SEOUL • Big names in K-pop are launching new acts this year with a fresh crop of talented musicians.
Singers Psy and Park Jin-young will serve as judges in an upcoming audition show Loud on South Korean network SBS, selecting members for new K-pop bands which will be managed by their respective entertainment agencies.
In a recently released teaser clip, Gangnam Style star Psy said: "I hope (the contenders) are like me when I was young and crazy about something, even though it may not be music. This may be the start of the 21st-century versions of Park Jin-young and Psy."
Park said: "Though dancing and singing may have been the focus (when creating K-pop acts in the past), this time, I wish to select singers based on their artistry."
Park, the head of K-pop agency JYP Entertainment, is also the mastermind behind juggernauts such as Itzy, Twice, the Wonder Girls and Got7.
Rain Company, led by singer Rain, will launch a seven-member K-pop boy band in March, named Ciipher. Rain has been introducing the members on his personal YouTube channel.
K-pop sensation BTS will be joined by a new girl band, launched by Source Music, a Big Hit Entertainment subsidiary. It will be the first girl band launched by Big Hit in nine years, after Glam in 2012.
Big Hit chief executive Bang Si-hyuk said: "Selected through global auditions, the band consists of international members who are fluent in (various) languages."
Big Hit Japan, another subsidiary of Big Hit Entertainment, will also launch a K-pop act targeting the Japanese market.
Meanwhile, international music label Universal Music has joined hands with star composer and producer Shinsadong Tiger to launch girl band Tri.be next month. Shinsadong Tiger was previously the producer of girl group Exid and has written tracks for bands such as APink, T-ara and Momoland.
THE KOREA HERALD/ASIA NEWS NETWORK