The American and Korean music industries made a major move in Los Angeles today, August 7, with the reveal of a super-group boy band being that declared itself “the Avengers of K-pop.” Capitol Music Group and its independent label service Caroline announced their partnership and agreement for Super M, a new boy band debuting later this year consisting of seven established superstars under South Korea’s powerhouse label SM Entertainment.
Super M is made up of Taemin of K-pop boy band SHINee, Baekhyun and Kai of EXO, Taeyong and Mark of NCT, plus Ten and Lucas of the Chinese-pop band WayV. The team is set to make their debut on the American music scene in October.
The announcement came at the 2019 Capitol Congress event and showcase that featured appearances and new-music reveals from Katy Perry, Niall Horan and more. CMG chairman and CEO Steve Barnett, Caroline president Jacqueline Saturn, and SM founder Soo-Man Lee were all on hand to share words about the announcement. Before the reveal, Capitol’s first K-pop signee NCT 127—which has Super M members Taeyong and Mark—greeted audience of Capitol employees, associates and members of the media, and told them to look forward to new music.
“The Avengers of K-Pop” were revealed in an intense and vivid visual teaser shown on the Congress’ theater screen. The phrase “We Are The Future” splashed across the screen before the Super M members were individually introduced via stylish and futuristic looks consisting of crisp black and white formal shirts, leather gloves and harnesses, and Super M’s youngest member Mark rocking a big pair of clear sunglasses.
“This is a total new formation of a group and artist, and also a totally new form for the business,” Chris Lee, who serves as an A&R executive at SM, on the label’s board of directors and as CEO of Culture Technology Group Asia Europe, reflected to Forbes after the presentation. “We’re maintaining their groups, their solo careers, and on top of this we have this ‘Avengers’ group to pull them together. There’s already an Iron-Man, a Thor, etc; and just like how the Avengers can have their own successful movies, there is a different kind of energy when they are together as the Avengers. We are now creating that as a point of business. We want to create a synergy between their groups, them as solo acts, and the Super M group to create a big wave in this K-pop industry.”
SM Entertainment has long been a pioneer in the K-pop industry (like finding successes with large-membered groups like Super Junior and Girls’ Generation, hitting huge profits in overseas territories like Japan and China, and creating a boy band with an infinite amount of members in NCT) and hopes that this new chapter can make a change for “K-pop as a whole.”
“Of course there are those that are strictly EXO fans [or fans of one group],” Lee recognizes. “But outside of that, most people are interested in K-pop in general and in the genre of contents, which is a genre in all of itself.”
When it comes to those fans with worries about the individual groups or artists, the executive says everyone is cognizant but excitedly hopeful in what may seem like a complicated time. “We understand what they’re worried about, definitely, and the artists themselves do too. We’re trying to turn those concerns into excitement. Right now, the artists themselves are sympathizing, but recognize that this is a way to connect with a lot of fans, including K-pop fans in general. We’re trying to satisfy all with well-made content and we’re confident in that.”
An official site and Instagram account for Super M was opened soon after the announcement featuring a dark and mysterious, black-and-white photo to mark the first picture of the septet available to the public.