SM to launch four new groups this year

K-pop powerhouse SM Entertainment announced Thursday it will be debuting four teams of artists this year, including NCT Wish. The three other groups are a new girl group; Naevis, a helper character in its girl group aespa's fictional universe; and a boy group based in Britain, according to SM. NCT Wish, the final subunit of K-pop supergroup NCT, is scheduled to make its debut at Tokyo Dome in Japan on Feb. 21. Last year, SM forged a partnership with British entertainment firm Moon and Back (M and B), to launch a rookie boy group featuring South Korean and British members. M and B, an entertainment and TV show production company based in London, will collaborate with SM on a six-part TV series documenting the growth of the boy group. SM also plans to aggressively pursue opportunities for its artists to enter the U.S. market through its American unit, jointly established with Kakao Entertainment. To support these plans, SM has increased the number of its in-house composers by hiring 84 new composers throu gh a subsidiary in recent months. In a separate press release, SM said it will release solo albums by NCT members Ten and Taeyong in February, and a solo EP by Red Velvet's Wendy and an EP by NCT Dream in March. The company's lineup for the second half includes a single and an EP by Riize, the highly-anticipated first studio album by aespa and new releases from BoA, EXO's Suho, Hyoyeon of Girls' Generation and NCT's Doyoung, SHINee, Red Velvet and WayV. Among the artists planning for standalone concerts in the second half are NCT Dream, aespa, Super Junior, Super Junior-L.S.S. and NCT's Ten. "Last year, the number of album and music releases (by SM artists) was 64, a 12 percent rise from the previous year, with an all-time record of 20,100,000 new albums sold," SM said. It added the artists collectively held 340 concerts last year, marking a remarkable 224 percent increase from the previous year. Source: Yonhap News Agency