Pre-Debut Group NXD Opens for ONEUS in LA and Teases Debut

Words by Emma Vurdien + Photos by Dana Nguyen

April 17, 2024

NXD opening for ONEUS, Dana Nguyen/ab(CDE)

Towards the end of last year, RBW Entertainment introduced a new boy group, NXD, gearing up for their debut. The group, an acronym for NeXt iDentity, comprises five members: Hiroto, Hyeonggeun, Daehyun, Yongjoon, led by Jaemin. Some members might be familiar, as Hiroto previously appeared on the popular Mnet show "Boys Planet," while Jaemin, Hyeonggeun, and Daehyun were contestants on MBC TV's "Fantasy Boys." NXD's upcoming debut represents a significant milestone for RBW Entertainment, as it marks the company's first boy group debut in five years since ONEUS debuted with their song "Valkyrie" in 2019.

This year already appears to be bustling with activity for newcomers NXD. They recently opened for their seniors, ONEUS, in Los Angeles for the finale of the 2nd World Tour "La Dolce Vita." Additionally, the pre-debut group held a series of busking events in the Southern California area, including performances at UCLA's Bruin Plaza Stage, The Source OC in Buena Park, and Anaheim Packing District. Despite not having officially debuted, they left a lasting impression on audiences, showcasing their remarkable talent.

Their opening act for ONEUS featured a short yet impactful set, including performances of two original pre-debut songs, "Jump" and "Giddy Up." At the busking events, the budding idols captivated audiences with a more personalized setlist, along with their original songs. At The Source, a hotspot in Orange County for K-pop fans, attendees arrived early, many following NXD's opening performance for ONEUS in LA just a few nights prior. As the event approached, fans filled all three floors of the outdoor mall, eagerly anticipating NXD's performance.

NXD kicked off the event energetically with covers of popular K-pop songs, including short tributes to seniors MAMAMOO and ONEUS with performances of "HIP" and "LIT." During interactions with the crowd, members expressed their excitement about visiting Los Angeles for the first time and experiencing places like Santa Monica Beach. To further engage the audience, the group performed full covers of BLACKPINK's "Shut Down" and Stray Kids' "S-Class." Another highlight was their performance of "Bad" by Christopher, a song well-known among K-pop fans due to ATEEZ Wooyoung's wildly popular dance cover of the song in Studio Choom's "Artist Of The Month" series a few years ago. The energy further heightened with main rapper Hyeonggeun taking the stage to deliver an impressive, original, and boldly worded rap that pleasantly surprised the audience. Leader Jaemin then closed with a cover of Shawn Mendes' "Treat You Better."

While fortunate fans got to witness NXD's performance of "Jump" in person, the group announced that they would release the pre-debut song in a special album titled "Pre-Debut Special Kit #1.JUMP." As NXD's exciting journey in LA concludes, it's clear that both the members and their new fans have created lasting memories. With the support of their seniors and new fans, NXD is poised for wonderful opportunities as we anticipate their official debut this year.


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Photos taken by Dana Nguyen (@momentswdana)

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