KARA-DSP Struggle!

KARA might be changing it’s line-up soon. Not too long ago, it was announced that Nicole of KARA would not be renewing her contract with DSP Media. Many people took this as a sign that Nicole was leaving for good, but Nicole later tweeted that this was not exactly the case. It seems Nicole wants to continue being a KARA member, but just not under DSP Media. To make it simple, she wants to be in KARA and in another label. This is means her problem is not with KARA, but with DSP Media itself. It’s funny how people start to “notice” any problems with the idol when such incidents occur. Phrases like “She has not been getting many lines lately” or “She has not been in many shows for a while” become popular. People don’t really mention this on other articles related to the idol, but they suddenly feel like pointing them out now. I guess people want drama, but it’s best to be calm and rational when such incidents occur. It’s almost never what it seems like it is on the cover and the rumors are usually fueled by bad excuses by the labels associated with the idol in said scandal. Anyway, back to Nicole and DSP Media. We have to go back a bit to see when the problems with DSP Media began.

[Photo Credit: allkpop.com] Link: http://tinyurl.com/m6wp8jk

It seems around February 14th of Nicole, Jiyoung and Seungyeon of KARA filed lawsuits against DSP Media. The lawsuits concerned unfair payment for their activities. According to allkpop.com, the members involved had stated “Without prior compromise, the agency deducted promotional fees from our income without our consent, which is classified under embezzlement. From January through June of 2010, we brought in $410,000 USD in income, while the promotional expenses amounted to $390,000 USD. The expenses are abnormally excessive.” (http://tinyurl.com/k9qh65hThese figures are terrible in terms of compensation and their correlation to the amount of money the songs/promotions brought in. I’m not saying DSP Media is stealing money from it’s idols, but this case shows KARA was clearly being underpaid. Well, it was not clear to whoever decided to underpay KARA. Everyone apparently dropped their lawsuit after meeting with representatives, but I’ve heard that Nicole’s mother kept pushing for some kind of deal with DSP Media. Juding from the figures mentioned above, it’s not likely that her mother was being greedy by pushing for a deal. It’s just seeking fair payment, but I’m just giving her the benefit of the doubt if the rumors are true.  Either way, it seems Nicole is upset with DSP Media’s treatment and wants to break free. It is likely she is being advised or supported to go in this direction, but it does make sense if DSP Media is avoiding fair payment. Why are the other members not fighting DSP Media as well? It’s probably because the remaining members are making up for whatever they feel DSP Media is not paying them through external promotions. This can be CFs (commercial endorsements), dramas, plays, MCing variety shows and more. The more they get or the better the promotion, the more money they make. They probably don’t want to make waves when they have that option too. This is where the observations of Nicole’s involvement in such activities being low might matter. If Nicole has not had many of these external promotions, then receiving fair payment or an increase in payment is important. Nicole is seen as an important member in KARA and no less important than any other member in keeping KARA as it is now, so Nicole’s situation with KARA is very important to Kamilias (KARA fans).

[Photo Credit: allkpop.com] Link: http://tinyurl.com/n4y4ccc

So, let’s get to the “operating as a KARA member outside of DSP Media” part. This is possible and placing most of or all of “the heat” on DSP Media. This means that Nicole would remain in KARA, if DSP Media agrees to let her operate under another label. DSP Media would likely lose most of or all control over Nicole’s career. This is likely to make DSP Media feel like just denying her offer, but that would mean it was DSP Media that tore Nicole out of KARA. See how that offer is clever? Now the blame goes to DSP Media and Kamilias are more likely to direct their anger towards them. This is something most companies want to avoid, so DSP Media is more likely to agree to her terms. This is not something new, as Ga-in of Brown Eyed Girls used a similar tactic for her solo activities. She operated under Nega Network for her promotions with Brown Eyed Girls and operated under LOEN Entertainment for her solo activities. Ga-in has since switched  to APOP Entertainment for her solo activities, but the tactic is still the same. This fact also bolsters Nicole’s offer as feasable, even though the situation is not the same. Ga-in did not leave Nega Network to continue her career in Brown Eyed Girls, but the essence of the situation is similar. Either way it is up to DSP Media to decide and they are likely to receive some small percentage of Nicole’s profit from promotions due to KARA being under their management.

[Photo Credit: YouTube.com (DSP Media Official)] Link: http://tinyurl.com/8o525xp

In the end, Nicole’s contract ends in January and that will be it for Nicole in DSP Media. Whether that means it will be the end of Nicole as a KARA member or an artist overall is yet to be seen. Her career ending overall is a far stretch, but this incident could have been labeled the same way a few years back. All Kamilias and fans of Nicole will just have to hope DSP Media sees the value of Nicole as a KARA member and agrees to her wishes. Kamilias could also appeal to DSP Media through a petition, but I have no idea how effective this would be in convincing them.

So, what are your thoughts on Nicole and this ongoing incident with DSP Media?

Also, do you feel Nicole could make it as a solo artist?

Here is KARA’s latest MV for those who have yet to hear it. ^^

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