SPICA Disbands After Five Years

Courtesy of CJ E&M

SPICA at KCON 2014

Days away from their fifth anniversary, K-pop girl group SPICA is calling it a day under their current company.

After five years together and numerous struggles to gain recognition from the wider K-pop community, SPICA’s agency CJ E&M announced Feb. 6 that the group will disband. Despite immense talent and one of the best K-pop songs of 2012, the group never gained a foothold in South Korea and SPICA’s members reportedly opted to end their contracts with the company prematurely.

Though touted as a disbandment, SPICA’s post-break up plans have yet to be decided; CJ E&M said it was not “clear yet” whether the five will part ways or move onto another agency together. In the meantime, the company will determine how to finalize things as the contract comes to an end. 

The quintet’s last single, the soulful dance pop track “Secret Time,” was released in August, nearly two years after their previous song, “Ghost.” Earlier tunes, like the sonorous R&B “Painkiller," the retro-tinged "You Don't Love Me," and the tempestuous dancepop “Russian Roulette,” also displayed the group’s sultry voices through a variety of sounds built to show off their powerhouse vocals.

But while failing to gain recognition in South Korea, SPICA braved an attempt to break into the American music industry in 2014 with the English-language single “I Did It.” The brassy funk track, which premiered on Billboard, garnered SPICA an appearance on the morning show of the local FOX affiliate in Los Angeles, and also brought the group to their first and only KCON performance.

SPICA’s flair for intricately produced songs combined with the quintet’s overwhelming vocals, plus their 2012 debut under the auspices of Korean diva Lee Hyori, set the group up for success. But the fivesome was never able to reach the industry’s top tiers. Though talent was never a question, the overcrowded K-pop playing field has had many victims over the years and SPICA is its latest casualty.

2017 in general doesn’t bode well for older K-pop acts, as newer acts move in to take their places. With more than 100 new K-pop acts debuting each year, several veteran bands have fallen by the wayside, including popular girl groups Wonder Girls and I.O.I and the hip-hop boy band M.I.B.