Hybe, the multi-label K-pop powerhouse behind BTS, on Thursday introduced its plans for 2023, which includes the launch of four new groups and a string of new releases from its roster of big-name acts.
The plans were unveiled during the company's corporate briefing, which was streamed online via YouTube on Thursday morning. Hybe's CEO Park Ji-won and Chairman Bang Si-hyuk appeared in the video and introduced the company's blueprints and visions.
Hybe is a multi-label entertainment company founded by Bang, and currently houses labels and artists from South Korea, Japan and the US. Some of K-pop's biggest acts, the likes of BTS, Seventeen, Le Sserafim and New Jeans, are affiliated to Hybe.
Kicking off the year for Hybe in 2023 will be Big Hit Music's boy band Tomorrow X Together.
"TXT opens the New Year's door with the 5th mini album which is set for release in January 2023," CEO Park said during the briefing. TXT is a five-piece boy band that debuted under Big Hit Music in 2019.
The January release will be the band's first new music in almost nine months and a follow-up to the group's 4th EP "minisode 2: Thursday's Child," which charted on the Billboard 200 albums chart for 14 straight weeks.
The seven members of BTS will be focusing on their solo works as previously announced. Following the recent solo debut of Jin with his single "The Astronaut" will be the band's leader RM. The exact release for the rapper's project has not been disclosed.
From Pledis Entertainment, Seventeen and fromis_9 each plan to drop a new album in the first half of 2023, while group Nu'est's Minhyun will drop his first solo album soon. Park also added Pledis is also currently preparing to introduce a new boy band.
Belift Lab's Enhypen will also return with a new album following its global tour which is set to continue into early next year. A joint label between Hybe and CJ ENM, Belift Lab is also gearing up to launch a new act next year and an audition program for the new group will air in the first half of 2023.
Hybe's first two girl groups, Le Sserafim and New Jeans, both had massively successful debuts this year, and the two acts have another big year planned in 2023. Park hinted that Source Music's Le Sserafim may embark on its first global tour next year.
"Source Music, which debuted one of the biggest new acts of this year, Le Sserafim, will support active album promotions that connect with fans in Korea and Japan, as well as increase opportunities to meet fans in person, such as global tours covering Asia and North America," Park said in the clip.
Ador, the agency behind New Jeans, announced the female quintet will be dropping a new single "OMG" on Jan. 2. Ahead of the release, the act will drop a B-side track from the single release -- a package usually containing one to three songs -- on Dec. 19.
In a statement, Ador's CEO and executive producer Min Hee-jin said, "If the debut album demonstrated New Jeans' summer, this single will show its winter."
Hybe Japan, the Japanese operation of the company, is officially launching its first group soon. &Team (read "and Team"), a multi-national nine-piece boy band formed through the label's competition show, will make its long-awaited debut in Japan on Dec. 7.
"With their foothold set in Japan, &Team will stretch out into the global stage and we ask for your support on their first step," Park said.
During the video, rapper-singer Zico, who is also the CEO and executive producer of KOZ Entertainment, announced that he is also working on producing his first K-pop group. KOZ is currently recruiting new talents through a nationwide audition that will run until Dec. 4. KOZ previously conducted two auditions this year as part of its plan to launch a new group.
In Thursday's corporate briefing video, Zico said, "Although I can't give any details on what kind of concept it will turn out to be, but I can say that the team will produce music that both the public and the fans can enjoy without any reservation."
Park spoke about Hybe's vision under the briefing's core theme of "co-evolution."
"I believe that the path of evolution should be one of mutual growth with Hybe community. Hybe has been able to expand and grow without boundaries because it has evolved through the exchange and development of influences with fans, talented artists and partners in various industries," Park said, adding, "Hybe will always evolve with you."
Thursday's briefing also introduced the various members of the Hybe community, from the artists to the designers, producers, technicians and project leaders, and highlighted their detailed testimonies about being part of Hybe's progress.
Bang, the chairperson and the executive producer of Hybe, said he has drawn a 5-year outlook for the company.
"What I'm thinking about the most is how our company will look like in 2027. I do have a sketch of a 5-year timeline in my head," Bang said, not going deeper into what the plan involves.
In 2021, Big Hit Entertainment changed its name to Hybe and officially turned into the multi-label system that it has now. Thanks to the phenomenal success of BTS, which debuted under Big Hit in 2013, Hybe is now one of the biggest power players in the industry.