How NewJeans Immediately Became Popular Despite Being a Rookie Girl Group, According to K-pop Columnist

Credit: HYBE LABELS/YouTube Screenshot

Credit: HYBE LABELS/YouTube Screenshot

NewJeans has been achieving records and collecting accolades other rookie groups are yet to get.

HYBE’s subsidiary, ADOR, introduced the five-member girl group in July 2022. Minji, Hanni, Danielle, Haerin and Hyein began dominating charts and music shows since they dropped their debut single, Attention.

NewJeans continuously released more hit songs, earning people’s attention through Hype Boy, Cookie, Ditto and OMG.

Amid the rookie girl group’s success, a K-pop columnist explained how NewJeans reach the place it is currently in and how it defied the “standardized K-pop formula.”

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What Made NewJeans Different From Other K-pop Groups

NewJeans scored its most recent recognition when its debut track, Hype Boy, officially surpassed 200 million streams on Spotify. Korea JoongAng Daily reported that the song currently stands on the music streaming platform’s Weekly Top Song chart at No. 89.

Billboard's K-pop columnist Jeff Benjamin recently sat for an interview with The Korea Times and explained how NewJeans — unlike other groups — sees a spike in popularity week over week in the past months. He noted that, while the songs like Ditto and OMG did not appear on the charts during their debut week, both songs flourished a week or more after.

Benjamin explained that it particularly happens because of the group’s focus on music and its smart release strategy.

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"NewJean's management company ADOR ― a label under HYBE that represents K-pop titan BTS ― created a discovery experience with the group," he said. "This totally new act revealed its singles and music videos before the album release. This method is atypical to K-pop releases, where the focus is on creating the loudest, attention-grabbing moment from the album release and hoping to sustain it."

For what it’s worth, NewJeans dropped Attention on July 22 — a week before its official debut. Even the members’ names were not publicized before the group’s official promotion so fans could focus on the group’s music and sound.

Benjamin applauded the group’s strategy in reversing the trend and revealing its music slowly.

With that, the K-pop columnist believes NewJeans will continue to soar higher.

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NewJeans Did Not Follow K-pop Formula

Music critic Kim Do Heon also shared how NewJeans’ decision to have a "carefree, laid-back and natural” concept instead of the usual maximalism wherein group members always show everything they got while offering wild electronic pop songs.

"The group has the characteristics of the 1990s' K-pop acts like Fin.K.L and S.E.S. as well, in the sense that its focus is on music and the charms of its members," he went on. "It seems many young people find this refreshing amid the ongoing popularity of Y2K culture."

Kim Do Heon also expressed his desire to know more about Min Hee Jin’s plans for the K-pop group, as she has been known as the “mastermind” behind NewJeans.

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