The Korea Herald/Asia News Network
Korean supergroup SuperM from S.M. Entertainment. (SM Entertainment/The Korea Herald/File)
It’s been weeks since S.M. Entertainment unveiled plans to launch new supergroup SuperM in the US at Capitol Congress 2019. Since then more information has been revealed, including multiple teasers and images.
With their much-anticipated debut album slated for release on Oct. 4, we have profiled the bandmates and recap their history.
Taemin from SHINee
Age: 26 / Debut year: 2008
Taemin stepped into the limelight first as a member of SHINee, which debuted in 2008 with first single “Replay”.
Over the course of 10 years, the group released six studio albums in Korean, one of which was a two-part album, along with five Japanese albums.
As a solo artist, the 26-year-old has released a number of records, including his debut EP from 2014, Ace. The singer said the video for Michael Jackson’s “Smooth Criminal” inspired him to start dancing in a past interview.
And naturally, some of the dance moves featured in his performance, including that of 2019 single “WANT,” don’t shy away from having a Michael Jackson-esque feel.
He has been projected as the most likely leader among fans, given that he’s been in the game for longer than anyone else in SuperM. Despite his earliest debut, the SHINee member declined the position in a recent livestream.
Baekhyun from EXO
Age: 27 / Debut year: 2011
Born in 1992, Baekhyun from the nine-piece group EXO is the oldest member in SuperM. He was recently voted to be the leader among the bandmates in a recent Instagram Live broadcast upon Taemin’s recommendation.
"We rehearsed a lot together and I think the one who takes care of us the best and I can rely on the most is Baekhyun. I think it would be nice if he took the role (as leader),” Taemin said.
Baekhyun’s candid response that “being a leader is not bad,” was met with a burst of laughter.
He debuted with EXO, which topped the Forbes Korea Power Celebrity list two consecutive years in 2015 and 2016.
Baekhyun recently made his solo debut with EP City Lights in July. Recalling the effort he put into the album during a showcase event, he said, “It took me about eight months preparing for it, and I realized that singing a whole song all by myself was much harder than it seemed. I mean it. I truly respect other soloists for that.”
Kai from EXO
Age: 25 / Debut year: 2011
Kai is another member from EXO in SuperM. The multitalented 25-year-old can sing, rap, act and dance well, having learned ballet and jazz dance from a young age.
His impeccable dance skills saw him become the “main dancer” of EXO. Kai initially wanted to be a ballet dancer after watching The Nutcracker but his attention later turned to music. He has also played the leading role in drama series such as the 2017 show Andante.
SuperM is not the first time he’s teaming up with Taemin though, as he collaborated with the youngest member of SHINee for 2014 song “Pretty Boy”, from his mini album Ace.
His model-like physique recently landed him the gig as the first-ever Korean global ambassador for Italian luxury fashion brand Gucci. Joining the ranks of Harry Styles and Chinese actress Ni Ni, the EXO member took part in Gucci’s fall-winter 2019 eyewear campaign.
With less than 200 posts, his Instagram account racked up over 6.8 million followers, featuring his fashionable snaps.
Taeyong from NCT 127
Age: 24 / Debut year: 2016
Taeyong, whose real name is Lee Tae-yong, is the leader of NCT 127, a subunit of NCT, which consists of 21 members and stands for Neo Culture Technology. The term was coined by the mastermind of S.M. Entertainment, Lee Soo-man, who is also to oversee the production of SuperM.
Taeyong initially debuted as part of NCT U, the first subunit to debut in April 2016. Before his official debut, however, he was featured in Red Velvet’s 2014 single “Be Natural”. He also made an appearance in the video wearing a black tuxedo as he showed off his rapping skills for the jazzy track.
The multitalented musician can not only rap and sing, but also writes songs, as his name has been featured in the credits of multiple tracks, including “Baby Don’t Like It”, which he composed alongside Mark.
Mark from NCT 127
Age: 20 / Debut year: 2016
Mark, who is Korean Canadian, is the other NCT 127 member in SuperM. Born in Canada, he was cast through a S.M. global audition in Vancouver. The 20-year-old, on the younger side of NCT 127, is the youngest among SuperM.
He graduated from NCT Dream in December 2018, as the rule is that you have to leave the group once you reach the Korean age of 20, or 19 elsewhere in the world. Similar to Taeyong, Mark also debuted in NCT U with single “The 7th Sense”.
In 2015, he appeared in the Korean version of “The Mickey Mouse Club.” Having studied dancing at the School of Performing Arts Seoul, he has impressed fans with his dancing skills on many occasions.
Lucas from WayV
Age: 20 / Debut year: 2018
The Hong Kong-born Chinese singer made an appearance in the video for fellow SuperM and WayV member Ten’s solo track “Dream in a Dream” in 2017.
He stepped into the spotlight last year as part of project group NCT 2018. He recorded three songs on the group’s debut album NCT 2018 Empathy, both as part of NCT 2018 and NCT U.
Lucas was scouted at one of S.M.’s international auditions in Hong Kong. During a TV appearance in 2018, however, he said he passed the audition with ease without having prepared anything, and instead, he struck poses to charm the judges, taking viewers by surprise.
Ten from WayV
Age: 23 / Debut year: 2016
Hailing from Bangkok, Thailand, the 23-year-old singer and dancer previously received acknowledgment for his talent by winning Thai TV competition Teen Superstar in 2010.
Despite having been given the chance to work with another agency, Ten later went on to come first in the Thai leg of S.M. Entertainment’s global audition as part of the company’s efforts to discover diverse talent.
After debuting with NCT U, he also joined NCT’s fourth unit, WayV, earlier this year. In 2017 he released the solo track “Dream in a Dream”, with the video having racked up over 9.6 million views as of mid-September.
On top of his musical talents, he speaks four languages: English, Korean, Mandarin and Thai.
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