Saturday, July 19, 2014

What is "Talent" to You?

I read this article over at K-pop Ranter and it got me thinking, a lot.


I've been dying to use this Krystal pic btws.

So in the article, KpopRanter looks up the actual definition of "talent" using Google (Google is your best friend. Fuck you.) And it comes up as "natural aptitude or skill." Basically you were born able to do it.

However in todays modern world, majority of musicians and singers/vocalist/dancing is not  technically a talent (even though she mentioned SPICA and BEG) and the reason why is because of training. Even back in the days when Opera was all the rave you can't technically call them "talented" if you want to be a technical pest that is.

And here's why.


If a person receives vocal training to make their voice sound like an angels then that technically isn't a "talent" because their voice was not naturally that good. Even vocal gods like Mariah Carey got intense vocal training sense she was four years of age. She wasn't necessarily born with that god-given voice, she had training to help tighten and enhance that.

Above we have Apink's Eunji and Namjoo, and they are known to be the best singers in the group. Eunji and Namjoo are both known to have received vocal training in high school. Do I consider Eunji and Namjoo talented? Yes. We'll get to that later. 


The above video is of After School's amazing E-Young. She can play all of those instruments and some, really well. E-Young was of course taught how to play all of those instruments, she wasn't born into this world knowing all the keys on the piano. Do I consider E-Young talented? Yes. We'll get to that later.


The music video above is of Henry's latest new awesome song, "Fantastic" which he wrote and composed himself with his music crew. Henry can play piano, violin, and a lot more. He's like E-Young in a sense. Of course Henry was taught how to play those instruments. He also was taught through vocals as well. Do I consider Henry talented? Yes. We'll get to that later. 


The amazing as fuck song (imo) above is BTS's "Tomorrow." Member Suga wrote (and from my understanding composed) this entire song. Suga, RapMon, and J-Hope from what I understand write and produce a lot of the songs on BTS's albums which explains why the lyrics don't usually suck ass like in other k-pop songs (well this technically isn't k-pop. I don't know what to classify BTS as. Their a hip-hop group with and idol image.) Also, their rapping doesn't suck total ass like other idols rapping in my opinion. Of course with an idol image comes downing down on some raps that could be greater but that doesn't take away from anything. Of course while one can be talented in writing, it takes time to actually find out what works in a song. Of course they had some learning to go through. Do I consider BTS talented? Yes. We'll get to that next. 


I love the tomboy Sica look. 


And in case you're wondering yes I think  Luna, Taeyeon, Onew, Jonghyun, Daehyun, Yongguk, [insert your bias here] are talented.

If you let Kpopalypse tell it, looks=talent in k-pop. While I disagree because I'm an idiot, it's the truth in some respects, which I'm not going to go on because he already did. However another blogger, Akisame, who is known as the go-to person for vocals on the same blog brought up a highly interesting point. 

"One way to determine the presence of "talent" in singing is the speed of vocal learning. "Talented" people in a field tend to learn the skill in question faster than others. "Talent" is basically superficial because there's no set definition as to what it is, and it's pretty much immeasurable (unless we're talking about the old-fashioned currency were talents were worth a shit ton).

Regardless of whether one has talent or not, it does not change the fact that everyone needs to be vocally trained in order to sing well. A raw talent NEEDS to be trained. Talented singers such as Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey and Beyoncé all had vocal training to develop their talent and become virtuoso singers."
-Akisame, 2014 

This is taken straight from her "An Introduction to Vocal Faggortry, Part One: The Voice" article which I highly recommend you check out. 


So you see, you can have a natural born half-way decent sounding voice which can be considered talented to an untrained ear and shit to a trained ear. She makes it clear that even the members of SPICA probably went through miles of vocal training to become the great vocalist they are. I agree that talent is immeasurable, and the "set" definition of it (found in the beginning of this article) is pretty wishy-washy to begin with, and the reason why is because people have different reasons for thinking one is talented. 

And if we were talking about models, this post would be even more topsy-turvy. 

Now if I were a super technical person that nit-picked at everything like an old lady then I wouldn't consider nobody above talented. The reason why is because they all had some sort of training to become what they are today.

However I am not a super technological person because I know all of that is a slap in the face to all of the people above and plus, that would make me a total hypocrite.

I was a natural born writer (I'm talking creative writing, not blogging) and I loved to write. I was considered really talented, and over the past few summers, I've been attending writing workshops to improve my writing techniques. I still consider myself talented (and no just because I'm complimenting myself does not make me a bragger stop being an insecure douche bag) and if anything, I'm glad I took the initiative  to improve on writing. I don't think I should be shamed at all, and the same goes for k-pop vocalist and dancers.



I would rather have SNSD's Tiffany current technique over her old one (she improved a lot) because it's going to help her become a better vocalist in the end. SNSD's Jessica admitted to not being able to sing before she became a SM trainee and now she's the second best vocalist in the group. 

SHINee's Minho couldn't sing that good at all a few years ago and now he's getting more and more singing lines and his singing has improved. To keep the ball rolling with one more, Jungkook admitted that his dance instructor told him what held him back in dancing was the fact he couldn't convey emotion in his dancing, so he went to the U.S. to learn and came back a better dancer. Improvement is always welcome in my book.



My point being is this: idols debut young and in the world of k-pop stuff goes by very quickly. In my opinion, being able to improve that much in a small amount of time shows great talent and ability. I still suck at math, I'm talentless in it in some respects, however that doesn't mean I can't whip out a short story for you in half-an hour. To be able to dance like Hyoyeon and Eunhyuk  when they were just about what? Seventeen? Should be given at least some props. 

That is my long as post on talent. What's talent to you? Do you think idols are talentless? Do you think their is always room for improvement? 



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