NewJeans

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NewJeans
NewJeans in 2023
From left to right: Hanni, Danielle, Minji, Hyein, and Haerin.
Background information
OriginSeoul, South Korea
Genres
Years active2022–present
Labels
Members
Websitenewjeans.kr

NewJeans (Korean뉴진스; RRNyujinseu) is a South Korean girl group formed by ADOR. The group is composed of five members: Minji, Hanni, Danielle, Haerin, and Hyein. They are known for their girl next door image and musical stylings reminiscent of the 1990s and 2000s.

NewJeans debuted on July 22, 2022, with the single "Attention", their first number-one song on South Korea's Circle Digital Chart. It was followed shortly afterwards by two other singles, "Hype Boy" and "Cookie", with the former becoming the longest-running song on the Billboard Global 200 by a K-pop female act. The singles were all featured on their eponymous debut extended play (EP), released in August 2022. In January 2023, they released their first single album, OMG, to commercial success. It was accompanied by two singles, "Ditto" and "OMG". "Ditto" gained widespread popularity, becoming the longest-running number-one song on the Circle Digital Chart and the group's first entry on both the Billboard Hot 100 and the UK Singles Chart.

Their second EP, Get Up, peaked at number one on the US Billboard 200 and sold over one million copies in South Korea. Its lead single, "Super Shy", became the group's highest-charting single on the Billboard Global 200 (number two), the US Billboard Hot 100, and the UK Singles Chart. NewJeans has received rookie awards and were featured in listicles such as Time's Next Generation Leaders and Forbes's Korea Power Celebrity 40. IFPI named NewJeans the eighth best-selling artist worldwide in 2023. Aside from music, NewJeans has sponsored and collaborated with several brands, including Levi's, Coca-Cola, LG Electronics, McDonald's, Lotte Wellfood, and Kao.

Name[edit]

Their group name alludes to the idea that jeans are a timeless fashion item and the group's intention to carve a timeless image for themselves.[2] The name is also a word play on the phrase "new genes", referring to the group ushering a new generation of pop music.[3][4]

History[edit]

2011–2022: Pre-debut activities and formation[edit]

Prior to debuting with NewJeans, several group members were involved in television, music and dance. When Australian-born Danielle Marsh lived in South Korea, she was a regular cast member of tvN's Rainbow Kindergarten, a variety show that aired until 2011.[5] She also appeared in the TV shows Jesse's Play Kitchen and My Heart's Crayon.[6] Hyein debuted as a member of the children's music group U.SSO Girl in November 2017 under the stage name U.Jeong,[7] before departing from the group one year later.[8] In December 2020, she joined the music group and YouTube collective Play With Me Club formed by PocketTV, and graduated from the group on May 3, 2021.[9] Vietnamese-Australian Hanni Pham began performing in Melbourne as a member of the Aemina Dance Crew who covered the choreography of K-pop groups.[10] Hanni and Minji made a guest appearance in BTS's 2021 music video for "Permission to Dance".[11]

Preparations for a new girl group in collaboration between Big Hit Entertainment[note 1] and Source Music began as early as 2019[12][13] under the direction of Min Hee-jin, who joined the company as CBO that same year and is widely recognized for her art direction as visual director at SM Entertainment.[14] At the time of Min joining in 2019, it was revealed she would be the creative lead in multiple girl groups, excluding Big Hit, while a separate label would also be established later where she would be a producer.[15] Global auditions took place between September and October 2019, and casting into the group commenced from the beginning of 2020.[13][16] In late 2021, it was announced that the project moved to Hybe's newly established independent label ADOR, after Min was appointed the label's CEO.[17] A second round of global auditions were held between December 2021 and January 2022,[18] and the group's line-up was finalized in March 2022.[19][20] Dubbed "Min Hee-jin's Girl Group" by several media outlets,[19][21] the group was originally scheduled to launch in 2021 but was later postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[13]

2022–2023: Introduction, debut, and Get Up[edit]

NewJeans's official logo

On July 1, 2022, ADOR teased the launch of their new girl group by posting three animated videos of the numbers "22", "7" and "22", fueling speculation that content would be released on July 22.[22] That day, NewJeans surprise-released the music video for their debut single, "Attention", without any prior promotion or information on the group's lineup.[23] Billboard described the move as "risky-but-ultimately invigorating", crediting its success to "an emphasis on the music before anything else".[1] The video was followed by an announcement of their upcoming self-titled debut extended play, which would contain four songs including two additional singles.[8]

NewJeans in August 2022

NewJeans released their second single, "Hype Boy", on July 23, 2022, along with a clip revealing the members' names and four music videos specific to their perspectives.[24] "Hype Boy" reached number two on the South Korean Circle Digital Chart,[25] while it became the longest-running song on the Billboard Global 200 by a K-pop female act,[26] charting for 42 weeks.[27] A music video for their b-side "Hurt" was released two days later.[24] Pre-orders for the EP surpassed 444,000 copies in three days.[28] NewJeans released their debut EP for download and streaming on August 1, 2022, alongside its third single, "Cookie".[29] Pitchfork described New Jeans as "a plush and stylish collection of '90s and '00s-indebted R&B.[30] "Cookie" was criticized by some reviewers, who thought the lyrics contained a sexual innuendo.[31] ADOR denied the accusation and stated that the lyrics refer to "the paired idea of burning CDs and baking cookies, which share the same conceptual verb in Korean".[32] The physical version of the EP was released on August 8 and sold over one million copies, becoming the best selling debut album by a K-pop female act in South Korea and the only debut album to achieve this since Circle Chart's establishment in 2011.[33] The group made their broadcast debut on Mnet's M Countdown on August 4, performing all three singles.[34] In October 2022, NewJeans held their first live performances overseas, appearing at KCON in Saudi Arabia and Japan.[35] At the end of the year, NewJeans won rookie awards at the Melon Music Awards, the Golden Disc Awards, the Korean Music Awards, the Seoul Music Awards, the Asia Artist Awards, and The Fact Music Awards.[36][37]

NewJeans released "Ditto" on December 19, 2022, as the first single from their first single album, OMG.[38] "Ditto" became the longest-running number-one song on the Circle Digital Chart, topping the chart for thirteen weeks.[39][40] It was NewJeans's first entry on both the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at number 82, and the UK Singles Chart, charting at number 95.[38] Later in 2023, "Ditto" won Song of the Year at the MAMA Awards, the Melon Music Awards, the Golden Disc Awards, and the Asia Artist Awards.[41] OMG was released on January 2, 2023.[38] Reviewers commended the album for its retro-style theme.[42] It debuted at number one on the Circle Album Chart,[43] selling 700,000 copies in its first week of release.[42] It became their first album to sell over one million copies,[44] shortly before New Jeans also reached one million copies sold.[33] OMG was accompanied by a second single of the same name, which went viral on TikTok and peaked at number 74 on the Billboard Hot 100.[45][46] "OMG" won Best Song at the 33rd Seoul Music Awards.[47]

NewJeans in November 2022

In July 2023, NewJeans held their first sold-out fan meeting, titled Bunnies Camp, at the SK Olympic Handball Gymnasium in Seoul.[48] The group released their second EP, Get Up, on July 21, 2023.[49] Get Up became the group's first entry and number-one on the Billboard 200, making NewJeans the second K-pop girl group to top the chart after Blackpink.[50] The EP reached number two on the Circle Album Chart and sold 1.65 million copies in its first week of release,[51][52] becoming NewJeans's third consecutive album to sell over one million copies.[53] It was supported by three singles: "Super Shy", "ETA", and "Cool with You".[54] All the singles entered the Billboard Hot 100, making NewJeans the first K-pop female artist to have three simultaneous entries on the chart.[50] "Super Shy" topped the Circle Digital Chart and became their best-performing track on several international charts,[55][56] which led NewJeans to achieve their first number-one on the Billboard Emerging Artists chart.[57] To promote the EP, NewJeans held live performances in multiple countries and collaborated with global brands and celebrities.[58] In August 2023, they became the first K-pop girl group to perform at Lollapalooza with their first live performance in the United States.[59] That same month, NewJeans performed at the Summer Sonic Festival in Japan.[60]

Throughout 2023, NewJeans released five other singles. In collaboration with Coca-Cola, they released "Zero" in April and "Be Who You Are (Real Magic)", also featuring Jon Batiste, J.I.D, and Camilo, in May.[61][62] A remix of "Zero" featuring J.I.D was released in June.[63] NewJeans recorded "Beautiful Restriction" and "Our Night Is More Beautiful Than Your Day" for the soundtracks of the streaming television series A Time Called You (2023) and My Demon (2023–2024), respectively.[64][65] In October, the group collaborated with Riot Games to release "Gods" as the theme song for the 2023 League of Legends World Championship.[66] In December 2023, NewJeans released their first remix album, NJWMX, comprising songs from New Jeans and OMG remixed by South Korean producers 250 and FRNK.[67] At the end of the year, they became the first K-pop girl group to perform on Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve.[68]

NewJeans at the 2023 Melon Music Awards

Several publications named NewJeans among the most prominent music acts of 2023, citing their commercial success and influence in the music, advertising, and fashion industries.[69][70][71][72] They sold 4.39 million album copies, the most-ever for a K-pop female artist in a single year,[73] and broke the Guinness World Record for the fastest K-pop act to reach one billion streams on Spotify.[74] The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) ranked NewJeans at number eight on their list of the Global Recording Artist of the Year, making them the second highest-ranked female artist of 2023.[75] Along with Lim Young-woong, the group topped Gallup Korea's Singer of the Year poll.[76] At the MAMA Awards, NewJeans became the first girl group in twelve years to win Artist of the Year and the third girl group in history to receive the award, following 2NE1 in 2010 and Girls' Generation in 2011.[77] After also winning Artist of the Year at the Melon Music Awards, they became the first female artist to win both awards in the same year.[78] At the Billboard Women in Music, they became the first K-pop group to win Group of the Year.[79] NewJeans became the first foreign artist in history to win the Excellent Work Award and be nominated for the Grand Prix with "Ditto" at the Japan Record Awards.[80]

2024–present[edit]

NewJeans will release two double singles in 2024: "How Sweet" and "Bubble Gum" in May and "Supernatural" and "Right Now" in June.[note 2] A music video for "Bubble Gum" was released on April 27, 2024.[82] "Supernatural" and "Right Now" will be NewJeans's first releases entirely in Japanese, after which the group will begin their first official cycle of promotional activities in Japan; they will hold a fan meeting, titled Bunnies Camp 2024 Tokyo Dome, at the Tokyo Dome on June 26–27, 2024. NewJeans also plans to release an album in the second half of 2024.[81]

Artistry[edit]

Musical style and lyrics[edit]

NewJeans's music spans genres such as R&B, electropop, and hip hop.[83] It is characterized by mellow beats, atmospheric synthesizers, and live vocals.[84][85][86] Their debut EP and first single album OMG are predominantly midtempo pop and R&B that evoke music of the 1990s and 2000s decades.[87][88] There were comparisons to the sound of late-1990s K-pop girl groups.[86][89][90] Music critics also identified elements of late-1990s and mid-2000s electronic and dance styles such as UK garage,[86][91] Baltimore club,[92] Jersey club,[93] and moombahton.[90] With their second EP Get Up, they ventured more into dance and club music with a more rhythmic production expanding on the group's UK garage-influenced past releases.[86] Some critics, such as Sheldon Pearce and Minsoo Joshua Kim writing for NPR, described NewJeans's music as soft, contained, and delicate, which is a stark contrast to their contemporaries' "maximalist" and "harsh, buzzing" sounds.[86][93] Choi Eun-soo of the Hankook Ilbo characterized the group's sound as "easy listening" devoid of "explosive" EDM embellishments that had saturated the market.[89] The Guardian's Laura Snapes described their songs as "sleek and lethally hooky, yet playful and teeming with retro synths and experimental flourishes".[84]

NewJeans's music is mainly produced by South Korean singers 250 and Park Jin-su (also known as FRNK), while the members often participate in songwriting.[84] The members have talked about being inspired by film and television, in particular by "high school teen dramas" like Clueless (1995), Mean Girls (2004), and The Princess Diaries (2001).[94][95] Executive producer Min Hee-jin selects all NewJeans's songs and is responsible for the recording process.[96] Regarding the group's debut EP, Min said she "wanted to break the tacit formula of K-pop and make an album with the music I want".[97] Min disliked "high-pitched parts, awkward raps that suddenly appear, and singing methods that feel uniform" and chose to record without guide vocals, allowing the members to develop their own singing styles.[96][88] Pearce argued that NewJeans's frequent collaborations with certain producers brought forth a cohesive discography with distinct identity and aesthetic.[86]

Image and fashion[edit]

NewJeans has influenced fashion and make-up trends with their style, developed by Choi Yu-mi. Having previously met Min while working with Shinee, Choi began working with Min and NewJeans in 2020, despite never having styled a girl group.[98][99] NewJeans debuted with a Y2K-inspired style that established them as "a symbol" of the Y2K fashion revival in South Korea.[100] The members wore "drastically" different outfits in the music videos to confuse fans, prompting them to rewatch the videos to identify the members.[101] For their hair and make-up, NewJeans worked with hairstylist Gi-hee and make-up artist Lee Nak-yeum, who developed a signature "natural" look for the group.[102][103] Azrin Tan argued in Vogue Singapore that NewJeans presented a "new aesthetic", characterized by minimal soft make-up and straight black hair, that defied beauty standards in the contemporary K-pop industry with its simplicity.[104] Their styling contributed in shaping NewJeans's girl-next-door image,[105] deemed by Tan a "stark shift away from the usually high-octane aesthetic" of contemporary K-pop groups.[104]

NewJeans branched out and showcased a variety of concepts in the music videos released for Get Up, including cheerleading and ballet-inspired outfits.[106][107] Since NewJeans's debut, Choi has incorporated in their style elements from several modern trends, such as gorpcore and blokecore, and designers, such as Kiko Kostadinov, Martine Rose, Marine Serre, and Hyein Seo.[98][99] Edith Winslow of Vogue Australia has described NewJeans's fashion style as a combination of "bold pieces, contemporary designers, and the confidence to pull it all off".[108] The New York Times named them among the most stylish people of 2023.[109] In interviews, NewJeans have said they enjoy exploring different styles and expressing themselves through fashion.[110][111] The members' personal styles have also become influential, with Julian Bartolome of Inquirer Super saying they have "established themselves as modern-teen style icons".[112][113] All of the members have served as ambassadors for fashion and beauty brands: Hanni for Gucci, Armani Beauty, and UGG, Hyein for Louis Vuitton, Danielle for Burberry, YSL Beauty, and Celine, Minji for Chanel Korea, and Haerin for Dior.[114][115]

Other ventures[edit]

Endorsements[edit]

NewJeans being named ambassadors at Incheon International Airport in March 2024

In the advertising industry, NewJeans has been compared to a blue chip due to their popularity and reliability;[116] Tamar Herman, writing for NME, named them one of "the most in-demand advertising models" at the end of 2023.[69] Their popularity has been ascribed to their notable influence over various generations, in particular Generation Z, both in South Korea and overseas, prompting South Korean brands like Musinsa [ko] and Lotte Wellfood to appoint NewJeans as ambassadors to lead promotional campaigns abroad.[117][118] In April 2024, Forbes Korea reported that the group had earned ₩30 billion in advertising in the course of a single year.[119] NewJeans has represented Levi's, fashion store Musinsa, contact lens brand Olens, jewelry brand Stonehenge, and eyewear brand Carin.[120][121] They have served as global ambassadors for Coca-Cola Zero Sugar, LG Electronics' Gram laptop, and Lotte's Pepero.[116][118] Over the course of their career, NewJeans has also appeared in local and international promotional campaigns by SK Telecom, promoting the iPhone 14 Pro and the iPhone 15 Pro,[122] Apple,[123] Nike, promoting Air Max,[120] 5252 by OiOi,[120] Shinhan Bank,[124] Megastudy [ko],[124] Pinkfong,[125] McDonald's Korea,[126] Hyundai Department Store,[127] Lotte,[128] Kao,[129] and Shibuya109.[130]

NewJeans have also worked with governmental and cultural institutions to promote Korean culture and tourism. In February 2023, NewJeans became public relations ambassadors of the city of Seoul and were appointed honorary ambassadors for the Seoul Fashion Week.[131][132] In March 2024, they were appointed ambassadors by the customs division of the Incheon International Airport.[133] In May 2024, NewJeans and the British Museum collaborated on the recording of an audio guide illustrating the Korean exhibit of the museum.[134] NewJeans have also worked with the Korea Craft and Design Foundation, an affiliate of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, to promote hanji.[135]

NewJeans has collaborated with brands to launch exclusive products and merchandise. In December 2022, the group collaborated with a dessert brand, Nudake, to open pop-up stores in Seoul that would sell themed cakes and gadgets.[136] The following month, NewJeans partnered with Musinsa and LG Electronics to release a limited edition of the Gram laptop with themed outfits exclusively available at LG Electronics' pop-up store in Seoul.[137][138] In June 2023, they began collaborating with McDonald's for the launch of an exclusive meal consisting mainly of chicken-based items. Over the course of the year, the meal became available in South Korea, the Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia, Brunei, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Vietnam.[139] In August 2023, NewJeans and Line Friends launched a collection of merchandise comprising two lines, one featuring bunny-like characters and another featuring The Powerpuff Girls-themed characters that had appeared in the group's music videos for "ASAP" and "New Jeans", respectively. To promote the collection, Line Friends opened pop-up stores in several countries,[140] including South Korea, Singapore, and the Philippines.[141][142] In January 2024, NewJeans and Nike released a Nike By You line of customizable NewJeans-themed garments exclusively available at Nike's store on Orchard Road, Singapore.[143]

NewJeans in an advertisement for Olens in 2023

Some companies have reported a notable increase in sales after collaborating with NewJeans. In February 2023, LG Electronics stated that all units of the limited edition Gram laptop sold out in six minutes.[144] After partnering with the group in 2022, Musinsa reported in March 2023 that sales in the women's fashion category doubled compared to the previous year.[145] In February 2024, Lotte stated that sales of Pepero increased by 17% in countries where NewJeans's promotional campaign was implemented.[146]

Philanthropy[edit]

In December 2022, it was announced that NewJeans and ADOR would annually donate part of the profits from the group's album sales to the Snail of Love charity to fund cochlear implant surgery and speech therapy treatment for the hearing-impaired.[147] The following year, ADOR and NewJeans joined the Snail of Love's Soul Leader club, having donated a total of over ₩99 million.[148] In February 2023, NewJeans and ADOR donated ₩200 million to the World Food Programme to help victims of the earthquake that struck Turkey and Syria that month.[149]

Impact[edit]

NewJeans has become "one of the most recognized and most influential groups in pop", according to Billboard.[72] The Times of India referred to NewJeans as a global pop icon, remarking that "they have secured a spot in the heart of pop enthusiasts around the world and became the epitome of modern pop excellence".[150] Time named them one of the Next Generation Leaders, adding that they have "already reached global milestones even faster than its more senior counterparts in the industry".[151] Music critic Jung Min-jae told NBC News that "NewJeans is everything contemporary K-pop was not, arriving fresh-faced in a seemingly unchanging industry".[152] Writing for The Korea Times, music critic Kim Do-heon attributed NewJeans's success in part to their "carefree, laid-back, and natural" sound,[153] while Tamar Herman wrote in Vogue that their music "immediately changed up the face of South Korea's pop idol scene".[87] Critics noted NewJeans's influence on junior K-pop boy groups like Riize and TWS, who adopted a similar concept and "easy listening" sound.[154][155] Business Insider opined "NewJeans has become a force and musical paradigm shifter both within the Korean and global pop landscapes."[156] NewJeans has been featured in numerous power rankings, including Forbes's Korea Power Celebrity 40 and 30 Under 30 – Asia (Entertainment & Sports).[157][158]

NewJeans quickly established themselves in the fashion industry thanks to their girl-next-door image and international appeal,[105][159] becoming "an overnight fashion favorite" according to The Business of Fashion.[105] Designers Yoon Ahn and Bach Mai have named NewJeans among the influences for their collections.[160][161] NewJeans has been recognized for their influence and contribution to the fashion industry; they received the Korea Fashion Industry Association President's Commendation at the 2023 Korea Fashion Awards and were listed as one of the 500 most influential people in the industry by The Business of Fashion in 2023.[162][163]

Members[edit]

  • Minji (민지)
  • Hanni (하니)
  • Danielle (다니엘)
  • Haerin (해린)
  • Hyein (혜인)

Discography[edit]

Extended plays

Filmography[edit]

Television shows

Live performances[edit]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Big Hit Entertainment rebranded as Hybe Corporation in March 2021.
  2. ^ However, "Bubblegum" and "Right Now" were featured in advertisements in South Korea and Japan starting from April and May, respectively.[81]

References[edit]

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