Earlier than I take a quick take a look at lots of Okay-pop’s smaller companies, there are just a few that I’ve extra to say about. Think about these “bonus” write-ups — shorter than the “huge 4” however longer than a paragraph or two might cowl.
As traditional, the ideas are my very own and aren’t aware about any insider info. The aim of those articles is to find out how nicely Okay-pop companies are serving their artists and followers. Due to the timing of this submit, I’ll be together with the previous couple of weeks of 2021 as a part of my evaluation.
Starship Leisure isn’t usually within the dialog when discussing Okay-pop’s largest companies, however they actually appear to be making a play for it. They’ve at all times been house to at the least one super-successful artist, and their roster appeared particularly robust in 2022.
Although they solely debuted a yr in the past, IVE have rapidly develop into one of many business’s prime tier lady teams. I’d like extra music from them, however there’s no denying their observe document for hits up to now. Starship has been good in delivering an all-killer, no-filler debut yr for them. They’ve scored huge public hits with out sacrificing high quality, and member Wonyoung appears to be in all places. With a Japanese debut on Kōhaku Uta Gassen subsequent month (regardless of no unique Japanese songs!), their recognition appears to be unrestricted from geographic boundaries.
I’ve been essential of boy group CRAVITY’s output for years, but it surely felt like they lastly discovered their sound in 2022. Starship is giving them nice materials that really suits them and doesn’t come throughout as a “Monsta X Jr.” placeholder. With two strong comebacks this yr, they’re on a roll.
WJSN had a really profitable run on season two of Queendom. Being a part of the present was a danger, but it surely paid off. We didn’t get a lot music from them in 2022, however their consistency confirmed no indicators of abating. Starship continued to nurture the quirky sub-unit Chocome as nicely with a enjoyable launch initially of the yr.
Monsta X was much less lively as a gaggle, however the company efficiently launched a solo profession for member Kihyun, who properly leveraged his strengths with a rock-influenced sound that differed from his group work. And talking of (ex) Monsta X soloists, Wonho continued churning out hits below Starship subsidiary Highline Leisure. He had a really lively 2022 earlier than his upcoming enlistment.
All of those artists benefitted from an A&R crew that appears to be rejuvenated. In comparison with previous years, Starship’s musical output was a lot stronger in 2022. I’m unsure who’s answerable for selecting the songs – and whether or not it’s totally different groups for various artists – however they’re doing one thing proper.
I actually don’t have a lot to say right here. I might’ve favored extra music from WJSN and IVE, and I don’t suppose the company is aware of what to do with soloist Jeong Sewoon. However aside from these quibbles, Starship has had a banner yr. There have been small controversies right here and there, which is par for the course for any company of their measurement. And, it’s clear that totally different artists are given totally different ranges of promotion. Nonetheless, everybody on the roster received a while to shine in 2022 and Starship loved strong gross sales and growing recognition. They appear very well-positioned going into 2023.
What I’d wish to see in 2023:
- A continuation of IVE’s nice singles run
- Extra music from WJSN!
- Maintain CRAVITY’s sound mild and enjoyable — please don’t return to the blustery sounds of the previous
Earlier years: 2021 // 2020 // 2019 // 2018 // 2017