In just a few short months, NewJeans has burst on the scene thanks to a carefully crafted blueprint for superstardom. Their new single “OMG” demonstrates a refinement of K-pop’s starmaking craft at Hybe Labels.
Step one is to release a long-form concept video. In Wooseok Shin’s video, the bandmates are in an asylum, where each has delusions about who they are. Hanni thinks she inhabits an iPhone and is the embodiment of Siri. Hyein thinks she’s a Disney pricess. Haerin thinks she’s a cat. Minji thinks she’s a doctor. Danielle, the only rational one, points out they are NewJeans. The others are not buying it, though.
Step two is to release the full performances from each scene in the video as its own subvideo. As of today, Hybe has released three, starting with version one in a classroom:
Next came version 2 in a gymnasium:
Now we get version 3 in a library:
If you are trying to get caught up on your K-pop, NewJeans had a big hit late last year with “Hype Boy“:
It was part of a string of singles that also included “Attention.”
They had a grittier vibe for “Ditto,” but it’s all still highly polished and carefully crafted.
K-pop is decidedly unconcerned about “industry plants” and other complaints about authenticity currently roiling American music for the masses. Their formula is a refinement of the boy band pop phenomenon, which itself has its origins in the middle of the 20th century in the United States, when labels like Motown built pop juggernauts that led to similar manias like the K-pop phenomenon.
Image: YouTube / NewJeans / Hybe