Mehak Sharma, New Delhi
‘New establish style and tempo’ or commonly known as NU’EST is a South Korean boy-band pop group that debuted under Pledis Entertainment in the year 2012 with the single ‘Face.’ The group’s contract came to an end on 15th March 2022 after ten years. The group consists of 5 members- JR, Aron, Ren, Baek-Ho and Min-hyun. Take a deeper look by exploring the musicality and journey of this group here:
Kim Jong-hyun (also goes with the stage name JR) was the first male trainee under Pledis Entertainment. His first appearance was through orange caramel’s ‘Bangkok city’ music video. Later, he debuted as the dancer, rapper and leader of NU’EST. While participating in Produce 101, he showed exemplary leadership skills and earned the title of ‘Nation’s Leader.’ JR also made his acting debut with a musical drama ‘Let Me Be Your Night’ and has hosted an audio radio show ‘Royal Comics.’
Aron or Aaron Kwak/Kwak Young-min was born in Los Angeles, California. He was the top 0.5% scorer on SATs and got accepted into New York University to major in journalism. But he chose to become a singer and debuted as a vocalist of NU’EST. He was a radio DJ on Arirang for two years and had his radio show ‘Aron’s hangout’ on SBS PopAsia. and He also hosted ‘To. Night’s radio show with Ren.
Baek-Ho (Kang Dong-ho) is a songwriter, music producer and vocal coach. He debuted as the main vocalist of NU’EST. His stage name ‘Baek-Ho’ was picked due to his resemblance to slam dunk character Hanamichi Sakuragi. He is also known as ‘Sexy Bandit’ and has been invited twice by ‘Men’s health Korea.’ He debuted as a theatre artist with the ‘Midnight sun’ musical.
Min-hyun (Hwang Min-hyun) debuted as a vocalist of NU’EST after two years of training. He has a very soothing and angelic voice. He debuted as a theatre artist in ‘Marie Antionette‘ and as a Drama actor in JTBC’s ‘Live on.’ He can speak Japanese and can play the piano. He has cleaning and organizing as his hobbies. Currently, he can be seen in the hit K-drama “Alchemy of Souls.”
Ren (Choi Min-gi) debuted as a vocalist of NU’EST after giving an audition in 2010. In one such incidence where an MC said that he looks like a girl, instead of being offended he accepted it as a compliment and said thank you. He has done two renowned musicals like ‘Jamie’ and ‘Hedwig.’ He has continuously challenged gender stereotypes since day one and is a true pioneer in Korea’s conservative society.
ㄴㅇㅅㅌ (stylized as LOVE or L.O.Λ. E and pronounced as love) is the fandom name derived from the word ‘NU’EST’ written in hangul (뉴이스트). This fandom has always been so warm and welcoming, just like a family. LOVEs were commended as well-mannered and disciplined when NU’EST held a large-scale offline concert after the covid-19. During the concert, no one was allowed to speak, cheer or shout and LOVEs followed the instructions well. NU’EST was the first group to come up with the idea of using clappers and has inspired various K-pop groups to opt for the same.
NU’EST didn’t always have a flowery path. Despite all the hardships, they never gave up. From zero to becoming one of the most beloved K-pop groups, their journey is stirring in every aspect. After their debut, they struggled to gain the attention of the Korean audience and their long absence from Korea while promoting in Japan & China did not help either. ‘Canvas’ could have been the last NU’EST album but they choose to give their group a last shot. Except for Aron, four of them participated in Produce 101. People said that it is unfair for the trainees since a five-year-old idol group is competing against them but, according to the fans, NU’EST did not deserve any of this. Throughout the show, NU’EST showed exemplary performances and the audience started to recognize their talent. After the show ended, all of them met for a drink and cried their hearts out, little did they know that their old songs were back on the charts and their hard work has finally started to pay off.
Min-Hyun made it to ‘Wanna One’ and the rest of the members were promoted as “NU’EST-W” where ‘W’ denoted ‘wait’, that they will wait for Min-hyun to return. Their sheer passion to make music made them successfully revive their group which also gave them the title of ‘Reversal Icons’. Fighting all the odds, Both NU’EST-W and NU’EST became one of the most adored and best-selling acts in South Korea.
NU’EST to me is more than just artists or a boy-band group. There are many such incidences where NU’EST has inspired me to become a better version of myself every day. During a flight, Aron helped save a young child suffering from a medical emergency where he acted as a translator between the doctor and the patient. Even though Aron himself was not in a good condition, he rushed to help when he heard about the situation.
Ren published his 2nd storybook on his birthday named ‘Us, happy because we are together for LOVEs and donated all the funds to the pediatric cancer foundation. Min-hyun and Ren have also invited children to the love page fan meeting through the pediatric cancer foundation and received a lot of praises for creating good memories for the children. JR has participated in the ‘show your pink ribbon challenge by Estee lauder Korea to spread awareness about breast cancer. Baek-Ho launched a ‘Baek-Ho blood donation day’ campaign and encouraged his fans to donate blood. They are the ’Idols’ i have always looked forward to.
Music Discography of NU’EST you should check out
NU’EST always had a unique charm and variety to their music. All of the members have actively participated in the group’s music, but Baek-Ho and Bumzu are the main masterminds. ‘Bet Bet’, ‘Love Me’ and ‘I’m in Trouble’, released one after another were all differently sounding tracks. Not to forget ‘Where You At, ‘Deja Vu’ and ‘Help Me’ being of the best title songs given by their sub-unit.
When I talk about their music, mentioning their B-sides is indispensable. From quirky songs like ‘Dress’, ‘Shadow’, ‘VVITH’, ‘Real Love True Love’ to heart-rending songs like ‘If We’, ‘Don’t Wanna Go’, ‘Must’ and grounding songs like ‘Polaris’, ‘Stay up all night, ‘Back to me’, ‘Daybreak’, NU’EST’s music is a genre in itself. And as said by JR in an interview “As a group, NU’EST have always tried to bring an original sound and style, and we hope when others think of us, they’ll think of artists who never settled for the status quo”, they truly have an astounding discography with hardly any filler tracks.
Their last album ‘Needle & bubble’ was released on 15th March. The group personally selected the songs as a present to their fans who have been with them all this time. Showcasing a variety of music and top-notch vocals, this album tracks down their 10 years old musical journey. It contains remastered versions of previous NU’EST songs with two new songs, ‘Galaxy’ and ‘spring, again’ (title song). ‘Spring, again’ is a beautiful ballad with flowing lyrics. It conveys the message, “Even if everything changes, our hearts for each other will remain the same”.
As someone who spends the majority of the time with music, I am forever grateful to NU’EST for providing me comfort and warmth. These days when music is all about remixes and the music that sells the majority, the end of this group was unexpected and tragic. NU’EST’s artistry in music is hard to emulate and will stay forever. While reminiscing all the good memories that I have shared with NU’EST, I will be waiting for the next spring to arrive.
Which song or album or NU’EST do you like the most? Tell us in the comments.