K-pop rookies stole the K-pop scene last year, as many fourth-generation idol groups launched successful debuts.
This year awaits yet more rookies ready to debut, and eyes are on who among them will be painting the town red.
First in the lineup is the long-awaited debut of YG Entertainment’s new girl group Baby Monster.
With the aim of launching the group in the first quarter of this year, YG unveiled seven of its trainees as candidates to debut as Baby Monster. But the agency surprised many by dropping the news that Baby Monster will not be a group of seven.
Instead, these candidates will go through a final evaluation and only those who pass through the last challenge will get to debut. Those who make it to the end will form YG’s first new girl group to launch in seven years, since Blackpink.
Starting House, an agency run by Im Yong-woon, former director of idol groups 4minute and (G)I-dle, is launching a girl group in the first half of this year.
Under the tentative name Starting Girls, only three members have been revealed so far: Seungchae, Yena and Chaeeun.
They project a trendy and stylish vibe in their music and performance, and young people especially will be able to relate to them, according to Starting House.
Next on the list is Xikers, a boy band to be launched by KQ Entertainment, coming five years after Ateez.
"Its name implies that it is comprised of boys who travel through time and space in search of different 'coordinates,'" KQ explained in a press release.
The 10 announced bandmates of Xikers are Minjae, Junmin, Sumin, Jinsik, Hyunwoo, Hunter, Junghoon, Seeun, Yujun and Yechan.
They come with a built-in fan base, as they were chosen through SBS’ 2022 competition show “The Player: K-Pop Quest.”
They are set to debut with their first mini album, “House of Tricky: Doorbell Ringing,” on March 30.
KQ explained that the upcoming mini album will highlight Xikers’ refreshing vibe and powerful performances.
Fantagio, an entertainment company housing K-pop bands Astro and Weki Meki, is also launching a new boy band in the first half of this year.
“We are preparing the group aiming for their debut early this year. Their exact debut date will be announced soon. Please look forward to their debut,” announced Fantagio on Wednesday.
The boy band comes seven years after the agency launched Astro.
Another boy band, the Wind, formed by With Us Entertainment is set to debut this spring.
The Wind consists of seven members who trained for the past five years to create and perform music that everyone can enjoy, according to the agency.
“The Wind hopes to become a fresh breath of air for people who need it. Just as the wind changes throughout different seasons of the year, the Wind hopes to present consolation and happiness in diverse ways for the public,” said With Us Entertainment.