Aespa Back to 'Real World' After Metaverse-set Albums | Be Korea-savvy

Aespa Back to ‘Real World’ After Metaverse-set Albums

SEOUL, May 8 (Korea Bizwire)K-pop girl group aespa has expanded its fictional universe from the cyberpunk metaverse to the “real world” for the band’s third EP “My World.”

The group — consisting of Ningning, Winter, Giselle and Karina — dropped the album marking the band’s first release in 10 months at 6 p.m. Monday.

“My World” is the opener of the second season of aespa’s fictional lore about their battle against the villainous character of Black Mamba — who disturbs the four stars’ connection with their “ae” avatar counterparts that exist in a fantastical metaverse and threatens to destroy the digital world.

The members take down the enemy with the help of their artificial intelligence guide named Naevis in “Girls,” the final episode of aespa’s “SM Culture Universe” Season 1.

The universe is shared by K-pop powerhouse SM Entertainment’s metaverse content.

“In the previous season, we mostly told stories of beating Black Mamba in Kwangya, but this album tells what’s happening after we returned to the real world,” member Winter said during a press conference in southern Seoul on Monday, referring to the Korean word meaning “wilderness.”

The quartet turned into young and lighthearted college girls who radiate youthful energy, back in the real world, for the new album.

But anomalies continue in the real world apparently because the members brought Naevis with them, an alien who was expelled from her world for helping them, the band explained.

K-pop girl group aespa performs during a press conference for its third EP, "My World," in Seoul on May 8, 2023. (Yonhap)

K-pop girl group aespa performs during a press conference for its third EP, “My World,” in Seoul on May 8, 2023. (Yonhap)

“My World” consists of six songs of various genres — the lead single, “Spicy,” the prereleased song “Welcome to My World,” “Salty & Sweet,” “Thirsty,” “I’m Unhappy” and “Til We Meet Again.”

“Spicy” is a dance number showing off aespa’s free-spirited charms. It features the four members’ unique vocals and youthful energy, creating a different vibe from the band’s previously intense music style.

Karina said it was actually a long time ago that she and her bandmates first listened to the song, but it was so good that she could not forget it.

“So I suggested to the company that we should do the song again because now it’s summer, and that’s how the song was chosen to be the lead track,” she recalled.

“Welcome to My World,” a track on the album, and its music video was unveiled last Tuesday, about a week ahead of the album’s release.

The title refers to inviting Naevis to the “real world” or listeners to the band’s musical world, according to its agency, SM Entertainment.

The song also features Naevis as a virtual human artist.

Giselle disclosed that the song was initially supposed to be that of the virtual human artist featuring the quartet.

“We found the song so good after listening to it and asked if we could do it,” she said of how the group came to change roles with the virtual artist.

Karina said, “We’ve collaborated with a virtual artist for dance and music videos but this marks our collaboration with one for an album. The result was better than we thought. I was surprised because she looked so natural like another member of the band.”

K-pop girl group aespa performs during a press conference for its third EP, "My World," in Seoul on May 8, 2023. (Yonhap)

K-pop girl group aespa performs during a press conference for its third EP, “My World,” in Seoul on May 8, 2023. (Yonhap)

Debuting in November 2020 with the unique metaverse-based concept, the quartet has grown rapidly, releasing such hit singles as “Next Level,” “Black Mamba,” and EPs “Savage” and “Girls.”

In April, it became the first Korean girl group to perform on the main stage of the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, the largest outdoor music festival in the United States.

Three months later, the band’s latest EP reached No. 3 on the Billboard 200 albums chart, making it the third K-pop girl group to chart the top 3 after BLACKPINK and TWICE.

With the album’s preorder volume surpassing 1.8 million copies Monday, the band is off to a good start again with its new EP.

When questioned what it aims to do with the album, Winter drew laughter from reporters by answering: “After doing only dark and profound things, we had deep resentment for exciting songs. So our goal is to satisfy our grudge. We’re going to play on the stage until we can let go of it.”

Ningning said the band will continue to try different things starting with the album that marks the group’s first attempt at a popular summery song.

“We’re not afraid of trying new things. I hope everyone will like them,” she added.


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