July 19, 2024
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New Jeans’ Hanni Steals the Show with Seiko Matsuda Cover at “Bunnies Camp 2024 Tokyo Dome”

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New Jeans Hanni Steals the Show with Seiko Matsuda Cover at Bunnies Camp 2024 Tokyo Dome

Hanni’s “Blue Coral Reef” Creates a Multi-Generational Connection

New Jeans’ recent “Bunnies Camp 2024 Tokyo Dome” concerts in Japan were filled with highlights, but one that truly stood out was Hanni’s cover of Seiko Matsuda’s classic 1980s hit, “Blue Coral Reef.”

This special performance transcended cultural boundaries. Here, a Vietnamese-Australian idol based in Korea sang a mega-hit by a legendary Japanese idol of the 1980s, perfectly capturing the era’s atmosphere. Hanni’s first-day outfit, a Saint James-style striped T-shirt, visually evoked the song’s theme of a vibrant ocean.

The performance went viral on social media, surprising even Min Hee-jin, CEO of New Jeans and the general producer who selected the song. “Even the cheering has appeared,” she remarked.

Hanni’s Performance Bridges Eras and Genres

Hanni’s “Blue Coral Reef” resonated with multiple generations.

  • Japanese Nostalgia: The song evoked a sense of nostalgia for Japanese fans, reminding them of the “Seiko-chan” phenomenon and the country’s economic boom at the end of the Showa era.
  • Gen Z Freshness: For Gen Z fans, the song offered a taste of retro that felt fresh and new.
  • Global Appeal: Music fans worldwide, looking for something unique, were drawn to this unexpected cover.

Seiko Matsuda’s Legacy: The “The eternal idol”

Music critic Hwang Seon-yeop, a member of the Korean Popular Music Awards Selection Committee, provided context for the song’s enduring popularity in his book “Japanese Singers You Should Know.” He highlighted Matsuda’s impressive vocals, earning her the reputation of an “The eternal idol.” Additionally, the song’s catchy melody and innocent lyrics fueled the “Seiko-chan” craze.

Hwang further elaborated on the song’s impact:

  • Representative of an Era: “Blue Coral Reef” quickly became a defining song of its time.
  • Shifting the Idol Landscape: The song’s success solidified the idol singer concept while pushing for market expansion.

Min Hee-jin’s Musical Influences: Beyond City Pop

While Min Hee-jin’s interest in 1980s Japanese female singers, evident in her selection of “Blue Coral Reef” and her playlists featuring artists like Yasuko Agawa, is clear, her musical taste extends beyond that specific genre.

  • A Love for All Genres: Min Hee-jin is a true music aficionado, enjoying a wide variety of styles.
  • Bossa Nova Inspiration: Her true musical passion lies in jazz lounge, with Astrud Gilberto, the iconic singer of “The Girl From Ipanema,” being her all-time favorite.
  • Japanese City Pop and Beyond: A 2023 interview with “Popeye” magazine showcased Min Hee-jin’s deep understanding of music. She expressed her admiration for Japanese city pop, particularly its jazzy influences derived from 1960s Brazilian music and AOR (Adult Oriented Rock).
    • AOR’s Significance: This genre, born in the late 1960s, blended elements of Motown soul, blues, and electronic music, leaving its mark on Japanese city pop. Notably, Seiko Matsuda is sometimes categorized as a city pop artist.
    • Shibuya-kei Inspiration: Min Hee-jin further discussed her appreciation for Shibuya-kei, a J-pop style that emerged in the early 1990s, known for its eclectic mix of French pop, bossa nova, lounge, and funk. Some speculate that Min Hee-jin’s company name, Adore, might be inspired by AOR.

Also, at this fan meeting, Minji reinterpreted “Dancer” by Boundy, a popular Japanese Gen Z singer, and Hyein reinterpreted “Plastic Love” by Mariya Takeuchi, which was popular in the 1980s.

New Jeans’ History of Captivating Covers

This isn’t the first time New Jeans and Min Hee-jin have impressed with solo covers. During their Seoul “Bunnies Camp” fan meeting last July, the members showcased their talent with a range of covers:

  • Minji: “Wi Ing Wi Ing” (originally by Hyukoh)
  • Hanni: “Like Yesterday” (originally by J)
  • Danielle: “Paris In The Rain” (originally by Lauv)
  • Haerin: “Time Walking On Memory” (originally by Nell)
  • Hyein: “Youth” (originally by Oohyo)

Their ability to reinterpret songs further extends to their Japanese debut. At the pop-up store launch in Shibuya celebrating their debut single “Attention,”

I am an Entertainment News writer, with a specialization in Asian dramas (because, obviously, I am clueless), Kpop and Celebrity News. I am based in the Singapore. I love nothing more than to impart my wisdom and churn out interesting articles. I also assist journalists over on the HARO platform with some of that all important showbiz know-how!


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