K-Pop Girl Group Group & Min HeeJin Talk Surprise Debut – Billboard


One month in the past, one thing unusual occurred within the K-pop world: A woman group surprise-released their first music video on YouTube with zero hype, information or beforehand launched data.

Shock releases aren’t new to the worldwide music trade, with most artists preferring later bulletins to hype up album streams these days, however NewJeans created one thing outstanding within the bigger context of their surprising and unorthodox launch within the Okay-pop trade, the place skilled planning and exact rollouts are cornerstones of the enterprise. Korean corporations make the most of a confirmed technique of asserting albums, releasing pre-order data, and teasing materials from the album picture shoots, movies and songs earlier than revealing every part all on launch day to maximise speedy impression throughout the charts and the general public. Solely not often will Okay-pop have a gradual burn to slowly inch their approach up the charts. New acts must garner as a lot consciousness forward of their debut as doable to create any potential fanbase to help the preliminary funding a label has put into the artist.

NewJeans as 5 recent faces dropping their music onto YouTube with no announcement was a risky-but-ultimately invigorating trade second. Led by one of many scene’s most established creatives, the gamble is slowly however absolutely paying off.

NewJeans was helmed below ADOR, a newly created subsidiary below the HYBE Labels umbrella that features BIGHIT Music (residence to BTS and TOMORROW X TOGETHER), PLEDIS Leisure (SEVENTEEN and fromis_9), KOZ Leisure (Zico), BELIFT Lab (ENHYPEN) and SOURCE Music (LE SSERAFIM). The brand new label is below the route of Min Hee Jin, HYBE’s present chief branding officer, who grew to become well-known for her work because the artistic director below Korean super-label SM Leisure, shaping prime Okay-pop acts like Girls’ GenerationEXO and Red Velvet. In 2019, Min joined to assist rebrand BIGHIT Leisure into its bigger company HYBE and was named CEO of her newly created label ADOR, standing for “All Doorways, One Room.”

Whereas envisioning game-changing new Okay-pop acts wasn’t a international job for Min, shifting how a label may shake the status-quo system grew to become her problem. “I needed to create a label with a brand-new look that did issues by no means seen within the Okay-pop scene earlier than,” Min tells Billboard on this unique interview. “The type of music I’m going for is one thing that hasn’t actually been tried within the Okay-pop scene, so an unbiased label was important to push forward with this.”

The members of NewJeans — Minji, Hanni, Danielle, Haerin and Hyein — see Min’s imaginative and prescient and meet her as a part of forgoing the standard guidelines of the trade. “I believed to myself it could be cool to launch them with none teasers,” Hyein, the group’s youngest at 14, says. “And I used to be shocked once I heard CEO Min’s clarification as a result of she truly had the identical thought!” Haerin, 16, provides, “When CEO Min defined that we wouldn’t have teasers, my preliminary thought was, ‘Oh, that is going to be enjoyable.’”

Listeners have been having fun with the experience and extra are becoming a member of as time goes by. After unveiling music movies for brand spanking new songs “Consideration,” “Hype Boy” and the sparse a cappella-based b-side “Hurt,” NewJeans launched the complete, four-track EP titled NWJNS on Aug. 1 worldwide. Initially, solely “Consideration” and “Hype Boy” entered the Global 200 chart at Nos. 82 and 116, respectively. However as time went on, each songs rose on the chart. “Consideration,” with a sound impressed by ’90s R&B that may make SWV smile, additionally topped the Korean charts, whereas the uplifting future-bass rush of “Hype Boy” grew to become a pattern to bop to amongst fellow Okay-pop stars. “It’s been actually enjoyable watching different folks do our songs and I hold checking as a result of I’m actually curious!” Danielle, the 17-year-old Australian-Korean, says.

The NWJNS EP as an entire started catching on too and hit its greatest place but on World Albums this week at No. 11 after six weeks on the chart. In Korea, the EP hit No. 1 and broke gross sales data for a brand new group as soon as it was put up on the market following the shock launch. NewJeans have since teamed up with Geffen Data, becoming a member of fellow HYBE artists BTS, SEVENTEEN and LE SSERAFIM on the Common Music Group label.

Regardless of criticism round NewJeans’ younger age and what some see as suggestive lyrics of their music (a label consultant pointed to a response in Korean newspaper JoongAng Ilbo when Billboard requested for remark), it’s clear that CEO Min, ADOR and NewJeans are blazing a path that feels remarkably recent for an trade that’s large on creativity in its artwork however extra conservative in its general enterprise practices. Learn on for unique reflections from Min Hee Jin and the NewJeans members.

CEO Min, after a profitable profession at SM Leisure, what made you need to be part of HYBE?
Min Hee Jin: You may not have anticipated it as a result of I labored as a artistic director at SM, however I lengthy dreamed of creating an album with the type of music I need — a remaining product with the music I had in thoughts — and that’s why I needed to create my very own label. So I selected to hitch them as a result of I believed It could be the quickest path towards establishing ADOR.

There have been experiences you had been engaged on a bunch that may be in collaboration with BIGHIT and SOURCE Music. Why was it essential so that you can have your personal label in ADOR?

Min: After I obtained the supply to work collectively earlier than ADOR was ever shaped, I believed it over rigorously. Realistically, there would have been various completely different challenges concerned, so I made a decision to give attention to ADOR as initially deliberate. I had this imaginative and prescient of the perfect label for a very long time whereas working within the trade: A label that places out all types of radically completely different music! And I needed to create a label with a brand-new look that did issues by no means seen within the Okay-pop scene earlier than. The type of music I’m going for is one thing that hasn’t actually been tried within the Okay-pop scene, so an unbiased label was important to push forward with this. ADOR is an open door into the world of Min Hee Jin, the producer. The identify ADOR, [standing for] “All Doorways One Room,” represents my desires and dedication in that regard.

What went into NewJeans’ unorthodox debut in releasing the music and music movies forward of the album launch in addition to having three singles? Did you might have discussions in regards to the technique with HYBE?
Min: ADOR is a label that began with assured autonomy, so it has no ties with HYBE’s administration. They really didn’t have any data about something we had been going to launch up till the primary music video was launched on July 22. [Laughs.] That was a technique we used to place all the main target purely on their music, because the buzz round “Min Hee Jin’s lady group” was already so excessive. That’s how assured I used to be within the 4 tracks on the EP, which can also be the rationale why we determined to have three lead singles. I’ve all the time felt that it’s such a pity the way it’s the lead singles that get all the eye.

Most essential of all, there have been causes for choosing the songs I did and the best way I ordered them on the EP, so it was essential for all of the tracks to face out equally in an effort to showcase NewJeans’ true colours correctly. I believed that having extra singles than non-single tracks would make everybody curious what our plan was and make them need to pay attention extra. That approach, they’d be extra inquisitive about that lone non-single observe, proper? [Laughs.]

I liked that the music movies had been filmed abroad with a various forged. Was it essential to you to point out this?
Min: Variety can also be a consideration, in fact. Plus, every part was using on secrecy for the shock debut. I had deliberate NewJeans’ EP as a shock social gathering for the world, and shock events are solely enjoyable when you may hold them secret, so we needed to movie someplace distant the place we could possibly be nameless—a lot in order that we even saved our firm and the group’s identify secret whereas filming with the native crew. And Spain, the place we filmed, is a really multicultural place the place everybody lives collectively in concord and it labored completely with the video, I feel. I believed we may seize a lovely place that would virtually be in any nation on this planet. 

I used to be actually moved by the “HANNI Model” of the “Hype Boy” music video as I felt a delicate nod or recognition in direction of androgynous and non-binary folks, and even the LGBTQ+ group with the “crush” within the video on the finish. Have I understood it appropriately?
Min: I’m actually glad to listen to that you simply had been moved. The point of interest of the music movies from NewJeans’ first EP is relationships between one particular person and one other fairly than merely specializing in these between ladies and boys. The male character portrayed within the music video for “Consideration” represents “one thing new” getting into the members’ lives. The message is to cherish the relationships we kind with others in day-to-day life, even once we’re individually experiencing the thrilling unfamiliarity of dealing with “one thing new.” In “Hype Boy,” the chemistry of those relationships was episodic and revealed in several methods. Particularly, I needed to convey the message that there’s magnificence and advantage in loving and embracing every particular person’s individuality, fairly than making assumptions about folks utilizing prejudices and stereotypes. It’s usually mentioned that past love by no means lasts. And everybody has recollections from their childhood that solely they might totally respect and that they maintain near their coronary heart. But it surely’s from these experiences that we develop and mature into adults. I needed to depict conditions that everybody ultimately faces to point out a constructive perspective on the common values that folks attempt for.

What does it imply to you, and the trade, {that a} label’s first-ever group with a “shock” debut has been capable of break data and prime the charts with its singles?
Min: I discover it important that we’re capable of give hope and guarantee those who it’s okay to attempt one thing new. We have a tendency to stay with what’s secure as a result of we worry failure, however nothing fascinating ever occurs when you simply stick to what’s secure. If we’re ever going to make the world just a little extra fascinating, we have now to attempt new issues and undertake an angle of being extra open and accepting about it. I all the time discuss with the members of NewJeans. We’re able to tackle this journey collectively, and I hope that every one the brand new issues we’re engaged on fill folks’s lives with much more enjoyable!

NewJeans and Min Hee-jin

Courtesy of HYBE

NewJeans, congratulations on such a profitable debut! All 4 of your songs are making large impacts. What had been your preliminary reactions to the music?

MINJI: The primary time I heard them, I used to be immediately hooked. There’s a line in our music “Hype Boy” that goes, “Acquired me chasing a daydream,” and the music actually did make me really feel like I used to be in a dream once I heard it. So, in fact, I fell in love immediately once I first heard it.

HANNI: Once we first heard “Consideration,” it actually left a robust impression! I simply liked the energetic and hip vibe it has! The remaining songs actually had a really new type that we hadn’t heard in Okay-pop, particularly from a woman group. The truth that we at the moment are capable of name them our songs may be very particular and makes me really feel very happy with the brand new shade we launched as a crew by way of our debut!

DANIELLE, you co-wrote lyrics on “Consideration,” and HANNI co-wrote lyrics on “Hype Boy.” Speak
to me about how this happened and what the method was like for you each?

HANNI: That was a job from CEO Min, as she needed to see how we’d interpret the songs and likewise needed to make use of our lyrics within the songs as effectively! Fortunate sufficient, Danielle’s lyrics acquired chosen, and so did mine! After I first heard “Hype Boy,” it rang a bell in my memory of when Alice falls into the rabbit gap and it appears to be like just like the objects round her are shifting in gradual movement with the sound of the clock ticking. It felt like that, if I needed to clarify visually. So I type of needed the lyrics to painting time being out of my management. That’s why I wrote “acquired me chasing a daydream.”

DANIELLE: I’ve all the time been fascinated by writing lyrics and composition. Ever since I used to be little, I liked writing down my ideas and emotions in a approach that sounds good, which is how I attempted writing lyrics for “Consideration,” too. That is our first album, so CEO Min gave us loads of alternatives to take part, together with to attempt writing lyrics! It was a possibility for us to suppose for ourselves, be taught, and unleash our creativity. I’m so grateful I used to be given the consideration of taking part within the course of.

How was the recording course of for these songs?

MINJI: It was so enjoyable. All of us watched one another all through the entire recording course of and acquired a greater sense of what makes each other’s vocals distinctive. It was a possibility for every of us to be taught extra about ourselves, too. I used to be so happy with the best way we saved engaged on our shortcomings to finish up with what we did.

HAERIN: There have been 4 tracks to file, and whereas recording them, I believed so much about find out how to sing in order that the listener would really feel relaxed however nonetheless discover the songs catchy. All of us discovered so much watching one another file and listening to all these particulars made me take into consideration how greatest to strategy every music.

Are you able to share a bit extra about your musical and Okay-pop backgrounds?

MINJI: To be sincere, I used to be simply an abnormal scholar who actually liked Okay-pop and different music. I actually appreciated listening to music, however I wasn’t assured sufficient to sing and I had by no means danced. I joined the label fully by likelihood and I feel I fell in love with music much more after studying a greater diversity of music and tradition at ADOR. And that’s the expertise that led to all us members assembly and debuting as NewJeans.

HANNI: I’ve additionally been very concerned in music and took half in quite a lot of extracurricular actions earlier than I got here to Korea! I took dance classes for just a few years and my mother taught me and my sister to sing once we had been youthful. She would convey us into the lavatory—due to the nice echo!—after which she’d play a music for me to sing and would attempt to train me to sing just like the artist. I keep in mind the primary music she ever taught us was “All at As soon as” by Whitney Houston, an absolute gem of a music, Her voice and the music simply radiate collectively.

How has working with CEO Min been? Do you know her artistic work previous to becoming a member of the label?

MINJI: I knew all about CEO Min’s work and liked what she made, however I had no thought she was so intently concerned with their route. I needed to know all about her earlier than assembly her for the primary time and that’s once I discovered. I used to be so shocked! Working with CEO Min was past what I ever imagined. She will take something we dream up and make it actual.

HANNI: I knew about CEO Min by way of Plus World Auditions and her earlier work she did at SM, and simply having the ability to work alongside her is superb! I really feel very valued as an individual and she or he all the time emphasizes the significance of our opinions. Having the chance to coach and debut below her wing and ADOR is one thing I couldn’t have ever dreamed of! The artistic freedom she provides us may be very uplifting and actually helps us as a bunch to consider carefully about how we must always follow and symbolize ourselves the best way we need to. She is all the time unconditionally supportive and loving in direction of us, and actually is like my mother who lives in Korea!

I’d such as you to introduce your group and members in your personal phrases.

MINJI: All 5 of us are pals they usually’re all valuable to me. I really feel like I can have a dialog with HANNI by simply taking a look at her eyes. She’s all the time caring for the folks round her and thoughtful in direction of them. DANIELLE’s vivid smile simply warms my coronary heart and at occasions she is like an older sister you may be taught issues from. HAERIN is essentially the most sincere particular person on this planet, so I really feel like she’s somebody I can belief and lean on. She’s actually considerate, too. Every little thing about HYEIN is superb. She says she doesn’t see it, however that’s truly top-of-the-line issues about her. I can’t wait to see what the long run holds for her.

HAERIN: All 5 members have their very own traits that make them particular, however what first involves thoughts is how good DANIELLE is at embodying feelings when she sings. She has the facility to attract the listener in along with her capacity to precise intricate feelings by way of the lyrics of any music.

Is there anything you’d wish to share with worldwide followers?

HANNI: Thanks thanks a lot for all of the love and help you’ve given us since our debut! As a result of we simply debuted just lately, we’ve been specializing in selling and performing in Korea, however I promise you that, at any time when the chance comes, we’re going to catch a airplane and head over to you all! Phrases can’t clarify the quantity of pleasure and gratitude we have now for our followers all all over the world. I hope you can proceed to pay attention and luxuriate in our music for a very long time.

HAERIN: Thanks for supporting our music, our performances, and every part we do. I’m actually glad to see that our music transcends language and cultural limitations. We’ll hold engaged on higher and higher music and performances and I hope we are able to proceed this journey collectively!

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