Finally, we reach the last major record label company in K-pop! We started with the pop filled agency, S.M. Entertainment, and then the badass YG Entertainment. JYP Entertainment is the last of the top 3 titans that have taken the K-pop and entertainment industry by storm.
If I had to describe JYP Entertainment, it would be hipster with a splash of party. JYP knows how to bring the fun and pop music, but also deviates from the usual sound to incporate more rock elements. Let's learn more about JYP Entertainment!
Founded in 1997 by Park Jin-Young, JYP Entertainment didn’t become an active record label until 2002 when it signed and debuted Rain, one of the most successful male soloists in K-pop. Rain brought the strong sexual appeal and R&B hits during a relatively conservative time in the Korean music industry. Over the course of five years, Rain became highly successful, which is no surprise with his uniquely masculine, husky voice that instantly swept the hearts of all female listeners. I mean, the screams were intense ever since his debut in 2002 with the song ‘Bad Guy.’
Rain left JYP Entertainment in 2007, but left behind him a large profit that helped climbed JYP Entertainment to the list of top entertainment companies. In 2007, JYP Entertainment continued to climb to the top of the charts with the debut of their hit girl group, Wonder Girls. The five-member girl group rivaled with Girl’s Generation for many years, and rightfully so with one of the greatest K-pop hits of all time, ‘Nobody.’ The song broke barriers (the group even performed the English version of the song when they opened for The Jonas Brothers in the USA) and many considered it the song that started the K-pop craze. One of their live performances, in 2008, has 67+ million views alone, now that is impressive!
Sadly, in 2017 the Wonder Girls disbanded, but not before releasing one of the best singles of 2016, ‘Why So Lonely.’ The song has strong reggae vibes and old school cinematography that made it also one of the most unique singles of 2016. For other great songs with epic concepts, try the 80’s influenced song, ‘I Feel You.’
Around 2007, JYP Entertainment also debuted two boy subgroups, 2AM and 2PM. But, in my personal opinion, 2PM ran supreme because with a name inspired by ‘the hottest time of the day’ you know it’s going to be hot. And hot 2PM were and still are! The group is considered one of the ‘manliest’ groups in K-pop, bringing endless sexy, party filled hits, like ‘Hands Up,’ (see below) and ‘Go Crazy.' The group was originally led by Jay Park, but after some controversial comments he made in the past about South Korea on his Myspace, he was asked to leave the group.
Over time, the group developed their music into more mature R&B inspired hits that can be seen in their latest album, ‘The Gentleman’s Game’ released in 2016 (and still one of my favorite K-pop albums). No other song shows off their maturity than ‘Promise, I’ll Be.’ The group was heavily applauded for their suave moves and their manliness in a usually cutesy obsessed music genre. I think that’s why I can confidently say that 2PM is in my list of top 5 favorite K-pop artists.
JYP Entertainment continued bringing on the boy groups by debuting Got7 in 2014. The group was, obviously, influenced by 2PM’s music during this time, with their debut song having the same party style, but this time with a highschool element as seen in ‘Girls, Girls, Girls.’ However, many of Got7’s songs discuss important social issues, including the importance of self-esteem and confidence, like in the fun, cute song ‘Just Right.’
Got7 is an underrated group in Korea, but are famous internationally, with multiple tours and fanmeets across the world and even winning the 2016 Mnet Asian Music Award for Worldwide Favorite Artist! Since their debut, the group has matured and introduced multiple electronic elements to their music, and even recently finished their album trilogy ‘FLIGHT LOG’ with their album, ‘FLIGHT LOG: ARRIVAL.’ The main rapper of the group, Jackson, has helped the group rise in popularity by starring in multiple variety shows, interviews, and Instagram pictures with popular K-pop idols. Overall, Got7 is one of those groups you just can’t help but root for! If I had to pick my favorite Got7 song, it would definitely be 'If You Do.'
But, like how EXO is S.M. Entertainment’s current top group and BLACKPINK are Y.G. Entertainment’s, JYP Entertainment’s biggest group right now is definitely TWICE! One word describes TWICE’s immense success since they debuted in 2015: EPIC! The girl group consists of nine members and all of them are full of ‘aegyo’ and absolutely addicting hits! Even if you’re not a fan of pop music, no one can stop themselves from screaming ‘TT’ when this song comes on!
Twice is a group that is heavily criticized for not being the most talented group, having superficial lyrics, and easy choreography, but no one can deny that TWICE is currently dominating the K-pop scene! From breaking their own records for YouTube views to setting unheard of record sale numbers, TWICE never fails to disappoint their fans or JYP Entertainment. Their latest song, ‘SIGNAL’ was considered their weakest song, but STILL, the girl group trended across the world on social media and on iTunes!
JYP Entertainment is not only known for creating addicting hits from diverse K-pop groups, but also for having one of the most popular bands! Day6 debuted only two years ago and have rapidly become one of the must watch groups this year thanks to their unique marketing techniques! Day6 is a five-member band that didn’t start performing on music shows until 2016 with their song, ‘Letting Go’ from their second mini-album, Daydream.
Relatively unknown, but with a tight group of loyal fans, Day6 continued writing, producing, and composing all of their own music and focusing on creating good music for listeners, instead of album sales and music video views. At the end of 2016, the group announced the ‘Every Day6’ project, where on the sixth day of each month the group would release an EP with two songs and a music video for the title song. Yes, each month…every month. It was an incredible promise and Day6 has absolutely delivered! Each month, new fans grow in numbers waiting excitedly for the next release. It was a smart marketing move that helped Day6 rise exponentially in popularity. The member’s hard work paid off and the release of their first full album, Sunrise, was received with high praise and large record sales. The title song from the album Sunrise, ‘I Smile,’ shows the strong vocals, instrumentals abilities, and harmonization techniques of Day6's members. Fans are hoping for a second full album in December once the group finishes releasing their montly EPs.
So, yeah, I would describe JYP Entertainment as that one jokester party obsessed kid you remembered in high school that over time became the sophisticated, sexy man or woman you meet again at a high school reunion. JYP Entertainment has formed its own music style that can simply be described as GOOD music from passionate artists, producers, and workers!
What do you think of JYP Entertainment’s music? Let me know in the comments below!
Stay Kurrent. Stay K-pop.
Note: No images or media are owned by me. Cover page photo is courtsey of JYP Entertainment