Korean singer-actor Rain embarks on behind-the-scenes career in showbiz

Rain is performing at Resorts World Sentosa on Dec 30 as part of his Squall concert tour.
Rain is performing at Resorts World Sentosa on Dec 30 as part of his Squall concert tour.PHOTO: RAIN COMPANY

The South Korean singer-actor is looking for young talent to groom under his entertainment label

South Korean singer-actor Rain is preparing for a greater role behind the scenes of show business - he wants to be a star-maker.

A K-pop force driving Hallyu (the Korean wave) in the region in the 2000s, he is now a newly minted talent agency boss.

"I want to groom young talent, contribute to K-pop culture and raise the quality of the system," he says in an e-mail interview with The Straits Times. He founded his entertainment label, Rain Company, last year.

"I don't necessarily look out for star quality, but I look out for an individual's potential to become a star."

This approach is probably due to his experience in the industry. He was reportedly turned down multiple times at talent agency auditions for being too ugly before JYP Entertainment finally launched his solo singing career in 2002.

  • BOOK IT / RAIN TOUR IN SINGAPORE - THE SQUALL

  • WHERE: Resorts World Ballroom, Resorts World Convention Centre, 8 Sentosa Gateway

    WHEN: Dec 30, 7.30pm

    ADMISSION: $118 to $338 from Sistic (go to www.sistic.com.sg or call 6348-5555)

Rain, 34 , whose real name is Jung Ji Hoon, says he finds it physically more exhausting to manage a team, but adds that his work is "more rewarding" now.

Fans need not mourn his disappearance from the limelight yet - the seasoned star with his famous sculpted physique is still going to be around.

He will be performing at a concert here at the end of the month as part of his Squall regional tour, which kicked off in China in November last year.

The Singapore leg marks the tour's last stop and Rain promises to bring the full works.

The show at Resorts World Sentosa on Dec 30 will feature more than 20 songs, spanning his signature dynamic dance tunes such as It's Raining and soulful ballads including I Love You.

Since completing two years of mandatory military service in 2013, he has also starred in American action thriller The Prince (2014), alongside actors Bruce Willis and John Cusack, as well as in the K-dramas My Lovely Girl (2014) and Please Come Back, Mister (2016).

Setting his sights on the vast China market, he was also in Chinese dramas Diamond Lover (2015) and the yet-to-be aired Endless August.

On top of all this, the star, who is dating actress Kim Tae Hee, 36, has been working on a new album.

With the confidence of an aspiring show-business kingmaker, he says: "Since much effort has been put into it, I believe the album will be the talk of the town. I will work harder to release it as soon as I can."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 05, 2016, with the headline 'Rain sets sights on stars'. Print Edition | Subscribe