Shotaro and Sungchan are artists signed under SM Entertainment who made their debut in 2020 with NCT U.
Though they gained a sizeable fandom thanks to their participation in the song “Make A Wish (Birthday Song),” they barely had any schedules for the next three years. As NCT U is a group with an ever-changing lineup, they were only active during the promotional period of this song. The duo was not assigned to a specific NCT unit afterwards and thus did not have any set schedules.
Finally, it was announced in May 2023 that Shotaro and Sungchan would be leaving NCT officially. SM Entertainment revealed that they were to be placed in the lineup of their upcoming boy group instead.
Thus, Shotaro and Sungchan went from members of an established group, NCT, to starting over in a rookie group, RIIZE.
Following the latter’s debut on September 4, 2023, Shotaro opened up about his honest reaction to the big change in his career. He began with looking back on his days as a member of NCT, saying it was “an honor” to be there.
I had been promoting as a member of NCT before and it was such an honor for me to perform in that group.
He added that he holds nothing but love for NCTzens as well as his former members.
I really appreciate the fans and members for supporting me.
Rather than being nervous or regretful about having to debut all over again, Shotaro is brimming with excitement. He said that he was “so happy” to be performing alongside his new members—Anton, Wonbin, Eunseok, Seunghan, Sohee, and of course, Sungchan.
And now I’m debuting as RIIZE, I’m so happy to debut with the members I practiced with. I’m excited for us to show you many things in the coming days. We’re also preparing a lot of things for you, so please look forward to them.
#SHOTARO on 'How does it feel to debut as RIIZE?' 🌟
"I had been promoting as a member of NCT before and it was such an honour for me to perform in that group. I really appreciate the fans and members for supporting me. And now I'm debuting as RIIZE, I'm so happy to debut with + pic.twitter.com/y9lNj4Q9ra
— 🌸🦦 (@00SHOTARUWU) September 4, 2023
In their debut showcase, Shotaro admitted that there was a time when he was not yet close to the members. Fortunately, the group’s trip to the United States cemented the friendship of the RIIZE members.
Question: When did you feel like you became one as a team?
Shotaro: I felt that it was when we traveled to the U.S. to film the music video.
— beige (@shotarized) September 4, 2023
RIIZE is now ready to take K-Pop by storm!
Check out their debut title track, “Get a Guitar,” below.