Supergroups and project groups aren’t new to Kpop. They’ve been around as long as there’s been talent – and that’s forever. Letting artists mess around with other artists, those they aren’t used to working with, can bring out all sorts of interesting sounds and performances and allows them to experiment and try something new without compromising the concept or image of their original group. I’m 100% in support of that. I like experimentation. Too much of the same thing gets old for me after about three comebacks. New stuff is the ticket to my soul.
For this reason, the divisiveness surrounding SuperM surprises me. For those living under a rock, SuperM is the new western focused group ‘debuting’ with SM on October 5th. The members are pulled from WayV, NCT, EXO, and Shinee, two groups made to have fluid membership and two with members in the military. For that pair of very impactful reasons, SuperM makes perfect sense to me as a consumer of music. Take some super popular and specifically talented (rap, dance, vocals, visuals) known quantities and smash them together to make some cool moments and lots of cash.
I’ve heard the arguments around SuperM basically halting the ability of the NCT subunits to progress, but I’m shaking my head at that notion right from the start. There needed to be a natural break as membership again has to fluctuate as the vast majority of NCT Dream members have aged out and need to find a new home and SM has a host of new trainees all lined up to be added to the mix. There are rumors of another NCT subunit or two just waiting in the wings…or you know, working their collective asses off to be perfect straight out of the gate. Giving Mark, Taeyong, Ten, and Lucas – four insanely adaptable and talented young men – the ability to hold the spotlight on behalf of the others while they rest, prepare new material, or integrate into a new setting is genius. We get a taste of what we so desire while allowing the complex web of NCT membership to grow and develop into its next iteration. Why would we ever complain about that? I know it feeeeeeels like the NCT subunits are firmly set, but the movement of WinWin out of 127 and changes to Dream and the creation of WayV should have reminded us that it’s not true. The whole point is that it continues to grow and change.
On the other hand, I’ve heard fans complaining about Taemin, Kai, and Baekhyun not going into the military with their other members and delaying an eventual comeback by their original groups. But come one, these groups have been around a million years and each member has been pushed and shoved and molded into their given role for the duration. Let these younger guys have a chance to show something different, to take on more responsibility, and to be the respected hyungs for change. Just watching how Taeyong eyeballs Taemin with complete adoration and everyone wanting to bask in Baekhyun’s glow all the time makes my skin tingle. They are all so happy to be trying something new. They deserve it. They’ve worked hard for the opportunity to really shine – outside of their insanely popular original groups.
All of this being said, I think it’s pretty clear that I’m in. It’d be hilarious if I took this chance to say that I hated everything that’s come out from SuperM thus far, but it’d be a lie. All of the teaser material, interviews, and the performance video below have been stellar. I’m really enjoying the content and looking forward to what’s coming. It’s gonna be a fun ride.
Even if it’s temporary.
Performance Video, SuperM (Ten, Taemin, Kai)