What is it like to be a trainee in YG Entertainment, a label which focuses on urban music and has churned out a lot of famous Kpop singers like Se7en, 1TYM, BIG BANG, Jinusean, Gummy, Lexy, and Wheesung? The last two have now left YG Entertainment and are now under SB&W and Orange Shock, respectively.
Trainees are guided by Yang Yun Suk’s words, “Before becoming a singer, you must first become a person,” hanging on a wall in the training room. It is Yang Hyun Suk’s policy that character should be given priority though ability is also important.
Trainees usually start young like G-dragon and Taeyang and practice until late in the evening and only have Sunday as their rest day. It is said that as a YG trainee, he/she abandons his/her private life and just focuses on training.
Aspriring YG singers undergo dance, vocal, foreign languages and physical trainings. They are supervised by a vocal trainer for three or more times a week in order to train them on basic singing concepts and in singing live.
Dance trainings are also done three or more times a week and YG Entertainment also employs, two or more times a year, international dancers to teach its trainees. Currently, Justin Timberlake’s female dance partner Michele Martinez is the dance trainer for YG’s trainees.
Trainees also study English, Chinese and Japanese 3 or more times a week. Moreover, basic equipment for weight training are also available within the office.
YG Entertainment, unlike other labels, does not select its trainees through public auditions. About 4,000 applicants tried to enter YG’s doors in 1998 through a public audition but no one succeeded. But aspiring YG singers need not to despair because according to a YG official, in 2 months’ time, Yang Hyun Suk will be coming out with a new system in discovering amateurs.