Earlier this week, the K-pop community received quite a shock when rumors surfaced that KARA was disbanding later this month. The reason for such a spike in chatter for the K-pop idol girl group has a lot to do with the fact the contracts of three of its members, Gyuri, Hara, and Seungyeon, expire this month. No official word has been made by the aforementioned members or DSP Media on contract renewals. Chatter only got worse when Youngji, the fourth and newest member of KARA, suddenly removed "KARA" from her username on her official Instagram.
K-pop fans, especially those who identify themselves as Kamilia (Official fan name for KARA), quickly noticed that Youngji removed 'KARA' from her Instagram username.
It is believed that Youngji only removed KARA from her username as a means to turn it into a personal Instagram account. Another Instagram account that identifies itself as her fan page was not only given a shout out by Youngji but still has the KARA name on it too.
At this moment, however, there is nothing officially made by KARA or their talent agency, DSP Media, on the matter. As mentioned earlier, KARA disbanding is just a rumor. But what if this rumor proves to be true? What will life after KARA be for each member? A representative supposedly knowing the internal workings of KARA and DSP Media made a statement to StarNews, as reported by AllKpop, on the matter.
"It's true that all three people, Gyuri, Seungyeon and Hara have decided to not stay with DSP Media. There is still some time left before their exclusive contracts end, but it seems that they have made up their mind to go towards moving into a new agency."
— SBS (@SBSNOW) December 30, 2015
Apparently, Gyuri, Seungyeon, and Hara want to go into acting, a move that is quite common for K-pop idols after they finish their stints in K-pop. Sulli of f(x) and Kim Hyun Joong of SS501 come to mind.
"The three members will go into acting, and start their 'second life.' In the case of Hara, she will discuss matters with her close fan and manager, and then give an official statement."
In Hara's case, she might announce a possible jump to KeyEast Entertainment since she's reportedly been meeting with the talent agency's CEO, Yang Geun Hwan, recently. Such a move is technically very good given the fact KeyEast Entertainment is the powerhouse that made Kim Soo Hyun such a big star.
As for Youngji, this rumor seems like a setback but is more of an opportunity if one were to think about it. The member everyone believes revitalized KARA (especially in "Mamma Mia") has enough experience outside of training to technically be the leader of a new K-pop idol girl group or, with enough backing, be a successful solo artist. This all comes down to how DSP Media manages and promotes Youngji, though.
On the other hand, if Youngji's contract were to terminate prematurely, her experience can be a vital asset at another agency. Through Jackson of GOT7 and Park Joon Hyung of g.o.d., she is connected to JYP Entertainment. Through Sunny of Girls' Generation, she is connected to SM Entertainment. Given that Youngji is just 21, she is young enough to still join a new group. If JYP Entertainment doesn't mind pushing the member count, it is possible for Youngji to become the 10th member of TWICE given they are only three months old at most. As for SM Entertainment, it is a far cry from happening, but Girls' Generation used to be nine members. If Youngji was offered the ninth member spot, she might be able to assimilate well. She already knows the dance moves to many of their songs as shown on Roommate.
[Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images]