Slip into NewJeans, The Hottest Rookie Group Of The Moment
In our exclusive interview with the group, the girls talk about their comeback, OMG, and all they hope to achieve in 2023.
January 6, 2023
If there’s one 4th-gen K-Pop group on everyone’s lips these days, it would have to be NewJeans.
Unlike the traditional K-Pop debuts we’re used to, which often include teaser photos and videos released months (and sometimes even a year) in advance, the quintet surprised the world with the release of their aptly named debut single,Attention, in July 2022.
The song, with its dreamy and groovy R&B vibe, served as an introduction to the girls’ harmonious vocals, and captured everyone’s attention.
It fast became clear that NewJeans did not come to play, and the group’s follow-up single,Hype Boy, was released just a week later.The song had fans and idols alike dancing along to its infectious tune, with GOT7’s Jay B, SF9’s Inseong, ONF’s E-Tion and J-US, and even JYP Entertainment’s head honcho, Park Jinyoung showing off their moves in covers of the song’s dance choreography.
Needless to say, NewJeans has been winning fans all over, from the likes of Red Velvet’s Yeri and TWICE’s Sana, Jihyo, and Mina, to BTS’s RM who was spotted bopping and singing along as the group performed during a W Korea party.
Less than six months after their debut, the rookie group picked up their first major award for Best New Artist at the 2022 Melon Music Awards.
Fun fact: While only officially introduced as NewJeans in 2022, some of the members had their first brush with fame before their debut. Minji and Hanni appeared in BTS’s Permission to Dance music video in 2021, when they were still trainees, and Danielle, who also goes by Mo Jihye, was a guest on TVN’s variety show, Rainbow Kindergarten in 2011.
Starting the New Year with NewJeans
To start 2023 on a bright note, the group is releasing their first comeback single album, OMG. According to the members, the album can be seen as a continuation of their debut EP,New Jeans. The album features two tracks, OMG and the pre-released single,Ditto. The former is a rhythmic and lively song with bouncy hip-hop and R&B beats, along with a melodic rap and trendy choreography to boot. The latter has a soft and cozy vibe with a captivating opening, perfectly suited for the winter season.
In this Spotify exclusive, the members share about the making of the album, their greatest accomplishments so far, and their most memorable moments of 2022.
Tell us about the inspiration behind OMG?
Danielle: In our first EP, the songs speak about the attraction that sparks between people and their relationships. But in the new single album, OMG, it speaks about the development of us, with more intimacy upon the first encounter.
Hanni: I think OMG also has a meaning of wanting to be with someone you really enjoy being with; being happy with as well.
Was there anything special that you wanted to convey through the lyrics this time?
Minji: Hanni and I wrote the lyrics this time. We wanted to show our honest thoughts and feelings through the songs.
Hanni:Ditto and OMG definitely has a lot more honesty in them. There’s no hidden meaning in what we wrote. It’s whatever you interpret it to be.
Were there any challenges in working on the new songs for the comeback album?
Hyein:OMG is unique and fun to listen to, so we tried various vocal techniques to show this. My throat hurt a little at first because I tried singing in a different style. Thankfully, I was able to overcome it after lots of practice.
Haerin: I have a similar challenge to Hyein. As OMG is very rhythmic, I thought it was important to show this in my vocals as well. So when I was recording, I used my finger to show the cute tension in the song. I also tried to picture the rhythm in my head.
What would you say is your greatest accomplishment so far?
Danielle: We had such a fantastic year, and we’re so grateful for the love and support that we’ve received. It’s challenging to choose just one particular thing because every opportunity we’ve had was such a learning experience for us and we’re thrilled for our journey ahead.
Hanni: I definitely agree that choosing one thing is really difficult, but our biggest accomplishment would probably be debuting together as NewJeans. Because everything that followed — the possibilities, the accomplishments, the stages and everything that we were able to do was because we debuted.
What’s your most memorable moment of 2022?
Minji: A lot happened in 2022. But, if I had to choose, I would say that our debut stage was the most memorable moment of this year. I was very excited and nervous at the same time. But the fact that we were able to perform in front of our fans was a very exciting and happy moment for us.
Haerin: I agree with Minji. It was the first time we revealed NewJeans to the world and getting to meet our fans was a very meaningful experience.
What’s one word you would use to sum up your 2022?
Haerin: It may seem a little cliché, but I would choose the word ‘start’ because it’s the year that we debuted as NewJeans.
Danielle: I would have to choose the word ‘dreamlike’, because I debuted with four amazing girls, and receiving so much love and support is just a dream come true.
What’s your biggest wish for 2023?
Hyerin: I want to perform on more stages. It’s going to be great to show new sides and our growth of NewJeans.
Hanni: I think because we debuted this year, we’ve only shown one side of us. So being able to show a lot of different things, more new things that we could offer as NewJeans would be a good goal for us. And just developing stronger relationships with our fans and a stronger connection through our music would be a pretty good aspiration too.
We know that Bunnies (NewJeans fans) can’t wait to hear and see more of the girl group in the year ahead.
In the meantime, check out the group’s new comeback and their debut EP here.
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