Former 2nd Gen Idol Is “Happier” After Leaving The K-Pop Industry, Despite Making “Far Less” Money

“I make far less money now, but I’m much happier.”

In the shimmering world of K-Pop, the stage lights,  flashy outfits, and rabid fandoms often outshine the personal struggles idols undergo behind the curtains. Former TEEN TOP leader C.A.P recently took fans on a heart-revealing journey, offering an eye-opening perspective on the idol life and the path he’s chosen since his departure.

| @bangminsu1992/Instagram

In a recent candid interview on YouTube, C.A.P. talked about his life post-TEEN TOP and how it contrasts with his idol days. While many might assume the life of a K-Pop star is paved with riches and endless joy, the former idol’s testimony provided a more nuanced perspective.

I make far less money now, but I’m much happier.


| 기웃기웃/YouTube

C.A.P’s raw confession even included a comparison between his financial gains when he was an idol and now.

Back when I was an idol, I may have earned thousands of dollars for ten minutes of performing. Now, I make ₩300,000 KRW (about $227 USD) for two to three hours of landscaping.


TEEN TOP during thier debut days. | TOP Media

A telling shift in perspective, C.A.P elaborated on how he struggled with the grueling demands and challenges of the idol lifestyle. Such pressures led to a life he might not have left if circumstances had been different.

I’ve come to find that work more worthwhile. That’s how much I struggled with the idol lifestyle.


TEEN TOP’s latest comeback, without C.A.P. 

Yet, amidst the shadows of his idol past, C.A.P. found a silver lining and a liberating new world.

I’m happy because I can do whatever I want now.


| @bangminsu1992/Instagram

The former leader emphasized the sheer sense of freedom he’s found post-idoldom. The 14 years he spent as an idol were a lesson, leading him to understand the genuine essence of happiness. He’s since been focusing on “happiness in the present moment, rather than dwelling on the unfortunate past.

C.A.P for TEEN TOP. | TOP Media

Now, leaving behind the cacophony of fandom screams and rigorous practice sessions, C.A.P. is serenading a canvas with paint for a living. The passion for art, which began in his fifth-grade year, is now a guiding star.

Even during his days as an idol, he held on to this passion, holding his first exhibition in 2019. Not only does he paint to express, but he has also channeled it into a professional endeavor, selling his masterpieces through personal social media accounts. It’s a testament to how one can marry passion and profession in unexpected ways.

Balancing his life as an artist, C.A.P. also delves into manual labor part-time. Earning around ₩1.00 million KRW (about $758 USD) a month, it might seem like a stark contrast to his idol days. But it’s evident in his words and choices that monetary figures no longer dictate his happiness. The tangible connection to work, be it landscaping or painting, has provided him with a grounded sense of purpose and satisfaction.

C.A.P.’s transformative journey is an eye-opener for both fans and fellow idols. While the glitz and glamor of the K-Pop world are undeniably enticing, it’s crucial to recognize and prioritize personal well-being and genuine happiness.

Source: Doonga

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