SM Entertainment to Form New Girl Group Through First-Ever Global Auditions

The SM Entertainment building in Seoul, South Korea, on Feb. 10, 2023.

To hunt next-generation K-pop idols, one of the most popular entertainment agencies in the global K-pop scene is holding its first-ever global audition to form a new girl band.

SM Entertainment—the company behind some of K-pop’s most hit acts, such as Super Junior, Girls’ Generation, Shinee, NCT, and Aespa—is opening auditions to girls born between 2005 to 2011, regardless of nationality. (Those under 14 years old need parental consentient.) SM Entertainment has also shared multi-language posts for its and requirements.

The application will be closed on June 22, following which a small number of contestants selected from the first-round will proceed to the in-house audition.

Until now SM Entertainment has conducted the global auditions for boys, but never specifically for a new girl group. SM Entertainment is anticipated to launch new rookie groups this year, such as a British K-pop boy band and a virtual artist.

Last month, Big Hit, the company behind BTS, has announced its own international audition for a new boy group. YG Entertainment, which has produced Blackpink and Seventeen, has been running idol auditions globally from China to Australia to Indonesia to the U.S. since March.

Once passed the audition, future K-pop stars often spend years as trainees—some of which may even last more than 10 years—before they debut as idols. Behind the glamor of stardom, there lies the relentless pressure of working in an industry well-known for churning out pop stars with efficiency over empathy. A significant 63 K-pop groups have disbanded in the last ten years; at the same time, celebrities have become increasingly vocal about rampant mental health issues in the industry.

But these concerns have not stopped youths from aspiring to enter their dream land, “Hallyu-wood,” with the and schools established to support young K-pop hopefuls from all over the world to take their first step into the industry.