South Korean talent agency SM Entertainment has teamed up with MGM Worldwide Television Group to form a new US-based K-pop boy band, NCT-Hollywood, through a televised talent competition.
The search for “the next K-Pop star in America” will be open to US males aged 13 to 25. The winners will go through a K-pop bootcamp in Seoul to receive mentorship from SM founder and producer Lee Soo-man, as well as from various NCT members, SM Entertainment said in a statement.
SM Entertainment’s official Twitter account also announced the international collaboration on Friday, May 7. MGM Studios chairman Mark Burnett (The Voice, Survivor) will be working with Soo-man to produce the talent competition series.
The new boy group, NCT-Hollywood, will become the latest sub-unit of SM’s popular concept group, NCT. The growing ensemble of 23 members currently has three sub-units: Seoul-based NCT 127, China-based WayV, and initially teen-only group NCT Dream.
“I look forward to making an unconventional audition show that all music fans around the world can enjoy,” Soo-man said in a statement.
“I hope the audience enjoys watching the journey of new stars being born in Hollywood, that will be promoted as NCT-Hollywood in the global market in the future,” he added.
MGM’s Burnett also acknowledged that K-pop is “more than a genre of music; it’s a cultural phenomenon.”
NCT, short for Neo Culture Technology, was launched in 2016. They are under SM Entertainment, which was founded in 1995 and is one of K-pop’s “Big Three” agencies, birthing other major artists such as Super Junior, Girls Generation, Shinee, EXO, Red Velvet, and SuperM.
South Korean talent agency, Big Hit Entertainment, also rebranded into HYBE in March 2021, as part of the industry’s globalization efforts. HYBE will have two headquarters in Seoul and America. – with reports from Aloe Ynion/Rappler.com
Aloe Ynion is a Rappler intern.