The talented American singer-songwriter Conan Gray recently had the full K-Pop experience when he visited Korea in August of this year.
During his time in Korea, he made his K-Pop music show debut on MTV‘s The Show, performing his song “Memories.”
The production team pulled out all the stops for his aesthetically pleasing first stage. With green vines hung in the background, rose petals fell around him as he sang, perched above rolling fog. He was even able to have his own “ending fairy” moment.
He was also a guest on Red Velvet Wendy‘s Youngstreet radio show and held his own fansign event.
–i never thought i'll see pictures of a conan gray korean fansign, he's a painfully wonderful person🍃 pic.twitter.com/cBMCqOcoj8
— bora – i protect the river (@yoo_boraaa) August 7, 2022
A new video released today shows that Conan Gray also made time in his busy schedule to visit the company building of K-Pop powerhouse SM Entertainment. His expert guide was none other than SHINee‘s Key.
To fully immerse Conan Gray in the K-Pop experience, it was only fitting that he receive a behind-the-scenes look at how K-Pop artists train, create music and prepare for promotions. SM Entertainment was founded by Lee Soo Man, who is known for revolutionizing the training system for K-Pop idols, which led his company to create some of the biggest names in K-Pop.
The company’s meteoric success allowed them to move into a gorgeous ₩101 Billion KRW building last year.
Key took Conan through the impressive headquarters, giving him exclusive access to where the K-Pop magic happens.
Conan was provided his own personalized ID badge to gain entry, which Key said would allow him entry whenever he wanted to stop by.
Their first stop on the tour was the “Artist House” on the second floor. Key explained, “[it’s] where we do an Instagram Live or YouTube Live, etc.” He then opened the doors to reveal the “Artist House” that looked like the inside of an expensive home. The room had a grand staircase next to a wall of windows and was even fitted with a kitchen.
Their next stop was a studio where the company holds conferences and photoshoots for the artists. It was a large, open space with Girls’ Generation‘s Forever 1 album cover projected on a white screen.
Key looked proudly around the room, having been with the company since it was in its original company building. He joined SM Entertainment as a trainee in 2006 before debuting with SHINee in 2008.
After the artist studios, they headed to the seventh floor, where there was a large cafe and coffee shop. Key’s music video for his solo song “Bad Love” played on LED screens across the room.
Conan was intrigued by the “SM Coffee” option on the menu as they went to order coffee. Key revealed he had never tried it before, so they both decided to order it. After trying the unique menu item, Conan hilariously turned into an “SM Coffee” CF model.
On the side of the cafe was an SM Entertainment artist’s EPs display with a headset to listen to the music. Next to that was a sticker photo booth, which Key and Conan couldn’t pass up.
Key then guided Conan to “more interesting things,” and the next stop was the dance practice room. The room had an impressive skyline view and replaced the iconic cloud wall practice room for which older SM Entertainment dance practice videos were known.
Next was the 18th floor, where the recording studios reside. Key took Conan to the studio he used to create his second album, Gasoline.
Though the scope of the building and the resources it holds are incredible, Key shared one downside. The bathroom was on the opposite side of the long hallway, away from the recording studios. To solve this problem, Key revealed the artists ride a scooter to get to the restroom quickly.
Conan shared that SM Entertainment’s system was unlike anything he’s experienced and told Key how impressive and special it was.
Check out the rest of the exclusive walkthrough below!