Boys Republic. (Universal Music Korea)
In June 2013, Universal Music Korea launched the global music conglomerate’s first K-pop group. The five-member boy band of Boys Republic, consisting of members Won-jun, Da-bin, Soo-wong, Sung-joon and Min-soo, is the first K-pop group organized directly by Universal Music.
After two years of training in singing and dancing, as well as learning many different customs in order to become a global idol group, the boys made their official debut with “Party Rock” on June 6.
In August, the boys released their debut mini-album “Identity,” produced by noted producer Park Geun-tae, the producer behind the albums of many successful Korean artists, including Baek Ji-young, Yoon Mi-rae and Ivy.
The band project marked a big stepping stone for Universal, which, like most record labels, generally focuses on signing and recording musicians rather than taking on the role of a talent agency and forming new acts. Although the boys haven’t made a big splash yet and are still flying under the radar in the local music scene ― trying to emerge from the shadows of monster rookies like EXO and Lee Hi ― as the first K-pop group launched by Universal, the boy band is still on course, continuing its march as an international K-pop group.
“We expect that Boys Republic will grow into a group that performs music that is popular all around the world based on the global network of Universal Music in the future,” stated an official from Universal Music Korea. “Starting with their comeback at the beginning of the year, fans will see more of Boys Republic in Korea and other countries.”
Though without strong presence yet in Korea, the boys have shown hints of success overseas, being the only Korean artist to be invited to Malaysia’s “U.O.X. 2013” music festival after the group’s single “You Are Special” topped the country’s “KKBox Chart” and was ranked No. 1 in the popularity poll for the concert.
By Julie Jackson (email@example.com)