At a temple, four young women can be seen dancing with a lot of energy while wearing apparel that is modeled after saris and elaborate jewelry. The sky and the participants’ faces are then covered in gulal, a multicolored powder that is traditionally utilized in religious ceremonies.
This is not a music video for a Bollywood film; rather, it is the most recent music video released by the K-pop girl group Blackswan.
At this time, Blackswan is the only K-pop girl group that did not make its debut in South Korea and does not contain any members of Korean descent. Exp Edition, a K-pop boy band comprised entirely of Americans, made their debut in South Korea in 2017, but they are no longer performing.
It is not unheard of for K-pop groups to have members from other nations, typically from other Asian countries. Blackpink, one of the most popular female groups in K-pop, has a member who is originally from Thailand.
However, with the exception of Blackswan member Sriya, who was born and raised in India, none of the other band members are originally from Asia. NVee was born in the United States, Fatou was raised in both Senegal and Belgium, and Gabi is of Brazilian and German descent.
As the musical style continues to expand its reach throughout the world, the girl group has found themselves at the center of an expanding discussion on the characteristics that define K-pop and whether or not they fit within those parameters.
One of the commenters said that they should be classified as K-pop due to the fact that they are linked with a Korean entertainment firm, made their debut in South Korea, and sing in Korean.
Other Korean fans, on the other hand, have a more negative outlook. “Even if they weren’t actually Korean, they would still be considered a pop group.”
The members of the band, on the other hand, seem unaffected by the criticism and have stated that they do not consider themselves to be anything other than a K-pop group because they sing in the Korean language.
And because the government plans to introduce a two-year “K-culture training visa” that will enable foreigners to undergo K-pop training, this debate is likely to continue to be contentious in the future.
The unconventional lineup of Blackswan wasn’t planned out from the beginning, and it’s something that symbolizes how K-pop has evolved over the years. Rania, which was introduced in 2011, served as its forerunner. In the beginning, there were six Koreans and one Thai member, but over the years, there were numerous shifts in the composition of the group.
The music label DR Music made the decision in the year 2020 to rebrand Rania as Blackswan, with Fatou being the only member to remain from the group’s initial line-up.
It’s possible that some individuals will find it unusual and even despise the group because there are no members of Korean descent in it. According to Philip YJ Yoon, managing director at DR Music, who spoke with the BBC, “however, we saw the opportunity in the expanding K-pop market.”