The stars have aligned: n.SSign brings celestial change to K-pop [GOLDEN 2023]

Nicknamed the “Korean Grammys,” the 38th Golden Disc Awards will take place on Jan. 6 in Jakarta, Indonesia, to honor the passion and talent that shone bright in the world of K-pop during the year of 2023.

Organized by the JoongAng Group, the Golden Disc Awards is considered one of the most prestigious awards in Korea with its unique format where dozens of nominees and multiple winners are chosen for three main categories — music, album and rookie of the year.

In this series, Golden 2023, the Korea JoongAng Daily’s entertainment arm Celeb Confirmed looks at K-pop’s biggest and brightest stars who are potential nominees, and their achievements this year.

The stars have aligned: Boy band n.SSign has brought a celestial change to K-pop by becoming the first project boy band put through a TV audition program to stay together permanently, as opposed to other groups whose constituents must part ways after a couple of years with each other.

n.SSign made its debut on Aug. 9 with EP "Birth of Cosmo," a title embodying both the cosmic theme of its identity and the birth of Cosmo, its fan club, in tandem with the band's ignition.

The band's name, short for "a net of star signs," reflects the theme that each member is a star sign that fuses with the other members and fans to create a synergy of creativity and music, according to its agency n.CH Entertainment.


n. SSign's members were thrown together through Channel A's audition program "Youth Star" in 2022, starting with seven members. The band added three new faces to complete a 10-member roster for the debut.

Thanks to the two years it spent touring and performing around various cities in Japan, n.SSign has garnered a steady fandom outside Korea that sold the boy band 207,227 copies of its debut album within a week, the fifth highest figure for a K-pop boy band's debut release as of last August.

n.SSign and the “Birth of Cosmo”

"Birth of Cosmo" was released on Aug. 9 as a five-track EP, which includes hip-hop dance lead track "Wormhole: New Track" along with pre-released track dance track "Higher" and more.

The album saw 210,260 pre-orders before the actual release. The album sold 207,227 copies in total during the first week of its release. The album's songs were streamed over 30,000 times within a week on global streaming platform Spotify.

n.SSign has been active in Japan even after its debut. It released its first Japanese single "New Star" on Wednesday in partnership with Japanese record company Victor Entertainment, containing the Japanese versions of "Wormhole: New Track" and "Higher."

The band recently held its "Birth of Cosmo" arena concert at the Ariake Arena in Tokyo on Nov. 11 and 12, meeting with 24,000 fans during the two-day event.

n.SSign “Birth of Cosmo” (Aug. 9, 2023)

First-week sales of “Birth of Cosmo” 207,227

First-week streaming of "Birth of Cosmo" on Spotify: 16,791

Music video views for lead track "Wormhole: New Track" on YouTube: 4,613,860 (as of Nov. 29)

Major nominations: 2023 MAMA Awards (Worldwide fans’ choice)

Other: Fifth-highest first-week album sales for a K-pop boy band debut album