As K-pop becomes more and more of a cultural force in the US, one of the new groups that has become a huge force within K-pop itself is NewJeans. A quintet that only just debuted in 2022, their 2-step-inspired, chilled-out take on pop-R&B has already helped establish them as one of the most popular girl groups stateside.
The five members of the group are: Danielle, Haerin, Hanni, Hyein, and Minji. All of them had previously been established in entertainment for the decade preceding their breakout; Daniellewas a regular cast member on a Korean variety show, Hanni was a member of a dance troupe in Melbourne, and Hyein sang in a children’s music group.
They were assembled as NewJeans by Min Hee-jin, the former chief brand officer of Big Hit. After auditioning and recruiting the members, Min moved the project to her new independent label ADOR. While NewJeans’ debut was planned for 2021, it was postponed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Interestingly, the group’s success literally came as a surprise for fans; they released their first single, “Attention,” with almost no promotion in July last year, followed by “Hype Boy.” Both reached No. 1 on Billboard‘s South Korean chart. Their latest single, “Super Shy,” has been even more successful, with 85 million views on YouTube and over 222 million streams on Spotify, while their new EP Get Up became their first No. 1 on the US Billboard 200 chart.