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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 an avatar of yourself.[2]


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.[3]

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.[4] Later that day, it was announced that SM would be debuting a new girl group in November.[2][5] The next day, the group's first member, Winter, was officially revealed.[6][7] On October 28, the second member, Karina, was revealed.[8][9] 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.[10] On October 29, Ningning was officially revealed as the group's third member.[11][12] On October 30, Giselle was revealed as the group's fourth and final member.[13][14]

On November 2, it was announced the group would debut on November 17 with the digital single "Black Mamba",[5][15][16] 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".[17]

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.[18]

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.[19][20]

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.[21]

On January 17, the group won their first music show win with "Black Mamba" on SBS's Inkigayo.[22][23]

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.[24][25] 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.[26][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): Savage, and "Dreams Come True"

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 September 10, SM Entertainment’s subsidiary EDM label ScreaM Records announced the release of “IScreaM Vol.10 : Next Level Remixes" on September 14.[42]

The group for Vogue Singapore in October 2021

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 would be released on October 5, with six songs of various genres including the title track of the same name.[43] An online showcase entitled SYNK DIVE: aespa Savage SHOWCASE was held on the same day.[44] On October 5, it was revealed that the album had already reached the milestone of 400,000 copies sold during its pre-order.[45] The title song "Savage" reached the top of all major Korean digital charts.[46]

On October 17, Billboard announced Savage debuted at number 20 on the US Billboard 200 album chart,[47] the highest ranking ever for a K-pop girl group's debut on the chart.[48] On October 21, it was reported that the album had sold 513,292 copies within 15 days of its release.[49]

On October 29, it was announced that Karina would be one of Seoul's tour guides for History Channel's Travel Diary - Soul ; Seoul.[50]

On November 1, it was announced that the group would participate in "Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade" in New York, thus becoming the first female K-Pop group to perform on the parade.[51]

aespa receiving their Visionary Award at the CJ ENM Center on December 1, 2021.

On November 4, it was announced that the group would participate in SM’s remastering project and release their own version of S.E.S.’s "Dreams Come True" before the end of 2021.[52]

On November 23, it was also announced that the group was the only girl group selected by CJ ENM as one of six '2021 Visionaries' in the K-entertainment industry. The group was selected for breaking the traditional “fan culture” through avatars/metaverse and opening up new possibilities in the industry.[53]

aespa at Mnet Asian Music Awards Red Carpet on December 11, 2021

On December 10, it was announced that the group would be part of the winter album 2021 Winter SMTOWN : SMCU EXPRESS as part of SMTOWN, the album will be released on December 27, 2021.[54] On December 11 it was revealed that the music video for the group's version of "Dreams Come True" would be released on December 20 as part of the project.[55] On December 12, the first teaser image for "Dreams Come True" was revealed.[56] On the same day it was revealed that on December 23, a video would be released in partnership with YouTube Originals showing the re-creation of the song with the participation of the singer BoA who was the producer, choreographer and art director from the single and Bada from S.E.S.[57][58]

aespa performing their smash hit single "Next Level" at SMTOWN Live 2022 : SMCU Express@Kwangya on January 1, 2022

On December 23, it was revealed that Giselle and Ningning would collaborate on 2021 Winter SMTOWN: SMCU EXPRESS, Giselle on "Zoo" with Taeyong, Jeno, Hendery & Yang Yang from NCT, and Ningning on "Snowy Dream 2021" with Yeri from Red Velvet, Haechan, Chenle & Jisung from NCT.[59]

On December 27, it was revealed that Karina and Winter would be part of the new unit "GOT the beat" from the project Girls On Top alongside BoA, Taeyeon & Hyoyeon from Girls' Generation and Wendy & Seulgi from Red Velvet making their debut with the digital single "Step Back" on January 3, 2022.[60][61][62][63]

2022: Coachella debut, international expansion, and Girls

On January 8, the group became the first artist ever to win the Artist of the Year award at the Golden Disc Awards.[64][65]

On March 25, it was reported that Winter and Ningning would sing an OST for the tvN drama Our Blues.[66]

aespa for TIME Magazine in May 2022

On April 19, SM Entertainment confirmed that aespa would perform in the second week of the 2022 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival on April 23 as part of 88rising's Head in the Clouds Forever showcase, becoming the third K-pop girl group to perform at the festival along with BLACKPINK and 2NE1.[67] The group performed "aenergy", "Black Level", "Savage", "Next Level", and an English version of the unreleased song "Life's Too Short", which will be included in their upcoming album.[68]

On May 12, the group was included in TIME Magazine's Next Generation Leaders list.[69][70] On May 27, the group was also included on Forbes' "30 Under 30" list in the Entertainment and Sports category.[71]

On the midnight of June 1, the group released through their social networks a video revealing that the title of their second mini album would be Girls and would be released on July 8, 2022.[72][73] Later that day, it was announced that aespa had signed a contract with American label Warner Records for their global promotions, becoming the first K-pop group to do so.[74] The group's first English single, "Life's Too Short" would be released on June 24.

The group at SMCU - aespa 'ep. 2 Next Level' Premiere @ KWANGYA at the SM Entertainment building in Changwon on June 19, 2022.

Also on June 1, aespa released the song "Illusion" as a pre-release for their upcoming second mini-album and was selected as Apple Music's 'Up Next' artist for June.[75]

On June 2, the group announced their first ever Japanese showcase tour, titled aespa Japan Premium Showcase 2022 ~ Synk ~, which will be held on August 6 and August 7 at Pia Arena MM in Yokohama, Japan.[76] Five days later, on June 7, Live Nation announced via Twitter that aespa would be holding a North American showcase, titled aespa Showcase Synk in LA, on June 26 and June 27 at the YouTube Theater in Los Angeles, California.[77]

On June 8, 2022, it was reported that physical pre-order sales for Girls exceeded 1 million copies, marking only the second time in K-pop history that a girl group has done so.[78]

On June 20, 2022, the group released the second episode of their SM Culture Universe worldview, titled "Next Level", the episode is 17 minutes long and was released on the group's official YouTube channel.[79]


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

Name Avatar Symbol[80] Position(s)[81][82] Years active
Karina (카리나) æ-Karina 💙 Leader, Dancer, Rapper, Vocalist, Visual[83] 2020–present
Giselle (지젤) æ-Giselle 🌙 Rapper, Vocalist 2020–present
Winter (윈터) æ-Winter Vocalist, Dancer 2020–present
Ningning (닝닝) æ-Ningning 🦋 Vocalist, Maknae 2020–present



Mini albums

Digital singles

Remix singles


Digital singles


Showcase tours


  • 2022 aespa FAN MEETING : MY SYNK. aespa (2022)

Concert participation


On February 10, 2021, 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.[84] On August 6, 2021, it was announced that the group has been selected to be the new model for Clio Cosmetics.[85] On August 20, 2021, the group's first commercial film for Clio was released.[86] On August 19, 2021, Mediheal posted a teaser citing "Kwangya" in its caption, hinting that the group would soon be unveiled as new models for the brand.[87] They were officially announced as the new models for Mediheal on August 24, 2021,[88] On August 26, 2021, the group was announced as the new advertising model for outdoor brand Eider.[89] 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. [90] On November 23, 2021, the group was announced by Dispatch Beauty as the new muses for the Italian fragrance label ‘Acqua di Parma’.[91]

  • Givenchy (2021-present)
  • Eternal Return (2021)
  • Clio (2021-present)
  • Mediheal (2021-present)
  • Eider (2021)
  • KB Kookmin Bank (2021-present)
  • Acqua di Parma (2021)
  • MLB (2022)
  • TAMS Zero (2022)

Awards and nominations

Main article: Awards and nominations received by aespa


  • Each member has a digital version of themselves, referred to as avatars.[92]
  • Ningning is a former Let's Sing Kids 3 contestant.


Main article: aespa/Gallery


  1. 에스파, 美 시장 본격 진출..SMX워너 레코드 손잡았다
  2. 2.0 2.1 SM TOWN: SM new girl group "aespa" debut in November!
  3. Soompi: SMROOKIES Introduces 2 New Female Trainees
  4. YouTube: aespa 에스파: INTRO
  5. 5.0 5.1 (KR) Daum: SM 新 걸그룹 에스파 11월 데뷔, NCT 후 4년만 신인(공식)
  6. @aespa_official on Twitter (October 26, 2020)
  7. SMTOWN: WINTER, The First Member of SM's New Girl Group "aespa" Has Been Revealed!
  8. @aespa_Offical on Twitter (October 27, 2020)
  9. SMTOWN: KARINA, the second member of SMs new girl group "aespa" has been revealed!
  10. Koreaboo: aespa X Vocaloid - SM Entertainment's New Girl Group Will Combine Real And Avatar Members
  11. @aespa_official on Twitter (October 28, 2020)
  12. SMTOWN: NINGNING, the third member of SM's new girl group "aespa" has been revealed
  13. @aespa_official on Twitter (October 30, 2020)
  14. SMTOWN: GISELLE, the fourth member of SM's new girl group "aespa" has been revealed!
  15. (KR) Xports News: SM 신인 걸그룹 에스파, 11월 17일 데뷔 확정…타이틀곡은 '블랙맘바' [공식입장]
  16. SMTOWN: SM Entertainment's new girl group "aespa" to debut on November 17th with their first digital single "Black Mamba"!
  17. Koreaboo: aespa Breaks All-Time Record For K-Pop Debut Music Video Views With “Black Mamba”
  18. V Live: 공지 aespa OFFICIAL FANCLUB “MY(마이)” 오픈 안내
  19. Strait Times: New girl group Aespa's Black Mamba becomes fastest K-pop debut music video to get 100m views on YouTube
  20. Soompi: aespa’s “Black Mamba” Becomes Fastest K-Pop Group Debut MV To Hit 100 Million Views
  21. Forbes: Aespa Break Out Among New K-Pop Acts With 100 Million Views On Debut Music Video
  22. (KR) Star News: SM rookie aespa, number one for the first time.Yubin → Kim Soo-chan's comeback
  23. (KR) Hankook Ilbo:"INKIGAYO." aespa, number one with Black Mamba.
  24. (KR) Daum: 에스파, 2월 5일 싱글 'Forever' 깜짝 발매..유영진 곡 리메이크
  25. aespa on Twitter:"에스파, 2월 5일 싱글 ‘Forever’ 깜짝 공개! 히트메이커 유영진 원곡 리메이크! 따뜻한 겨울 감성 선사!"
  26. SMTOWN: aespa, new song 'Forever' +MV released at 6 PM on the 5th!
  27. SMTOWN: aespa remake song ‘Forever’ performance video will be released on 6th, on YouTube!
  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) Star Money Today: 'iScreaM' 프로젝트, 에스파 'Next Level' 리믹스 싱글 14일 공개
  43. (KR) MK Sports: 에스파, 첫 미니앨범 ‘Savage’ 10월 5일 발매(공식)
  44. (KR) StarMoney Today: "에스파, 10월 5일 전세계 온라인 쇼케이스 개최 공식"
  45. (KR) Sedaily: '컴백' 에스파 첫 미니앨범 'Savage' 선주문량 40만장 돌파
  46. (KR) MyDaily: 에스파, 신곡 '새비지'로 2연속 멜론 일간 1위…'신흥 음원퀸' 입증
  47. Billboard Charts on Twitter (October 17, 2021)
  48. (KR) SMTOWN: ‘Savage’ 신드롬! 에스파 美 빌보드 10개 차트 입성!
  49. (KR) SMTOWN: 에스파, 첫 미니앨범 ‘Savage’로 발매 15일 만에 음반 판매량 51만장 돌파!
  50. (KR) fnnews: 서울 매력을 담은 '트래블 서울' 영상, 19개국 방영
  51. (KR) Newsis: 에스파, 美 대규모 추수감사절 축제 참석…"K팝 걸그룹 최초"
  52. (KR) Hankyung: 에스파 "S.E.S. 노래 듣고 자라…'드림스 컴 트루' 리마스터링 영광"
  53. (KR) munhwa: "누구도 인정할 수밖에 없는 ‘비저너리’ 선정… ‘K-어워즈’ 싹 틔우나"
  54. (KR) Newsen: SM, 12월 27일 10년만 겨울음반 발매→1월 1일 합동 콘서트 무료 생중계
  55. SMTOWN on Twitter: "SMTOWN 2022 : SMCU EXPRESS - Departure Information"
  56. (KR) Starmoneytoday: "에스파, S.E.S 'Dreams Come True' 재해석..보아 프로듀싱공식"
  57. SMTOWN on Twitter: YouTube Originals "Re:MASTERPIECE" Poster
  58. SMTOWN on Twitter: aespa’s ‘Dreams Come True’ Youtube Original Contents to be released on the 23th! Stay tuned for the story of a remake song and surprise appearance of ‘original singer’ BADA!
  59. Newsen (KR): 발라드→막내라인 '2021 Winter SMTOWN' 이색 컬래버레이션
  60. Allkpop: SM Entertainment reveals female supergroup Girls On Top featuring BoA and members of aespa, Red Velvet, and Girls' Generation
  61. Girls On Top on Twitter: "GOT the beat(GOT:Girls On Top) Special Stage ➫ 2022.01.01 New Song Release ➫ 2022.01.03. 6PM KST
  62. Sedaily: SM 새 걸그룹 티저 공개...新 프로젝트 '걸스 온 탑(GOT)'
  63. Naver: '보아→윈터' SM 新유닛 GOT the beat, 신곡 'Step Back' 1월 3일 공개
  64. (KR) Heraldpop: "방탄소년단·아이유, 음반·음원 대상 영예..NCT 127→세븐틴 본상(종합)"
  66. (KR) TvDaily: 에스파 윈터X닝닝, '우리들의 블루스' OST 가창자 참여
  67. (KR) News1: 에스파, 美 코첼라 메인 스테이지 초청…K팝 걸그룹 최초
  68. Rolling Stone: Aespa Make Their Coachella Debut With Hotly Anticipated Set
  69. TIME's Next Generation Leaders
  70. How K-Pop Group aespa Is Making the Metaverse Their Home
  71. Forbes 30 Under 30 2022: Entertainment & Sports
  72. aespa on Twitter: aespa 에스파 The 2nd Mini Album 〖Girls〗➫ 2022.07.08
  73. Soompi: Watch: aespa Announces Comeback Date With Intriguing 1st Teaser For “Girls”
  74. 에스파, 美 시장 본격 진출..SMX워너 레코드 손잡았다
  75. Allkpop: aespa drops 'Illusion' from their 2nd mini album 'Girls' + selected as Apple Music's 'Up Next' artist for June
  76. Aespa Japan Official (JPN): aespa初来日イベント『aespa JAPAN PREMIUM SHOWCASE 2022 〜SYNK〜』 開催決定!
  77. (KR) iPlusJoins: 에스파, 26일 美 LA서 쇼케이스
  78. Naver News (KOR): 에스파, 미니 2집 앨범 ‘Girls’ 선주문량 100만장 돌파
  79. (KR) SporTV News: 광야로 떠난 에스파…SMCU 세계관 영상, 모든 것이 '넥스트 레벨'
  80. *Can be seen in each of the members' SYNK video
  81. Melon Magazine: 우리 좀 더 친해질까요? aespa TMI 대방출!
  82. (KR) Xports News: 차세대 '메인'은 바로 나…4세대 대표 보컬·춤·비주얼은? 4세대 아이돌
  83. During episode 303 of Knowing Bros, Karina introduced herself as the Visual-Leader.
  84. SMTOWN: aespa to be the ambassador of ‘GIVENCHY’ for the first time as K-POP artists!
  85. (KR) FnNews: 클리오, 브랜드 새 모델에 '에스파' 전격 발탁
  86. 클리오 CLIO_official on Twitter: "CLIO X aespa"
  87. 메디힐 (mediheal_official): #NEW_MODEL 2021 메디힐과 함께 광야로 걸어갈
  88. (KR) Naver: 메디힐, 새 브랜드 모델에 걸그룹 '에스파' 발탁
  89. (KR) Single List: "에스파, 아이더 뮤즈 발탁...아웃도어 넥스트 레벨 PICK"
  90. (KR) Tv Daily: "게임부터 금융ㆍ통신까지…에스파, 광고계 접수
  91. (KR) Dispatch Beauty on Instagram:"아쿠아 디 파르마 새 뮤즈 된 '에스파'"
  92. Soompi: SM Entertainment Has Shared a Video Called "MY, KARINA" Where aespa Member Karina Introduces The Avatar Member æ-Karina

Official links