Various new boy and girl groups are debuting in 2022. Experts told Hani this is a sign of a transition of generation in Kpop.
In the article titled “Who will be following in the footsteps of BTS and BlackPink” published on January 23 by Hani, experts say that idols with dreams of becoming global stars are constantly being launched in the Kpop industry. Accordingly, constant debuts of rookie idols in 2022 marks a generational change in the Korean music market.
Rookie girl groups continue to get introduced
HYBE – the management company of BTS – has introduced the debut of 3 girl groups this year through its subsidiaries. Among them, Min Hee Jin‘s girl group is receiving the most attention. Min Hee Jin – CEO of ADOR label, under HYBE – appeared on tvN’s show You Quiz On The Block and expressed confidence in her upcoming girl group.
Min Hee Jin announced that the new girl group will be a breeze of fresh air to Kpop. “I am preparing to debut a new girl group with high confidence. I’ve had the group’s debut track ready for two years. I’m definitely taking them in a new and different direction from Kpop,” she said.
Min Hee Jin worked as a creative director at SM Entertainment for 17 years. Therefore, the public has more expectations for the new girl group produced by Min Hee Jin. HYBE’s Source Music plans to debut the girl group LESSERAFIM early this year. The group will be centered around former members Miyawaki Sakura and Kim Chaewon of IZ*ONE – a group that was formed through the competitive reality show “Produce48” from Mnet. BELIFT LAB, a joint label managed by HYBE and CJ ENM, also plans on creating a new girl group through the audition program “I-LAND 2”.
Meanwhile, JYP Entertainment is planning on unveiling a new seven-member female K-pop group next month. Three years have passed since the company debuted the girl group ITZY. The name of the new group is expected to be “NMIXX”.
In July of last year, JYP released NMIXX’s debut single package without disclosing any details about the group’s members. They were able to sell over 60,000 copies in 10 days.
YG Entertainment is planning on debuting a new girl group 6 years after the debut of BlackPink. But not much has been made public about the group itself or about a possible debut date. However, because YG already trademarked the name, it is likely the new girl group will be called “Baby Monster”.
Over the past time, many girl groups have debuted and contributed to making the Kpop market even more competitive, including IVE. IVE has officially debuted since December 2021 and consists of two former members of IZ*ONE, Ahn Yujin and Jang Won Young. They are currently the girl group that has won the most trophies on music shows for a debut song.
At the same time, Kep1er was established through the survival program “Girls Planet 999.” GLG, a company founded by Grandline, also debuted the group H1-KEY on January 5.
Fiercely Competing Boygroups
In terms of boygroups, the competition is just as fierce. SM Entertainment is preparing to debut NCT Hollywood, which will be active in the US.
JYP Entertainment also launched the boy band Xdinary Heroes in December 2021 with the concept revolving between the real and virtual worlds. The boy group formed in the program “LOUD” co-produced by JYP Entertainment and P-Nation is also expected to debut in 2022.
Interpark Music Plus, a subsidiary of Interpark, announced a new boygroup named TRENDZ on January 5. The group gained attention by releasing many dance covers of Kpop sunbaes, such as BTS.
In particular, Hanbin (real name Ngo Ngoc Hung) is about to debut with the boy group TEMPEST. The group was trained by Yuehua Entertainment and Hanbin was the first Vietnamese member in this company. The debut of Hanbin with the group TEMPEST is being looked forward to by Vietnamese audiences in particular and Kpop fans in general.
As entertainment agencies are continuously releasing new groups, they emphasize that this is their choice to adapt to the new situation. A professional said to the Hani: “It’s not easy to adapt groups who have debuted for a while to the metaverse trend. That’s why new groups are released to adapt to this trend.”
According to the Xrtoday, metaverse is a collaboration between the virtual reality and the real world through AR and VR technologies. From this, it can create a virtual space where users can interact with each other and the space itself.
Many groups are also approaching the end of their exclusive contract and facing the threat of disbandment, which leads to agencies introducing a new generation of idol groups. According to many fans, as TWICE’s contract is ending soon in 2022, JYP Entertainment has to rush to introduce NMIXX even though ITZY has only debuted recently.
“Many famous idol groups at the moment are reaching their 5th year, while an exclusive idol contract usually lasts 7 years. To maintain the agency’s growth, releasing new idol groups is a must,” said a representative. Park Hee Ah, a pop music critic, said: “A new change is approaching as young people with the Generation Z’s worldview are debuting as idols. This is an essential move to catch up with a rise in global fandoms.”