Korean quintet Nu'est deliver a bold, brash brand of genre-spanning K-pop similar to acts like BTOB and Seventeen. Debuting in the early 2010s with the Face EP, they incorporated contemporary electronic dance beats into a sound focused on R&B-styled vocals with hip-hop flair. After issuing their full-length debut, Re: Birth, in 2014, they continued with a steady stream of short releases into the 2020s. In addition to the core unit, Nu'est also branched off into sub-groups Nu'est M and Nu'est W.
Formed by Pledis Entertainment, the group includes members JR (Jong-hyun Kim), Aron (Aaron Kwak), Baekho (Dong-ho Kang), Minhyun (Min-hyun Hwang), and Ren (Min-ki Choi). After training for a time, they were finally set loose in early 2012 with their debut single "Face," the title track off their first EP. They quickly followed with the shimmering dance-pop set Action, closing the year with the holiday-themed collaborative single "Dashing Through the Snow in Highheels" with Orange Caramel. Juggling their music with television appearances and touring, they made their requisite first steps into the Japanese and Chinese markets in 2013, promoting in the latter territory with the Chinese-language sub-group Nu'est M. EPs Hello and Sleep Talking also landed that year.
In July 2014, the group issued their first studio full-length, Re: Birth, which broke the Top Five in Korea. Making steady progress across the world, they continued to make in-roads in Japan, issuing their Japanese-language debut Bridge the World that November. They also made their live U.S. debut in May 2015. Although they would not release another LP that decade, they continued releasing plenty of EPs, which pushed them slowly up the charts in Korea. However, following 2016's Q Is and Canvas, public interest had still not reached desirable levels, so they took a break from music to focus on reality television. The popularity of Produce 101 helped revitalize interest in their prior releases, which was reflected on the Korean charts. Minhyun briefly joined the short-lived group Wanna One, while JR, Aron, Baekho, and Ren formed Nu'est W and issued a trio of EPs between 2017 and 2018. This activity eventually boosted Nu'est and primed them for a comeback in 2019. Sixth EP Happily Ever After topped the Korean charts upon release, landing in the Billboard World Top 10. The set also became their first platinum-certified effort. They capped a triumphant year with another EP, The Table, which returned them to the Korean Top Three. ~ Neil Z. Yeung
ORIGINSeoul, South Korea