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Be MY æ! Hello, we are aespa!
(Be MY æ! 안녕하세요, 에스파입니다!)


aespa (에스파; also stylized as æspa) is a four-member girl group under SM Entertainment. They debuted on November 17, 2020 with the digital single "Black Mamba".

Their name is a combination of "æ", which means 'Avatar X Experience', and "aspect", which means double-sided. Together it means that you would being able to experience a new world through another avatar of yourself.[1]


Pre-debut activities

On September 19, 2016, Ningning was revealed as a new member of the trainee team SMROOKIES. She appeared on the "Rookies Princess: Who's the Best?" segment of the program "My SMT" in 2016 and was also part of the soundtrack for the Korean animated TV program "Shining Star" in 2017.[2]

On February 2019, Karina appeared in Taemin's "Want" music video. She also performed with him on music shows in the following weeks.

2020: Debut with "Black Mamba", fandom name

The group performing at SBS MTV's The Show on November 24, 2020

On October 26, 2020, an intro video was released on aespa's social media announcing their name and logo.[3] Later that day, it was announced that SM would be debuting a new girl group in November.[1][4] The next day, the group's first member, Winter, was officially revealed.[5][6] On October 28, the second member, Karina, was revealed.[7][8] The same day, a video shown during a press conference featuring Lee Soo-Man revealed the group will have four members, including Giselle and Ningning.[9] On October 29, Ningning was officially revealed as the group's third member.[10][11] On October 30, Giselle was revealed as the group's fourth and final member.[12][13]

On November 2, it was announced the group would debut on November 17 with the digital single "Black Mamba",[4][14][15] The music video for the song counted 21,4225,062 views in its first day, breaking the record for most viewed music videos in the first 24 hours by a K-pop group in its debut, which was previously held by ITZY with the song "Dalla Dalla".[16]

The group at MBC's Gayo Daejejeon backstage on December 31, 2020

On November 17, on their debut day, the group's fanclub name was announced to be "MY (마이)" which is the word used to mean "the most precious friend" in KWANGYA where aespa's avatar æ lives.[17]

2021 (1): First music show win, "Forever", and "Next Level"

On January 8, 2021, the music video for "Black Mamba" hit 100 million views, which took only 51 days and 12 hours to achieve, setting the new record in K-pop history as the debut MV to garner 100 million views in the shortest time period.[18][19]

On January 14, a Forbes article mentioned that the group is expected to put out new music early into 2021 with all signs pointing to additional international activities.[20]

On January 17, the group won their first music show win with "Black Mamba" on SBS's Inkigayo.[21][22]

The group for GIVENCHY in February 2021

On January 29, the hashtag #늘_네_옆에_난_서있을게 (#I_will_always_stand_by_your_side) was promoted by the group's official Twitter account, and it was later revealed that the group would release a surprise single "Forever" on February 5. The single is a remake of the song of the same name by Yoo Young Jin from the SMTOWN album Winter Vacation In SMTOWN.Com.[23][24] On February 4, SM Entertainment announced that the group would release a series of performances for the single in the following days with various concepts.[25][26]

On February 10, it was announced that the group became an ambassador of the French luxury house Givenchy, presenting the collections and major lines of Givenchy creative director Matthew M. Williams.[27]

On March 15, an economic analysis by SM Entertainment revealed that a virtual show in conjunction with the group's "æ-avatars" is expected for the year. Lee Kihoon, a researcher at the Hana Financial Group, also adds that the debut process of the group was largely responsible for making SM the most innovative company in the current era of the "metauniverses".[28]

On March 19, aespa was one of the two k-pop groups chosen by People magazine in the list "Emerging Artists Making Their Mark on the Musical Landscape in 2021". According to the article, the group was currently preparing to be able to release their first mini album during the South Korean summer.[29] On April 6, it was reaffirmed again in an article from "Just Jared" that the group are set to release new music in the summer.[30]

aespa at a press conference for "Next Level" on May 17, 2021

On May 4, SM Entertainment confirmed that aespa are preparing for a May comeback. The exact dates will be released once finalized.[31] On the midnight of May 6, a teaser was posted via the group's social medias announcing the group's comeback entitled "Next Level".[32] Later that same day, it was confirmed that aespa would be coming back with their third digital single titled "Next Level" on May 17.[33] The song is a remake of the song of the same name from the original soundtrack of the movie "Fast & Furious: Hobbs e Shaw".[34]

On May 15, the first video showing the worldview story of the group was released through the group's official YouTube channel.[35][36]

On May 17, it was revealed during the press conference for "Next Level" that the group plans to release their first full-length album soon.[37]

2021 (2): Endorsements and Savage

The group for CLIO in August 2021

On July 14, Winter appeared in Kangta's "Free To Fly 2021" music video.[38] On the same day it was announced that the group would collaborate with the game “Eternal Return” by Kakao Games, launching a music video in partnership with the company and also making a presentation at the game's opening ceremony.[39]

On July 23, it was announced that the group had signed with CAA (Creative Artists Agency) to handle its activities in the United States.[40][41]

On August 6, it was announced that the group has been selected to be the new model for Clio Cosmetics.[42] On August 20, the group's first commercial film for Clio was released.[43]

On August 19, Mediheal posted a teaser citing "Kwangya" in its caption, hinting that the group would soon be unveiled as new models for the brand.[44] They were officially announced as the new models for Mediheal on August 24.[45]

On August 26, the group was announced as the new advertising model for outdoor brand Eider.[46] On the same day, SM Entertainment stated that the group has been chosen as advertisement models for various industries including gaming, banking, beauty, apparel, and telecommunications. [47]

On September 10, SM Entertainment’s subsidiary EDM label ScreaM Records announced the release of “iScream Vol. 10 :Next Level Remixes" on September 14.[48]

On September 14, the first teaser for the group's second comeback with Savage was revealed. Later that same day, SM Entertainment confirmed that the release was the group's first mini-album which will be released on October 5, with six songs of various genres including the title track of the same name.[49]


The members have no official and exact fixed positions, except the leader.

Name Avatar Symbol[50] Position(s)[51][52] Years active
Karina (카리나) æ-Karina 💙 Leader, Dance, Rap, Vocal 2020–present
Giselle (지젤) æ-Giselle 🌙 Rap, Vocal, Dance 2020–present
Winter (윈터) æ-Winter Vocal, Dance 2020–present
Ningning (닝닝) æ-Ningning 🦋 Vocal, Dance 2020–present


Mini albums

Digital singles

Remix singles


  • GIVENCHY (2021)
  • Eternal Return (2021)
  • CLIO (2021)
  • Mediheal (2021)
  • Eider (2021)

Awards and nominations

Main article: Awards and nominations received by aespa


  • Each member has a digital version of themselves, referred to as avatars.[53]


Main article: aespa/Gallery


  1. 1.0 1.1 SM TOWN: SM new girl group "aespa" debut in November!
  2. Soompi: SMROOKIES Introduces 2 New Female Trainees
  3. YouTube: aespa 에스파: INTRO
  4. 4.0 4.1 (KR) Daum: SM 新 걸그룹 에스파 11월 데뷔, NCT 후 4년만 신인(공식)
  5. @aespa_official on Twitter (October 26, 2020)
  6. SMTOWN: WINTER, The First Member of SM's New Girl Group "aespa" Has Been Revealed!
  7. @aespa_Offical on Twitter (October 27, 2020)
  8. SMTOWN: KARINA, the second member of SMs new girl group "aespa" has been revealed!
  9. Koreaboo: aespa X Vocaloid - SM Entertainment's New Girl Group Will Combine Real And Avatar Members
  10. @aespa_official on Twitter (October 28, 2020)
  11. SMTOWN: NINGNING, the third member of SM's new girl group "aespa" has been revealed
  12. @aespa_official on Twitter (October 30, 2020)
  13. SMTOWN: GISELLE, the fourth member of SM's new girl group "aespa" has been revealed!
  14. (KR) Xports News: SM 신인 걸그룹 에스파, 11월 17일 데뷔 확정…타이틀곡은 '블랙맘바' [공식입장]
  15. SMTOWN: SM Entertainment's new girl group "aespa" to debut on November 17th with their first digital single "Black Mamba"!
  16. Koreaboo: aespa Breaks All-Time Record For K-Pop Debut Music Video Views With “Black Mamba”
  17. V Live: 공지 aespa OFFICIAL FANCLUB “MY(마이)” 오픈 안내
  18. Strait Times: New girl group Aespa's Black Mamba becomes fastest K-pop debut music video to get 100m views on YouTube
  19. Soompi: aespa’s “Black Mamba” Becomes Fastest K-Pop Group Debut MV To Hit 100 Million Views
  20. Forbes: Aespa Break Out Among New K-Pop Acts With 100 Million Views On Debut Music Video
  21. (KR) Star News: SM rookie aespa, number one for the first time.Yubin → Kim Soo-chan's comeback
  22. (KR) Hankook Ilbo:"INKIGAYO." aespa, number one with Black Mamba.
  23. (KR) Daum: 에스파, 2월 5일 싱글 'Forever' 깜짝 발매..유영진 곡 리메이크
  24. aespa on Twitter:"에스파, 2월 5일 싱글 ‘Forever’ 깜짝 공개! 히트메이커 유영진 원곡 리메이크! 따뜻한 겨울 감성 선사!"
  25. SMTOWN: aespa, new song 'Forever' +MV released at 6 PM on the 5th!
  26. SMTOWN: aespa remake song ‘Forever’ performance video will be released on 6th, on YouTube!
  27. SMTOWN: aespa to be the ambassador of ‘GIVENCHY’ for the first time as K-POP artists!
  28. "실적부터 챙겨라"…SM 향한 증권가의 '혹평'
  29. People Magazine: Meet the Talented Emerging Artists Making Their Mark on the Musical Landscape in 2021
  30. JUST JARED: Get to Know 'Black Mamba' K-Pop Girl Group aespa With These 10 Fun Facts! (Exclusive)
  31. (KR) Daum: 에스파, 5월 컴백 공식
  32. aespa on Twitter:"aespa 에스파 〖Next Level〗"
  33. (KR) Newsen: 에스파 컴백 확정, 17일 신곡 ‘Next Level’ 발매(공식)
  34. (KR) V Live: 📰 에스파, 신곡 ‘Next Level’ 오늘 공개! 오후 8시 네이버 V 라이브로 팬들과 소통 예고!
  35. YouTube: aespa 에스파 'ep1. Black Mamba' - SM Culture Universe
  36. (KR) V Live: 📰 ‘컴백’ 에스파, 세계관 스토리 담은 SMCU 영상 공개! SF 영화 연상케 하는 스케일 화제!
  37. (KR) Naver: "조만간"...에스파, 깜짝 정규 앨범 발매 예고
  38. (KR) Naver Blog - SMTOWN: ★데뷔 25주년★ 강타의 특별한 선물,'자유롭게 날 수 있도록 2021'
  39. (KR) Game Chosun: 카카오게임즈 ‘이터널 리턴 X 에스파’, 다음게임 론칭 티저 공개
  40. CAA Signs K-pop Phenoms Aespa In All Areas
  41. Soompi: aespa Signs With Creative Artists Agency “In All Areas”
  42. (KR) FnNews: 클리오, 브랜드 새 모델에 '에스파' 전격 발탁
  43. 클리오 CLIO_official on Twitter: "CLIO X aespa"
  44. 메디힐 (mediheal_official): #NEW_MODEL 2021 메디힐과 함께 광야로 걸어갈
  45. (KR) Naver: 메디힐, 새 브랜드 모델에 걸그룹 '에스파' 발탁
  46. (KR) Single List: "에스파, 아이더 뮤즈 발탁...아웃도어 넥스트 레벨 PICK"
  47. (KR) Tv Daily: "게임부터 금융ㆍ통신까지…에스파, 광고계 접수
  48. (KR) Star Money Today: 'iScreaM' 프로젝트, 에스파 'Next Level' 리믹스 싱글 14일 공개
  49. (KR) MK Sports: 에스파, 첫 미니앨범 ‘Savage’ 10월 5일 발매(공식)
  50. * Can be seen in each of the members' SYNK video
  51. Melon Magazine: 우리 좀 더 친해질까요? aespa TMI 대방출!
  52. (KR) Xports News: 차세대 '메인'은 바로 나…4세대 대표 보컬·춤·비주얼은? 4세대 아이돌
  53. Soompi: SM Entertainment Has Shared a Video Called "MY, KARINA" Where aespa Member Karina Introduces The Avatar Member æ-Karina

Official links