On December 20, HYBE, the Japanese entertainment house, officially launched a new affiliate NAECO under HYBE LABELS JAPAN, signed with Yurina Hirate, a Japanese singer-actor, as the new label’s first artist. According to HYBE, NAECO is an anagram of “ocean,” symbolizing the company’s desire to go vast and international.
As part of its launch, NAECO has introduced its first artist: Yurina Hirate, a rising Japanese actress who began her career as a member of the well-known girl group Keyakizaka46. Since then, she has established herself as an accomplished performer, starring in movies like Hibiki and Roppongi Class and the Japanese version of Itaewon Class.
For eight singles, Hirate served as the idol group Keyakizaka46’s focal point for choreography.
She was the youngest member of the girl group when she became the center for the first time (for Keyakizaka46’s debut song, “Silent Majority,” released in April 2016 on Sony Records). She was 14 at the time. Yurina Hirate’s solo track was included in the second Keyakizaka46 single, “Sekai ni wa Ai Shika Nai,” released in August 2016.
gg! kaget banget techi ex-member keyakizaka46 masuk hybe pic.twitter.com/XGzAloas6v— ❌ VIDEO POTONGAN DARI MAM4 ❌ (@girlgrouparea) December 21, 2022
She made her catwalk debut at the GirlsAward 2016 Autumn/Winter show on October 8, 2016. She and Rika Watanabe from Keyakizaka46 made their debut as models in the January 2017 issue of the women’s fashion magazine Larme [ja]. Her first solo magazine cover appeared in Weekly Young Jump’s 2017/14 edition, published on March 2. She once again received a single cover for the manga magazine Weekly Shonen Magazine’s 2017–16 issue.
On January 23, 2020, Hirate withdrew from Keyakizaka46.
Recently, Hybe Japan also debuted their first boy band, &TEAM, which was produced due to the acclaimed reality competition program AUDITION- The Howling.
“Following the successful debut of the first global boy group &TEAM, our new label addition NAECO will contribute to discovering and supporting the globalization of artists in Japan. We will continue to expand the music industry’s value chain in Japan as a global innovator,” said Han Hyunrock, CEO of HYBE.