On October 28, SM Entertainment's head producer Lee Soo Man attended the first ever '2020 World Cultural Industry Forum' online event along with EXO's Baekhyun, NCT's Johnny, Capitol Music Group's Steve Barnett, and more.
On this day, Lee Soo Man gave a talk about the future of entertainment, titled 'Cultural Universe'. He began, "Depending on the technological advancements of society, humanity's lifestyle will continue to evolve; as I have perviously stated, the future involves a world of celebrity and robots. I have discussed my vision for the future of entertainment, the core concept of the SMCU (SM Culture Universe). In the near future, we will be launching the very first project which will announce the beginning of the SMCU, rookie girl group aespa."
He continued, "In aespa, we projected the futuristic vision of celebrities and avatars and created an innovative group that surpasses the boundaries of the real world and the virtual world. We first began by asking, what if we create a powerful, innovative story universe from the start, and I believe that the decisive factor will be how this story is developed moving forward, and how this story universe can be depicted. This story universe does not rely on symbols or metaphors to depict the storyline, but features never-before-seen, unique contents which tells the stories of charming characters - this story is critical in fully portraying the music of the artist, as well as the key to success. I am certain that you all will be able to experience an entirely new type of entertainment with aespa's debut, through their music and lyrics, their MV, as well as the full spectrum of their creative contents from visuals, performances, to their charming storyline."
On aespa's story universe, Lee Soo Man explained, "The members who reside in the real world and the avatar members who reside in the virtual world meet up in a middle world, the digital world, where they communicate, empathize, and grow together. Aespa is a new group where the members of the real world and the avatar members of the virtual world coexist, supporting and assisting one another, and they are able to promote together with a revolutionary identity. The real life members and the avatar members are separate organisms, and the avatar members have AI brains which allow for them to converse and to support the real members, even befriending them, sharing information, as well as going back and forth from one world to another."
He added on, "In the virtual world, these avatars with the exact personas of the real members are born on their own, and aespa's debut will tell the story of the real members' first encounters with their avatar member counterparts. After aespa's debut, the real world members will carry out offline promotions just like any other SM artist, but outside of that, a new world becomes known - the virtual world - where the avatar members will also carry out various promotions. Within this one group, the two counterparts will carry out different promotions on/offline simultaneously, while also creating room to collaborate between the real world and virtual world."
What do you think of Lee Soo Man's vision for aespa and the SMCU (SM Culture Universe)?