The Hidden Financial Burden That “Nugu” K-Pop Groups Have To Carry, In The Experience Of “Peak Time” Contestants VANNER

They opened up about the hardships they faced.

VANNER is a formerly unknown (“nugu”) K-Pop group. Prior to participating in JTBC‘s survival show, Peak Time, they only had a small fanbase.

VANNER | Klap Entertainment

In an interview with Korea Herald as well as during their introduction on Peak Time, the members opened up about the financial burden they went through ever since their debut in 2019. They did not have enough money to pay for basic necessities such as food and transportation.

We’ve been working part time jobs as we prepare for Peak Time. Since we still have to make a living, we all get together in the early morning to practice for Peak Time.

— Hyesung

They all have a variety of serving jobs which they juggle with practice.

Ahxian: I work as a delivery man at Lotteria in the Sinjeong intersection.

Gon: I work at [a coffee shop]. Since our fandom is small, no one really recognizes us, to be honest.

Yeongkwang: I work at Konkuk University as a greeter. I’ll make you delicious popcorn if you pass by.

Hyesung: I also work as a tteok-bokki server at a bus terminal with Taehwan hyung.

Like other lesser-known K-Pop idols, they did not sell enough of their albums to earn compensation for the work they put into it.

We had no profit [from our album we released last February]. Because of that, we started our part time jobs. Actually, we don’t want tons of money. We just need basic living expenses: transportation money, money for food…then we can do what we love which is to perform.

— Hyesung

Because they do not have enough money to support themselves, they thought about halting their promotions multiple times to focus on the more usual means to earn a living.

Because we couldn’t afford that small amount for basic means, we thought about quitting being idols many times. The members are working together so we can keep performing so we’re standing our grand as idols while working our part time jobs.

— Hyesung

They even felt that they were “becoming more of a burden” to their loved ones. At the end of the day, however, the members decided to persevere in order to make them proud.

There was a moment when I was close to giving up on my career as an artist. That was when I saw my mom having a hard time financially, helping me out all by herself after my dad passed away. I felt that I was becoming more of a burden to her. But then, I thought I should rather not let go of all the time I’d spent as an artist so as not to disappoint her.

— Taehwan

This meant doing additional work to support their appearance at JTBC’s Peak Time since they had no staff besides the company CEO to help them out.

Before starring in the show, our agency was not financially capable of having staff to help us out, so I had to do some additional business-related tasks. We also had to do makeup and styling by ourselves.

— Taehwan

Fortunately, after winning the program, they now have their own set of stylists and an agency, Klap Entertainment, that is helping them grow.

But after the show, we have now joined a new agency that helps us focus on our job as K-pop artists. We are happy that we get to live together again because it means that we have a lot of work. Everything is much more fun when we are all together. Thanks to our new agency, Klap Entertainment, we live in a good house with a private room for each of us

— Taehwan

Read more about their difficult circumstances below.

A K-Pop Idol Met His Fan While Working Part Time At A Store To Make Ends Meet—Their Reactions Were Admirable

Source: Korea Herald and YouTube
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