The Korean government came out with a law back in 2009, restricting all contracts involving K-pop idols to a maximum of 7 years. Relating to the infamous 7-year jinx, most K-pop groups will usually disband after their 7-year long contract concludes.
This means all groups that debuted in the year 2014 will be considering whether they want to renew their contract or remain.
Check out some of the groups that made their first official debut that year and will likely disband come 2021. Keep in mind that the list are not arranged according to their exact debut date:
1. GOT7 (갓세븐)
Debut date: 20th January 2014
Just like other JYP Entertainment rosters, the future of the 7-member group is rather unclear. Some of the boys have indeed found success outside of the group, such as lead vocalist Jinyoung who is now more known as an actor with his breakout role in “He Is Psychometric”. Meanwhile, the group’s rapper Jackson Wang has also been making a stable name as a solo artiste, releasing jams after jams such as “Oxygen”, “Dawn Of Us” and “Papillon”, just to name a few.
The group was asked about the 7-year jinx during an interview. In this case, all of the members assured that they’re not afraid at all. “It’s true that we don’t have much time left (with the company). But, all of us share the same opinion; we’re going to keep going together as seven members,” leader JB said.
Jinyoung further added by saying, “People call it the 7-year jinx but I think that the times have changed. There are a lot of seniors who have surpassed the 7-year mark. Because we have close seniors that have promoted for a long time together, we never once thought, ‘Are we going to go our separate ways after 7 years?'”
2. Red Velvet (레드벨벳)
Debut date: 1st August 2014
As all of Reveluvs (Red Velvet fandom name) know, the group made their official debut with 4 members – Irene, Seulgi, Wendy and Joy. Maknae Yeri joined the group later in 2015. Therefore, we can assume that the 22-year-old’s contract will not expire until 2022.
Despite the fact that SM will not usually announce group disbandments formally, it will still be difficult to organise the schedule if a number of members are leaving the company. The case is apparent for senior groups like Girls’ Generation and f(x).
3. WINNER (위너)
Debut date: 17th August 2014
For those who have been following the YG Entertainment boy group, all of the members appeared on the reality show “Who Is Next (WIN)” way back in 2013, where they emerged as the winning group. However, they faced several delays and setbacks until their official debut in 2014 and the cycle continued during their one-and-a-half-yearhiatus before making their comeback in 2016. Former member Nam Taehyun also left the group that same year, adding insult to the injury.
Despite the fact that the group has been getting popular up until the present day, things will not be the same if the members are still unhappy with the recurring condition surrounding their home label. As a result, it is most likely the group will not renew their contracts with the famed entertainment agency, and disband the group in the process.
4. Mamamoo (마마무)
Debut date: 18th June 2014
All 4 members of the group – Solar, Moonbyul, Wheein and Hwasa – had successfully kicked off their solo careers since starting their stint in the K-pop scene back in 2014. We can argue that the most successful member would be maknae Hwasa who made waves with her debut single “Twit”, which reached the top of Gaon chart.
A lot of K-fans have been speculating the future of the group when their contracts expired next year. Some pointed that all of them will leave their current company RBW to focus on their own music (the members have different approaches and styles in music). Others argued that there’s no reason for them to exit as the girls are currently having the best of both worlds – both as a group as well as in their solo endeavours.
5. Lovelyz (러블리즈)
Debut date: 12th November 2014
Like WINNER’s case, Lovelyz has also been caught with an alleged mistreatment over the last few years. Despite making their names known domestically, it is quite difficult for them to pursue their career overseas. Note that brother group Infinite is also famous in neighbouring country Japan. Not only that, the fact that they only release one song last year, also raises a red flag.
The only arguably successful member of the group would be Kei, who released her solo song “I Go” in October last year. It will be quite difficult for the girls to promote as Lovelyz in the future if most of them decide to not to proceed with their contract.
Hopefully these groups will still be active in producing music as a whole despite the fact that their contracts are coming to an end soon.