FIFTY FIFTY has finally gotten their break—after their song “Cupid” became a viral sensation on TikTok and their own songs following suit. They’re also soon to appear in the soundtrack of one of the most highly anticipated movies in 2023, “Barbie.”
For almost a week now, headlines and news articles about FIFTY FIFTY have been circulating the Internet, all involving their agency ATTRAKT, the former CO-CEO Ang Sung-il (SIAHN), and Warner Music Korea.
Are you just as confused as we are with these numerous articles? Then, here’s a more simplified, but still detailed timeline of what has been happening with FIFTY FIFTY, ATTRAKT, Warner Music Korea, and Former Co-CEO Ahn Sung-il.
June 23, 2023 – ATTRAKT explains FIFTY FIFTY’s lack of promotions and their current legal battle against third parties
FIFTY FIFTY’s agency ATTRAKT released a statement explaining the group’s lack of promotions despite their global success.
In their statement, ATTRAKT mentioned that one of the members had developed a medical condition and had gotten treatment and surgery last May 2. According to the doctor, the recovery period was for at least one month and two months for the longest, which is the reason for their halting of FIFTY FIFTY’s promotions.
ATTRAKT also said that there were “external forces” that approached the FIFTY FIFTY members and were “enticing them to violate their exclusive contracts with us”.
June 25, 2023 – CEO Jeong Hong-joon hopes FIFTY FIFTY members will return to their agency ASAP
In an interview with Korean news outlet Sports Chosun, ATTRAKT CEO Jeong Hong-joon said that the agency was “receiving information about the identity of these external forces” and that they will be “revealed soon”.
He later on added, “Even now, what I’m most worried about is the FIFTY FIFTY members, who will be hurt by this situation. I hope that they will return as soon as possible to their agency and gradually move forward with the projects that we had been in the process of preparing, such as their American promotions.”
June 26, 2023 – ATTRAKT calls out Warner Music Korea as the “external force” that approached FIFTY FIFTY members, Warner Music Korea responds
ATTRAKT announced in a new statement that the third party who had approached the FIFTY FIFTY members was Warner Music Korea. Last June 26, they announced that the agency had sent a certification of contents to Warner Music Korea after learning that they were involved in discussions about “poaching” FIFTY FIFTY from them.
“We have already obtained material evidence of a clear attempt to illegally poach the FIFTY FIFTY members,” as said by ATTRAKT in a press release. The agency also requested the other party to release a “precise explanation” of their position.
It had been publicly announced earlier this year that ATTRAKT had signed a partnership with Warner Records to promote the girl group globally following their success with “Cupid.”
Later that day, Warner Music Korea responded to ATTRAKT’s claims with an official statement:
“Hello, this is Warner Music Korea.
We are informing you of our official stance regarding today’s statement by rookie girl group FIFTY FIFTY’s agency ATTRAKT.
First, as FIFTY FIFTY’s overseas distributor, Warner Music Korea has been working [with FIFTY FIFTY] since April 1, 2023. Since signing the contract, we have done our best to make the dazzling achievements of FIFTY FIFTY and their agency shine even brighter by mobilizing Warner Music Group’s abilities and network, so we are very sorry that such unfortunate suspicions were raised.
Warner Music Korea has done our best as a global distributor until now while respecting the opinions of the artists and artists’ agency, and we take pride in that this is demonstrated by various achievements.
ATTRAKT’s claims are groundless, and we are very regretful that they have sent [us] a certification of contents.
We sincerely ask you to refrain from spreading unconfirmed rumors as well as baseless and speculative reports in the future.
June 27, 2023 – FIFTY FIFTY’s fan cafe shuts down and ATTRAKT’s statement regarding this
At around 3 P.M. KST last June 27, 2023, FIFTY FIFTY’s fan cafe had been shut down by an unauthorized external force. It had been recovered since then, and ATTRAKT had released a statement ensuring better management and prevention in the future.
“Hello, this is ATTRAKT.
We would like to inform you about the attempted shutdown of the official FIFTY FIFTY fan cafe that occurred at around 3 P.M. KST today.
This was not done by us but was done due to the unauthorized account takeover by external forces. We have confirmed that they have uploaded the post which says they are going to shut down the official fan cafe.
The managing account for the official fan cafe has been recovered, ATTRAKT is taking action as quickly as possible to ensure a smooth fan cafe use and prevent any further re-occurences.
We would like to give our sincere apology for causing confusion to our fans.
June 27, 2023 – ATTRAKT files criminal charges against its former co-CEO Ahn Sung-il (SIAHN)
On the same day as the girl group’s official fan cafe had been shut down (and recovered), ATTRAKT announced that they had filed a criminal complaint against its former co-CEO Ahn Sung-il (known as SIAHN), the CEO of creative content development group The Givers, and three other individuals.
As of writing, Ahn Sung-il’s LinkedIn profile still includes that he is still co-CEO of ATTRAKT and chief producer for FIFTY FIFTY.
ATTRAKT’s criminal complaint at the Gangnam Police Station were for fraud, breach of duty, and obstruction of business. The agency had accused Ahn Sung-il “of committing acts of fraud and obstruction of business including delaying the handover of work, deleting company email accounts, and deleting material related to past projects.”
“Furthermore, in the process of purchasing the song ‘Cupid’ from a foreign songwriter, The Givers did not provide ATTRAKT with information about the copyright purchase, and they secretly purchased about the copyright in their or their company’s name without our knowledge,” said ATTRAKT.
The agency ended their statement by saying that they may file additional criminal charges against the individuals, as they suspect them of having committed other illegal acts.
June 28, 2023 – FIFTY FIFTY members move to suspend their exclusive contracts with ATTRAKT
In a shocking turn of events, all four members of FIFTY FIFTY released an official statement through their legal representative law firm BARUN, announcing that they have filed an injunction to suspend the validity of their exclusive contracts with ATTRAKT, stating the latter’s violation of contract terms.
“This is an announcement from law firm BARUN, the legal representative of FIFTY FIFTY’s Saena, Keena, Aran, and Sio.
Through their legal representative, the four members filed an application for provisional disposition suspending the validity of their exclusive contracts to the Seoul Central District Court on June 19, and the trial is currently underway. This is due to the fact that ATTRAKT violated contract terms and took actions that resulted in the destruction of a relationship based on trust.
The members have not responded as the trial is underway. The legal representative pointed out several problems that have occurred until now and sent a correspondence requesting correction, but ATTRAKT is discrediting the members through continuous media coverage without attempting to explain regarding the requests, so we released this statement.
Despite our young age, the four members have tried our best to think and behave independently. After sufficient discussion with our parents, we came to raise the issue with the help of our legal representative. Nevertheless, ATTRAKT is not listening to the voices of the members, saying that it was an attempt to extort the members by an external force and arbitrarily disclosing the reason for a member’s surgery without consulting with her while they are unable to clearly explain their breach of contract. The members were highly disappointed and frustrated seeing this situation.
The members raised issues about various circumstances in which ATTRAKT did not fulfill contractual obligations, such as non-transparent settlement and the unilateral attempt to enforce [scheduled activities] despite [the members] conveying their poor health conditions. We would like to make it clear that this is an independent decision by the four members in unison without any intervention of a third party.
The members are well aware of how important this period is and are aware of the concern of many people around them. When we first started training, we were determined to become artists who could make a positive influence. We, the four members, did not go along with or maintain silence about wrongdoings. Without falsehood and without external pressure, we made this decision just to take the high road of our own.
At least going forward, We request that ATTRAKT does not defame the FIFTY FIFTY members anymore at least going forward.
The four members just want to go back to the fans who support us as soon as possible. Even after this, we promise that we will become more independent and diligent artists.
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