Who are SuperM, the divisive new supergroup touted as “the Avengers of K-pop”?

“Supergroup” is a term that’s thrown around a lot these days, used for legitimate comings together of musical icons or just when a few people from different bands get in the same room. On paper, SuperM, the new K-pop group announced by SM and Capitol last night (August 7), is a band worthy of that tag, pulling together some of Korea’s most talented artists from some of SM’s most iconic male groups. Get to know the K-pop supergroup ahead of their official debut later this year.

Who is in SuperM?

Taemin

Who: SHINee singer and solo artist who most recently released mini-album ‘Want’ in February and new Japanese mini-album ‘Famous’ this month.
What will he bring to the group: Bags of experience (it’s been 11 years since SHINee first debuted), the powerful vocals that have made him a K-pop icon, and boundary-pushing thinking.

Baekhyun

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Who: EXO singer and member of the band’s sub-units Exo-K and Exo-CBX. Baekhyun made his solo debut in July 2019 with the mini-album ‘City Lights’.
What will he bring to the group: That velvety smooth voice that has made him such a key part of EXO.

Kai

Who: EXO and Exo-K singer. He also participated in SM’s previous supergroup project Younique, alongside Taemin and members of Super Junior, Girls’ Generation, and more, and was a part of the dance group SM The Performance.
What will he bring to the group: His knack for making even the most complicated of dance moves look effortless.

Mark

Who: Canadian rapper and singer who’s appeared in NCT units including NCT 127, NCT Dream, and NCT U.
What will he bring to the group: His versatile flow and experience working in various different groups. Being one of three members (alongside Ten and Lucas) who can speak strong English will also help with SM’s US push for SuperM.

Taeyong

Who: Rapper for NCT U and NCT 127, as well as the leader of the latter group.
What will he bring to the group: His fiery rap skills, songwriting abilities, and dance prowess.

Lucas

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Who: NCT member and singer and rapper for Chinese sub-unit WayV.
What will he bring to the group: That purred way of rapping that instantly makes any track sound cool and alluring.

Ten

Who: Thai rapper and singer in WayV who’s also released two of his own solo singles.
What will he bring to the group: All-round showmanship and compelling stage presence, plus hs soft, silky voice.

When will they debut and what’s the plan for them?

Officially, all we know so far is that the supergroup will make their debut in the US in October. However, EXO have shows in Japan until October 23 so it seems highly improbable the new band will make their first appearances before the back end of the month.

As for the plans for SuperM, SM and Capitol have said they’ll be focusing on the US market, presumably in a bid to profit off of the all-time high in K-pop’s popularity in the west. Aside from that, what’s to come is under wraps, but you can bet SM will be throwing everything at this project in the hopes of making it work.

What does SuperM mean for the members’ other groups and projects?

SuperM isn’t the end for the members’ other bands or solo work, as confirmed by SM A&R executive Chris Lee at last night’s launch. Here’s where the Avengers analogy comes in to play – the label sees each individual member as their own superhero, with different strengths and talents that they can bring together to create own behemoth group. “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,” Lee said, according to Forbes. “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.”

How have fans reacted to the news so far?

The announcement has been divisive, to say the least. While there are fans ready to get behind their favourite idols who are excited to see what this new supergroup holds, there are plenty of others who are not pleased with SM. Some of the criticisms levelled at the label include them trying to force success in the west instead of naturally developing a group and neglecting to promote the members’ other ventures properly. There are also concerns that Baekhyun will have to enlist for national service next year, meaning the group will already be one man down when that happens.

See some fan reactions below.

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