The Korea Herald


SM’s new boy group Riize ready to rise and shine

By Hong Yoo

Published : Sept. 5, 2023 - 16:51

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Riize performing Riize performing "Get A Guitar" at its debut press conference in Seoul on Monday. (SM Entertainment)

Riize, the first K-pop boy group that SM has launched in seven years, made its grand debut on Monday.

The seven-member group was produced by SM Wizard Production, one of SM’s five production companies, that is in charge of the labels housing popular boy groups Super Junior and EXO.

“We combined the words ‘rise’ and ‘realize’ to come up with the name of the group. It’s a team that realizes dreams through continuous development,” Lee Sang-min, director of SM Wizard Production, said in introducing the group during a press conference in Seoul.

Riize includes members Seunghan, Wonbin, Sohee, Anton, Shotaro, Eunseok and Sungchan.

Some faces have had brief appearances in the media already before their debut: Anton is the son of the Korean music producer Yoon Sang, and Shotaro and Sungchan are former members of NCT U.

SM plans to introduce a unique music genre called “emotional pop” through these boys.

“We want to convey the diverse experiences and emotions that the boys face and feel in their music. This is what we call an emotional pop. Another factor that differentiates Riize from other groups is our powerful promotion which involves sharing their odyssey in real time,” said Kim Hyung-kook, another director of SM Wizard Production.

SM Entertainment has shared every step of the group’s growth through its official Instagram account even before its debut.

The promotions helped the group’s debut album, “Get A Guitar,” hit 1.03 million preorders, positioning them as a million-seller immediately upon debut.

They’ve already received calls for advertising campaigns from diverse brands, according to SM.

“We also plan to expand their reach by promoting them overseas. For this, we inked a label contract with RCA Records, one of Sony Music's four flagship labels which houses renowned artists such as Doja Cat, Justin Timberlake and Khalid,” Lee said.

This means the rookies’ debut single “Get A Guitar” will likely be released in the US as well.

Riize performing Riize performing "Get A Guitar" at its debut press conference in Seoul on Monday. (SM Entertainment)

The debut single revolves around the theme of the time the members spent together as trainees.

The group expresses a wide range of emotions through their album, which includes the title track “Get A Guitar” and the pre-release single “Memories.”

“The highlight of our title track is when you hear the funky guitar rhythms. The part in which we sing ‘Get, get, get a guitar’ is repetitive, making the song addictive. We immediately fell in love with the song the moment we first heard it, so we hope that our fans also like it,” said Wonbin.

“We filmed the music video of the title track in Los Angeles. It embodies scenes where we dance all together, play a guitar, and ride a skateboard shaped like a guitar. It’s unique and trendy,” said Sungchan.

Riize performed its title track on stage during the press conference, showing off the members' perfectly calibrated dance moves, as well as duo and trio dance sections.

The group emphasized not only are they talented performers, but also skilled musicians.

“I’ve played guitar since I was in elementary school. Back then, it was only my hobby. But I learned to play guitar from professionals since I joined SM,” said Wonbin.

“I am learning music composition. It won’t be any time soon but I hope to make music for our group one day,” said Anton.

Riize has busy days ahead as they are scheduled to release new singles in November and December as well as a new album in the first quarter of next year.

“We appreciate all the love and support from the public not only in Korea but also abroad. This motivates us to put on better performances. We hope many people can relate to our music. We hope to have more opportunities to meet with our fans,” said Sohee.