Aespa Is Warner Records’ First K-Pop Group Signing
K-Pop girl group aespa will enjoy a global push through a new partnership struck with SM Entertainment and Warner Records.
With the new deal, announced out of Los Angeles, the fourpiece becomes the first-ever K-Pop group on the Warner Records roster.
The spark is immediately lit with aespa tapped as Apple Music’s latest “Up Next” artist, a global monthly artist initiative that identifies, showcases and pushes talent that deserves its place in the spotlight.
As the campaign rolls on, the singers will appear in an “Up Next” short film, sit for a chat with Apple Music’s Brooke Reese on Apple Music 1 radio, and appear on U.S. late-night talk show Jimmy Kimmel Live!
SM Entertainment is a K-pop powerhouse, with the likes of BoA, SHINee, EXO, Red Velvet and “supergroup” SuperM on its roster.
“We are well aware of Warner Records’ long history of success with global artists, and we are grateful for their belief in aespa’s rising future,” comments Sung Su Lee, CEO, SM Entertainment; and Young Jun Tak, COO, SM Entertainment, in a statement.
“Together with Warner Records, we are confident that aespa can continue to showcase groundbreaking music and grow into a global group.”
aespa – Giselle, Winter, Karina, Ningning
The hot pop act has “already made an impact around the world under the leadership of SM Entertainment founder and chairman Soo-Man Lee and his incredible team,” adds Tom Corson, COO & co-chairman, Warner Records; and Aaron Bay-Schuck, CEO & co-chairman, Warner Records.
“We’re honored to welcome them to the Warner Records’ family as our first-ever K-Pop group and look forward to achieving unprecedented success together.”
The sky is no limit for K-pop, and aespa – comprising Karina, Winter, Giselle and Ningning – are riding the wave, with a U.S. Top 20 title in their armory.
For the second year in a row, the biggest act on the planet in 2021 was BTS, winners of 2021’s IFPI Global Recording Artist of the Year Award. Another K-pop act, SEVENTEEN, came in at No. 9 on the IFPI’s list, which measures performance across all music formats, from streams to vinyl, and covers an artist’s entire body of work.
As K-pop blows up around the globe, South Korea’s recorded music industry is on a high, and is now an IFPI Top 10 market, ahead of Canada, Australia and Italy, respectively.
The new alliance between Warner Records and SM Entertainment is struck ahead of the release of aespa’s Girls – The 2nd Mini Album, due out July 8.
It’s the followup to 2021 EP Savage – The 1st Mini Album, which debuted at No. 20 on the Billboard 200 albums chart, making history as the highest-ranking entry for a K-Pop girl group.
A teaser for album track “Illusion” is here.