SM Entertainment, the “Big Three” entertainment agency in South Korea, is an empire of talent that embodies its current acronym, “Museum of the Stars.” This record label has been home to many Korean popular music geniuses such as HOT, SES and Shinhwa.
Aside from SM Entertainment being known for the otherworldly vocal ranges of its artists, the report shows that SM Entertainment popularized the music video formula. This box format is considered as a building block in defining the visuals for K-pop music videos.
In short, “box” is an easily noticeable technique for shooting music videos in “similar looking enclosed spaces.” A place from an “empty apartment” can quickly turn into an “explosion of geometric lights”. Among the music videos produced by SM Entertainment that epitomize these acrobatics are “The 7th Sense” and “Without You” by NCT U.
Additionally, reports added that this visual trick is an allegory of how MS tries to navigate content development and technology propensities.
Speaking of music videos, a handful of SM idols were seen in SM music videos before they formally debuted in their groups! Their cameos range from as simple as looking into the camera to as complex as an actor’s immersion.
5 SM idols in SM music videos before their debut
1. NCT / WayV Winwin Appeared on NCT U “Without U”
Prior to joining NCT 127 on July 10, 2016, NCT’s Chinese lead dancer, singer and sub-rapper appeared in NCT U’s debut music video “WITHOUT U”. Unlike episodes of other NCT members, Winwin enjoyed high exposure in this music video.
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When SM Entertainment ditched the Korean version of the music video, the agency also announced that Winwin and his Chinese colleague Kun were new additions to the NCT roster.
2. NCT Jungwoo in Super Junior Yesung’s “Paper Umbrella”
Prior to his debut with NCT U’s BOSS unit, Jungwoo appeared in Yesung’s ballad titled “The Paper Umbrella.” Although Jungwoo has been seen running around and enjoying the rain with a girl, the song shows how the individual tries to recall fond memories of his ex-lover.
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When he debuted with NCT, fans remembered the music video and complimented Jungwoo’s effortless portrayal of his character.
3.f (x) Victoria Featured in “Replay” SHINee (Korean version)
SHINee’s debut music video “Replay” featured Chinese leader, lead dancer and lead rapper of f (x), Victoria. The plot of the song shows how the boys fell in love with southwe could say that Victoria is a perfect fit for the heroine role because she is actually NOONA for the members of SHINee.
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In 2013, Victoria again had the opportunity to work with the SHINee boys through a magazine photo shoot, in which she commented on how the band members went from “sweet” to “mature” men. However, in 2019, Victoria announced that she would not be renewing her contract with SM Entertainment.
4. Red Velvet Yeri Cameo in “Happiness” by Red Velvet
Contrary to the names previously mentioned, Yeri’s performance on Red Velvet’s debut song “Happiness” was limited as it was only shown in the opening part of the music video. With the addition of Yeri to Red Velvet in 2015 in Ice cake ery, fans can’t help but remember the band’s debut music video.
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REVELUVS commented that Yeri was added to the group late because she was very young when Red Velvet made her debut in 2014. Additionally, some have cited that Yeri has yet to graduate from school on Red Velvet’s planned debut, prompting the company to make the decision to make her debut a year later.
5. Yoon’s SNSD shown in “U” by Super Junior
Super Junior’s music video primarily featured a dance performance by the group, but the video story was complemented by the appearance of Yoona from SNSD. With her female role in Yoon’s music video, she proved that even before she made her idol debut, her visuals were already crazy. Indeed, Yoona has shown what Korean beauty is without even enjoying the idol label.
On January 5, 2022, a remastered version of “U” Super Junior was released.
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Did you manage to spot these SM idols in the aforementioned music videos? Don’t be shy and comment on the ones below.
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Written by Sophia Carson.