After debuting on a high note, NewJeans keeps the momentum going
One can’t precisely predict the trajectory of a K-pop group upon debut. Some kick off their careers with a chart-topping hit but cannot sustain the hype with succeeding comebacks. Meanwhile, others take some time before shooting up to stardom. But in the case of NewJeans, backing from multinational entertainment company HYBE and the creative direction of household name Min Hee-jin made them a girl group to look forward to. Well, their debut instantly transformed the five-member piece into a hit both in South Korea and the world, with all four singles generating high streams on different platforms. Just take a look at this room filled with A-list celebrities singing along to Cookie at the W Korea Halloween Party.
entire W Korea party singing cookie during chorus 😭 하 진짜…. 내자랑 pic.twitter.com/eUAqq73lAU
— 뿅 (@haniphams) October 28, 2022
Needless to say, the bar for their comeback was absolutely high. How do you go against the success of Hype Boy, the bubbly R&B track that dominated the charts? There’s definitely no way to go but up, and the girls sustained the trajectory they established when they dropped their pre-release single, Ditto. The song might have the addictive and choppy staccato beats of Baltimore dance music, but it completely takes a new form as a hypnotic lullaby thanks to the dreamy synths and the girls’ ethereal vocals. Think of it as NewJeans entering their Pinkpantheress era: soft yet heart-thumping, fuzzy but staggering, Ditto has proved to become another infectious earworm.
Despite Ditto’s release only offering two tracks in one compilation, stock pre-orders reached 800,000 units, breaking their record of 450,000 coming from the first EP. Then comes OMG, the main single for this cycle of releases. The upbeat and springy love song incorporates hip-hop, trap beats and touches of UK garage to create another worldwide favorite. OMG, punctuated by melodic raps and touches of automated effects, keep the cheeky Y2K nostalgia and charm intact without overdoing it. Bouncy and optimistic, this track still explores some bouts of worry and melancholy that come with yearning. Hanni wistfully croons, “I was really hoping / That he will come through.”
So it seems highly deserving that NewJeans beat their own personal record for stock pre-orders for a single album composed of only two tracks. Coming from the high of 450,000 pre-orders for New Jeans, OMG took in over 800,000 to accommodate fans who put in their orders ahead and planning for stocks that will hit stores. And that’s just prior to OMG’s release—the girls were able to sell 480,000 units on the first day of its release. The bottom line is everyone is still listening to the NewJeans, and they’re far from being a one-hit-EP wonder.
To be completely honest, however, Hype Boy’s earworm status remains untouched despite two new offerings. But one doesn’t always need to exceed old milestones to keep the momentum going. Slow and steady wins the race, and so far, NewJeans still stands at the frontlines as they continue to deliver and, in Hanni’s words, come through. We can’t wait for what 2023 holds for them!
Stream the music videos to Ditto and OMG below:
Ditto (Side A)
Ditto (Side B)
Art Matthew Ian Fetalver