Korea Now frequently offers fans a behind-the-scenes look at the K-Pop industry by interviewing industry insiders. Most recently, Korea Now‘s Son Ilyoung spoke with Kim Sung Eun, a famous vocal coach and CEO of an idol production company, who has worked with top global K-Pop artists such as TWICE, I.O.I, members of BTS, ENHYPEN, and more.
The vocal coach shared her perspective on the industry and some of her experiences working with K-Pop’s top stars.
Before becoming a vocal coach, Kim Sung Eun hoped to be a singer herself, but for “various reasons,” she pursued vocal training instead.
Fans may recognize Kim Sung Eun from her time on Produce 101, during which she developed a reputation as a “strict vocal trainer.”
Having worked with many K-Pop trainees and idols, and with her experience pursuing a singing career herself, Kim Sung Eun is familiar with the highs and lows that come with being a K-Pop idol hopeful.
The vocal trainer was asked how much artists practice, and she said it was enough for her to believe they are “[giving] up their human rights for the moment” due to unhealthy restrictive diets, inadequate sleep, and long practice hours.
Whether it’s just exercising, controlling [their] diet, practicing singing, or dancing, I feel like they’ve given up their human rights for the moment.
— Kim Sung Eun
The vocal trainer added that she wondered if even she could keep up with their practice schedules if she were younger.
They don’t sleep, they just eat to the point where they don’t die. [They just] practice, practice, practice.
— Kim Sung Eun
As for the advice she would give K-Pop idol hopefuls or current artists, knowing the difficult journey many go through to debut, Kim Sung Eun suggests that they remain realistic about achieving success or “normalcy” at a young age, acknowledging that it’s often difficult. She encourages them to keep working hard and continue their journey only if they’re happy.
Check out more of her experience as a K-Pop vocal coach in the interview below!