aespa is “Next Level”! The K-pop girl group includes four members, KARINA, GISELLE, WINTER and NINGNING and are known for their extremely unique and futuristic concept. Keep reading for everything we know about aespa.

Who Are aespa?

aespa is the first girl group to debut under South Korean music label SM Entertainment since 2014. Debuting in 2020 with their hypnotizing, cyber-pink track “Black Mamba,” aespa is one of the most concept-driven K-pop groups out there.

For context, the K-pop world is known to debut groups with differing “concepts,” which is a band’s overall theme that help separate them from other groups. For aespa, the girls have their own virtual avatars (or “æ”) that appear in their music videos, as well as an an entire virtual world called “KWANGYA,” which follows a digital realm that includes gripping, crime-fighting narratives. This “aespa universe,” is what grips so many of their fans, who are called MYs.

“To be completely honest, we weren’t exactly sure how the concept would pan out in the long run,” WINTER told UpRoxx in March 2023.”Especially how long and how big it would pan out in the future. But at the same time, we appreciated the refreshing and unfamiliar concept.”

KARINA added, “It was very unfamiliar and hard to understand just as it was for the entire public.”

The name aespa is also high concept, as it’s a mesh of the words, “avatar, experience, and aspect.” This means “to be able to meet another self through an avatar and experience a new world,” according to SM Entertainment.

“Usually it takes a lot more time for groups to reach a lot of the things that we have reached so far, and for that, we are so thankful,” GISELLE told W Magazine.

“But obviously, with that comes a lot of other attention,” Giselle continues, hinting that their confusing concept sometimes garners online hate from internet trolls.  “We can’t ignore all of it when it’s in front of our face or when it just comes up. But we’ve been through quite a lot of it since the beginning, so we’ve gotten a little better at handling it.”

Scroll through the gallery below to meet the girls of aespa. 

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