JYP Entertainment, Republic Records, and Federal Films have announced the search for the “next global girl group” via a new competition series entitled A2K.
A2K – which stands for America 2 Korea – will see rising talent from the US and Canada compete for the chance to be a part of a new girl group jointly launched by the Korean and US record labels.
In-person auditions will be held across the US in September, with stops in Atlanta (September 10), Chicago (14), New York (17, 18), Dallas (20), and LA (23, 24, 25). Selected candidates will then participate in a boot camp in Los Angeles before the semi-finalists are flown to JYP Entertainment’s headquarters in Seoul, where they will undergo intensive training from K-pop’s top executives, choreographers, and producers. The final line-up for the new girl group will then be whittled down from those remaining.
The new competition series marks the first time in history that the K-pop idol training system will be implemented within a Western framework. A2K will be spearheaded by JYP founder and chairman J.Y. Park and Republic Records found and chief executive Monte Lipman.
Lipman said of the new launch: “J.Y. Park remains an icon and pioneer of K-Pop Music. His impact in the music community and popular culture continues to resonate on an extraordinary level. Applying JYP’s values and curation with American artists will give us the opportunity to create an International Super Group for today’s marketplace.”
Park added: “This is the biggest project ever for me and JYP Entertainment. Making an American artist through the K-pop system. Not only because America is the biggest market in the world but because I started this company based on an American model, which is Motown records. I was so inspired by how they developed their artists.
“We just took it to another level making it into a system. A system where we find raw talents and give them a perfect training system where they learn all things that are required to grow into a true artist/ performer/ leader. And 25 years later, to go back into the market where I got the idea from is truly unbelievable.”
JYP Entertainment is currently home to some of the biggest artists in K-pop, including TWICE, Stray Kids, and ITZY. It has also helped further the careers of iconic acts, including Rain, 2PM, Wonder Girls, Miss A, GOT7, and more.
Recently, Stray Kids – one of the label’s current boybands – scored their first No.1 on the Billboard 200 with the mini-album ODDINARY. The record topped the chart in March, racking up the highest album sales in one week by any artist at that point in the year.