One aspect of K-Pop that has changed from the past is the introduction of trainees before their debut. While it did happen in the past, these days, trainees are sometimes treated as though they are a group that has already debuted at times.
Shows like Boys Planet was based around forming a group using mostly trainees.
One of the many pre-debut trainee groups that drew much attention was Trainee A from HYBE. Made up of seven members — Leo, Yorch, Sangwon, Woochan, James, JJ, and Jihoon — Trainee A were officially introduced in January 2022, though there was activity before that.
The group spent much of 2022 building a fanbase and preparing netizens for their debut later that year. Unfortunately, trouble began early for the pre-debut, starting with Leo’s misogynistic lyrics scandal and following his departure in August 2022.
In December 2022, all of Trainee A’s accounts were shut down, and Yorsh released a statement confirming that the pre-debut project had ended.
Since the project ended, some trainees have made public career moves.
It was announced that Leo joined 131 Label in July 2023, home to B.I and other solo artists. Leo made his solo debut the following month with the single “One Look.”
Sangwon has released solo songs, potentially leading up to a solo debut, while Woochan has not announced any plans but is somewhat active on Instagram.
Yorch also departed from the company and has since made his debut as a member of POW under GRID Entertainment. Before this, he released his debut solo single.
Many believe JJ and Jihoon may be part of the upcoming Pledis boy group set to debut next year. James is also believed to still be at HYBE and was recently spotted as a backup dancer for Jungkook.
Y'ALL JAMES AS JUNGKOOK BACK UP DANCER AGAIN IN SEVEN PERFORMANCE AT YOONGI'S CONCERT😭❤ pic.twitter.com/qxrryniPPB
— æ 𐦍 (@jddstill_7A) August 4, 2023
Hopefully, all former members of Trainee A will be able to follow their dreams!