Imagine if two Jonas Brothers, two members of Big Time Rush, and two members of One Direction came together to make music and top the charts, not only in America but all over the world. For some Korean pop fans, that has just happened. South Korean label SM Entertainment decided to take some of the most popular members of their boy groups and create a new supergroup called SuperM.
On Aug. 7, SM Entertainment and Capitol Records announced their partnership as well as the group itself. According to Billboard, SM founder Lee Soo-man called the group “the Avengers of Kpop” and includes seven talented members from four different groups (SHINee, EXO, NCT 127, and WayV), all with their own talents and specialties. Not only are the members of four different groups, but they also represent four different nationalities. While the four oldest members are native Koreans, the youngest three are Thai, Chinese, and Korean-Canadian.
An aspect of SuperM that has many turning their heads is their focus on the United States. NCT 127, which has two members in SuperM, signed with Capitol in April, and has released a number of songs in English since this deal was made. Similarly, BigHit Entertainment group BTS and Starship Entertainment group Monsta X have released music with English lyrics and collaborated with American artists this year, and SuperM is following this trend. SuperM’s debut song, titled “Jopping” (a portmanteau of “jumping” and “popping”), released on Oct. 4, had a large portion of the song performed in English.
While the song has been praised by critics and general music fans, Refinery29 reports that fans of the original groups that SuperM members come from have not been as supportive. One fan of NCT 127 stated her concern for twenty-year-old member Mark, who has debuted four different times since he was sixteen. Fans of EXO are concerned that members Baekhyun and Kai will not have enough time to focus on their main group (who also recently lost two members to South Korean mandatory military service). WayV fans are upset because members Lucas and Ten were taken from their original group and were not given screentime or lines in “Jopping”.
Despite fan criticism, SuperM has been dominating global media in the few short weeks since their debut. Their music video has over 33 million views and their North American tour kicks off in early November, complete with a show at the legendary Madison Square Garden in New York City. While they are a Korean group through and through, SuperM is pushing boundaries not only musically, but internationally.
Sources: Billboard, Refinery29, SM Entertainment