On October 26, SM announced that Red Velvet will be debuting a new girl group for the first time since their debut in 2014. The members were revealed individually each day from October 27, and it was revealed that the name Aespa is the group name, formed by combining both sides with ‘Avatar X Experience’ and ‘ae’ meaning ‘aspect’. A teaser featuring all four members was released right after the company announced that the group will debut with the song “Black Mamba” on November 17, 2020. The group performed their debut on KBS2’s Music Bank. The group also topped the k-pop music video charts for three consecutive weeks on China’s largest music streaming service QQ Music. On January 17, 2021, Aespa won their first music show award with their debut single on Inkigayo.
On January 29, 2021, SM Entertainment announced that Aespa would be making a comeback with a remake of the 2000 single “Forever” for SM Entertainment’s album “Winter Vacation in SMTOWN.com”. The song was released on February 5, 2021.
On May 4, 2021, it was announced that Aespa would be making a comeback later this month. Later, the group’s third single, “Next Level”, was released on May 17 and topped the Gaon Digital Chart.
On July 22, 2021, Aespa signed an agreement with the Creative Artists Agency for operations in the United States.