Curated Playlist: 7 Best K-Pop Songs Created by K-pop Mastermind Min Hee Jin

min hee jin new jeans

Edited by Yoon
Translated by Hana Lee

min hee jin new jeans
Credit: ADOR, SM Entertainment

NewJeans is the hottest trend nowadays in the K-pop scene. Making headlines even before their debut as “Min Hee Jin’s new girl group”, NewJeans topped various domestic music charts and shows with their debut album. New Jeans broke the record for the highest first-week sales of any girl group debut album by selling 310,000 copies in its first week of debut.

Following their successful debut, the group and their producer Min Hee Jin garnered lots of attention. Min Hee Jin, known as the K-pop mastermind, was formerly the creative director ofSM Entertainment, responsible for planning and producing album artworks, costumes, music videos and building the artist’s brand identity through non-visual means. After leaving the giant record label, she joined HYBE and became the CEO of its sublabel ADOR.

Without further ado, let’s take a look at the 5 best K-pop songs she produced.

GIRLS’ GENERATION – Gee, Genie

Girls’ Generation rose to fame with “Gee” and “Genie” in 2009. These two iconic singles are a great example of where an album’s artistic concept has influenced its industry and culture. In the MV of “Gee,” members appear in simple white T-shirts paired with skinny jeans, and such a choice added bright, bubbly energy to their song and overall image of the group.

In the “Genie” MV, released right after “Gee,” the members appeared in stunning navy uniforms perfectly aligned with the hot summer season. With the song receiving great love from many fans, Min Hee Jin proved herself to be the most skillful creative director who could bring fame to her artists.

SHINee – Romeo

SHINee’s second EPRomeo was the first K-pop album with its theme set fully around “kitschiness.” The song played a big role in identifying SHINee’s brand image and inspired many of its follow-up songs like “Dream Girl,” “View” and “Married To The Music.”

Romeo was reportedly the first project that fully embodied Min Hee Jin’s unique directing style since she became a creative director at SM Entertainment. Although SHINee was only two years into their careers, she made a bold choice by choosing art over what normally appeals to the public. It was noteworthy that she made such a choice because it was a time when public popularity mattered the most.

f(x) – Pink Tape

f(x) released an art film for their second studio albumPink Tape,and they were the first K-pop artist who came up with such content. Nowadays, many artists use art films, mood samplers and concept trailers to promote their songs and albums, which originated from this single video.Pink Tapewas not simply a promotional video but something that further projected the group’s central theme and worldview. With this video, they were able to come up with a central concept and style they will keep for the entire period of promoting the album. In a way, the album can be seen as the first project that paved the way for providing new forms of art directing in the K-music business.

Min Hee Jin was behind most of f(x)’s albums, includingNU ABO, Pinnochio, Electrical Shock, Red Light, and4 Walls. She picked Krystal to be her muse out of the four members. f(x) is considered as the group that showcases her art directing style the best.

EXO – Pathcode

Min Hee Jin created a set of teaser trailers for EXO’s second studio albumEXODUSand named them “Pathcode.”The teasers were divided into ten parts and uploaded on a Twitter account namedPathcode EXO.Only those who correctly interpreted the hints uploaded on the account could find the teaser images on the group’s official website. It was designed for fans to find the full name of EXO’s title track by putting together the first letter of the cities shown in the videos. If you combine the first letter of Colorado, Arizona, London, Lyon, Marseille, Edinburgh, Barcelona, Almaty, Berlin, Yunnan, the phrase reads “CALL ME BABY.”

Min He Jin filmed all videos overseas and successfully showcased the group’s worldview in short videos that play for less than a minute.

NewJeans – New Jeans

NewJeans made a daring attempt by introducing three title tracks in their debut albumNew Jeans.All three songs portray Min Hee Jin’s unique, classy production style. Everything for this project is in her hands, including songs, styling, album artwork, music videos, designs of physical albums and merchandise.

With her exotic and kitsch style of directing manifested in the project, Min Hee Jin seems to have been given more freedom to work on this project than when she was in SM Entertainment.

 

Editor Yoon: I love music, especially K-POP, and I dream of becoming an A&R person, lyricist, artist, etc. I will cover various articles, including song reviews, artist reviews, and K-pop market analysis.

 

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