The Source of New Jeans was Source Music … Min Heejin, the Self-Proclaimed Omniscient


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Minji joined Source Music in 2017, while Hanni joined in 2019. They both passed the global audition hosted by Big Hit and Source Music. Haerin and Danielle signed their contracts as trainees in 2020. The last member to join was Hyein, who was recruited online. She passed the audition and joined Source Music.

Minji, Hanni, Haerin, Danielle, and Hyein were resources selected by Source Music CEO, So Sungjin. They trained at Source Music until the second half of 2021.

Min Heejin transferred to HYBE in 2019. Her role in the company was as the Chief Brand Officer, overseeing brands across HYBE’s subsidiaries.

“① She plans to take charge of creative directing for multiple labels and lead the launch of a new girl group. Additionally, ② She plans to establish a new label to expand capabilities in discovering rookies and music production.” (Source: HYBE’s press release)

Min Heejin was supposed to prepare the debut of Source Music’s upcoming girl group. However, she wanted to lead her own label first. This is how ‘ADOR’ was born.

Min Heejin selected trainees from Source Music. She transferred Minji, Hanni, Haerin, Danielle, Hyein, and more to her own label and covered their training costs at Source Music..

So, is Min Heejin New Jeans’ mother? Yes, in a sense. She brought them into the world, indeed, but it was So Sungjin who ‘birthed’ them. They are children he invested in for up to three years.

Of course, no one disputes Min Hee-jin’s efforts. She recreated Y2K sensibility in a modern way and completed Korean-style easy listening. 

So, Min Heejin received compensation. In the first quarter of 2023, the HYBE board allowed her to purchase ‘ADOR’ shares at a low price instead of stock options.

As a result, Min Heejin owns 18% (573,160 shares) of ADOR and became the second-largest shareholder. This was also a move for Min Heejin to avoid 45% taxes.

Understandably, ADOR is a privately held company. At the time Min Heejin received the shares, ADOR was in deficit. Its 2022 revenue was 18.6 billion KRW, with an operating loss of 4 billion KRW.

If Min Heejin had received stock options, she would have had to pay 45% tax upon acquisition. However, by receiving shares of a deficit company, she avoided taxes.

Moreover, stock options can only be exercised during employment. If Min Heejin attempts independence, the stock options disappear. However, with shares, she can freely sell them.

Min Heejin also holds put options, the right to sell at a mutually agreed price. The size of the put options contracted with HYBE is estimated to be around 100 billion won.

Last year, Min Heejin said in an interview, “For me, it didn’t have to be HYBE because I received similar investment proposals elsewhere.”

There’s a contradiction. She benefits from HYBE’s system. New Jeans members also utilized HYBE’s trainee pool. She didn’t discover them; she took them (from Source Music).”


-And yet, after all that… She’s complaining about being mistreated in HYBE…

-It’s funny how she keeps acting like she’s New Jeans’ mother…

-Source Music should get on board with the legal battle

-New Jeans was originally supposed to debut under Source Music. But Min Heejin wanted to hold the position of a CEO, so she separated and made an independent label, which is ADOR. The trainees she took with her were picked out by So Sungjin. 

-And now Source Music is the one who’s bearing all the debt… Source Music is such a saint. 

-She’s really greedy. She got all the benefits she wanted from HYBE. New Jeans also gained recognition overseas and made a huge success because they were under HYBE. Yet, she claims that she was the one who did it all. 

-I think it’d be fine if New Jeans go back to Source Music, merge with ADOR, and have Min Heejin and the other board members leave.

-Min Heejin was contracted to launch a girl group under Source Music. It’s natural that Min Heejin was involved in selecting the members, as they should’ve been made and launched by Source Music. After finishing that one job, she could’ve made her own label. But HYBE was kind enough to allow her to take those resources and make their own label. 

-Just get rid of ADOR and put New Jeans back to Source Music

-I think this is worse than the ‘Fifty Fifty’ case…

-So Sungjin is such a fool