Boy group Treasure will attend the Mama Awards 2022 red carpet event in Osaka on November 30, 2022.

Yuichi Yamazaki | Afp | Getty Images

Treasure – the newest boy band from YG Entertainment – ​​may be fairly new to the K-pop scene, but its members already have big dreams.

“I want [us] to be more than just idols. I want each member of the group to be their own artist,” Choi Hyun Suk said, sharing his vision with The CNBC Conversation.

It’s always been his dream to perform at the US Superbowl halftime show, said the 24-year-old artist, the band’s oldest member.

“I know it’s really hard, but a dream like that, even if I just get to the edge of this dream, I really want us to hold on to that dream and not let it fade away – just how I imagine our group, Treasure.

The treasure has done its thing debut in 2020 while Covid-19 was spreading wildly around the world. It started as a 12-member band, but two of them left in November last year, leaving the boy group with just 10 members.

Its three members — Choi and co-leader Park Jihoon (who goes by the stage name Jihoon), as well as rapper Yoshinori Kanemoto, better known as Yoshi — spoke to CNBC about the group’s humble beginnings.

The beginnings of the treasure

Treasure was trained and groomed by YG Entertainment, a South Korean entertainment company that also operates as a record and music production company.

The boy group was formed through a reality survival program called YG Treasure Box, where students competed for a spot in what would become the boy group now called Treasure.

Each of the contestants trained with YG for a different number of years — with the longest being 6 years before competing in YG’s Treasure Box.

Other South Korean entertainment companies such as SM Entertainment and Hybe also conduct K-pop training programs.

YG’s performance evaluation for trainees “tests our personal ability to perform,” Jihoon said, adding that they usually look for people who fit the company’s vision of an artist.

“It looks simple, but it’s also quite a difficult process,” said the 23-year-old.

The show ended in January 2019 and Treasure debuted a year later and released their first debut single album in August 2020.

The debut took place at a time when the Covid pandemic was still raging around the world and live concerts were not allowed. This forced the group to rely on promoting their music online, an experience that was new to the band.

“As artists, I think it’s a ‘man-to-man’ job, so broadcasts and stage performances are different when there are no fans standing in front of us and we have to record videos instead,” Jihoon said.

“There were moments where I felt the interaction was a little lacking.

The biggest lesson

When asked about some of the biggest lessons they’ve learned so far, they said spending more time exercising is paramount.

“We’ve definitely regretted not spending time in the past [wisely.] But as time went on, we [learning] how to spend time better and use time more wisely,” Jihoon said, adding that they realized how important skills like rapping, dancing and singing are for performing artists.

“Older artists [told] When we debut, we will regret not practicing more,” added Hyun Suk. “I think we definitely felt it directly. And that’s what makes us train harder.”

Every time I’ve gone through that setback, I feel like I’ve learned to get back up and move on, which is why I’m where I am today.


co-leader, treasure

What will they say to aspiring artists who want to be like them? Overcome your failures.

“Just because you failed, don’t beat yourself up about it. I think I failed a lot,” Jihoon said. “Every time I’ve gone through that setback, I feel like I’ve learned to get up and move on, and that’s why I’m where I am today.”

Yoshi, the group’s 23-year-old Japanese-Korean rapper, added that time spent with loved ones will be sacrificed on the trip.

“If you started this journey because you wanted so much to achieve this dream, you have to enjoy it to make it worth it – no matter how hard it is.”

Earlier this month, YG announced that Treasure’s second full album will be released on July 28. Their last full album was in 2021.

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