K-Pop Queen CL on Her Indie Comeback: ‘My Album Is Like Me Writing a Book’
As the charismatic standout of 2NE1, she helped pave the way for K-pop’s explosion. But after years of red tape stymied her career, she’s ready to unleash her vision — this time as an independent artist.
The colors CL wore were as loud as her message. Sporting knee-high boots and a Froot Loop-hued puffy jacket, she led a squad of dancers through Seoul’s National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art with the authority of a drill sergeant. In a remote performance that felt more like a music video than a livestream when it aired in October, the former member of pioneering South Korean girl group 2NE1 was making her return to the spotlight on The Late Late Show With James Corden, where in 2016 she became the first K-pop artist to appear on its stage. “I’m baaaack!” she sneered into her mic before launching into her comeback single, a gritty hip-hop banger called “+HWA+.” “Don’t let your eyes wander away,” she later rapped in Korean before switching back to English: “You can’t kill me.”
Once the pacesetter for K-pop’s Western migration, CL, whose new music freely mixes Korean and English, is returning to a U.S. music scene that has changed immensely. Cultural and language barriers are no longer the obstacles they once were, and the idea of “crossing over” is practically outdated. Today, K-pop artists like Blackpink and BTS are as embedded in the American mainstream as Samsung, and Latin artists like Bad Bunny and J Balvin need no translation to gain traction in the United States. The biggest global acts win fans and top the charts without compromising their visions.
Years before K-pop companies were regularly striking partnerships with American labels or opening U.S. divisions, 2NE1 crossed borders. In 2012, the act became the first K-pop girl group to go on a world tour, which included arena dates in Newark, N.J., and Los Angeles. Its 2014 album, Crush, was the then-highest-charting K-pop album on the Billboard 200, reaching No. 61 at a time when major-label interest in Korean music was still nascent. “I believe I did something to the culture,” CL says with ease. “It’s up to people how they digest it, but I definitely believe I played a part in building K-pop.”
Full interview and article here : https://www.billboard.com/arti…social&utm_source=twitter
Nice to finally see 2ne1 giving the recognition they deserved, even if they ain’t no more, they left behind a great legacy !!!