Amid the ever-evolving K-pop scene, the recent debut of a young idol has sparked a wave of concerns among fans and netizens. JYP Entertainment, led by renowned producer J.Y. Park, unveiled its latest global girl group, VCHA, which is based in the U.S. The group's pre-debut single, "SeVit (NEW LIGHT)," was introduced to the world on September 22. However, what caught the attention of many was the inclusion of a member who is only 13 years old.
VCHA, a collaboration between JYP and U.S. Universal Music-affiliated label Republic Records, consists of six members: Lexi, Camila, Kendall, Savanna, KG, and the youngest, Kaylee. These members were handpicked through the American localized girl group audition project program "A2K (America2Korea)." The selection process, which spanned from July to September, evaluated the participants based on their singing, dancing, star quality, and personality.
Kaylee, an American-South Korean member, stood out not only for her age but also for her exceptional leadership and vocal skills. She was recognized as the leader of the "A2K" program during the survival show. While some fans defended her inclusion in the group, pointing out that there have been other idols who debuted at a young age and went on to become top stars, many expressed their concerns.
The primary worry stems from the pressures and restrictions the music industry might impose on Kaylee at such a tender age. Historically, several idols who started their careers young have voiced their regrets about missing out on a normal childhood. The rigorous schedules, lack of freedom, and the potential impact on their physical and mental well-being are some of the challenges these young idols face.
Social media platforms like Twitter saw a flurry of reactions from fans and netizens alike:
- "Kaylee is so young; let her live her life. So much freedom is gonna be taken away at a young age," tweeted one user.
- Another expressed, "Kaylee should have stayed a trainee due to her age... and should have kept one of the older girls."
- "There's so many people concerned for Kaylee's age. The only difference here is they haven't been given a song with a sexual innuendo (for now)," mentioned another.
VCHA's pre-debut single "SeVit" translates to "new light" and aligns with the group's name, which means to shine light in Korean. The song boasts contributions from top-tier talents, including JYP's Park Jin Young, Grammy-winning Sam Smith's producer Cirkut, and BTS' "Dynamite" producer David Stewart.
As VCHA embarks on its musical journey, all eyes are on their future endeavors and how they navigate the challenges that come with having such a young member.