- More K-pop singers are launching their own labels – balancing them at the same time with their group commitments with previous agencies – than ever before
- Much like EXO’s Baekhyun and Blackpink’s Jennie, they are finding they can explore new genres and ‘broaden their artistic boundaries’ better if they do so
A growing number of K-pop stars are setting up their own labels to launch solo projects, while still maintaining their partnerships with their original management companies for group-based activities.
This is in contrast with their predecessors, who chose to extend their solo and group contracts with the same agencies – or simply left them. Spearheading the new trend are Baekhyun of K-pop boy band EXO and Jennie of girl group Blackpink.
At Baekhyun’s label, INB100, he and two fellow EXO members – Chen and Xiumin – will pursue their solo careers while also moving into music production. INB100 will also represent EXO-CBX, a subunit of EXO made up of these three members.
Despite the new venture, the three members have not severed ties with EXO’s first agency, SM Entertainment. Despite a legal clash with SM over their exclusive contracts in 2023, they decided to keep their contractual relationship with the K-pop powerhouse and continue to perform as part of EXO.
Another member, D.O., founded a label named Company Soosoo. Despite being the only member who has terminated his contract with SM, he still plans to continue his musical journey with EXO and will be taking part in a fan event scheduled for April.