K-pop Factory Part 1: SM Entertainment

Seoul Awesome brings you the different entertainment companies of K-pop.

Of course, we’ll start off with SM Entertainment, probably the most influential out of the “Big3”. SM started off with successful artists since the 90s with groups such as H.O.T, Shinhwa and S.E.S. Lee Soo Man is the founder of SM Entertainment. Let us take a look at how the company has created legends through their label artists.


BoA (Picture: SM Entertainment)

BoA is probably the most influential icon of Korean pop. She was discovered by SM Entertainment, while she was accompanying her older brother for one of SM’s auditions. BoA was the first Korean singer to break into Japan’s music industry, as both countries has restricted the import and export of entertainment since the second world war. She is also the only Korean singer to sell more than a million copies and is one of only two artists (the other artist being Ayumi Hamasaki) to have six consecutive number-one studio albums on the Oricon charts since her debut.


Dong Bang Shin Ki/동방신기 (Photo: SM Entertainment)

In 2003, SM Entertainment created a new boy group – Dong Bang Shin Ki (동방신기), which the company hopes to create legend in Asia. Originally, the group consists of 5 members namely – Micky Yoochun, Hero Jaejoong, Xiah Junsu, U-Know Yoonho and Max Changmin. Known better as Tohoshinki (東方神起) in Japan, they were the first foreign male group to reach #1 in Japan’s Oricon chart, for the single, “Purple Line”.

super junior

Super Junior (Photo: SM Entertainment)

Super Junior is one of the largest boy group of the world, with 13 members, with 12 Korean members and  a foreign member from Mainland China. The members are – Kyuhyun, Kibum, Ryeowook, Siwon, Donghae, Eunhyuk, Sungmin, Shindong, Kangin, Yesung, Hangeng, Lee Teuk and Heechul. Besides promoting in Korea and Japan, they expanded in Mainland China and Taiwan with the sub-group, Super Junior-M, which specializes in Mandarin songs.


소녀시대 (Photo: SM Entertainment)

Currently, the Korean music industry is very competitive with many new idol groups debuting since 2007. Despite that, SM Entertainment formed two new idol groups between the year 2007 to 2008 with Girls Generation/SNSD (소녀시대/少女時代) and SHINee (샤이니).

So Nyuh Shi Dae(SNSD) is a nine-member all-girls group. Each of the member stands out in their own way. Taeyeon for her vocal talent, Hyoyeon as the best dancer, Yoona for her beauty etc. All the members are also known for their beautiful legs, which started a “hot pants” trend across Asia.


SHINee (Photo: SM Entertainment)

SHINee (Minho, Key, Jonghyun, Taemin and Onew) was the youngest boy group at the time of their debut. With their debut single, “누난 너무 예뻐 (Replay)” or literally, “Older Girl, You’re so pretty”, SHINee attracted a lot of Noona fans out there.

In conclusion, SM Entertainment was the first to generate the Korean wave in Asia and to the rest of the world. The artistes are very well marketed as most of their artistes made it in Japan, China and Taiwan. Artistes such as SHINee, SNSD and DBSK created many fashion trends in Asia. For those who are interested to be part of the family, visit SMTOWN for more information.
Also, remember to stay tuned to SEOUL AWESOME for the next Korean pop entertainment company.

See also:
SHINee Style
SM The Ballad
DBSK’s Lawsuit
SHINee’s Airport Fashion


16 thoughts on “K-pop Factory Part 1: SM Entertainment

  1. SM!!! can i join sm? i am 15. do they accept non-asians? Do i need to know korean first? i am from Belgium!

  2. I like SMTOWN singers (in order)…. BoA, Girls Generation especially Taeyeon, Tohoshinki, SHINee especially Jonghyun, f(x) especially Sulli and lastly SUJU (except Heechul, Hangeng and Leeteuk)… haha… still like the rest though especially Kyuhyun and Ryeowook!!!

    But I am sad about the split of Tohoshinki! Cuz i like Yoochun. Like him in Sungkyunkwan Scandal!

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