FIND OUT MORE ABOUT FORMER IDOL TURNED INTO SUCCESSFUL BUSINESSMAN, KO JI-YONG
Ko Ji-Yong was a member of the first-generation Korean idol group Sechskies. Sechskies and H.O.T went toe to toe and competed for popularity in the late 90s. Surprisingly, Sechskies announced disbandment at the peak of their popularity.
One of the members of Sechskies, Ko Ji-young chose another career path, namely acting. However, his acting career didn’t go as planned and he failed to participate in any drama or movie even though he was contracted with a famous agency.
Facing various obstacles before setting up his own company, Ko Ji-young was determined and he successfully paved the way for his own career in business. When former members of Sechskies decided to reunite, he didn’t hesitate and chose to continue working as a normal employee. He got a chance to appear in a TV variety show with his only son, Ko Seung-Jae, and regained his popularity not as an idol but as a loving father. In this article, Channel Korea will provide you with a detailed explanation of everything about Ko Ji-Yong, his career in business, and his lovely son, Ko Seung-Jae. So, stay tuned!
Full Profile and Facts
Name: Ko Ji-yong
Stage name: Jiyong
Date of Birth: July 1st, 1980
Place of Birth: Seoul, Korea
Height: 180 cm
Weight: 66 kg
Blood type: O
Spouse: Heo Yang-lim
Company: BrakioStudio (President/CEO)
Education: Seoul National University of Arts
Chinese Zodiac: The Year of the Monkey
- Well known for his dancing skills
- A childhood friend of Sechskies’ Kang Sunghoon and g.o.d’s Son Ho-young
- Selected as a final member of Sechskies
- Left the entertainment industry and started his own company
- Non-active member of Sechskies
- Chose not to reunite with Sechskies under the new label YG Entertainment
- Owns a rental studio for commercial photoshoots and music video recording
Debut As A Member Of SECHSKIES
Eun Ji-won and Kang Sung-hoon were scouted by DSP Entertainment while they were studying in a foreign country. Kang Sung-hoon recommended his childhood friend, Ko Ji-yong as the final member of Sechskies. Jang Su-woon was selected as a trainee during an open audition, while two other members, Kim Jae-duck and Lee Jai-jin were recommended by Daesung Entertainment CEO’s close friend. All members trained together and debuted only months after the scouting process.
The six-member idol group debuted on April 15th, 1997, with their first single “School Anthem” by performing at KMTV Show! Music Tank. One month later, on May 15th, 1997, Sechskies released their first studio album titled School Anthem which contained 12 tracks. Ko Ji-yong was famous for his dancing skills and good look.
Sechskies’ debut album was hugely popular with singles like “School Anthem,” “The Way This Guy Lives,” and “Remember Me.” News media reported that over 1.8 million copies of the album were sold. However, Sechskies’ label management, DSP Media, reported only around 500.000 sales.
Sechskies’ popularity was beyond musical awards as they became the first artist to perform at the Sejong Center for the performing arts, the first idol group to film their own movie, participate and perform in a musical in front of former President Kim Dae-jung at the Blue House and the first male idol group to perform in Pyeongyang, North Korea.
Their first album was classified in ballad, dance and R&B genre. However, they also participated in the musical Alibaba And The 40 Thieves. Sechskies started experimenting in their third album by mixing hip-hop and electronic music. Their most popular song, “Couple,” was released in Special Album on October 30th, 1998. The track reached the No. 1 position on SBS’ Inkigayo, KBS’ Music Bank, and MBC’s Music Camp. Sechskies released five studio albums within less than three years.
Disbandment and Solo Career
On May 18th, 2000, Sechskies announced their official disbandment through a sudden press conference. Their final stage performance was held on May 20th, 2000, at the Dream Concert. By the end of May 2000, the first-generation idol group released their final album, Best Of, a compilation and farewell album to their fans.
Their sudden disbandment without any explanation angered the fans. At the end of their last performance, the angry fans fumed their rage to a reporter car, mistakenly thought as DSP Media CEO’s car. The CEO didn’t file any complaint to the young fans and gave compensation around 11 million KRW to the reporter.
Two years after Sechskies’ disbandment, Ko Ji-yong posted on an online community about his recent contract with Player Entertainment and his pursuit of a career in acting. Player Entertainment at the time was a prestigious company that managed actors Lee Byung-hun and Lee Jung-jae. He confessed that after the disbandment, he didn’t do anything for two years and he felt his life passes by extremely fast. However, his acting career didn’t go smoothly as he was allegedly blocked by former management, DSP Media from drama casting.
Outside of the entertainment industry, Ko Ji-yong became a successful businessman and was positioned as an executive director of the commercial company Adetive. In June 2018, Ko Ji-yong resigned from his position, allegedly because he used Sechskies’ name in his business activity. Sechskies’ official fans wrote a letter to current management, YG Entertainment, to remove Ko Ji-yong completely from Sechskies’ official profile. Fans accused him of using Sechskies’ name for his own company’s benefit.
At the moment, Ko Ji-yong is the CEO of Brakio Studio, a studio designated to record music videos and hold commercial photoshoots for magazines. The studio is located at Gyeonggi Province, Gwangju City.
Sechskies held the long-awaited reunion concert through the TV variety show MBC’s Infinite Challenge in 2016. Other than Ko Ji-yong, other Sechskies members agreed on a reunion concert and started preparing around two weeks before their guerilla concert. Five members arrived at the Sangam World Cup Stadium, and recorded an audio message to their fans inviting them to watch Sechskies’ concert. The audio message was promoted and delivered through the Infinite Challenge Twitter page. They waited anxiously in the waiting room and confessed that their confidence has diminished because of their 16 years of hiatus. Several hours before their performance, Infinite Challenge’s Yoo Jae-suk informed Sechskies members that Ko Ji-Yong will not appear at the concert and that his place will be replaced by another singer. It turned out that it was a joke and suddenly Ko Ji-yong appeared in the waiting room and greeted all Sechskies members. He said that although he can’t rejoin them, he sincerely supports them.
One by one, fans entered the stadium. The fans were wearing the Sechskies official color, yellow and the stadium was filled with yellow color. Ko Ji-Yong joined the other members on the stage for their last song “Would You Remember.” Fans in the stadium shouted his name as he entered the stage. He was filled with emotion when singing his parts. At the end of the performance, all original members of Sechskies bowed to the audience for the last time.
On May 11th, 2016, YG Entertainment announced contract signing with Sechskies members. Sechskies held another concert, on September 10th and 11th, 2016, which was sold out within minutes after opening.
Married Life and Becoming Ko Seung-jae’s Father
A close friend of Ko Ji-yong revealed that the meeting between Ko Ji-yong’s family and his fiancée’s family occurred on March 21st, 2013. He said that a wedding ceremony was due to be held within the year. Ko Ji-yong’s fiancée is a doctor who works at Seoul Paik Hospital. Her name is Heo Yang-im and the couple is the same age. The couple met through an introduction by close friends. His fiancée was famous for her beauty and often described as Kim Tae-hee of the medical community. She appeared on KBS2’s Vitamin and Escape Crisis Number 1, also on MBC’s Power Magazine. The couple tied the knot on December 13th, 2013, at the Grand Hyatt Seoul.
The couple’s only son, Ko Seung-jae was born on October 6th, 2014. Both father and son appeared on the hit variety show KBS2’s The Return of Superman, from episode 154 to 280. Ko Seung-jae was well known for his cute and playful character. According to a psychology test given to him when he was two years of age, Seung-jae has a high intelligence compared to other kids of his age. His choice of words surprises older people as he has an advanced vocabulary. He preferred talking with older kids or adults rather than with kids around his age.
Although blessed with intelligence, Ko Seung-jae is a rather timid boy. When they traveled to the hot springs, Seung-jae hesitated before entering the water. His father urged Seung-jae to try and he even went into the water to show him that it was all right. In the end, Seung-jae refused to enter the hot water even though his father encouraged and showed him that it was safe and pleasant.
Both father and son had several small arguments during the shooting. While they were working on the crafting project, Ko Seung-Jae complained to his father about his bad breath. Ko Ji-young’s bad breath became a hot discussion topic on the internet. Ko ji-young clarified that it was not his bad breath. He said that it was the smell of bonding material. At the time, he was trying to dry a bonding material by blowing it. Apparently, at the time, Seung-Jae was right in front of him and inhaled the smell of bonding material.
Seung-jae seemed to ignore his father when playing by himself. But he showed that he really cares for and loves his father very much when Ko Ji-yong did shrinking prank to correct Seung-jae’s behavior. Ko Ji-yong said that he will return to normal size if Seung-jae behaves well and is obedient to his father. He cried and promised to behave well when seeing his father return to normal size.
- School Anthem (1997)
- Welcome To The Sechskies Land (1997)
- Road Fighter (1998)
- Special Album (1998)
- Com’Back (1999)
- Ali Baba and the 40 Thieves Musical OST (1998)
- 1020 Mix (1999)
- Sechskies Live Concert (1999)
- Blue Note (2000)
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