Taken from this week’s Future Pop mailer. Click here to subscribe.
Most Brits know nothing about K-pop, except Gangnam Style (which they probably think is Japanese), but acts such as BIGBANG can sell out two dates at Wembley Arena with tickets over £100. This phenomenon suggests a crossover star is inevitable, but no-one’s cracked it yet. If anyone can make it happen, it’s PSY’s American ally, Scooter Braun. His hopes are pinned on CL (Chaelin Lee), the 24-year-old lead singer/rapper of girlband 2NE1, who exudes style, sass and superstar talent. This year she’s focussed on her solo career, collaborating and touring with Diplo, acting as muse for Jeremy Scott, and releasing free download single Hello Bitches. In typical K-pop style, the track mixes Korean and English lyrics. It’s a fun burst of edgy pop, filled with references to Asian clichés like Hello Kitty and karaoke, but it’s the accompanying dance video, directed and choreographed by Parris Goebel (known for Bieber’s Sorry), that really makes an impact. It’s an exciting hint of CL’s future potential. If advocates like Scooter and Diplo can help her match the visuals with chart-friendly music (while remaining true to her roots), she could be the first Asian artist to achieve a long-term mainstream music career in the English-speaking markets.