"Something’s got to give, so they sacrifice their personal life to be good"
Sue Kim, one of the US’s first Korean musicians has explained the secrets behind success in Kpop.
Daughter of legendary Korean singer Lee Nan-Young, Sue Kim (Kim Sook-Ja) formed the Kim Sisters with her sister Ai-Ja and cousin Min-Ja in the 1950s.
The trio are known for being the first South Korean music group to achieve success in America. They performed over 20 times on The Ed Sullivan Show.
In an interview with NBC, Sue Kim from the Kim Sisters revealed how to be successful in Kpop.
When asked if she saw any similarities to her 50’s trio with current Kpop superstars BTS, Kim said obeying elders is key.
“You know, those days we never disobeyed our mother’s order,” she said. “We knew she knew what she was doing and she gave me the responsibility. She told Min-Ja and Ai-ja, “You listen to Sue, whatever decision she makes.””
Kim revealed that she did not date until age 23 as her mother feared that the group would not be the same after.
“I didn’t date until I was 23 years old,” she said. “My mother knew that when we started dating, the group is not going to stay the same. All that time we slept, we ate, we practiced, we performed. That was our life. We didn’t have any other spare time to do anything.
“My daughter asked me today, “How was your teenage life?” We didn’t have teenage life. So I understand what K-Pop is doing.”
Looking at modern Kpop, Kim is surprised about how they are still doing what they are told.
“I was in Korea several years ago and every time I turned the TV on, a K-Pop group came on,” she said. “I was amazed at how they look alike, and they are almost like from a mold, doing exactly what they were told. They are very talented and very good.”
Reflecting on her success and modern Kpop bands success, Kim believes that discipline is the key ingredient.
“Without discipline, you cannot make it,” Kim explained. “It looks like whoever goes into K-pop groups, they have to have discipline. Something’s got to give, so they sacrifice their personal life to be good.”
“Some kids cannot handle it, some kids handle it. We did not have a choice. We had to handle it because we had to survive at the time and we had to send money to Korea so our family could eat.”
In related news, BTS recently announced their world tour.