“We will work closely with the biggest music company, Universal Music Group, globally for the successful global debut and promotion of BLACKPINK,” said YG’s chairman and founder Yang Hyun Suk in a statement. “In addition, we will do our best to help other YG artists to break through the North American and European territories as well.”
Yang founded YG Entertainment in 1996 and the label has harbored some of the biggest names in South Korea's music industry, including BIGBANG, 2NE1, Wheesung, Gummy, Psy and many others.
“We are more than thrilled to begin a partnership with UMG and Interscope,” said Teddy Park, YG’s in-house producer, who has shaped much of BLACKPINK’s sound. “Entertainment today is more global than ever. Music and real talent transcends culture, language, and really has no boundaries. Through this partnership we feel we can truly showcase BLACKPINK’s potential on a grander scale and we look forward to what’s to come.”
BLACKPINK is innately a globalized act, with only one member, Jisoo, raised in South Korea: Lisa is Thai, Rosé was born in New Zealand and raised in Australia, and Jennie grew up in New Zealand. The group was formed under YG and debuted in 2016 with the singles “Whistle” and “Boombayah” to great popularity. Despite their historic success over the past two years through the releases of their singles, Square Up is the act’s first EP and they currently have released fewer than 10 songs. This year saw them headline their first arena tour in Japan, which will end with their first dome-sized performance in Osaka in December.
“Chairman Yang has built YG Entertainment into a global music powerhouse with an impressive track record of breaking artists. I’m thrilled to expand our relationship with YG through the addition of BLACKPINK to the Interscope family,” said Sir Lucian Grainge, chairman and CEO of Universal Music Group. “We look forward to building upon BLACKPINK’s remarkable early success by putting the global resources and expertise of UMG behind them and growing their audience around the world.”
In the past, YG artists have aimed to break into the U.S, including Se7en, Psy and CL, but haven't been able to achieve longevity in the market. Both of the latter two artists signed with Scooter Braun for Stateside representation, but Psy has since left YG, while CL saw only one song, “Lifted,” break into the Hot 100 in 2016, despite several years of anticipation. She recently reignited hope, however, by sharing a video earlier this year to Instagram with Braun proclaiming that it is "time" for her music to come out.
“BLACKPINK are global superstars in the making,” commented John Janick, chairman and CEO of Interscope Geffen A&M. “The music and visuals are so immediately striking and so different from anything else happening in pop music. We are beyond excited to partner with YG in pursuit of their vision for BLACKPINK world domination.”
BLACKPINK were recently featured on Dua Lipa's "Kiss and Make Up."