On April 12, South Korean Singer Nilo’s ‘Pass By’ soared up and took over number 1 on major music chart, Melon chart. However, many netizens became suspicious and accused Nilo of ‘Sajaegi’ Chart Manipulation.

Nilo released ‘Pass By’ on October 31, 2017. On April 12, 2018, the song suddenly soared up the chart and maintained 1st place from 1 A.M. to 4 A.M. Following ‘Pass by,’ it was major K-Pop idols, TWICE, EXO-CBX, and Wanna One.

Accusations arose because the previously mentioned time period is known as the “Fandom Creation Time Period,” where various idol fans stream their idols’ songs all night long to maintain their places in the chart. However, they argued it was suspicious how Nilo, who is relatively unpopular compared to these idol groups, could top them.

In response, Nilo’s agency, Limez Entertainment, strongly denied the accusations. They said, “the rumor that Limez Entertainment participated in the chart manipulation is false. In addition, Melon Chart emphasized that the results are correct and “chart is non-manipulatable.” They continued, “there hasn’t been a suspicious activity in our system. Had there been one, we wouldn’t have applied it to our overall chart. We can assure you that the manipulation is not possible on the Melon chart.”

However, the controversy continued. Netizens found out that Limez Entertainment also owned various Facebook Pages, which they used to advertise their artists.


Image Source – Facebook ‘Gamsung Player’ Page Screen Capture

The accusations spread to other artists of Limez Entertainment such as Jang Deok-Cheol, whose song also revived on several music charts in January. From this, Jang Deok-Cheol gained the title of “the icon of chart climber” and still maintains a good spot on the chart.

Afterwards, Limez Entertainment’s CEO Lee Siwoo wrote a lengthy letter, explaining and denying the ‘Sajaegi‘ accusations.

Lee Siwoo began, “I would like to offer my apology to all artists who trusted Limez Entertainment with their promotions. However, I would like to clarify that we did not participate in ‘Sajaegi’ Chart Manipulation, I don’t know how to, and I don’t want to know.”

He continued, “for the past 5 years, I’ve been working on promoting the artists who are not powerful enough to go on TV to promote themselves. In 2013, I received a sponsorship and created a Facebook page called ‘Non-celebrity’s Breathtaking Live Performances’ (literal translation). I used it to upload live performances of underrated singers and helped them to promote their songs.”

Following the explanation of owning a Facebook Page, Lee Siwoo continued to explain about the establishment of Limez Entertainment and recruiting another artist, Banhana. He said, “there were too many artists with skill who couldn’t advertise themselves. We realized new media was the best way to reach the most audience, and started advertising our artists through Facebook.”

Lee Siwoo concluded, “we promise that Limez does not manipulate charts. We are not foolish enough to participate in illegal activities. I believe it is up to the audience to determine the quality of the songs. The goal of Limez Entertainment is to create an environment where all artists can receive fair treatment and evaluation. Once we achieve the goal, we will work harder to maintain the healthy environment. Thank you.”

Original Article (1), (2), (3)
Translated by Dasol Kim