SEOUL – Sungchan and Shotaro of K-pop boy band NCT are leaving to form a new boy band, their label SM Entertainment said in a surprise announcement on Wednesday.
They will be joined by two trainees of the management agency, as well as possibly other new members, although the final number of members was not divulged. The debut date was also not revealed.
Sungchan and Shotaro, who debuted as new members of NCT in 2020, both shared lengthy handwritten notes to their fans after the news broke, as reported by various South Korean media outlets.
Sungchan, 21, who is South Korean, wrote in Korean on fan platform Bubble: “I was able to learn and gain a lot while promoting, but now that I look back, I also feel regretful that there seem to be things I wasn’t able to do even better. It was a tremendous honour to be with you for these three happy years and I consider it a precious memory.”
Japan-born Shotaro, 22, said in his note, written in both Korean and Japanese: “I believe that all the precious experiences I learnt from my promotions with NCT will be my strength to become an artiste that you are all proud and unashamed of in my future activities. I will work hard. I will return soon with an even cooler image, so please wait a little bit.”
One of the top boy bands in South Korea, NCT currently has 20 remaining members – from countries such as South Korea, China, Canada and Thailand – who are also part of sub-units including NCT 127 and WayV.
Sungchan and Shotaro are the second and third NCT members to leave the boy band within a month.
Lucas, 24, a once-popular Hong Kong-born member of NCT and WayV, was mired in scandals involving his ex-girlfriends, who accused him of cheating, leeching money and gaslighting, and had been on hiatus since August 2021. He left the group and its sub-unit on May 10.