From being just a Korean phenomenon K-pop is fast becoming a worldwide favourite with a globalized membership in its fraternity. Making history, 18-year-old Sriya Lenka became the first ever K-pop artist from India recently.
Lenka who hails from Odisha will join the Korean pop band Blackswan together with Brazilian Gabriela Dalcin.
The announcement was made by Blackswan’s label DR Music on Instagram.
“Sriya and Gabi were finally selected as members of Blackswan after participating in the global audition programme for the last 6 months,” DR Music said in a post.
Blackswan made its debut in 2020. The group now consists of six members – Youngheun, Fatou, Judy, Leia, Sriya, and Gabi.
Lenka is trained in Hindustani classical as well as Odissi and other forms of contemporary dance.
“Since I have a deep voice, I faced difficulty in finding the right vocal trainer. My grandmother helped me find one. She took me to a Hindustani classical music teacher, who taught me twice a week. But, for the western songs, I had to rely on online videos and self-learning,” said Lenka.
The search for the group’s fifth member was as a result of its oldest member Hyeme quitting in November 2020. In May 2021, DR Music held a global audition and Sriya Lanka and Gabriela Dalcin were chosen from among 4,000 people. Although originally Blackswan planned to pick only one person to replace Hyeme, the group chose both Lenka and Dalcin to join them.
“With their debut, we will be back with the new Blackswan,” DR Music posted on Instagram.
The duo will be based in Seoul where they will undergo intense training which includes standard vocal, rap, dance lessons, personal training, language and musical instruments.
Lenka said that it was a dream come true for her. “When my name was announced, all my fears were washed away. It was the happiest moment of my life. It was a dream come true. I have been away from my home, my country, my family and friends for so long and I wanted to make everyone proud. So, when I was selected, the first thought that came to my mind was, ‘Yes, I did it!’” she said.
Blackswan used to be known as Rania in 2011. It later became BP Rania before getting its current name in October 2020. The group debuted in 2020 with a full album Goodbye Rania, followed by its first single album Close to Me in 2021.