By Pyo Kyung-min
K-pop boy band EXO will continue its group activities under its current management company, SM Entertainment, although four of its members — Baekhyun, Chen, Xiumin and D.O. — have signed solo contracts with other agencies.
Baekhyun, Chen and Xiumin will forge their solo careers at INB100, an independent label recently founded by Baekhyun. The company will also represent EXO-CBX, a sub-unit of EXO consisting of these three members.
“We will shed more light on the members’ distinctive musical styles, helping them interact with their followers in more experimental ways,” INB100 said in a statement, Monday, adding that the singers plan to participate in producing music as well.
But they will maintain a partnership with SM to perform as part of EXO.
“Our members will work hard to keep EXO strong,” INB100 noted.
The news came a few months after EXO-CBX and SM had a legal tussle over the former’s exclusive contracts. Baekhyun, Chen and Xiumin demanded contract termination on June 1, citing the lack of transparency in financial settlements as one of the reasons. However, they later reached a mutually amicable settlement with their company and decided to maintain their contractual relationship.
In the case of member D.O., he transitioned to a new talent agency — Company Soo Soo — after ending his contract with SM last October. The 30-year-old, who has been actively pursuing his acting career, is the only EXO member who has not extended his contract with the K-pop powerhouse.
Company Soo Soo was set up by D.O. and a former SM manager, who has been working with the singer-actor for a long time.
Despite these changes, SM announced Monday that all eight EXO members will continue their group activities, putting out new music offerings and holding a fan event in April.
“In the case of Chen, Baekhyun, and Xiumin, our agreement permits them to engage in individual activities separately under the terms of their existing contracts,” SM stressed, clarifying that exclusive contracts with the members who opted for contract renewal remain unchanged.
“D.O will also continue to partake in EXO’s activities, with discussions ongoing for future schedules,” it added. “EXO remains committed to engaging with fans through music and performances, and we appreciate your continued interest and support.”
EXO debuted in 2012, achieving widespread acclaim with the release of the hit single, “Growl” in 2013. Last July, the group dropped its seventh full-length album, “EXIST,” marking its seventh million-seller album.