An artist’s musical journey to fame is usually fueled by two things: their passion for the craft and support from their fans. While many artists claim that they would make music no matter the how many fans they had, they also claim that their current supporters are a large factor in their decision to continue performing. However, this gratification of fans from the artist seems to have lead to an unhealthy trend in multiple fandoms: the idea that listeners are now entitled to receive regular music releases and concerts from artists and entertainers.
The tell-tale sign of fans having a sense of entitlement is hearing the words “they need to” or “they should have”. Often times, if an artist has been flying under the radar for a while (whether it be for rest, promotions, or medical reasons), fans are antsy and want new music–which is normal and healthy. What is not healthy is messaging an idol with statements like “you owe us new music” or “hurry up and release new music”.
First, keep in mind that artists do not owe fans anything. Just because they have gathered a large following and produce popular music does not mean that they must continually do so.
Secondly, artists have their own lives outside of music and performing that they must attend to, the same way fans have their own lives to keep up with. It is important to remember that outside of their fame, K-pop idols are human beings too and might wish to do things like spending time with their families or sleep. As average, non-famous people, fans often take simple actions like this for granted and do not realize that idols see their families on rare occasion and probably spend many more hours awake than they do asleep. It is because listeners take this for granted that they do not often realize the hardships that come along with being an idol, and therefore think that an absence in musical production is a sign that the artist is lazy or unappreciative of “patient” fans.
Lastly, the amount of pressure that an artist already has will only be made worse by fans spamming them with messages showing their sense of entitlement and impatience. Because of their status, K-pop idols are under the constant pressure of needing to please their fans which can take a heavy toll on their creative mind and producing capabilities. If an artist logs on to social media and sees message after message saying “hurry up” then the result may either be a further lack of production, the stress placed on the idol, or a hurriedly produced song that lacks its full potential. Aside from affecting the idol though, this imaginary entitlement that a fan crafts in their head can have negative effects on themselves as well. Many fans who are too expectant of their idols will often feel disappointed or unfulfilled by the lack of activity a performer has and that can lead to moderate depression or irritability.
When becoming involved in the K-pop industry, remember that even though you support an idol, that does not mean that the idol owes you anything. Loving and supporting an idol is a choice made by the individual, the same way that loving and making music is also an individual’s choice. If you ever feel like you have become overly expectant of an idol and it negatively impacting your life, try listening to different music or creating music of your own! With visions of new music wrapped in your brain, it could be the perfect time to try and create that music yourself!