It has been non-stop success for the global music sensation aespa. The South Korean girl group debuted in 2020 with members Karina, Giselle, Winter, and Ningning and is already highly acclaimed with two EPs under its belt—one of which, Savage, has been certified double platinum by the Korea Music Content Association.
Following the group’s breakout single, Black Mamba, a number of hits were released including Next Level and Savage, both performing well on local and international charts, respectively. With hit songs and a growing fanbase came international recognition and a stream of awards such as an MTV Europe Music Award, four Melon Music Awards, and three Asia Artist Awards.
After taking home the trophy for Artist of the Year at the Golden Disc Awards, Karina, Giselle, Winter, and Ningning journeyed to North America to leave their mark on the coveted Coachella stage. The festival, which was the quartet’s first live U.S. show heard some of the best from the group’s catalog such as Savage and Black Mamba, with the first-ever performance of Life’s Too Short from their second and latest EP, Girls.
The group’s success continued with Time magazine acknowledging aespa among the Next Generation Leaders for 2022. Forbes also highlighted the quartet’s impact, including the group on the highly esteemed Forbes 30 Under 30.Aespa added to its many achievements in July, delivering a speech and performing at the United Nations High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development in New York. The group highlighted the integral role played by sustainable development goals (SDGs) in connection with their ‘metaverse origin story’— according to Karina.
Aespa’s agency, SM Entertainment describes this origin story as the SM Culture Universe, reminiscent of Marvel and DC comics. The company seeks to link reality with digital concepts through exciting stories displayed with avatars, music, and interaction as part of a virtual world.
Speaking on the topic of the SM Culture Universe, Ningning shared, “Truthfully, we were worried in the beginning, because this concept of ours is something new to our company as well. But our fans really loved it and are even creating memes out of it.” Giselle chimed in, adding that the aim of the project is to “normalize metaverse concepts and have our fans and other people be a little more comfortable with the whole idea of it.”
Each artist and group signed by the agency has been included in the virtual world concept with their respective character traits and roles to play; BoA, TVXQ, Shinee, Super Junior, Exo, Girls’ Generation, Red Velvet, and NCT. Aespa, along with labelmate South Korean singer, Kangta, are soon to receive their place in the shared universe.