Sina Entertainment Vol. 26 – Behind “EXO Craze”: Uncover the Story to the 12 Alien Visitors Making History
South Korea’s EXO in 2013 has successfully established themselves in the music industry, with sales breaking the one million record, winning several South Korean major music charts, taking home several awards such as Best Group and Best Song of the Year, and their annual income has been estimated to be nearly two hundred million yuan ($33,056,800 USD)! Good Heavens! In the midst of these great achievements, as a fan how much did you contribute to their fame and success? There surely be a lot of names of warriors (fans) on the list for military awards (support)!
In South Korea, EXO debuted two years ago from being a new group to making a big leap and becoming one of South Korea’s leading boy groups; in China, as an impenetrable force, with an army of millions of fans, instantly capturing the hearts of numerous post-90s, post-95s, causing media to fight for coverage, causing various functions to request for their appearances, and their value in commercial appearances continue to rise. How are they so hot! Could it be because they are practicing the arts of Qi Men Dun Jia?
The story needs to be told from the very beginning, let us take a look at how they overcome obstacles, overcome trials, brilliantly strike their place in the industry, and become famous within a short time. A glamorous “behind the scenes”, anecdotal rumors, with vie for position like that in ‘Zhen Huan Chuan’, and with an unbelievable cruel story, everything was not as beautiful as imagined, but of course it has not been too unbearable… …how much of their fierce fight did you never knew about, how much of their behind the scenes stories have you never heard about… …
In actuality, the effects of EXO should not be called “Became famous overnight” such a boring title, their story is much more complicated than “Analysis of the Cause of XX An Instant Sensation,” and this is not so much an anatomy of EXO, but rather that we are using EXO to dissect our own celebrity-making factory.
Producer, Editor: Chén Yì Yì
Interviewer, Writer, Planner: Zhū Pèi Míng
Planner: Wáng Yù Nián Editor: Fàn Yī
Trans cr: Icingonyou © 2014\
Chapter ①: A Very Long Prelude
Start from a kid, these are called experiments are Idols
In 2008, a boy from Beijing spent his 18th birthday in South Korea. At that time the Beijing Olympics was about four months away, every part of China’s passion and efforts towards public welfare for the most part all went towards the Olympics, and even this boy’s parents who are working and living in Beijing at the very least contributed effort towards this event. Turning 18 during the Olympics, big deal?! But for a boy becoming 18 years old, it is a big deal when “I am finally a grown-up, the world since then will be opening a big new door for me”! The only exception that makes the picture ahead not “quite right”: the first big gift accompanying this boy is not “a high school diploma”, but rather that with an impulsive vigor of an Aries, he went to South Korea alone. However, he who is naive, once he was no longer running on impulse awoke to the truth – besides having a sugar-coated bitter pill called “dreams”, he knew nothing about the beginnings of his future from this country’s perspective.
In 2008, there were two Chinese boys who have been in South Korea for some time already, one a lot earlier, one a lot later, through audition, they both entered into an entertainment company whose a name tells it all – – SM. Within these two one can speak English, is not necessarily someone who has been “ethnic Chinese” for a long time, is very tall; one can speak Changsha dialect, has some background on stage, has always preferred to be civic. The one who is very tall can play basketball very well, but on the very basis has no “artist” related quality, and in his original plan becoming a celebrity has never been part of one of his future career options; one is Hunan’s child stars, as if preparing to go down a route he chose.
In 2008, among a large group of SM trainees, it is very difficult for people to notice several non-Korean homogeneous minorities. After becoming a trainee, these few “squirts” (youngsters) besides regular academics, they have to undergo rigorous training, main training content is in dance and vocals, complemented by performances, etiquette, instruments… …one of them started to learn dancing since the fourth grade, and it was only in 2007 when he entered SM as a trainee, and because of his talent in dancing, among the trainees he became a gifted.
Trans cr: Icingonyou © 2014
EXO-K Makes a Guest Appearance @ Sina Entertainment
In SM, there is a large team of dedicated teachers who are responsible for training these boys. Among them, who are rather famous includes Japanese female choreographer Rino Nakasone (who worked with artists such as Britney Spears, Avirl Lavigne, Janet Jackson), Black Beat member Huáng Shàng Xūn, Chén Zài Yuán, etc. For these young trainees they laid a solid dance foundation. Similarly, the course of vocal classes and dance classes is the same, training is separated by different class levels according to various degrees, creating an atmosphere of survival of the fittest.
All those who being called “trainees” who enter the range of control in these companies, are similar to Frankenstein being placed in transparent containers as a product of science.
Their entire bodies are filled with bizarre tubes, that are endlessly importing various colorful energy sources, and before the glass covers are removed, warning signals of a faint glowing light on the blood vessels all show a consistent label – unfinished. This type of setting has a very high risk factor, and because there is a large number of them, Frankenstein can become the “cream of the crop” according to their needs, and the rest… …, besides becoming something of other uses, it can only be defaulted and abandoned. At the moment if there is a background music, it must be a phrase said by Miyamoto Musashi – -“In battle, if you make your opponent nervous, you have already won…”
Trans cr: Icingonyou © 2014
Date of birth: April 20, 1990
Height: 178 cm Weight: 53 kg
Role in the group: Main vocal, lead dancer, photogenic, appearance
Personality: Lively and cheerful, bright and righteous, kind and thankful, down-to-earth and modest, calm and casual, responsible, sense of obligation
Talents: Singing, dancing, performing, soccer, rubik’s cube, etc.
Being a SM trainee, the amount of things to worry is honestly a lot! Time, money, stress, an unknown future, each one all is more than enough to surpass the amount of life’s burden a minority can bear. One, average age is young – very limited life experiences; living in a different country and surviving on an isolated island is not very different. Two, there are no guarantees in their future – can still be practicing at one moment and at the next moment can be sent away in shame; time is not something you can use as you want, perhaps the most spectacular years of life, youth, is exchanged here, which in the end can be simply all in vain. Three, fierce and cruel competitions – those who are lucky enough to debut as idols, stepped on many heads before climbing to the top, this part of the process has too much untold stories, all of which cannot be imagined… …
But even if this is so, many have chosen to make a gamble, chose this celebrity-making factory which has produced numerous very famous idols. Even if among them, many have not successfully debuted.
This is why if there must be a time as a divide (from pre-debut to post-debut) to open-up this story, it will be 2008. Although we want to take the idea of “there being an invisible red-line that is pulling each other imperceptibly” to render the atmosphere, but this kind of explanation is not suitable for recording down history. In history, 2008 does not have any meaning for EXO, even if for some of the boys they stepped onto their lives’ middle stop in that year, but there is no hint of presentation and foreshadow – four years later, they will become one group.
Trans cr: Icingonyou © 2014