BTS are currently in between album cycles (though member Suga is headed toward a very healthy debut on the Billboard 200 with his latest solo endeavor D-2), but as they work on their next full-length, which is expected to drop at some point later this year, the man who put the group together is already working on a plan to find the next great K-pop vocal group, and it’s one that promises to be very exciting and entertaining for fans of the style.
Big Hit Entertainment (the management company and label behind BTS) has finally unveiled the details behind its latest venture, a TV show titled I-Land. The program, which will begin airing on South Korean network Mnet in just about a month, aims to create the next boy band that could take over the world, just as the chart-topping septet has.
According to a report published by the South China Morning Post, the show will feature a panel of three judges and mentors, all of whom have proven themselves in the K-pop space and who have a right to dole out advice. Leading the way is Min Nam-goong, who will host, while Big Hit founder and CEO Bang Si-hyuk, singer Rain and rapper and producer Zico will all act as mentors.
Auditions for the program reportedly started as early as last March, and in an attempt to find the right candidates, who have star quality, talent and experience in the fields of dancing, singing, rapping, acting and even modeling, those working on the show held events in Seoul, Japan, Taiwan and even the United States.
The report also claims that the companies behind I-Land are expecting big things from the show and the group that is born from the production, as quite a bit has been invested in it. The budget for the program is apparently above $16 million (a sizable figure for a South Korean reality production) and a complex of some sort has been built in South Korean just for this purpose.
There’s no word yet on whether or not the show will make its way to America in any form or if it will be watchable online, but K-pop fans should pay close attention, as there is certainly reason to believe that the band that emerges from what is sure to be a tough competition will have not just the talent and drive, but also the material and institutional support to go all the way.