Who is NewJeans?


Credit: Courtesy of NewJeans "OMG" performance on YouTube

Join reporter Kris Poole-Evans in a review of the new K-Pop band, “NewJeans.” “NewJeans” debuted on July 22, 2022, with their four-track extended play, “New Jeans.” Since then, the group has put out two singles, “Ditto” and “OMG.” Since its debut, the five-member group has been breaking records and consistently making headlines.

Kris Poole-Evans

A subsidiary of HYBE Entertainment, ADOR Entertainment, debuted its newest five-member K-Pop girl group, NewJeans, on July 22, 2022. Because of the band members’ young ages, they were making headlines even before their debut. During its debut, all five members of the band were under 18, with the youngest at 14. In the past, K-Pop management companies have long received backlash for ushering children out into the world, forcing them to constantly be in the public eye and for putting them through the long, grueling hours of dancing and singing practice.

A lot of listeners took the ages of NewJeans members personally, which is a good thing. That means people on the internet are actually using their brains and recognizing how hate-filled speech will be extremely detrimental to the mental and even physical health of the group members. Concerned comments mostly came to a stop when the group actually debuted because, apparently, good music excuses gross behavior.

NewJeans’ popularity exploded when its four-track extended play (EP), “New Jeans,” released. From TikTok dance challenges to the digital sketchbook of Dana Terrace, creator of the TV show, “The Owl House,” the NewJeans girls were everywhere you looked. ADOR Entertainment quickly busied the girls with photoshoots, TV appearances and sponsors.

Tracks “Attention” and “Hype Boy” on the EP were immediate hits. By week three of the EP’s release, it seemed as though everyone and their mom knew the choreography of these songs and could sing them without hesitation. While it’s not the title track, “Hype Boy” got more exposure than “Attention.” “Hype Boy” has five different music videos, while “Attention” has only one. Despite coming out months ago, “Hype Boy” is still going strong, keeping its place on music charts, and at one point, battled with previous NewJeans songs for a higher spot.

There was only one controversial song off of the group’s debut EP, and that was “Cookie.” The CEO of ADOR Entertainment Min Heejin wrote this song. Heejin is a former SM Entertainment director. She is well-known throughout the industry for making groups popular and often receives credit for helping create historical groups like “SHINee” and “Girls Generation.” However, she is also known for her double meanings and has been criticized for her “pedophilic ideals,” having memorabilia from the movie “Lolita” scattered around her home.

The problem with “Cookie” is so obvious that I find myself wondering how on Earth the song got far enough to make it on the album. It’s a really good song, but the issue relates to the ages of the NewJeans girls. The term ‘cookie’ is often used as slang for female genitalia, and with lyrics like “If you want it, you can get it” and “I wanna see you taste it,” it doesn’t take a genius to guess what the song was about. Due to the backlash, or as I like to call it, common sense, ADOR Entertainment made a statement regarding the lyrics, but it’s really accusatory and blames fans for taking the song that way.

“Ditto,” a song apart from the EP, was a game changer for the group. The catchy dream-like single, released on Dec. 19, 2022, has been doing wonders on the charts ever since. “Ditto” put the rookie group up there with iconic groups like “2NE1” and “BIGBANG.” The song has two music videos, “side A” and “side B,” and they show two different sides of the same story. These music videos are cinematically pleasing to watch. Everything from the mysterious plots to the song itself is almost perfect. I say ‘almost’ because of the choreography. It isn’t the worst thing in the world, but it just doesn’t match the vibe of the song. The choreography feels too aggressive and high energy for the song, and in turn, makes the girls look sloppy. This is a shame, given how the NewJeans members proved themselves to be excellent dancers during the group’s cover of “Tell Me” by “Wonder Girls.”

Another single, “OMG,” released on Jan. 3, is NewJeans’ most recent song and is honestly one of my favorites at the moment. The cute and creepy concept of the music video is skillfully done and leaves you with questions, which is not something you would expect a K-Pop music video to do. The choreography is perfect, and I can only hope the choreographer got a raise because, wow, is that footwork addictive. The styling is also nothing to sneeze at, and it has sparked more than a handful of fashion trends.

For being so early into their career, NewJeans is taking over the K-Pop industry. Their influence has reached other idols like Stray Kids’ Seo Changbin, whose play on words using lyrics from “OMG” went so viral that NewJeans itself saw it and recreated it. NewJeans has also recently gained the attention of K-Pop veteran Kim Hyuna, who started her idol journey 16 years ago at age 14. In an interview with Cosmopolitan, Hyuna acknowledges the struggles of fame as a child and encourages the girls to eat well and take it easy.

I’d rate all of their music a 10/10, and I’m really looking forward to seeing what NewJeans puts out next. If you haven’t given any of their songs a listen, I’d highly recommend you do so. The group doesn’t have 22 million monthly listeners on Spotify for nothing. Their music is so good you almost forget that they are children, high schoolers to be more specific, working like they are fully-grown adults.