Singer Shaun has become the music industry’s hot potato with flying accusations of chart manipulation, earning a nickname of “second Nilo.”
Shaun, an EDM DJ and a member of band The Koxx, recently ranked first place on various music streaming charts with his track “Way Back Home.” On Melon and Mnet, the song ranked very high, ultimately beating out records set by TWICE and MAMAMOO.
While it is possible that the public just simply loved Shaun’s new track, many Korean music enthusiasts and fans are rather suspicious due to similar incidents regarding singer Nilo. Many argued that Shaun’s situation is very similar to that of Nilo, rising to first place on music charts during the “Fandom Creation Time Period,” where various idol fans stream their idols’ songs all night long to maintain their places in the chart.
Furthermore, Shaun’s “Way Back Home” chart graphs looked almost identical to Nilo’s – the streaming count begins to rise around 10 PM the night before, consequently dominating the chart until the morning.
In response, Shaun’s agency DCTOM Entertainment strongly denied the accusations.
On July 17, the company said, “it’s not sajaegi.” They continued, “we have never participated in any form of illegal marketing or chart manipulations. However, we did introduce Shaun’s song through a Facebook page, and it was a success. As a result, the craze just naturally went over to music charts, leading the song to top them.”
Furthermore, they explained that when this certain Facebook page advertised the song, it specifically said that it was a paid-advertisement. The company continued, “if we had manipulated even Facebook page comments using fake accounts, it is illegal. However, we are innocent and the Facebook page even specifically said it was a paid-advertisement.”
At last, the company said, “it is “viral marketing,” not using the traditional media forms like TV or Radio. We wanted to create good contents and advertise them according to the changes in society.”
However, some of the celebrities and many Korean music enthusiasts are not buying it.
Choi Eun-Bin from Mnet’s “Produce 101” uploaded a mysterious post on her Instagram, which seemed like she was targeting Shaun and his possible chart manipulations. In the post, Choi Eun-Bin (now known as rapper EB) said, “you have suspicions, but no tangible proof. Therefore, I didn’t do anything wrong.” She continued, “He probably foresaw this kind of reaction from the public, but he did it anyways. This can only mean one thing: It didn’t matter to him if he lost his reputation or his sincerity in music, as long as he could benefit from topping the charts.”
At last, Choi Eun-Bin said, “it’s very uncomfortable to witness this. If he had any interest in how the Korean music lovers consume music or the method they consume the music, he would have seen this coming.
Furthermore, singer-songwriter Paul Kim also joined Choi Eun-Bin, seemingly attacking Shaun in the similar sense. He uploaded a brief statement that said, “now that we have let go the previous thief, they think it’s legal.”
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