SM Entertainment’s annual SMTOWN LIVE event is always a must-watch for K-pop fans during the holidays, with special performances and reveals from the South Korean management company’s roster of artists, but this year’s edition gave fans an extra surprise with the unveiling of a new “supergroup” dubbed Girls on Top.
Girls on Top (or “GOT” for short) will feature rotating units that combine top female artists from SM’s star-studded roster. The first unit, dubbed GOT the Beat, features BoA, Girls’ Generation’s Taeyeon and Hyoyeon, Red Velvet’s Seulgi and Wendy, and Aespa’s Karina and Winter.
The group debuted their first single, “Step Back,” during SMTOWN LIVE 2022, with a performance video that has already amassed almost 10 million views on YouTube in less than two days.
The bass-heavy track incorporates elements of dubstep, hip-hop, and electro house with the seven members alternating between singing, rapping, and a cheerleader chant-style chorus. The song was written and produced by SM’s Yoo Young Jin, and American producer Dem Jointz, who most recently worked with Kanye on his Donda album.
At 35, BoA is the veteran of Girls on Top. The singer and songwriter made her debut in 2000 at the age of 13 and has since gone on to become one of the biggest Asian acts in the world (Weezer even covered BoA’s Japanese holiday hit, “Meri Kuri,” on the Japanese edition of their Red Album).
Girls’ Generation, meantime, debuted under SM in 2007, and both Taeyeon and Hyoyeon have found solo success outside of the group as well. The lineup for Red Velvet was unveiled in 2014 (with the current lineup including Yeri finalized a year later) and the group’s latest EP, Queendom, was one of the best-reviewed K-pop albums of 2021. And then there’s Aespa, who debuted in November 2020 with a futuristic-inspired image and sound. Aespa was SM Entertainment’s first new girl group since Red Velvet debuted six years earlier.
“Step Back” is the first release from GOT the Beat, and is now available digitally to purchase and stream. SM says to expect other sub-units under the Girls on Top umbrella, to be created from other artists and around specific themes and genres.
The new act comes on the heels of “SuperM,” the all-male “supergroup” that was formed by SM in 2019. Often referred to as “the Avengers of K-pop,” SuperM has since released a debut EP as well as one full-length album.