FIFTY FIFTY Surprises with 'The Beginning' Album Release: Attrakt's CEO Jeon Hong-jun Hoped for Members' Return"
ATTRAKT's CEO, Jeon Hong-jun, has always wanted to be the supportive figure behind the group FIFTY FIFTY, consisting of members Sae-na, Aran, Ki-na, and Sio.
According to a report by Star News on the 22nd, FIFTY FIFTY unexpectedly released a compilation EP album titled 'The Beginning' that morning. While artists typically have promotional activities or announcements leading up to an album release, FIFTY FIFTY's sudden drop without any prior notice left fans and the public in surprise.
'The Beginning' predominantly features various versions of their hit song 'Cupid', which was released last February. Notably, a version featuring American actress and singer Sabrina Carpenter as well as a sped-up version that gained traction as a meme overseas caught significant attention. The album also includes tracks from their debut EP 'FIFTY FIFTY' released last November, making it a total of 11 songs.
Given the recent legal disputes between FIFTY FIFTY and ATTRAKT's CEO Jeon Hong-jun, there was heightened interest in the background of this album release. It was confirmed that the album was released by Warner Music, with ATTRAKT still being their official agency. Among the songwriters and arrangers for the album, the name 'SIAHN' appeared, raising eyebrows as it's the artist name for An Seong-il, the CEO of The Givers, who has been under suspicion of manipulating FIFTY FIFTY members. If ATTRAKT released the album, it would mean they're indirectly benefiting An Seong-il, a move that many find perplexing.
Jeon Hong-jun explained to Star News, "Before the contract dispute with the members, we had signed an agreement with Warner Records for the U.S. version of the album." The album was a compilation made by ATTRAKT in collaboration with Warner Records for K-pop fans in the U.S. The initial release was 156,000 copies nationwide.
Jeon added, "There's no new recording. It's just a U.S. limited edition best album. We only remixed and remastered the songs to fit the U.S. style." He also mentioned meeting the CEO of Warner Records in the U.S. in May, finalizing the verbal agreement, and then continuing the work with his staff after returning to Korea in June. "We signed the contract in early July and sent the work to the U.S. in August. At that time, I believed the members would return soon, so we proceeded with the project," he said.
According to Jeon, while the album release was based on a prior agreement, it was also driven by his enduring trust in the members. Even after receiving a contract termination request from the FIFTY FIFTY members in June, he formally signed the album contract in July.
In June, FIFTY FIFTY members had filed a preliminary injunction request against Jeon, citing unclear settlements and lack of support. On the 28th of the previous month, the Seoul Central District Court rejected the request, stating that there wasn't enough evidence for the allegations. FIFTY FIFTY has since appealed the decision.
Jeon expressed his disappointment, saying, "After the rejection, they should return, but it's heartbreaking to see the members still being gaslighted by CEO An." He emphasized, "Manipulation should be eradicated. We shouldn't set a bad precedent in the K-pop market. We need to revise the laws to strengthen punishments."