Hybe, the record label behind K-pop acts such as BTS and NewJeans, will start recruiting members for a new girl group next week.
For the project, Hybe is teaming up with Geffen Records – a subsidiary of Universal Music Group. They held auditions across South Korea, the US, Japan, the UK and Australia last year, meaning members are likely to be from multiple countries.
The audition process will be shown in The Debut: Dream Academy, with the 20 chosen contestants revealed on Tuesday on YouTube.
The remaining members will compete to be selected in a grand finale over the next 12 weeks, similar to talent shows X Factor and American Idol. The first episode will air on September 1 and can be watched globally.
“I’ve always had a dream to give talented young people the opportunity to become a member of a remarkable group that is created based on K-pop,” Bang Si-hyuk, founder and chairman of Hybe, said in a YouTube video earlier this week.
Since it was announced Hybe was holding auditions for the group, more than 120,000 applicants entered, with 70,000 submitting audition videos.
A teaser video has been posted by Hybe with some of its already-signed artists including Tomorrow X Together, Enhypen and Le Sserafim sharing words of encouragement.
“I’m sure they’re excited but nervous at the same time with a big challenge,” said Le Sserafim. “The more challenges you face, the more worries you’ll have. But we think the most important thing is to have fun.”
Last month, the reality competition show A2K from JYP Entertainment (the label behind K-pop acts Stray Kids and Twice) and Republic Records began airing. The show's purpose is to create America's first girl group under the K-pop system.
However, auditions only focused on applicants from the US and Canada. The finale for A2K will be on September 18.