No one knows the K-Pop industry better than an artist whose been active in it for years. This is why YouTube channel Grazy Grace is a treasure trove of insider information. On a video entitled “When Will NCT Members Ever Make Money? Company VS. Self-Artist Incomes ????” Grace dished on the pros and cons of being signed to a company versus being an independent artist.

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| GRAZY GRACE/YouTube

As a former K-Pop trainee and current “self-artist”, she’s been through both situations. Though companies are attractive to enter because of the promotional workload they take care of, independent artists have it good too.

For one, they have more freedom than anyone who is signed to a company. There are no external pressures when they’re their own bosses.

You have freedom to do basically whatever you want. When I was in the company, I was constantly worried about what other people were thinking about me.

— Grace

There are also many worries that came with putting one’s idol career at another person’s hands.

What’s gonna happen in my future? What’s going to happen tomorrow? Where’s the promotions? I was constantly seeking for work because I didn’t have enough.

— Grace

Another huge advantage of being an independent artist is that one gets to keep their own hard-earned money. As long as an artist is signed to a company, they will hardly see anything until their debt is paid.

Obviously, what you make is yours. If you have management or if you have a small company that you develop yourself [you take care of them] but other than that, everything you make is your own responsibility. That could be a huge plus.

— Grace

In relation to this, being independent means not paying the dreaded “artist debt” that K-Pop is known for.

You’re never in financial debt to someone else. If you are a younger audience you may not understand, but being in debt is not a great feeling.

— Grace

If you want to learn more about the pros and cons of the industry, check out her full video below!