Kpop Audition 2021
- With the rise of K-pop globally, more and more people are looking for tips on how to be a Kpop star. Korean entertainment companies do a great job of recruiting all around the world to find the next top talent. However, due to COVID-19, many are holding their auditions online. Many of these auditions are open to all nationalities as K-pop entertainment companies know it is smart to have at least one member in the group be a non-Korean which will help them expand into that particular market.
- Many have seen the huge success of BLACKPINK and especially Lisa who has a huge fan base in not only Thailand but all across Southeast Asia. Lisa is one of the most popular K-pop stars at the moment. For most Kpop groups that are coming out, you will find at least one non-Korean member. This is a trend that is not going away anytime soon as the global market continues to embrace Kpop. Therefore expect Kpop entertainment companies to continue to look outside of South Korea to find new talent in countries such as the Philippines, Indonesia, and India in the future.
- However, before one can become a K-pop Star, one must go through the tough training process that can last 3-5 years. Jo Kwon from 2 AM had to train for 8 years before his debut! This shows just how hard it is to become a Kpop idol. However, with a lot of hard work along with natural talent, it is possible to join as a trainee for one of the many Kpop entertainment companies.
- The life of a trainee is hard as they live, train, and perform with other trainees at a very young age. For those looking to become the next K-pop idol, we at SEOULSPACE talked to many experts in the K-pop industry from producers, past idols, and staffers to come up with 10 tips on how to be a K-pop star. This will be the most in-depth breakdown of how to become a Kpop star on the internet. Remember to become a K-pop star you need to have 2 out of 3 factors. Be a good singer or rapper, be a good dancer, and be attractive. It is a must to at least have 2 out of the 3.
Start voice and dance training at an early age
You can audition as early as 12 years old at many Kpop auditions. Therefore it is recommended to get a full two years of experience in dancing and voice training before auditioning. That means at the earliest you should be training at age 10. If you are under 14, a legal guardian will need to accompany you for your auditions. The average age of those that audition is 18 years old (ranges from 12-25 years old). Still, this means you should start training at age 16 at the latest.
Voice training has a lot to do with knowing how to breathe and finding your range. There are 7 main ranges:
If you are male and can hit Alto or even Soprano, that is going to be a huge plus when auditioning for K-pop entertainment companies. The higher ranges you can hit the better. Your voice is a muscle that you need to work out to develop your voice. For example, Jin from BTS was not a great singer and in fact, wanted to be an actor instead. However, he trained very hard to get his voice to where it is today. So remember, singing ability CAN be improved with hard work. Therefore, if you are a smoker, you will need to quit. Not only does smoking hurt your voice but it will be banned for most trainees.
Dancing is more important than Singing
- We recommend focusing on dancing as most interested in entering K-pop can sing or rap. Your focus should be on hip hop, contemporary, and urban dancing. For those that do not have the funds to take Kpop dancing lessons, there are hundreds of dance tutorials online that can help you. Commit to at least 30 hrs a week on becoming a more versatile dancer. One producer said that they would take a great dancer over a great singer any day. In Kpop, performance on stage is very important. It is very common for the songs to be pre-recorded so the group can solely focus on the choreography of their live performance. This is why so much emphasis is put on one’s dancing ability.
- While singing can be faked with autotune, dancing can’t. These performances are visually stimulating in ways that singing just can’t deliver. In addition, if you are a good dancer, you will be featured more in the teaser videos. An example of this is with EXO/Kai and SHINee/Taemin. Another example is Jisoo of BLACKPINK who isn’t featured as the others because she is the weakest dancer in the group.
- Therefore, it is possible to become a K-pop star even if you can’t sing. There are many rappers, dancers, and visuals that have found great success as a K-pop star without having a great voice. For example, Nancy from Momoland and Yoona from SNSD do not have great voices but are pretty much the face of their group because they bring other talents to the table.
Don’t forget to work on your personality
- K-pop entertainment companies realize that personality goes a long way in building a group’s fanbase. All will have to go on Korean variety shows and this is where personality goes a long way. A great way to work on your personality is to watch K-pop idol interviews and prepare yourself with the typical questions that might come your way. Another way is to have a few prepared funny/interesting stories ready. Think of it as storytelling and the more you tell it, the more feedback you will get to try and improve it.
- Remember the life of a K-pop star is very short so it is important you can transition into other areas such as announcing or acting. Therefore as mentioned at #2 on this list, if you are a foreigner, learning the Korean language will give you more exposure to these Korean TV programs. Koreans like hearing foreigners speak broken Korean, they consider it cute. In addition, Kpop stars will be pushed to sell Kpop merchandise and if you have a fun personality, it can bring a lot of value to the entertainment company, ultimately giving you more advertisement exposure.
What to expect at K-pop auditions?
- There used to be the top 3 but now it is the top 4. Big Hit Entertainment (HYBE), JYP Entertainment, SM Entertainment, and YG Entertainment. Competition to be a trainee at these K-pop entertainment companies will be intense. Thousands apply and only 1-2 will get selected to be a trainee. HYBE focuses primarily on boy groups and is the toughest company to enter. They give a lot of attention to one group and promote that one group. As with the case of BTS.
- For all auditions, you will need to fill out an audition application (kind of like a resume) form a few days before the actual audition. On the day of the audition, you will be with a large group of people in a practice room. Then they will bring out a list of names to let you know when you will enter another room to audition. The audition itself is different for every company but usually will require you to introduce yourself, perform 1-2 songs, and 1 dance choreography. Judges will not give feedback for this audition, so if they like you will get a call back for a second-round audition or get a call back telling you what to improve on. Round 2 consists of around 15-20 people and each will be required to sing inside a recording studio to perform one song.
- Some K-Pop entertainment companies prefer group auditions. This means around a group of 10 people enter the audition room and from there they each choose to sing, rap, or dance. Based on this they will call back to request a second audition.
Every country has its annual k-pop competition held by the major fan clubs in association with the S Korean culture center in the country. For a non-Korean to get an audition the best way is to win the contest in your own country and get called to Korea for a contest. This can get you an offer from one of the talent scouts from major k-pop producers and secure an audition/album with them.
Questions and Answers
How does a K-pop audition work?
- K-pop auditions usually all have the same 3 rounds. This goes for any kind of audition (live, global, or online)
- The first round is about letting the judges see your talent. You fill out a form giving them the basics about yourself such as age, height, weight, date of birth, etc. You perform to the best of your abilities and hopefully be what the judges are looking for.
- The second round is a camera audition. This is seeing how you appear on camera. They ask you to introduce yourself in every language you can speak fluently. They then try to see your different face angles. If they are interested, they will make you sing and dance again.
- The third round is the final audition in which they call you back and give you the contract. They make sure they want you by making you sing and dance again. They then give you the contract and read it with you.
How do you know if you're good enough to audition for a K-pop group?
- VISUALS. Ok everyone knows that there are ‘ugly’ idols and ‘gorgeous’ idols. But at the end of the day, the ‘ugly’ ones are still really, really good-looking. Yeah so make sure that you’re more or less visually appealing and you’re 10% safe.
- ASIAN BLOOD. Yes. I mean it. If you’re full white/black/Hispanic/European (no racism pls don't attack) then I think the idol life isn’t cut out for you. There have been 3 (known) non-Asian idols and they didn't make it that far into their career. One of the 3 (a male idol) didn’t even get to debut. Another one was only put in the group because the company wanted to show their racial diversity, and she barely got center choreography (or lines), and not to mention she wasn’t treated very pleasantly either. The group was (more or less) a flop. If you wish to know the group, it’s RANIA (previously BP RANIA, but they were renamed after the non-Asian girl left). So if you’re non-Asian and wish to be a k-idol, do be prepared to face racism and discrimination in DPRK S.
- TALENT. This too. But of course, the musical aspect is pretty vague as anyone can speak a little quickly in a ‘nice’ accent, get their company to autotune it, and their fans will call it ‘fire’. That ^ is for rapping only. For singing, well it would be awesome if you're not tone deaf, or just really off tune 24/7. You just need to be able to sing a song decently enough. Then again it’s also very generic as both vocals depend on what company you want to join and what they focus on (talent, visuals, etc.).
How can I audition for KPOP online?
- Wear something normal and casual. *DO NOT WEAR SOMETHING ABOUT YOUR IDOL. THIS WILL GIVE JUDGES A BAD IMPRESSION*
- Sing with emotion and have an acceptable voice *you don’t have to be great. They will train you during the trainee days so do not worry*
- Your hair must be neat
- Don’t wear “too much”.
- Less makeup(put only a little Foundation that’s it). Judges want to see your natural beauty.
- Look at the judges while singing or camera(if there is a camera)
- Smile a little bit while singing (try to. If you can’t, it’s fine)
- Eat before the audition. This way can reduce your nervousness.
- Practice 2 English songs and 1 Korean Song. They want to hear you sing at least 30s for each song. If you sing well, they want you to sing more to show how well you are. Prepare 3 songs( 2 English, 1 Korean).