SM Entertainment’s freshest boy band Riize made a meteoric debut on Monday, stating their goals — humble yet ambitious — with equally nervous and eager voices as the members met with the local press for the first time.
Amid the flood of new bands debuting in K-pop, Riize has been making its mark this summer with an online presence that has gathered fans from in and outside of Korea even before their official debut, with single “Get A Guitar.”
“We know that we have to do well number-wise, but all we really hope for at this stage is that people relate to our music, since this is our beginning as Riize,” member Sungchan told the local press in a debut showcase held Monday at the Blue Square music venue in central Seoul.
Riize is SM Entertainment’s first new act since girl group aespa debuted in 2020 and the newest boy band since NCT was rolled out in 2016.
The band has seven members: Shotaro, Eunseok, Sungchan, Wonbin, Seunghan, Sohee and Anton. Shotaro and Sungchan first debuted in 2020 as members of boy band NCT.
The name “Riize” is a combination of the words “rise” and “realize,” containing the message of “making something come true.” The band hopes it will become a team “that grows together and fulfills its dreams,” according to members.
“Like our name, we want to grow and realize our dreams with the members and fans,” Wonbin said.
The band’s first so-called single “Get A Guitar” includes title track “Get A Guitar,” a retro funky dance track the band dubbed “Emotional pop” and R&B dance track “Memories.” The music video for “Memories” has already garnered over 10 million views as of Monday, two weeks after it was released on Aug. 21 on YouTube.
“Emotional pop is a unique genre where we want to convey and express our emotions through our music,” Eunseok said. “We’re so grateful for all the attention that people have given us already. We hope we can return all the meaningful feedback with our music.”
It’s only day one of the seven boys’ debut, but the band has already been receiving a fair share of attention from fans and the press — both good and bad.
Member Seunghan had to apologize after a picture he had taken in the past with a woman in bed went viral online, while SM Entertainment warned that legal measures would be taken against people spreading pictures or false stories online. The company was also under fire having pulled out members Shotaro and Sungchan from their existing group to form the new one, disturbing both NCT fans and the two members’ individual fans.
Nevertheless, Riize saw over 1 million pre-orders made for the music package as of Sunday, meaning it will likely be a million-seller upon its debutant. The band has signed a global promotion deal with RCA Records, a subsidiary of U.S. music conglomerate Sony Music Entertainment, and landed advertisement deals with various companies in the fashion and beauty industries, among others.
“We really didn’t expect that we would be given so much attention,” Shotaro said. “It’s made us feel that we should try even harder to return the love.”
“The time I spent as NCT has been so meaningful — it was an honor to be a part of that team. I want to thank all the fans that supported me, and I hope you look forward to the new sides of myself that I will show you as a member of Riize,” Shotaro added, in a message echoed by Sungchan.
Riize’s goals were as humble as any other debuting boy band, but with an ambitious touch to match the grand debut.
“We really hope we can get a Rookie of the Year award, because that’s something you can only get once as a new team,” Sohee said.
Anton went a step further.
“I know that it’s something far into the future, but I want to go on a world tour with the members,” he said. “I also passed by the Met Life Stadium a lot when I lived in New Jersey. I hope we get to perform there one day.”
An introduction film will also be released tonight at 7 p.m. to help fans get a better grasp of who Riize is and what it aims for. Riize will release two new singles, one in November and another in December, and release an album during the first quarter of next year.
BY YOON SO-YEON [email@example.com]