NewJeans quickly became one of the fastest rising girl groups in K-Pop history.
The young five made their debut in July 2022 and have already had millions of followers on social media, hundreds of millions of views on YouTube, and endorsement deals with global brands like Levi’s, McDonald’s and now Coca-Cola.
Members Danielle, Haerin, Hanni, Hyein, and Minji range in age from 15 to 19, and say they’re still in shock at their rapid rise since releasing their first single “Attention” less than a year ago.
Commenting on the growing fan base exclusive to PEOPLE, Haerin said, “I feel like I’ve learned how to express the color of NewJeans to our listeners, including our fans Bunnies.” “While it is something that requires constant reflection, I believe I have gained valuable insights from the experiences I have had.”
“I truly believe I learned and experienced more than ever in the last year,” Danielle adds as they celebrate their first anniversary as a group. “Traveling and performing in different countries, meeting the Rabbits and forming new relationships has had a huge impact. What really resonates with me is these precious memories we created as a ‘family’ – the unbreakable bond shared between us, our company and our fans.”
In March, they broke the Guinness World Record for Fastest K-pop show by reaching 1 billion listens on Spotify – with just six songs at the time.
The group explains that they do not underestimate their rapid success. “I’m trying to reciprocate the tremendous love and support NewJeans has received,” says Minji. “Reaching important milestones in our journey has only been possible with the help of others. We are deeply grateful to our beloved Bunnies, the viewers who supported us, and everyone who supported the members… My heart is filled with endless gratitude!”
Hanni explains that the group tries not to “define ourselves by our physical achievements,” but it gives them an “overwhelming sense of happiness” and inspires them to keep working harder.
“Furthermore, I believe such success should not be given to us, but to those who put a lot of effort into making and producing our songs and behind-the-scenes content,” he continues. “Without them, we wouldn’t be able to release songs like this.”
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The last few years of K-Pop have become synonymous with extremism: flamboyant song production, big-budget music videos, and high-fashion style.
However, NewJeans came onto the scene with a look and sound all their own. Their video clips are more lo-fi, their fashion is based on schoolyard streetwear, and their music harks back to the R&B and garage sounds that dominated the charts of the early 2000s.
The young group doesn’t talk about specific inspirations, but they say they discover their aesthetic as they progress, and “I actively involve myself in incorporating elements as I explore various artists and brands,” says Haerin.
Minji adds: “Conversation with those around me is also a remarkable source of inspiration and fuels my creative fire even more.”
The band’s latest project is a piece for Coca-Cola’s global music platform COKE STUDIO. Titled “Be You (Real Magic)”, the upbeat bop kicks off the second season of the brand’s program, which aims to bring together the most exciting, emerging and groundbreaking artists from around the world.
Jon Batiste wrote the teamwork, which also included Colombian pop artist Camilo, British singer-songwriter Cat Burns, and Atlanta-born rapper JID.
Haerin believes the campaign is “an excellent opportunity to showcase the new and diverse facets of NewJeans,” and says she’s “deeply grateful” for the group’s participation. “It is still very surreal and an absolute honor for us to work with a brand like Coca-cola that has such a long history and such a strong presence in our world today,” says Hanni. “We’ve been able to enjoy many new and wonderful experiences and learn a lot and hopefully through working together we can leave a small speck of NewJeans at Coca-Cola.”
The colorful music video saw the band knocking down their brand of intense choreography from inside the head of a futuristic robot, and the singers were excited to show off a new side of themselves. “We have to wear unique outfits we’ve never tried before and shoot on an incredibly cool set,” Hyein says. “When it comes to filming music videos, our main focus is to enjoy every moment as a group.”
NewJeans reveal that with their early years under their belts, they are “closer” than ever before and are proud of their strong bond. “We naturally grew to know each other better and it seems like we’ve become closer than a year ago,” Hyein admits. “We live together and we don’t have many secrets between the members, so we’re all very close to each other.” Haerin adds: “Through all the events we’ve attended together, we’ve come closer to each other, and we’re constantly learning and growing with new challenges. We’re committed to creating great memories together.”
Busy schedules don’t leave them much free time, but “Hype Boy” hit producers say their free days are best spent “relaxing” and “with family.”
For Danielle, this is an opportunity to “spend my time outdoors, preferably in nature, with friends or family.” He points out that the group met except when they were not working, “visiting new, exciting places” and doing mundane activities such as “watching movies, painting, cooking, or just writing in our diaries.”
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NewJeans’ high streams garnered the band’s global support, and artists are still accustomed to performing for their worldwide fan base, the Bunnies. “I think the thing that surprised us the most was that even though the music was so new and from the other side of the world, people got to know us and sang and danced with our music,” says Hanni.
All of the members hope to travel and meet more fans in the near future, adding that they are “entangled with what’s going to happen.”
“I feel a strong sense of trust among our members and I feel we have matured together,” says Minji. embrace.”