K-pop artist Roy Kim talks about quitting the Georgetown Chimes
Roy Kim, a k-pop artist who attended Georgetown last year, recently talked about his experience at the University and trying to fit in with the Chimes a cappella group. Kim said he quit because he and his friend did not feel welcomed.
Kim was hoping to have a normal year of college and get away from his work performing and songwriting.
“I wanted to live as a student,” Kim said, according to All K-pop. “I worked on music here and there, but as long as I was in school, I wanted to live as a student who goes to a normal school and not as a celebrity or a singer. It took a month to assimilate as a student. I wanted to be with someone else rather than be alone since I was overseas.”
Kim got into an a cappella club at Georgetown, but did not like it and quit during his first year. “I did not like their unfriendliness towards outsiders, so I left,” he said.
“Those people knew I was promoting as a singer in Korea, so they ignored the people I came [into the club] with. I had entered the club with a close friend, but they told the friend he couldn’t sing and told me to be solo, and I hated that treatment,” Kim said.
While Kim did not identify the a cappella club by name, Ben Manzione (SFS ’15) Chimes business manager, said Kim was accepted as a neophyte to the Chimes, Georgetown’s premier, all-male a cappella group.
In an email to Vox, Manzione said that the Chimes’ traditional training period for neophytes may have contributed to Kim’s dissatisfaction.
“To my knowledge, Roy was never offered a solo; that would have been highly unusual for a neophyte,” Manzione wrote. “In addition, I’m not really sure who he is referring to as his friend who joined the Chimes, but our group works differently than other a cappella groups.”
“Customarily, we don’t allow our neophytes to sing in our shows until they have learned our entire repertoire of more than 125 songs unless they know every song in the set that will be sung,” Manzione wrote. “Had either Roy or his friend remained in our group through the neophyte process, they would most likely have been offered a solo at some point in their undergraduate careers once they became a Chime.”
Manzione said that he apologizes if Kim and his friend were not treated well.
But dealing with that first year as a neophyte is part of being a Chime. Vox guesses that k-pop is probably easier and Kim didn’t have the right stuff.
Photo: Roy Kim via Facebook