Music

K-pop star AleXa credits social media for global boom of genre ahead of comeback

AleXa is on the line-up alongside other acts such as boy group The Boyz, girl group Momoland and soloist Jessi – who she said "brings the fire".

And it seems the American-born singer isn't letting the fact that the event will be live-streamed around the world scare her.

She told us: "The pressure is always there to do your best and make sure your stage is unforgettable and leaves a good impact, so the fact this is a global audience is a wee bit scary. But intimidation is fuel."

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The demand for K-pop groups and idols to perform around the world has really heightened in the past few years, with acts such as BTS, Blackpink, Hyolyn, Dreamcatcher and Holland having had UK tour dates.

"Sometimes I’m sitting at home on my bed staring at my ceiling thinking, ‘How did we get here?’" AleXa laughed.

"K-pop has grown so rapidly, crazily over the past few years. But I think especially, nowadays, we’re living in the digital age. So many of these Gen-Z kids are online with social media, it’s so easy to find information and get connected with one another and share things in general.

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"So I think social media is definitely having a big hand in the growth and globalisation of K-pop."

The multi-talented star – who launched her career on Korean survival shows such as Produce 48 and recently broke into acting – also gave a nod to Psy, whose viral hit Gangnam Style celebrates its ninth anniversary next month.

"There are several hands that are in the pot stirring, but Psy definitely had a huge, huge role," AleXa told us.

"I’m someone that knew of K-pop back from 2008, but then when Gangnam Style came out, I got to sit back and watch my classmates, co-workers, parents even, be like, ‘Oh! So K-pop is a thing!'

"I definitely think the rapid growth in popularity that Gangnam Style had, nine years ago, even to this day, definitely contributes to the globalisation of K-pop being a household thing that people know now."

Of course, despite the growing popularity around the world, K-pop acts collaborating with Western artists such as Nicki Minaj, Dua Lipa and even Lady Gaga, some people refuse to tune in simply because of the language barrier.

AleXa said to those people: "My good friends, music has no boundaries, music is language-less… I mean, there are languages, but at the end of the day, a song speaks to you. If you feel that rhythm deep in your soul then what does it matter what the language is?"


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Making a valid point, she continued: "Nowadays there are so many popular artists, even in American cultures that make music in other languages. We all know Despacito hit it off, recently Kali Uchis and her song Telepatía blew up – those are multi-lingual songs.

"So, I feel, put the language aside, and just enjoy the vibe!"

Speaking of the vibe, AleXa has so-far given fans futuristic concepts with her releases Bomb, Do Or Die and, most recently, Revolution.

But, exclusively teasing what's in store for her next comeback, set for July, AleXa – speaking via video call from Korea with bright pink hair – said: "Well, for one I just got my hair re-dyed at the shop today, it’s very bright!

"But I am confident in telling you that this comeback is a complete 180 to the AleXa you’re used to seeing. My overall concept is AI and multi-verse – this specific comeback is a prequel to the AleXa that you’ve seen, it’s going to be AleXa before she became AI, this is her as a human being."

She added: "Before I even debuted we had this entire storyline, multi-verse planned out, so we’re going by our books and saying, ‘This is the next chapter for AleXa,’ and with every comeback and every release we try to keep everything fresh, updated, definitely give people a taste of something they’ve never seen before, just to stay new and fresh and hip – give them a little taste of something that keeps them wanting more!"

  • K-pop

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