SM Entertainment Artists Who Were Cast Through Instagram DMs: aespa Karina, RIIZE Wonbin, More!

Did you know that SM Entertainment slides through these people’s Instagram DMs to scout them as trainees? Now, these recipients are reigning as popular K-pop idols of their generation!

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In the past, SM Entertainment would select their K-pop trainees through an intensive screening through competition and audition offline.

Later on, they would scout idols from the streets or would personally invite them after becoming viral for their dance, singing or visuals.

SM Entertainment Artists Who Were Cast Through Instagram DMs: aespa Karina, RIIZE  Wonbin, More!

(Photo : Wonbin, Karina, Sion (Twitter | Facebook))

But when the popularity of using the internet arose, SM’s ways of casting trainees also became unique — they would just slide through the DMs of the prospective trainees that they like!

Among current SM artists, here are the idols who were once normal high schools but their lives were changed after a single DM!

K-pop Idols Scouted/Was Cast Through DMs

1. aespa Karina

aespa Karina, wearing a crop top and showing off her ant waist

(Photo : Karina Instagram)

Prior to aespa’s debut in 2020, Karina was already gaining massive interest as a member of the team for her background.

According to netizens, she was an “ulzzang,” also known as e-celebrities known on the internet for their visuals. Even before she was introduced, her photos spread among K-pop fans and was praised for her beauty.

Due to this, fans expressed curiosity as to how SM found a female idol as gorgeous as her, when Karina said that she was contacted by SM first through a DM call.

“I was actively doing SNS before joining the company when I got a casting call from DM after seeing it. I initially thought it was a scam when I received the offer. However, I trusted the (scout manager) because he took a business card and sent it to me.”

2. NCT Tokyo Sion

SM Entertainment Artists Who Were Cast Through Instagram DMs: aespa Karina, RIIZE  Wonbin, More!

(Photo : NCT Tokyo Sion (Kpop Wiki))

During the selection for NCT’s last sub-unit NCT Tokyo, the trainees revealed how they got into the company and Sion was one of them who was also scouted through a DM.

Just like Karina, Sion initially thought that it was a scam; hence, he originally ignored it. However, after a month, SM contacted him again and invited him for an audition.

Unfortunately, the audition would be held in Seoul. The young trainee lived in Mokpo then.

But SM was persistent. They agreed to go to his place instead and do a camera test.

3. RIIZE Wonbin

RIIZE Eunseok, Sungchan, Wonbin Captivate BRIIZEs With Their Good Looks — Are They SM's New 'Bermuda Triangle'?

(Photo : Instagram: @riize_official)

Even in school, Wonbin’s handsomeness was popular; thus, it was not a shock that an SM scout manager tried their luck to scout him through an Instagram DM.

With the scouting staff’s persistence, Wonbin auditioned for SM Entertainment together with his older brother and sang Paul Kim’s “Traffic Light” in 2019.

In the same year, he officially joined the company and after about four years of training, Wonbin finally debuted as a member of SM’s new boy group, RIIZE!

When this news came out, BRIIZE (fandom) dug more about Wonbin’s pre-debut photos and they completely understood why he was cast — as his visuals alone are a free pass!

On top of that, it turns out Wonbin is also a good singer and dancer.