The Pain and Agony of Being a Kiss Me
To anyone who isn’t in the incredibly small and isolated online world of being a U-Kiss fan, you may not know that our entire world as Kiss Mes seemed to go topsy-turvy 24 hours ago. To get into all the details would be to date this article to the minute, because things seem to change constantly. However, the facts are as follows: NH Media, the company who manage U-Kiss, have decided to work with a site called K-Pop Funding (a child company of GoodFunding) to attempt to raise 200,000,000 won from the international fans (aprox. $200,000) to go towards the production of the next album. Very little details were given, and the original site was riddled with errors. The largest error was the absence of Dongho, the youngest member. It wasn’t an accidental “We forgot his profile” type mistake, but he was photoshopped out of all of the previous promotional photos. There was also the use of old photos that included members who hadn’t been in U-Kiss for over two years. The fans immediately saw these errors and thought there must have been an error, and this was a very well planned hack job.
A few hours later, the site was taken down, and the link deleted, and people thought that was the end of that. However, the U-Kiss official twitter account tweeted, confirming that they knew the K-Pop Funding site had been taken down, and that the link would be put back up again once the “error” was fixed. Over the next few hours. Dongho was put back into all of the photos, and the site looked as it should. But, it was still a crowd sourcing site looking for $200,000USD to back a CD for a group that had just finished a successful Japanese concert tour and has been promoting for 5 years now.
After that, everything is speculation. Why was Dongho missing? Where has he been lately? Why does NH Media need to raise $200,000? What happened to all the money from Japanese promotions? What is going on?
I’ll be completely honest: I have been in a total funk today because of this. I have an awful feeling in the pit of my stomach, and when I try to explain it to anyone, it doesn’t make any sense because how could I be so upset over just another boy band?
So I’m writing this, for the people who don’t understand, for my family, and even for NH Media, who don’t seem to understand how the foreign fans actually feel right now.
We are confused
Crowd sourcing is a great way for small, independent groups to bring in the income needed for a first album. It helps developing artists develop, and it helps create things that might have otherwise been ignored by big time producers. U-Kiss and NH Media are not on their first album. U-Kiss are not a developing artist, and hopefully they are not dealing with producers unwilling to put the money forward to make an album. From the looks of things U-Kiss are a successful group in Japan, and they should be able to afford the fees to create a CD, and so long as they print copies within reason, they shouldn’t run in the red. To ask a fan of a developed pop group for financial help is unprecedented. In any country, this would be considered strange and unreasonable.
NH Media, you need to tell your fans WHY you need this money. We can’t support you if we don’t know what’s going on.
We are upset
Kiss Me’s have watched U-Kiss try to break the mould they’ve been set in for years and years in Korea. We have gotten used to the idea of perhaps not winning #1. But then U-Kiss were sent to Japan, and we saw them be successful! There were TOURS! Sold out tours! And so many singles that would chart in the top 10 easily!
So then why are we being asked for money? Why the international fans specifically? What do we look like to you, idiots that will throw money at your feet? NH Media, you can’t keep treating Kiss Mes like idiots, and not following through with your promises. We didn’t ask about the Someday 3D video you said was filmed. We didn’t make a huge fuss over the fact you completely forgot about the Google+ meetup that should have been done, despite the fact that every other k-pop group was able to follow through with theirs. You seemed to get off very easy for cancelling on the Brazil tour last winter at the last second. But we don’t forget. Thinking that foreign fans are going to magically come up with $200,000 for you to make a CD is ridiculous. If it were for some kind of world tour, perhaps we could support it. But NH Media, you can’t even make a concert happen for U-Kiss in their home country of Korea.
We are worried
There are so many things that we can be worried about right now. Why do you need money. What is wrong. Why aren’t you communicating with us. But most importantly: Where the hell is Dongho. Until last night, nobody thought twice about the fact that he hadn’t been on twitter since March, or done a Star call in two months, or wasn’t at Idol Sports Day last week. Dongho is a quiet guy, and once set his twitter as private for a few months. Even in live events in Korea, he isn’t the most talkative, and it’t just easy to assume he’s quiet. But when the KPopFunding page went up and Dongho was visibly absent from the photos, and had been edited out of group shots, suddenly things became very scary. Things suddenly felt very similar to January 2011, when it was clear there was something wrong, and there were rumours floating around that Xander and Kibum were kicked out of the group, but it took ages for the rumour to be confirmed, giving fans hardly any chance to say goodbye.
Even if these worries about Dongho are just
me fans being nervous because of our past, there’s still a lot to be worried about. NH, why do you need our money. Why can’t you be clear with us. Considering we thought the site was made by HACKERS originally… this is not a good way to make friends and influence people.
We are nervous as hell
NH, you’ve never looked into the ethics of crowdsourcing, have you? Because crowdsourcing is NOT meant for people who have other means of bringing in money. Aka, people who can business loans, or use money they should already have. Every Kiss Me can probably think of at least one project where crowdsourcing has either blown up in their face, or has gotten the group more hate than anything else. A fantastic example is the EatYourKimchi IndieGoGo campaign. Yes, they got their money. However, there are a LOT of people who felt that was crossing the line. That’s not a subject for this post, but go google if it needed. But, people realized that EYK could have gotten the money other ways, since they are listed as a Canadian business, but instead they used IndieGogo as an interest free loan.
NH Media, you have absolutely no reason to be trying to collect money from fans like this. Not this much. The backlash is going to be instantaneous, and it’s going to be brutal. Kiss Mes have been treated terribly in the past, so we’re not all going to forgive this. People who aren’t fans? Are going to rip this apart. Any credibility NH had will be gone, and U-Kiss will not recover from this. They will forever be seen as beggar-dols. People still remember the Diablo issue, and those were fan gifts. This? Is like asking for a new HOUSE and not telling us why.
I am a U-Kiss fan. I am a fan of Shin Soohyun. I am a fan of Lee Kiseop. I am a fan of Kim Jaeseop. I am a fan of Eli Kim. I am a fan of Yeo Hoonmin. I am a fan of Kevin Woo. I am a fan of Shin Dongho. But. NH Media, I am NOT a fan of you and the way you treat U-Kiss and Kiss Mes. Personally, I feel that U-Kiss have been mismanaged for too long, and that this is just another step lower that I thought a company could sink. U-Kiss, you need to know that none of the fans blame you, but… Kiss Mes need some answers. We want to see something change. At the very least, we want to know what is happening right now.