OMG! Fans throng Nike Orchard for K-pop group NewJeans' first performance in S'pore

Jan Lee
The Straits Times
Feb 3, 2024

When a man in the audience yelled “chilli crab” at NewJeans during their whirlwind 20-minute appearance at Nike’s newly opened, three-storey flagship store in Orchard Road on Feb 3, member Hyein was so visibly shocked by the volume, she took a step back.

But the fans cannot be blamed for their enthusiasm in recommending the popular K-pop girl group some local cuisine. It was, after all, their first performance in Singapore.

The quintet – comprising Minji, Danielle, Hanni, Hyein and Haerin – kicked off their four-song set and question-and-answer session with the catchy Ditto.

The girls, aged 15 to 19, stuck to their trendy Y2K aesthetic in Nike athleisure wear and Air Max shoes. They also performed the songs New Jeans and ETA, which got fans chanting along to its lyric, “What’s your ETA?”, before ending with the viral hit OMG.

@straitstimes Were you one of the lucky Bunnies who got to catch @NewJeans at Nike Orchard Road? The K-pop girl group performed for the first time in Singapore at @Nike's flagship store on Feb 3. #SGNews #NewJeans #bunnies #kpop #newjeans_omg #newjeans_ditto #newjeans_attention #nike ♬ original sound - The Straits Times

When asked about their first impressions of Singapore by event host and K-pop artiste Sorn, Vietnamese-Australian member Hanni says: “I think because it’s a little chilly in South Korea right now, the weather (here) is just so warm and nice.”

Their performance was part of a closed-door, exclusive event for 75 Nike members, who were selected via a contest on the Nike app, and other invited guests of the brand. The contest called on participants to share why they are the biggest NewJeans fans.

The event included a post-performance shopping experience for attendees to get first dibs on Nike’s new line of shoes, the Air Max 90 LV8.

Attendees were also given the chance to personalise select items purchased in-store with a bespoke set of Nike By You x NewJeans graphics. These include apparel and accessories such as T-shirts, tote bags and caps.

Mr Hazim Suhaimi, a 24-year-old who is awaiting enrolment for his work-study diploma, was spotted purchasing the tote bags.

He says: “It was fantastic to be so up close to the group and to be able to see my bias (favourite member) Hanni. They performed my favourite song ETA as well.”

Ms Shreya Budha, a 19-year-old polytechnic student who registered to become a Nike member just for the contest, was another fan who scored a slot.

She says: “I’ve been listening to them for quite a while and their music helped me through some tough times with its catchy vibes.”

Five-year-old Belle Nunis even got a high five from Hanni during their performance. The little girl came to the event with her parents and decorated her NewJeans lightstick – which is in the shape of a bunny – with a bow.

The Nike store had its storefront windows plastered up to prevent onlookers from peeking in.

Even so, NewJeans attracted hundreds of “Bunnies” – the name given to their fans – who gathered outside the store under the sun, hoping to catch a glimpse of their idols entering and leaving the venue.

Mr Kelvin Ramos, a 23-year-old university student, managed to see the group exiting their van as they arrived in Orchard Road around 11.30am.

“I’ve liked them since their debut (in 2022) because I find their music very different from normal K-pop. It’s so catchy from the first listen. I listen to a lot of K-pop, but NewJeans are the only group of which I’ve bought all their albums,” he says.

@shinjs352 Look at that masive crowd, Newjeans#newjeans #fyp #trending #singapore #nike #shoe #xuhuong ♬ nhạc nền - ShiNJs

The feverish fan reception comes as no surprise as NewJeans are one of the hottest K-pop girl groups of the moment. They found instant success with tracks such as Attention and Hype Boy, and have released two EPs, New Jeans (2022) and Get Up (2023).

Their subsequent hits, OMG and Ditto, led them to become the fastest K-pop act to cross one billion streams on music platform Spotify in May 2023, just 219 days into their debut.

They are also the first girl group in 12 years to win Artist of the Year at South Korea’s Mama Awards in 2023, after 2NE1 in 2010 and Girls’ Generation in 2011.

The group have yet to announce a concert tour, but they promise to return.

Before their closing number OMG, Danielle says: “It’s our last song, but it’s our first time in Singapore. I mean, we have to come back right? So until next time, I can’t wait to see you.”

The Straits Times

Get a copy of The Straits Times or go to for more stories.