K-pop is a soft power of South Korea that has helped attract attention to the country. which witnessed widespread interest and gained a wide global audience.
It has become one of the hottest and most popular types of music and a truly global phenomenon.
K-pop groups became well known internationally, breaking records, winning international awards, and ranked no 1 on the world music charts, such as the world’s biggest boy group “BTS” that made history several times with its achievements.
The K-pop industry is now worth billions of dollars and new groups debut all the time thanks to Korean entertainment companies.
This overwhelming success attracted some foreign investors to establish entertainment companies in South Korea.
So today I will introduce to you a special interview with “Thomas Sommer” Co-Founder and CFO of SG Entertainment, the first Korean entertainment company founded by two french entrepreneurs.
Here is The Dialogue:-
Aya : Q – At first, can you tell us more about your entertainment company and when was established?
Thomas : SG Entertainment was founded and established in Seoul in 2018 by Joon-Hae Spielmann, CEO, and myself. We moved from France to South Korea to build an entertainment company focused on building a new and original vision for K-pop.
Aya : Q – What motivated and inspired you to choose to invest in K-pop rather than music in general?
Thomas : K-pop has been gaining tremendous popularity in Western countries over the past years, especially with the incredible rise of BTS since 2016. We believe that K-pop has more to offer for the young generations than other current music genres in the West. In particular, the bright visuals and enticing synchronized choreographies that give fans a sense of being active and happy together, a positive and exciting feeling of belonging to a group, to a family.
Aya : Q – What is the vision of SG Entertainment?
Thomas : In this current global context of uncertainty and doubt, we want to create appealing entertainment content to inspire the younger generation to develop a positive and proactive attitude towards the future and take their lives into their own hands. Our message is that, even if things around us may look bad, everyone has the potential to do their part and contribute to a better tomorrow for the benefit of all. This is the mindset we want to encourage through our artists and role models.
Aya : Q – What are the challenges and difficulties you faced in this field? How did you overcome it?
Thomas : The main challenges, working here, come from the huge cultural differences between the West and South Korea. These differences can be felt at all levels, and in particular when dealing with employees and business partners. France and Korea have diametrically opposed philosophies, and understanding the other and building a bridge between the two systems are not easy. However, this is also our goal as a company and our success in overcoming these differences makes the success of our vision as a whole.
Aya : Q – How did you deal with the language barrier?
Thomas : Not speaking Korean can be challenging at times. However, it is also an advantage as it enables us to keep some distance to develop the bridge between cultures. For the rest, we have amazing employees who do a great job at interpreting for us.
Aya : Q – What is your company’s system and What distinguishes SG Entertainment from other entertainment companies?
Thomas : Our training system incorporates and merges elements from both the Korean and Western entertainment systems. Similar to the typical K-pop process, we incubate trainees into our company, where they undergo rigorous and intensive training in singing, dancing, and acting. However, we also integrate them into our creative process and let them contribute to the music with their own personality and personal stories. This way, they are able to develop as artists who can connect with fans on a deeper emotional level. Our idols can then also evolve with the needs of their fans, as artists typically do in Western countries.
Aya : Q – What are the projects you are working on now?
Thomas : I can’t say too much at the moment, but we are working on a very exciting project with television. Otherwise, the debut of our girl group Alpha Ray is planned for 2022.
Aya : Q – Why did your company revealed its trainees before their debut because this does not usually happen in K-pop companies, they do not reveal the identity of the trainees?
Thomas : Typically, K-pop companies only reveal their groups and trainees when they fully trained and close to debut. We chose to do it differently as we want to show fans how our trainees progress over time up until their debut. Kpop idols are human just like the rest of us, and they are not perfect. They can make mistakes, but what matters is how they grow as individuals, manage to soar past their limits, and get better and better over time.
Aya : Q – What do you think about the growth of K-pop around the world, especially in France?
Thomas : I think it’s amazing that music coming from a small country like Korea managed to gain so much popularity so quickly in so many countries. But K-pop has something to offer to everyone around the world: positivity, enthusiasm, and the sense that we can succeed together if we get to work as a group and put our individual differences aside.
In France, we are very sensitive to explicit moral values as ways to build our identity. BTS in particular has done a great job in creating content that resonates with our search of self.
Aya : Q – What are your goals and dreams for the future?
Thomas : Our dream is to make a big impact in creating the world of tomorrow by showing the younger generations that they have what it takes to build a bright future for themselves.
Aya – Thank you for your time, we look forward to seeing the debut of your first group in the future. Good luck.
– You can read this interview in French 👇