if you are wondering what K-pop generation the ADOR group NewJeans belongs to, here is the confident answer - fourth generation

K-pop generations are an unusually abstract concept, in that they aren’t as confined by time as, say, video game console generations. It’s clear that Super Nintendo and Nintendo 64 belong to two different generations. It’s slightly less clear whether Twice and Loona belong to the same generation. In fact, on rare occasions it’s even up for mild debate what generation a K-pop group might belong to. But if you are wondering what K-pop generation the ADOR group NewJeans belongs to, here is the confident answer.

NewJeans Is a Fourth-Generation K-Pop Group

Yep, NewJeans belongs to the fourth generation of K-pop. There are a few simple reasons why this is the case. For starters, the era in which third-generation K-pop groups debuted came to an end a few years prior to this group debuting. It is again difficult to say when exactly the third generation ended and the fourth generation began, but as a point of reference, the JYP group Itzy debuted on February 12, 2019 and is a definitively fourth-generation girl group.

What causes one K-pop generation to begin and another to end is the result of roughly two relative factors: the frequency of K-pop group activities and changing trends in the makeup of K-pop itself. It is clear that a K-pop generation is in full swing when many popular groups that debuted within a given time frame are actively promoting with new music. However, when multiple K-pop groups slow down their activities and/or start pursuing individual member promotions, it could be a sign that the current generation is winding down. To be clear, that doesn’t mean that these actual K-pop groups end; there are many popular third-generation groups that continue to promote, sometimes to still growing audiences.

But as these popular groups slow down, it creates a window for new groups to promote actively and prominently, often pursuing or setting different trends than what came before. They manage to enter the zeitgeist and take the spotlight. IVE, Le Sserafim, and NewJeans are all examples of groups that have come to thrive in the fourth generation of K-pop, with arguably an emphasis on visuals and stage performance. By that same token, however, it also means that NewJeans has not suddenly started the fifth generation, even if it is a particularly unique group with its lack of leader or positions and its style of music.

So, while determining what generation a K-pop group belongs to can be tricky sometimes, the answer here is that NewJeans is definitively a fourth-generation group. And at their current ages, the girls have long careers ahead of them.


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