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Girl band 'Billion' chase the K-pop dream

CCTV.com

08-06-2014 00:32 BJT

The glamour and glitz of K-pop has conquered much of Asia and beyond. But for every headlining boy and girl band, there are many more struggling for a break, on the margins of South Korea's best-known cultural export. The road to stardom is lined with perseverance and hard work.

Every morning at six, these girls receive the morning call to start their 16-hour day.They’re a new Korean girl band named "Billion".

Every morning at six, these girls receive the morning call to start their 16-hour day.They’re a new Korean girl band named "Billion".

Every morning at six, new Korean girl band “Billion”receives a morning call to start a 16-hour day.The girls share two bedrooms, and live unglamorous lives. 

"We believe that by working hard we will be able to meet achieve our goal in a few years," band leader Ray said.

After several hours working out, they spend the rest of the day practicing singing and honing their dance moves. Holidays are rare and there is little time for relationships — none of band members has a boyfriend. Their managers run their lives — when they wake up, what they do, when and what they eat and when they go to bed. And in the world of K-Pop looks are everything. 

"We spend two to three hours to put on our make-up so we look pretty in front of our fans," band member Seul-Gi said.

K-pop has been criticised by some for its production-line mentality — churning out similar-sounding, similar looking, similar-moving groups — packaged to the hilt. The hunt for talent is very competitive, and agencies often start recruiting kids as young as 13. Costs vary, but launching a band — from creation to debut album — can mean an outlay of anywhere between US$500,000 and US$1million.  

The girls have been together for two years but only released their debut album in March. They are not yet demoralized by low profile gigs, even when they have a carpark as a dressing room and just 10 minutes on stage.

"I think I had mix emotions. I was very flattered and excited. Once I got off stage I already missed being on stage," band member Janet said. 

Close to midnight, the girls go back to studio for more rehearsals. Every day counts, because for every headlining boy and girl group there are many more struggling to make their breakthrough.

Every morning at six, these girls receive the morning call to start their 16-hour day.They’re a new Korean girl band named "Billion".

Every morning at six, these girls receive the morning call to start their 16-hour day.They’re a new Korean girl band named "Billion".

Every morning at six, these girls receive the morning call to start their 16-hour day.They’re a new Korean girl band named "Billion".

 Every morning at six, these girls receive the morning call to start their 16-hour day.They’re a new Korean girl band named "Billion".


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