K-pop super label JYP Entertainment is teaming up with New York-based Republic Records on a joint venture to form a new North American girl group.
On July 25, a video announcement was released featuring both JYP Entertainment founder and chairman Park Jin-young and Republic Records founder and CEO Monte Lipman detailing the project titled America2Korea (A2K) and announcing auditions in September.
Park explained: “The name of this project is A2K, which is an abbreviation of America2Korea so the final artist that comes out of this procedure will be the first American artist made out of a K-pop system. It’s like talented artists who goes through a training system like an Olympic gymnast will go through. That’s the K-pop artist that the global audience fell in love with because of their dedication, their discipline and their hard work and the values they carry. That’s what separates them from a lot of artists.”
Lipman added: “We are going to find, identify and curate this incredible talent coming from America, but we’re applying the K-pop system, the JYP system in developing a super group, which we’ve never seen before.”
The A2K project will start as a competition with in-person auditions open for Americans and Canadians between the ages of 12-16. Auditions will be held across five cities during September: Atlanta on Sept. 10, Chicago on the Sept. 14, New York City on Sept. 17-18, Dallas on Sept. 20 and Los Angeles on Sept. 23–25.
Contestants that go beyond the beginning round will attend a bootcamp in Los Angeles before the semifinalists are selected to travel to JYP Entertainment headquarters in Seoul for further training. The winners of the competition will comprise the final group lineup.
Earlier last March, JYP Entertainment announced JYP USA along with their efforts for a “full-scale North American market development and global expansion and aims to discover and foster local US artists.”
JYP Entertainment’s boy band also dropped their first EP, “Hello, World,” this month.