Being a K-pop star is a demanding career that requires long and arduous years of training to hone one’s vocals and dance skills and prepare them for the limelight. And yet, some idols do not stick to their main job and expand their horizons professionally. With acting, modeling and MCing shows as the standard side job for most idols, some break the customs and go to other types of professions, such as the business industry, the food industry and so on.
That said, this feature focuses mostly on professions that are expanding through and beyond the entertainment industry. Check them out!
1. BTS ‘Suga – Producer
Suga’s production skills have been known since his early days as a BTS member. As the group’s career progressed, the rapper began producing music for other artists in addition to his label mates, and he won music awards thanks to his amazing talent. Some of the artists he (co-) produced for are Suran’s “Wine”, IU’s “Eight” and Epik Highs “Eternal Sunshine”.
Other idol producers: Epik High’s Tablo, (G) IDLE’s Soyeon, Zico, SHINee’s Jonghyun, BIGBANG’s G-Dragon etc.
Sandara Park – YouTuber
Sandara Park has worn many hats throughout her rich and long career in the entertainment industry, but that did not stop her from adding one more to her talent wardrobe. In fact, the idol has a quite interactive YouTube channel, where she somehow rebooted “2NE1 TV” to “Dara TV” to share daily pieces of her life, both personally and professionally.
Other idol youtubers: MAMAMOO’s Solar, Amber Liu, AKMU’s Lee Suhyun etc.
Zico – CEO
The best thing about being an idol that has been around for a long time is that they can use their experience to start their own businesses. Zico certainly learned a lot and has been the CEO of his label KOZ Entertainment since 2019, where he wanted to focus on his own career while directing other artists in the process. Dvwn (Read Dawn) is the first artist to sign a contract with Zico’s agency.
Other celebrity CEOs: PSY (P Nation), Rain (Rain Company), Jackson Wang (Team Wang), Yubin (RRR), etc.
4. Epic High’s Tablo – Author
Tablo is one of the most poetic and wise musicians that exists both nationally and internationally. With this in mind, it is only natural that his lyrical talent extends to fully written books. The rapper has published not one but two books, published in both Korean and English. His first book was published in 2008 and is called “Bykker af dig”, and it contains a collection of short stories. Eight years later, “BloNote” came to life and brought back some of Tablo’s most memorable quotes from “Tablo’s Dreaming Radio”, his radio program.
Other idol writers: SHINee’s Jonghyun (“Skeleton Flower: Things That Have Been Released and Set”), Jessica Jung (“Shine”), etc.
5. Eric Nam – Podcaster
Eric Nam is a man with many talents and he does not shy away from sharing them with his fans. In his podcast “Daebak Show” he shares his knowledge of the amazing side of the K-pop industry and celebrates the music as well as the history behind it. Needless to say, the show is a huge hit and has its own fan base. If you have not heard of it before, you now have the chance to dive into it!
Other idol podcasters: Epik High’s Tablo “The Tablo Podcast”, Jae Park and Alexa’s “How Did I Get Here?” etc.
6. Jessi – Talk show host
Jessi has always been known for her spontaneity, authenticity and wildness. These three among many of her other amazing features make up the perfect recipe for an entertaining talk show. Viewers can also enjoy watching Jesse’s attitude change according to the famous guest invited to each episode. One thing is for sure: laughter is guaranteed!
Other idol talk show hosts: IU’s “Palette”, Red Velvets Seulgi’s “Seulgizip”, JYP’s “Party People” etc.
7. miss A’s Fei – Chef
For some idols, talent goes far beyond the entertainment industry and into the kitchen. Such is the case for Fei, whose incredible culinary skills gave her a place in many cooking programs. She ranked number two in “Master Chef Korea Celebrity” and “Cook King Korea” in 2013 and 2014, respectively.
Other idol chefs: Super Junior’s Leeteuk, BTS’s Jin, CNBLUE’s Minhyuk, iKON’s Yunhyeong etc.
Which K-pop star’s side career inspires you the most? Tell us in the comments below!
esmee l. is a Moroccan lively dreamer, author and Hallyu enthusiast.
How does this article make you feel?