Waaaayyyyy back in 2016 I wrote about a super young up-and-comer named Glabingo that I was very interested in following through his career. His first few singles were both clever and interesting. He seemed to have a clear understanding of his musical voice for someone not yet even out of high school and he had the backing of both a label and parents already in the industry to support him through the process. But it’s really hard to truly follow someone’s career when they aren’t putting much music out. As Glabingo popped into my head this week and I went back through and listened to the few songs available, I was reminded just how excited I was to watch his potential unfold and I also really started to think about the other musicians I’ve been lured by and then lost simply because I couldn’t find out any information.
We, as Kpop fans with an unbelievable amount of access to the idols we love even across oceans and time zones, have gotten insanely used to knowing far too much about their lives, processes, and schedules. We know weeks to months in advance when to expect a comeback. We know when someone is taking a break for physical injuries or mental health issues, we know that musical delays might come up because an artist is acting in a web drama, a full-length show, or a movie, and we’ve seen groups go through the trial and tribulations of survival and ranking shows in order to grow their fandoms both domestically and internationally. We’ve gotten intimate with the process many of our self-produced singers use to create magic through vlogs and behind-the-scenes videos, and we’ve seen our loves struggle with the sheer amount of time and effort it takes to pull together even a single track let alone a full-length album.
We’re spoiled by all of this access which makes it that much harder to stick to artists that protect their private lives in order to balance this type of intrusive, all-encompassing career with just being able to exist as a person. I have said time and again that it’s hard to stay in love with a group that doesn’t give me enough content to keep me focused. I need to get love letters in order to maintain these long-distance relationships. It makes me feel a little gross that I am so demanding in my need to be coddled as a fan, but also a little proud that I continue to listen to and check back in with artists that don’t give me as much personal attention, but great music.
Now if we could just get Glabingo to put out more music. I have no idea why we get, on average, only one song a year. But it seems like this is enough to keep me checking back if not obsessed.