I am not an artist, nor have I ever endeavored to be one, but common sense tells me that it is not an easy road to travel. Especially in the world of K-pop where so many begin training as early as middle school (maybe even earlier). I cannot imagine being 11 years old and having to face monthly evaluations of my singing, dancing, acting or whatever medium it is I have chosen to pursue. Now don’t get me wrong, if I had a child who was passionate about anything be it the arts, sports, anything really, I would encourage and nurture that passion with a keen focus on their mental well-being. Where am I going with all this? Well, I came across this VLive broadcast Donghun did back in September 2020 wherein he talked about the often elusive ‘first place’ win on any one of the given music programs K-pop artists and groups make the rounds on during comeback promotions. His thoughts about it are so healthy and grounded that I wanted to share.
When I say his thoughts are healthy and grounded, I do not mean it solely from an artist’s perspective. Donghun takes it a step further to remind fans that winning isn’t everything. If you have been around K-pop for a minute, you are well aware of the machinations of winning first place with a comeback song on any one of the given Korean music programs. There are sales (physical and digital), song streamings, MV streamings all of which require fan involvement. So it stands to reason that if an artist or group’s comeback title track is streamed more, purchased more, etc., the better the chances of getting a first place prize. So yeah fandom size and diligence really play a huge part. A.C.E has yet to experience their first win. As a Choice, I feel bad. But, Donghun put it all in proper perspective during his September 4, 2020 VLive broadcast. At the time, the group was promoting their HJZM:The Butterfly Phantasy comeback.
Does he make me feel better? Yes. Do I still want an A.C.E first place win? Absolutely. But, I am perfectly content supporting the group in any way I can regardless. Taking the journey with them is the best part. Seeing them evolve, grow and become more confident in who they are as artists is its own victory. I LOVE that Donghun is proud of how A.C.E has grown and how confident he is performing. And sure, he would love a win, too – but not so much for himself or A.C.E but for us, his beloved Choice.