Boy Story is a co-production between South Korean “Big 3” K-pop company JYP Entertainment and Chinese streaming service Tencent Music Entertainment, which is aiming to raise $2 billion in an upcoming IPO. Despite being formed by a K-pop label, they will not be active in South Korea. The group held their debut showcase in Guangzhou on Saturday (Sept. 22).
The six members of Boy Story were selected by JYP founder Park Jin-young in 2016 and have trained under the company since. The Korean label announced its plans to produce localized acts aiming at both the Chinese and Japanese markets earlier this year, and Boy Story is set to be followed by Japanese girl group. In the past, the company has incorporated foreign-born stars into K-pop groups, such as TWICE’s three Japanese members, but Boy Story is the label’s first act explicitly formed to promote in an overseas market rather than South Korea.
Boy Story’s member ages are a bit younger than average for K-pop-adjacent boy bands, but follows in the footsteps of one of China’s most popular boy bands, TFBoys. That group, whose members were born in 1999 and 2000, grew popular upon its start in 2013, when the members were also in their early teens.
South Korean music labels have increasingly focused on localized acts to break into the Chinese music market after cooling political relations between South Korea and China last year heavily impacted the industry. SM Entertainment, another “Big 3” K-pop label, is reportedly set to produce a Chinese team of their NCT unit later this year.
Watch the music video for “Enough” below.