Former SONAMOO and UNI.T member Euijin is now promoting as solo artist, Hezz.
Hezz recently sat down with KPOP IDOL OLYMPIC, where she opened up about the harsh reality of her pay as an idol group member and how she spent her first paycheck.
Hezz was in SONAMOO until they disbanded in 2021. After disbanding, she spent her time learning about 3D design and video editing to prepare herself for working in another field. She also worked part-time at a cafe to earn money. While working at the register, she ran into a customer she knew, but they didn’t expect to see her working there, so they didn’t recognize her.
She became an idol because she wanted to make money quickly to help support her family, but that was not the reality.
When she received her first paycheck from her part-time job, she was thrilled she could buy something for her father.
She shared that her paycheck was ₩1.60 million KRW (about $1,170 USD), and she used it to buy her dad a new wallet, as the one he was carrying was falling apart.
She was so excited to receive the paycheck because she shockingly wasn’t paid anything during the roughly four years SONAMOO was actively promoting. Her paycheck from the cafe was the first time she had been paid for her work.
She revealed that even after her contract ended with SONAMOO’s company, TS Entertainment, she could not receive any pay for the years she spent with them.
This story is sadly not uncommon; Ladies’ Code‘s Ashley revealed in 2020 that she never received payment for her seven years in the group.
In Hezz’s interview, she also discussed winning the survival show The Unit and what happened when she returned to SONAMOO. Check out the article below for more on that and her current relationship with her former SONAMOO members.