K-pop singers, before they were stars, were trainees. They live, train and perform together from a very young age. Some start as late as 11 years old, but many are not discovered or joined by a company until they are close to 20, so don't be discouraged if you're a little older! Many K-pop trainees and idols are Korean, but it is not an absolute requirement and people of different ethnicities and races can audition. Skill and personality are closely related to the possibility of success, as well as the willingness to work hard.
Part 1 of 4: Cultivate Your Skills
Step 1. Dance classes are needed to become a better and more versatile dancer
Especially if you don't have much practice dancing yet, aim to take as many classes as you can. Focus on hip hop and urban dance. A big part of becoming a trainee (and maybe even an idol!) Is being able to put on an exceptional performance that includes dancing.
If you can't take a class in person, use the Internet to learn new techniques
Step 2. Invest in a singing teacher to strengthen your singing skills
Even if you are already a great singer, chances are you can still learn something from a teacher. At least he can give you tips to improve your stamina during a presentation.
If your main skill is dancing, that's fine! However, having the ability to sing will increase your chances of being noticed when you audition to become a trainee
Step 3. Work on your rapping to complete your skill mix
Rapping is an important part of the K-pop lifestyle, and it can be fun too! Listen to more rap music to get a feel for the rhythm and start imitating your favorite artists.
If words get tangled up when you say them, practice tongue twisters to loosen your lips
Step 4. Practice writing your own music and perfecting familiar songs
When you audition, you will have to present songs that the producers already know, but when you are an apprentice, you will work on writing and creating the choreography of your own music. So it's a good idea to develop both aspects of being an artist.
Take a music composition class if you can and spend a lot of time listening to K-pop and watching music videos so you can start to imitate popular styles
Part 2 of 4: Adopt New Habits
Step 1. Familiarize yourself with Korean cultural norms and beauty standards
Although many companies accept non-Korean apprentices, your target audience will be mostly from this country. It is better to learn about their culture if you are not familiar with it. Study popular K-pop groups, spend time on Korean fashion websites, and read about Korean etiquette and social norms.
If you are not Korean, this will show producers that you are committed to becoming a K-pop trainee and that you intend to work hard to be a part of that culture
Step 2. Learn to speak Korean if it is not a language you are familiar with
At the very least, make sure you know basic phrases like "hello," "bye," "please," and "thank you." Although, the more you know, the better! You will have to sing in Korean at least part of the time if you become a learner and knowing the language will help you make friends and move around South Korea.
If you can't take a Korean language class, try downloading an app like EggBun or Duolingo
Step 3. Avoid scandals and take care of what you put on social networks
A big part of being a successful learner is having good manners and behaving appropriately. Try not to get involved in situations that could get you in trouble, such as being at a party where a minor is drinking alcohol. Also, be careful when posting on social media. Managers and executives are very likely to see your accounts.
Producers are interested in apprentices who have the right skills and are willing to try hard. They are not interested in the ones that will end up on camera because they get into trouble or cause drama frequently
Step 4. Create a YouTube channel to upload videos and have followers
Start recording original songs as well as covers. Feel free to experiment with videos of yourself talking about your experience on the road to becoming a K-pop trainee. Producers often visit YouTube channels when they are looking for new recruits.
Create a publishing schedule so that you are adding new content to your channel, and research different ways to increase your audience
Step 5. Stay at a healthy weight and in good shape
Some companies are looking for very skinny trainees, while others are happy to accept a bit thicker. However, no matter what your size is, you will have to be able to withstand the rigorous physical requirements, such as hours of dance classes every day.
If you are not in shape or want to lose weight, incorporate daily exercise into your routine and try to eat more whole foods instead of processed ones
Part 3 of 4: Pass an Audition to Become a Trainee
Step 1. Research which company you would like to audition for
Some of the biggest K-pop companies are SM, JYP, YG, Cube, LOEN, Pledis, Woolim, and BigHit. Some companies focus on apprentices who meet a certain aesthetic and already know how to sing and dance, while others don't mind hiring someone who looks a little different from the norm or requires more training in a particular area..
- You can audition whenever you get the chance, but it will be expensive and time consuming. It's a good idea to find a company where you think they are more likely to accept you and only pay attention to their auditions.
- It is also good to note that if you are under the age of 14, a legal guardian will have to go or register for the audition for you.
Step 2. Become an expert in your ability and be confident when you audition
Most K-pop trainees are excellent at one of the following skills: singing, dancing, or rapping. Make sure you have a very solid skill and are familiar with all the others. For example, if you are good at dancing, take classes and perfect this skill as much as you can, but do not neglect to work on your singing and rapping as well.
No matter where you end up, you're going to take hours and hours of class on all the skills necessary to be a K-pop idol. However, having a fortitude when you audition could help you get the attention of producers
Step 3. Prepare 3 songs for an audition, one of which must be Korean
Think about where your talents come to the fore and select the songs based on this criteria. For example, if you are excellent at rapping and dancing, choose a song that is in Korean and that highlights your rapping and dancing skills; another that shows any other type of dance; and then one that you love. Producers will have a chance to see your skills and your passion!
Look up audition videos on YouTube to see what other aspiring trainees are up to
Step 4. Take photos of your face to deliver or send to producers
You can have them done professionally, or you can try making them yourself at home. Take front and side photos and include photos of just the face as well as the entire body.
Use little makeup for photos, as producers will want to see only your face
Step 5. Wear normal clothes and little makeup on the day of your audition
The judges will want to see the appearance of your face and body without a lot of makeup or clothing to alter it (such as the Spanx). K-pop trainees live in a world controlled by the company and they will choose your clothes and makeup and hair style when you perform or make public appearances.
Don't wear K-pop fan clothes, the producers might assume you've auditioned to see your idol
Step 6. Go to a live audition or submit it online if you are out of the country
There are many live auditions around the world, so chances are that you will find one in your country that you can attend. If you can't audition in person (or even if you have a chance, but want to submit more work), check out each company's online audition forum on their web pages.
Online auditions are a great option for people who want to become apprentices! In-person auditions are great for the experience and the opportunity, too, but don't rule out the possibility of being discovered through an online audition
Step 7. Be resilient and resilient, it can take a long time to be accepted as a learner
Many people audition over and over again before they are finally chosen as apprentices. If you get feedback at an audition, be sure to incorporate it before the next one. For example, if a judge tells you that you have to work on your vocal strength, see a singing teacher to work on that aspect.
Don't worry if you are older and not yet a learner. Many K-pop idols didn't start at a company until they were close to 20. Keep working on your skills and going to auditions
Part 4 of 4: Lead the Learner's Lifestyle
Step 1. Be aware that it may be difficult to make friends if you are a foreigner
Apprentices often sign multi-year contracts and spend up to 18 hours a day with other apprentices. If you don't speak Korean or are unfamiliar with the culture, it will take a while to make friends and feel like you fit in.
Make an effort and try to communicate clearly with other people, especially if there is a language barrier. Also be nice to others, this can go a long way when you are not at home and want to make friends successfully
Step 2. Read your contract carefully before committing to a company
Being a K-pop trainee is a long-term commitment! Some companies, depending on your age, may ask you to sign a 5- to 6-year contract. Make sure to read and review the language of the contract very closely. If you don't speak Korean, hire a professional to check the fine print.
Many companies make you pay back your salary if you want to break your contract. Some of them do not provide benefits for emergencies or health problems. Don't sign anything if you don't fully understand it
Step 3. Take good care of your health to be able to endure the strenuous schedule
Many apprentices work from 5:00 a.m. to 6:00 a.m. m. until midnight or 1:00 a.m. m. In addition to training, you may have school assignments that you have to do or need more practice on your own.
- The company often sets the schedule for trainees without asking them first.
- Trainees typically do not get the recommended hours of sleep each night and often do not consume their meals at regular intervals.
Step 4. Prepare for the monthly assessment tests
As new apprentices enter the company frequently, they are all screened monthly to ensure that new recruits are upholding the standards. It can be a tense time every month as the company could let you go if you don't do it right.
There are generally between 20 and 30 different students in all companies at any one time, so you will usually be in competition with your classmates not to lose your place
- Be respectful to everyone at auditions. You will never know who is watching you!
- Look for feedback from other trainees and idols about the companies they worked for, which will tell you a lot about the company and whether or not you want to work for it.