For over a decade, vocal trainer Sol Lee has been teaching aspiring stars at companies like YG Entertainment among others. Gina Maeng, meanwhile, trained in the K-Pop industry for 12 years—including at JYP Entertainment. In a new video on Gina’s YouTube channel, Gina Everywhere, the pair revealed how trainees from the two agencies have completely different attitudes.
When Sol Lee brought up that she’d worked with YG Entertainment trainees who used to train under JYP Entertainment, she and Gina Maeng agreed that there’s a stark difference between aspiring stars under these two agencies. Gina explained that the difference has nothing to do with their skills; instead, “They have different attitudes towards music and training.”
From her own experience, Gina says that J.Y. Park, the founder and former CEO of JYP Entertainment, “really likes things ‘standard’.” Sol Lee agreed, noting that JYP Entertainment trainees have a typical “textbook” trainee vibe. Gina went on to explain that J.Y. Park also likes trainees to “put [their] life on the line and give [their] everything.”
[At JYP Entertainment,] you have to be hungry. You have to want it so bad.
— Gina Maeng
On top of this, Gina says that “no one had it as rough as Rain did when he was a trainee.” International hit soloist Rain was recruited to JYP Entertainment back in 2000. Since he had a difficult time training to be a star, Gina confessed that trainees after him were at a disadvantage because they were in no position to complain in comparison.
Gina’s explanation made a lot of sense to Sol Lee, who said she got the same hardworking impression from a former JYP Entertainment trainee she once taught. Even when Sol Lee told the trainee she didn’t have to work so hard, the trainee would cry because what she was doing “wasn’t good enough for her [own standards].”
It’s never enough.
— Gina Maeng
Gina Maeng had a similar memory of her own days at JYP Entertainment, revealing that J.Y. Park once found her crying in the dance practice studio because she was mad at herself for making a mistake. Rather than sharing her upset, Gina says the founder smiled and told her, “You remind me of myself; it’s like you’re my little sister.”
That desperation and passion I carried with me, even after I had left JYP Entertainment, it was always who I was. It was something JYP Entertainment taught me.
— Gina Maeng
While they didn’t elaborate much about YG Entertainment trainees, it seems that they take a far less intense approach to training and aren’t so hard on themselves. As a YG Entertainment vocal trainer herself, Sol Lee explained that she has a less strict approach to teaching. “I know they’re criticized by everyone in the company,” she stated, “so I wanted to be that encouraging person.”
Gina Maeng remembered Sol Lee having the same attitude when she taught her at CJ E&M. Plus, Gina had another vocal trainer who taught at YG Entertainment too. Gina said he took a similar approach with trainees and focused on complimenting them for their effort rather than pushing them to be perfect.
All in all, Gina and Sol Lee agreed that all agencies have their own vibe, especially the “Big 3.” Gina also clarified that this is what makes different agencies fit different stars, with each trainee fitting in best at the company that suits their personal work style.