For over a decade, vocal trainer Sol Lee has been teaching aspiring stars at companies like CJ E&M, Kakao Entertainment, and YG Entertainment. When Sol Lee recently joined her former K-Pop trainee student Gina Maeng for a YouTube video, Gina had a question for her: why was she never able to make friends with YG Entertainment trainees back when she was training at companies like Mnet and JYP Entertainment?
In the past, YG Entertainment trainees have been known to associate with aspiring idols from other companies. BLACKPINK‘s Jennie, for example, has known JYP Entertainment star TWICE‘s Nayeon since before the pair debuted. However, these friendships are rare. On the other hand, Gina Maeng says she was able to make friends with trainees from several other agencies when she was preparing to become a star. So, in Gina’s own words, “What’s the deal?”
According to Sol Lee, there are two main reasons why YG Entertainment trainees don’t often make friends outside of their company. First of all, the vocal trainer says YG Entertainment trainees are “famously secretive.” Most major companies mandate that trainees must not have public social media accounts or tell the world who they’re training with. YG Entertainment, however, is even stricter—Sol Lee says the company’s trainees are even forbidden from telling their own friends that they joined the agency.
Sol Lee went on to say that the company went as far as forbidding some trainees to reveal they were preparing to become idols at all. This, of course, is on top of the standard “no social media” rule. Naturally, this makes it difficult for YG Entertainment trainees to make friends outside of their company.
The second reason, the vocal trainer revealed, is that YG Entertainment trainees are especially busy. According to Sol Lee, they undergo “frequent lessons” in performance. On top of this, there’s a strong emphasis on preparing for monthly evaluations—which Sol Lee revealed are particularly difficult at YG Entertainment. Sol Lee says that the whole talent development team at the company gets involved in evaluations.
Understandably, this must put a lot of pressure on YG Entertainment trainees. With so much to do at their own company, it’s no surprise they don’t have time to make friends outside of the agency.