Will Kep1er disband? Hikaru plans to leave girl group in future

Will Kep1er disband? Hikaru plans to leave girl group in future
Hikaru and her group Kep1er have only signed a contract of 2 years and 6 months (@official_kep1er/Twitter)

Survival shows is one of the easiest ways for a K-pop group to have a successful debut. It allows viewers to become invested in the contestants and in turn become fans of the winning group. However, there are two types of groups formed through survival shows. When a show is backed by a major K-pop label like YG’s ‘WIN’ which formed Winner or Starship's ‘No Mercy’ which formed Monsta X, such groups have a normal contract period of seven years. But groups like Kep1er, IZ*ONE, I.O.I and Wanna One are project groups that only have had a short contract period of a maximum of three years.

Project groups are formed with members who are already idols or popular trainees who have plans to debut separately. The popular survival show series ‘Produce’ by CJENM’s Mnet has formed several such groups but unfortunately, they have all ended up disbanding after their contract period ended. Fans expected a change when fromis_9, formed through another of Mnet’s survival shows was acquired by HYBE in their fourth year. However, Kep1er has already revealed that they have only signed an exclusive contract of 2 years and 6 months. And member Hikaru’s latest move has disheartened some fans.

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Kep1er's disbandment decided?

The popular rookie group Kep1er was formed by Mnet’s ambitious survival show ‘Girls Planet 999’ in 2021. They signed with CJENM’s labels Wake One and Swing Entertainment. 115 countries tuned in and millions of viewers voted for the 99 participants from South Korea, Japan and China. While the winning group debuted only in January 2022, Kep1er had the second highest-selling debut by a girl group and topped charts like Gaon and iTunes. But it seems like there are no plans of Kep1er continuing as a group after their contract ends according to Hikaru.



Hikaru to debut with XG

Japanese member Hikaru was much loved from the get-go when she performed Blackpink’s ‘Boombayah’ in the very first episode of ‘Girls Planet 999’. As a popular contestant and now one of the Kep1er members who always turns heads, it looks like she has caught the eye of a Japanese label. She had previously debuted in +GANG under the Avex Artist Academy. She has now been roped in by their Japanese labels Avex and YG Japan and will be debuting in their new girl group XG after her contract with Kep1er ends.

XG is a collaborative girl group between J-pop and K-pop as they will be promoting in both countries. XG is said to have trained for the last five years under Simon Park, a member of the second-gen K-pop boy group DMTN. And while the new girl group has plans of debuting in 2022, Simon himself has confirmed that Hikaru will be joining them later as XG is planning on being active for 10 years. He said that she will be added in 2024 after Kep1er “disbands”. Fans can now only wonder if Kep1er will renew their contract and continue without Hikaru or disband as most project groups have after their contract ends.


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