AleXa recently became the 1st K-pop star to win the American Song contest, bringing K-pop influence further worldwide.
On May 19th, American-Korean singer AleXa, the winner of NBC’s singing competition program “American Song Contest”, answered questions at a press conference held at Blue Square in Yongsan-gu, Seoul.
Her being crowned the winner was definitely meaningful, as it proved K-pop’s presence in the US, and served as a stepping stone for K-pop artists in their future activities overseas. AleXa herself also discussed what K-pop should show to the global market in the future.
The American Song Contest is the largest all-live music contest in the US, where 56 artists representing 50 States, the capital city Washington D.C, and five foreign territories compete to find the top hit song. This is an American version of Europe’s Eurovision Song Contest – a super popular program among European nations. It was adapted into the American format by the production team of Eurovision themselves.
On May 10th, AleXa participated in the final round of the American Song Contest as a representative of Oklahoma. Here, she performed the song “Wonderland” when surrounded with dancers wrapped in red cloth, who jumped up the stars and threw themselves down. Her performance became the only one to score 700 points.
In the highlight video released through a press conference released on May 19th, AleXa personally proved why she won 1st place, showing unconventional stage concepts and manners that both overwhelmed the audience and boosted her charisma.
Previously in 2018, AleXa, or Kim Seri, started to gain attention thanks to her appearance in the survival show “Produce 48”. She has since made her solo debut with the single “Bomb”, where she boasted the trendy concept of AI in a multiverse. Then, AleXa earned global recognition for her January track “TATTOO”, and won the AAA Focus Award at Asia Artist Awards for both the years 2020 and 2021. Alexa’s victory in the American Song Contest is significant in that it is another turning point in Alexa’s career and has set the stage for her to become a global artist.
In an interview with StarNews, AleXa said, “I was a fan of ‘Eurovision Song Contest’ (which ‘American Song Contest’ is based on), so I watched it a lot, nurtured my dream, and was able to sign up for the American Song Contest.” She added, “I’m proud of my fans. It’s an honor to debut in Korea and show my performances to the fans on such a wonderful program in America. I’m grateful for the love fans give me.”
At a press conference held right after her return to Korea on May 19th, AleXa said, “I learned to dance from a very young age. I took ballet classes until I was 14, and was a cheerleader in middle school. I participated in the show choir in high school, and my major in college was musical directing. I had a lot of interest in performing. My role models are Hyuna and Taemin sunbaenim. I want to promote K-pop with amazing performances to the world.”
Regarding AleXa’s future plans, her CEO Kim Jun Hong said, “We are in Korea now, but we have started promoting ‘Wonderland’ in the US. There are not many music shows there, so the radio media is important. We will continue to prepare music that only AleXa can do. In the era of K-pop 3.0, even non-Korean artists will be able to develop into a culture that can captivate fans around the world with K-pop.”
The definition of K-pop that the two shared clearly could be an important point in that it means the starting point for the new globalization of K-pop. Therefore, expectations for AleXa’s global activities are growing. CEO Kim Jun Hong continued, “There has been some controversy over whether AleXa’s music is K-pop. However, I don’t think the original genre of hip-hop is defined differently just because there are many artists who make hip-hop music in Korea. I don’t think language is important in music. It’s called a song in Korea, but it’s called K-pop overseas. It’s not important in which country someone sings, it’s important to understand and enjoy the essence of music. If the artist can pull off the music well, I think it falls into the category of K-pop regardless of race. I believe music transcends language.”