SM Entertainment announces partnering with RCA Records to debut a new K-pop group, RIIZE, with a significant start in North America.
Influential K-pop company SM Entertainment has partnered with Sony-owned RCA Records to release the debut single from global K-pop boy band RIIZE, in a rare move to sign a K-pop group with a major US record label right out of the gate. SM says that copies of RIIZE’s debut physical single, “Get a Guitar,” surpassed 1.03 million domestic preorders ahead of its Monday (September 4) release.
Last month, SM introduced the seven members of RIIZE — Shotaro, Eunseok, Sungchan, Wonbin, Seunghan, Sohee, and Anton — with reports that they set a record as the fastest K-pop group to reach 1 million followers on Instagram. SM also released a sneak peek of the group in their single “Memories,” the B-side of “Get a Guitar.”
SM’s focus on debuting its latest K-pop act with US audiences in mind is evident in their choice of label partner, alongside the group’s debut single being bilingual (English and Korean) and RIIZE’s live stage debut last month in Los Angeles.
“RIIZE is ushering in an exciting new era of K-pop,” says Joseph Chang, CEO of SM and Kakao Entertainment America and Chief Business Officer of SM Entertainment. “We are thrilled to partner with the amazing team at RCA and look forward to making history together.”
“RIIZE are incredibly talented and versatile artists, and we are excited to welcome them to the RCA Family and work together with the amazing SM team,” adds RCA Records Chairman and CEO Peter Edge.
RCA Records COO John Fleckenstein concludes, “RIIZE will break new boundaries in global pop with an entirely fresh perspective. We are proud to partner with the incredible team at SM Entertainment and their incredible track record of artist development.”
The new partnership and SM’s focus on K-pop internationally is part of a broader strategy by SM and Kakao Entertainment to gain significant footing in North America. Last month, the two companies announced an integration of their North American divisions.
Similarly, HYBE, the largest South Korean K-pop label, has made significant acquisitions in the United States, including Atlanta-based QC Media Holdings, and is said to be raising funds for further expansion in the market.