It was just another boring, hot day in July. People swimming in their backyard pools and
sipping some fresh lemonade. People carelessly scrolling their phones as they lay on their bed with
the ceiling fan on medium speed. But then, somewhere around the morning of July 22nd, the
world was changed forever by a group of girls. A song influenced by 2000s R&B would have people listening to it on repeat for the next couple of months, accompanied by a dance that had everyone trying to learn. A video that featured girls just having a good time would open the doors for a down-to-earth concept that other groups would follow. A group that would rise to success almost immediately thanks to their unique style and talent. NewJeans.
NewJeans is a South-Korean girl group formed by ADOR and consists of a total of five members:
Minji, Hanni, Danielle, Hyein, and Haerin. On July 22nd, 2022, the group released their surprise single, “Attention,” without any prior promotion and information about the members. The song was something almost never heard before in the K-Pop industry, catching the attention of fans quickly. For a while, all you would see were people dancing and jamming to this song, their latest obsession. NewJeans would later release their debut EP, New Jeans, on August 1st of the same year, with pre-orders surpassing 444,000 copies in three days and with one of the singles, Hype Boy, charting on the Billboard Global 200 for 37 consecutive weeks–the longest for any K-Pop female act. Later, towards the end of 2022 and the start of 2023, singles like Ditto and OMG were released in which both singles earned a spot on the Billboard Hot 100, #82 and #74 respectively. The group would go on to host their first sold-out fan meeting and release their second EP, Get Up. Get Up became the group’s first album to earn the #1 spot on the Billboard 200 with its three main singles all entering the Billboard 100.
But why? What is so special about these girls and their music? Why can’t you and I stop listening to them? Well, there’s a lot of reasons behind it. When you watch NewJeans, it’s as if you’re watching a group of close-knit friends having fun. When you watch them dance, you can see how they smile at one another, hype one another, and laugh with one another. In a way, it makes you feel like you’re their friend too. Speaking of dancing, NewJeans’ choreography isn’t insanely difficult, which is something very much seen in K-Pop these days. You don’t have to be a professional to learn their dances. The same applies to their singing. Usually, in K-Pop, you hear some intense vocals in groups’ and soloists’ songs, usually in the bridge and in the final chorus. For example, just recently, in another South-Korean girl group, Aespa, their song, Drama, features very powerful high notes from members Winter and NingNing towards the end of the song. While it’s pleasing to hear those notes, a downside for some fans can be that they won’t be able to sing these songs due to vocals out of their range.
On the other hand, NewJeans’ songs feature vocals that are soft yet captivating and in the range for most people. As a Youtuber by the name of “2ndgenbias” said, it’s the feeling that anyone can do it They take inspiration from the concept of Y2K in terms of fashion and music, a concept that is widely popular for the newer generations. But what’s most fascinating about NewJeans is their music videos and the theories that lie behind it. For example, there were four separate music videos released for their single Hype Boy in which each member is introduced (one video introduced two members). They each had their own storyline that many fans could relate to such as falling in love, getting your heart broken, and gathering the courage to speak up to your crush. The music video for Ditto featured the girls at school accompanied by another girl with a camera, constantly recording them. To accompany this, a youtube channel was created by the name of “Ban Heesoo” in which the video footage of the NewJeans girls was seen along with other videos in which they weren’t, eliciting theories from fans that the girl with the camera is simply imagining these girls. The music video for OMG featured the members in a mental asylum, each with their own storyline as fans created more theories to see if it was connected in any way to the previous video. It’s genius.
So, the next time you’re looking for a dance to learn, a video to check out, or a song to sing alone in your bedroom, I suggest NewJeans. Don’t want them to check out now? That’s fine! Just know that they’ll find their way to you for they are not leaving anytime soon.
Danna Taboada (she/her) is a sixteen-year-old writer from New York. She loves listening to music of any genre, dancing, spending time with her family and friends, reading, and writing. She plans on majoring in Creative Writing in the future.