HYBE Signs First Japanese Group &TEAM: Watch Their Debut Music Videos

As a significant part of HYBE’s grand plans for 2022 and 2023, the Korean entertainment corporation’s first Japan-based act officially arrived on the music scene with its debut EP this week.

&TEAM is the nine-member boy band aiming to be a “global” group with representation from their Japanese, Korean, Taiwanese and German backgrounds. Consisting of members K, Fuma, Nicholas, EJ, Yuma, Jo, Harua, Taki and Maki, the nine were selected from the singing competition show &AUDITION – The Howling that wrapped in September. The program featured HYBE chairman Bang Si-Hyuk leading and advising the group, while Scooter Braun and Zico appeared as special producers for the show. BTSSEVENTEENTomorrow X Together and ENHYPEN cheered on the contestants.

The boy band started their journey with their rock-pop lead single “Under the Skin,” released in late November, to preview their forthcoming EP, First Howling : ME. Produced by Slow Rabbit (who’s produced multiple singles for BTS and Tomorrow X Together), “Under the Skin” showed early indication that trusted HYBE collaborators would also work with the new act with contributions from Melanie Fontana (who’s written on multiple BTS, TXT, and ENHYPEN singles) and Kyler Niko (ENHYPEN, LE SSERAFIM).

For the release of First Howling : ME and the Southern hip-hop/pop track “Scent of You,” &TEAM once again had production handled by Slow Rabbit as well as Supreme Boi (the HYBE rapper and producer who’s appeared on BTS and J-Hope albums) with a music video that spotlighted the precise choreography K-pop acts are famous for shot by a 360-degree camera. Bang also helmed the group’s new song “Buzz Love.”

While &TEAM is not the first Japan-based group to debut from a Korean label, the group does stand out by already incorporating into multiple parts of the K-pop conversation. &TEAM’s music videos are uploaded on the HYBE Labels YouTube channel (with more than 69 million subscribers) and have released a performance of “Under the Skin” with popular K-pop dance company STUDIO CHOOM (where performances from the likes of Stray Kids(G)I-DLE and Kep1er have racked up tens of millions of views). &TEAM also has had global distribution on streaming services when many Japanese labels still do not share their music worldwide.

After &TEAM confirmed its lineup in September, the members shared their international ambitions. K, born in Japan and once competed for a spot in ENHYPEN, said via a press release that “our ultimate goal is to reach a global audience and be charted on Billboard like BTS.”

The group didn’t have to wait long as “Under the Skin” already bowed at No. 80 on the Japan Hot 100 chart dated Dec. 3. Where the group will go next—and what charts they may enter—will be exciting to watch as &TEAM and HYBE look to expand their global reach.

Jeff Benjamin