Earlier than I take a quick take a look at lots of Okay-pop’s smaller businesses, there are a number of 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 may cowl.
As ordinary, the ideas are my very own and aren’t aware about any insider data. The aim of those articles is to find out how nicely Okay-pop businesses are serving their artists and followers. Due to the timing of this publish, 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 greatest businesses, however they actually appear to be making a play for it. They’ve at all times been house to a minimum of one super-successful artist, and their roster appeared particularly sturdy in 2022.
Although they solely debuted a 12 months in the past, IVE have shortly grow to be one of many trade’s prime tier woman teams. I’d like extra music from them, however there’s no denying their observe report for hits to date. Starship has been good in delivering an all-killer, no-filler debut 12 months for them. They’ve scored huge public hits with out sacrificing high quality, and member Wonyoung appears to be in every single place. With a Japanese debut on Kōhaku Uta Gassen subsequent month (regardless of no authentic Japanese singles!), their reputation appears to be unrestricted from geographic boundaries.
I’ve been vital 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 actually matches them and doesn’t come throughout as a “Monsta X Jr.” placeholder. With two stable comebacks this 12 months, they’re on a roll.
WJSN had a really profitable run on season two of Queendom. Being a part of the present was a threat, 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 at the beginning of the 12 months.
Monsta X was much less energetic as a gaggle, however the company efficiently launched a solo profession for member Kihyun, who correctly 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 underneath Starship subsidiary Highline Leisure (which merged with the corporate in July). He had a really energetic 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 in command of selecting the songs – and whether or not it’s completely 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 preferred 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 12 months. There have been small controversies right here and there, which is par for the course for any company of their dimension. And, it’s clear that completely different artists are given completely different ranges of promotion. Nonetheless, everybody on the roster bought a while to shine in 2022 and Starship loved sturdy gross sales and growing reputation. 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!
- Preserve CRAVITY’s sound gentle and enjoyable — please don’t return to the blustery sounds of the previous
Earlier years: 2021 // 2020 // 2019 // 2018 // 2017