Some within HYBE thought NewJeans’ concept was “plain” and lacked “public appeal”, says ADOR label CEO

In a new interview, Min Hee-jin also revealed that the rookie girl group's next release has already been plotted out: "If things go as planned, it will also be a very whimsical album"

The CEO of the label ADOR, which launched the K-pop group NewJeans this month, has revealed the girl group’s atypical concept was met with some skepticism within the label’s parent company HYBE.

CEO Min Hee-jin recently sat for an interview with South Korean outlet Korea JoongAng Dailywhere she talked about producing rookie girl group NewJeans and their atypical launch, which broke from industry conventions. For instance, instead of following the usual route of unveiling members, dropping teasers then releasing a music video, NewJeans were introduced via a music video that also announced their group name – well before any information was shared on the group’s members.

Min also acknowledged that that music she “chose” for NewJeans, ADOR’s first artist, “was not the conventional K-pop idol style”. “I felt like I had been tacitly forced to follow the formula of how to produce K-pop hits,” she said. “It was taken for granted, so I felt a bit rebellious and wanted to break that formula.”


According to Min, not everyone within HYBE – the parent company of ADOR that has other subsidiaries in BTS and Tomorrow X Together label Big Hit Music and SEVENTEEN label Pledis – shared her confidence in NewJeans’ concept.

“Interestingly, within HYBE, I was told [my concept for NewJeans] was ‘plain’ or ‘the type that doesn’t have public appeal’,” she claimed. “Some people were convinced that it was unlikely to be a hit because it doesn’t follow the conventional ‘K-pop idol grammar’.”

Min said she went ahead with the direction she had planned out for NewJeans regardless. “But I didn’t care. I had a clear vision of what I wanted to do, and I was confident with the music I chose. The more I heard skeptical comments like that, it just made me want to showcase [NewJeans] sooner.”

Min also revealed that the next NewJeans project was planned “even before [their] debut”. “I envision NewJeans as a truly ‘whimsical’ group – not whimsical just for the sake of being quirky, but trying out what hasn’t been done in K-pop even though it should have been,” she said. “The members are ready to go on an adventure with me… If things go as planned, [their next release] will also be a very whimsical album.”

In other NewJeans news, ADOR shared a statement yesterday (August 10) announcing plans to take legal action against perpetrators of “malicious activities” against the girl group.

“We will initiate legal proceedings based on evidence submitted by our fans as well as collected through our internal monitoring efforts, and no settlements or leniency will be extended to the perpetrators of such activities,” said ADOR.