Company”, where he is currently the sole artist. His own agency is widely known for having employed the best staff to handle all of his needs as an actor and artist. In the future, Rain Company plans to hire more staff and also sign artists.

3. Kim So Hye

Kim So Hye first entered the spotlight as a group member of the legendary I.O.IAfter officially debuting, she left her agency and started her own individual one where she’s the only artist.

Due to her being a ‘newbie’ in comparison to many others, her choice was widely publicized and questioned at the time. However, her constant dedication and recent success through variety shows and dramas showed the public that her choice was nothing short of wise.

4. Jang Dong Gun

Jang Dong Gun is one of Korea’s top male actors. He boasts award-winning acting skills and his look captivates viewers around the world, not just South Korea.

His last company was at SM Entertainment’s subsidiary label, SM C&C, but he left to pursue his individual company with his long-time manager and friend.

However, it seems that he didn’t part in bad terms as a representative from SM C&C most recently made a statement on January 10 with the following words:

“It is true that Jang Dong Gun has left the agency [SM C&C]. Even though he left for his own individual agency, we will continue to have business partnerships with him the future.”

— SM C&C

5. Jay Park

Jay Park got his start in the K-Pop industry as a member of the popular group 2PM. After spending some time in the industry, Jay Park decided he wanted to forge his own path ahead and founded the independent hip-hop record label AOMG.

6. Epik High’s Tablo

Most people know Tablo as the leader and producer of the K-Hip-Hop group Epik High, but he is also the founder of an independent record label called HIGHGRND. HIGHGRND was actually set up by Tablo and Yang Hyun Suk as an independent sub-label under YG Entertainment.

7. TEDDY and Kush

Like Tablo, TEDDY and Kush got their start in hip-hop groups under YG Entertainment (1TYM and Stony Skunk, respectively) and went on to form an independent sub-label with YG Entertainment as their parent company. The Black Label, as it is called, is home to Zion. T (among others) who was second only to BIGBANG in sales back in 2015.

8. Nam Tae Hyun

Nam Tae Hyun became known as WINNER’s lovable maknae before he eventually split from the group to pursue his own career. After leaving WINNER and YG Entertainment, Nam Tae Hyun founded his own, small record label, South Buyers Club, out of which he produces his own music with his band South Club.

9. Highlight

Highlight, formerly known as BEAST, formed Around Us Entertainment in 2016 after leaving Cube Entertainment. This move necessitated their name change as BEAST was trademarked by their former agency.

10. SHINHWA

One of the longest-running boy bands in K-Pop history, SHINHWA is a name that’s familiar to many. They got their start under S.M. Entertainment in 1998, moved to Good Entertainment when their contracts expired in 2003, and eventually started their own agency in 2011 called Shinhwa Company.

11. Hyun Bin

Top Korean actor and multi-award winner Hyun Bin went through a few agencies before finally setting up his own agency called VAST Entertainment.

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