Although the writing has been on the wall for an eternity, reanimated corpse incarnate KARA is now officially done as a K-Pop entity.
DSP Media released an official statement on the conclusion of long-time KARA members Gyuri, Seungyeon and Hara’s contracts, allowing the grand beast to find its final resting place.
“[The three] who have been with DSP Media for 9 years and ‘shared the sweet and bitterness of life’ together with the agency, Gyuri, Seungyeon and Hara’s contracts terminated on January 15.”
“The three people who have been DSP’s artists until now, have decided to immerse themselves in activities in a different field, in order for personal growth. The agency will generously support and wish the best for their future.”
The label also mentioned its incredibly vague plans for surviving appendage/ghost limb Youngji:
“She will show a better side of herself as this company’s artist. She will work hard and we will do our best to help Youngji in her growth. Lastly, we sincerely thank the many fans who have given generous love and support towards Gyuri, Seungyeon and Hara for the past 9 years, and we ask for lots of support towards the members in the future as well.”
R.I.P. my original K-Pop baises (“Lupin” and “Step” were the first two K-Pop songs that I can safely say that I loved). The ride has been wonderful and the group will definitely be missed. While KARA’s discography runs deep, here are the tracks that I will remember most fondly (including K-Pop, J-Pop and the group’s solo releases under KARA) in semi-order of goodness.
“Jet Coaster Love”
“Go Go Summer”
“Guilty” – Seungyeon
Every time I watch this, I really want a whole Seungyeon rock album.
“Lost” – Nicole
Perfect in every way.
ahwww I loved Kara
Well, I hope DSP does right by Youngji and if they aren’t going to use her they let her become a free agent or at least don’t extort her on a contract buyout amount.
Of course it looks like Rainbow’s contracts are all about to expire by the end of this year as well, so maybe DSP plans to salvage a few members from that group and use Youngji with them.
Be careful who you sign with kids.
No Jumping? Maybe because it was one of the first songs I discovered after I realized that there was more to Kpop than the (at that time) 9 headed monster, but it will always be my favorite Kara song. At the time I thought they were by far the most beautiful group, and Jumping always seemed to put smile on my face no matter how shitty my mood was.
Damaged Lady was also right up there. Kind of fitting that it would be the last song released by the Kara that I knew and loved.
Not a great way to start the year. An After School comeback would probably soothe the pain, but I’m not holding my breath.
I like Jumping, just not as much as the other tracks listed.
I would love an After School comeback but I don’t think it’s happening. Pledis didn’t mention the group for its 2016 plans (but at least we should be able to expect some Orange Caramel).
They should’ve called it quits earlier and went out on top.
Agreed, but some of their later stuff isn’t that bad I think.
Thanks for posting most of Kara’s discography, I would have included ‘Pandora’, which I thought was one of their better songs.
In other (surreal) news, the worlds of K-Pop and Politics collided when 16 year old fetus Tzuyu from Twice was chastised for promoting ‘pro-independence’ when she waved the Taiwan (and Korea) flag on an online broadcast, allegedly causing China’s TV station to cancel a scheduled Chinese New Year concert by Twice, and Tzuyu being yanked from a Huawei ad in the South Korean market.
And if that wasn’t bizarre enough, Tzuyu’s apology video has angered my Taiwanese citizens and politicians, who see the apology as being coerced, and the reaction has been attributed in part to DPP’s strong win in the recent Taiwan presidential election. WTF?!
It’s really sad seeing how this 16 year old girl is being treated by all of the adults involved in Taiwan, the PRC, and at JYP. I have a bad feeling that unless JYP decides to forget about marketing in the PRC with any of his groups that the only way this will blow over is if Tzuyu resigns. I don’t see how the netizens and politically active in the PRC will ever let her live this down and even if she never set foot in the PRC with the group, the group would be penalized and likely other JYP artists as well.
JYP’s management made a big mistake in not grasping that with a Taiwanese member, they really needed to counsel her to be very careful about anything she does or says as there are those in the PRC that do nothing but look for Taiwanese public figures saying something seen as endorsing Taiwanese independence, or saying anything negative about the regime in charge of the PRC. Once they spot something they tend to torpedo that person’s career on the mainland.
JYP is likely going to have to make a very tough choice whether to write-off promoting anymore in the PRC with any of their artists and keeping Tzuyu, or forcing Tzuyu to resign to save their ability to market there. I don’t think just having her not promote there with Twice, or that time will solve this. It’s a tough choice for the company. The right thing to probably do is to swear off the PRC market if her apology doesn’t end this and focus on Japan, Korea, Taiwan, and elsewhere in East Asia. However that is a very hard choice for a business to swear off the biggest market in the region.
The whole Tzuyu thing is so dumb but was destined to blow up because of China/Taiwan politics and JYP making China a critical part of his label’s business model.
Yeah, it is a rotten position to put her in as either she has to say things that piss off pro-independence elements back in Taiwan or she has to say things that piss off some in the PRC. A sixteen year old can’t be expected to grasp the geo-politics involved and avoid problems even professional diplomats or business professionals with decades of experience have trouble navigating. What a bummer for her as her future looked so bright as being the Yoona of this group, but now if she stays with the group they will almost have to make her invisible.
As you said, it was poor planning on the part of JYP’s management. The second they decided on having a Taiwanese member, they needed to immediately start drilling her on the political minefield she would have to navigate and that the best way to do so was likely to simply say she was Chinese and demure on the ROC v. PRC question, simply saying that she’s 16 and isn’t informed enough to say anything on that without further inflaming opinions when even diplomats struggle with the issue. Then say something about shared Chinese culture and ethnicity. That would quiet most people trying to bait her into saying something. Then she would just have to be careful about not being seen waving the ROC flag or referring to Taiwan in a manner that suggested it being an independent nation.
If this doesn’t blow over in a few weeks, JYP might try to have some of their Chinese artists from the PRC do some interviews with Chinese media and defend Tzuyu stressing that she is a 16 year old girl from the island of Taiwan and that she doesn’t have a political bone in her body and its unfair that people are reading things into her saying where she is from or using the flag that is used in the place she was born as her having any political position regarding Taiwan’s status. That’s assuming those artists would be comfortable doing that and kind of scolding some in the PRC for piling on a 16 year old girl for simply holding up a flag for a few moments on a TV show. Of course that is a last resort if you are already prepared to abandon that market if it fails.
Out of curiosity are you of Taiwanese descent or is your family from the mainland. I seem to recall that you were of Chinese ancestry.
My family is from the mainland but I’m a third generation Chinese American, so my feelings on the China/Taiwan divide are essentially “meh.”
Try not to say too much ‘cos it’s so darn ridiculous & this post is really about Kara, but the fiasco was not started by someone in PRC, but a notorious Taiwanese 53yr old failed singer Huang An 黄安, a self appointed witch-hunter that goes after Taiwan/Hong Kong celebrities that have the slightest suggestion of not supporting the ‘One China’ policy, or showing the tiniest disrespect of China’s leaders. This asswipe has reached a level of douchebaggery I didn’t even know was humanly possible.
More politically savvy celebrities introduce themselves as from China-Hong Kong, or China-Taiwan. Pity a 16yr old girl learnt it the hard way. Either way, Huang An is a lobotomised f**kwit.
Of the flip side, now even my parents now know of Tzuyu and a K-Pop group called ‘Twice’.
This is all true. And JYP, with his wealth of experience promoting in China, definitely should have done his due diligence to ensure that Tzuyu wouldn’t be made out to be some sort of radical Taiwanese rebel leader or some shit.