DPR IAN, who was a former member of the K-pop boyband C-CLOWN, has said that his experience with the industry was “pretty traumatic”.
In a recent interview with Teen Vogue, the Korean-Australian singer opened up about his time with the now-disbanded idol group and life under the industry’s infamous “slave contracts”. IAN, who was part of C-CLOWN from 2012 to 2015, said that it was “unfortunate” that he had been managed by an agency that “held that old generation attitude towards their artists”.
“What I went through was pretty traumatic,” he added. “Everything was happening so fast that I couldn’t stop to process what was happening. It was almost like, I can’t believe this is how we’re getting treated, and it was pretty tough because I was held under a contract. So because of that I had a pretty hard time just even leaving the company.”
IAN later noted that nowadays people are a lot more “educated” about what the K-pop idol life is like, compared to when he was first starting out. He also said that those kinds of contracts are still a “systematic problem”, while pointing out that things are “getting better” for idols.
Elsewhere in the interview, IAN also opened up about his life with bipolar disorder and how that inspired his debut EP, ‘Moodswings In This Order’. “As I was hitting puberty, I had mood swings. And I just thought it was this whole puberty thing for everyone. But mine was a little bit more, I guess, manic. That’s how I found out I had bipolar [disorder],” he mused.
“For the longest time, I’ve felt, I had a need to fix [my bipolar disorder], which is kind of funny, because it is me at the end of day,” IAN said, pointing out that he “labeled” his emotional lows as “somebody else” for a good part of his life. “That’s how Mito came about. What better way to do it than to actually bring him to life, you know, this other side of me that is tragically darker?” he added.
DPR IAN released his debut solo EP ‘Moodswings In This Order’ last month. In a glowing four-star review of the record, NME’s Sofiana Ramli described the vulnerable record as a “soul-baring and cathartic” project that brings listeners “on a rollercoaster journey through the singer’s clouded mind”.