Winter is coming for K-pop fans. Literally.
SM Entertainment, the record label behind bands Exo and Super Junior, has unveiled the first member of its highly-anticipated girl band Aespa, 19-year-old Winter.
The first images of Winter show the accomplished singer and dancer in futuristic fashion, bathed in violet and blue lights, a move the label made on purpose.
"The group name Aespa is a name created by combining 'ae' which expresses 'Avatar X Experience' and 'aspect' which means both sides,” reads a rather cryptic statement. “We are planning to show off various activities and future initiatives are [to be] expected."
With the label launching the group's social media accounts this month, expect more band members to be announced in the near future.
Aespa's arrival should be source of excitement for the label as the group is poised for a welcome reception. Aespa marks the first all-women ensemble from the label since Red Velvet was formed in 2014, a time when both the genre and female K-pop groups were yet to reach their global potential.
Blackpink, the group created by rivals YG Entertainment, needed three years to hit their stride before landing a 2019 Coachella festival performance and their own Netflix documentary this month. SM Entertainment is surely hoping Aespa can ride on the band's present popularity and waste no time in shooting to the top of the charts.
Furthermore, Aespa should bolster the pedigree of the popular music festival SM Town. The event is a showcase of the label’s roster, and toured the US and Europe before arriving in Dubai in 2018 with an epic event featuring 13 acts led by Exo and Red Velvet.
With both of these acts achieving star status, the addition of Aespa could make it one of the most anticipated K-pop events once international music tours resume.