How The Multi-National K-Pop Girl Band Blackswan Is Breaking Cultural Barriers

How The Multi-National K-Pop Girl Band Blackswan Is Breaking Cultural Barriers

The members offer a fascinating peek into their journey, cultural influences and more

Manasi Y MastakarUpdated: Saturday, February 17, 2024, 08:43 PM IST
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In the vibrant landscape of K-pop, where music transcends borders and cultures, the girl band Blackswan is a testament to diversity and talent. Comprising four active members [Fatou (Senegalese-Belgian) – leader and rapper, Gabi (Brazilian-German) – vocalist and dancer, Sriya (Indian) – vocalist and dancer, and NVee (American) – vocalist] from beyond the South Korean borders, this girl band has taken the global audiences by surprise with their unique blend of skills and cultural influences. Blackswan recently performed at the K-Town Festival at Phoenix Marketcity, Mumbai. In an exclusive interview with The Free Press Journal, the members offer a fascinating peek into their journey, cultural influences and more

Excerpts from the interview:

Blackswan is known for being a multi-national group. How do you navigate and celebrate the different cultural backgrounds within the group?

Fatou (F): Initially, it was difficult because we all come from different cultures and backgrounds. However, those situations helped us understand each others’ perspectives in a better manner. We have now mastered the ‘open-mind’ stance (laughs)... We completely understand each other. It’s also interesting to learn about other cultures, so it’s an honour to be in this group.

Nvee (N): It is fun and exciting... Our priority is to learn and respect each others’ cultures, as there are things we might not be able to say, do, or wear. So we work with that to create something extraordinary. We show this through our music and performances – whether it’s a specific beat, style, lyric, choreography, or clothes.

Gabi (G): What I like about being in a multi-national group is having the opportunity to learn about different perspectives and worldviews. I’m happy that we as a group can share our cultures more deeply.

Sriya (S): Hailing from different countries makes it hard to understand each other, sometimes. But we put in effort to communicate, learn, and understand. I feel it’s also food to learn about other cultures for one’s growth. I am grateful and proud to be in this group.

How has the group’s ethnic diversity shaped your music or performances?

F: We introduce sounds and beats of our own culture into K-pop. So, whenever you hear us or see, it’s always fresh.

G: Like for That Karma, we had the opportunity to shoot the music video in India. Sriya taught us a lot about India in advance, so we could perform at our best. If possible, I hope we get a chance to perform in each member’s country.

S: Initially, I didn’t know much about music but as time passed I learnt a lot about it. Thanks to my teammates, who helped me in my journey till now. I want to keep learning and improving.

Every group faces challenges. How did you overcome them and how did they contribute to the growth of the group?

F: We have weekly meetings where we discuss stuff that has made us uncomfortable or in a certain way so we can resolve it quickly. It helped me mature as a person and made me understand the members better. I feel now we have a bond that no one can break.

G: The challenges that arose along the way made us form a strong bond. Whenever something comes up, we sit and talk.

S: I think communication is of the most important aspect that enabled us to grow and understand each others’ feelings, emotions, and opinions. There will always be challenges but we need solutions and move on.

What are the group’s goals for the future? Any exciting projects in the pipeline?

F: I want us to make good music that gives people hope and strength. Also, we’ll be making a comeback soon.

N: We are currently preparing new music for our upcoming comeback. We want to create a lot more music that showcases where each one of us is from. We also will be able to do a lot of world tours so that we can meet our LUMINAs (fandom name) around the world.

G: As a group, we want to perform in different countries.

S: There are going to be a lot of surprises.

How would you introduce your group to someone who is not a fan or relatively new to your group?

F: We are a fun, sassy, strong, and charismatic group with great music and an inspiring story... So please give us lot of love.

N: We are Blackswan, a multinational K-pop girl group without Korean members. We promote in Korea, sing and speak in Korean. Our music has a strong, fierce, confident, and powerful sound. Through our music we show that you can follow your dreams no matter where you are from... You can be confident in expressing who you are and what you aim to be.

G: We are a global K-pop girl group based in South Korea with members belonging to different nationalities!

S: Blackswan is a group not by skin colour, age or nationality but by talent and uniqueness that unites people. If we can do it, you can too.

Are there specific genres or artistes that have inspired your group's sound?

F: We have a strong sound in general so artistes who stand for women power inspire us a lot.

S: We look up to Rihanna, Beyonce, Kendrick Lamar, SHINee and others. They are our inspiration and we try to learn by watching them.

Are there any artistes, domestic or international, that your group would like to collaborate with in the future?

F: Personally, I would love to collaborate with Kendrick Lamar and SHINee.

N: My top three would be Bruno Mars, Bebe Rexha, and BTS.

G: There are so many talented people, so the list is lengthy.

S: I want to collaborate with Conan Gray, Lee Hi, Armaan Malik and several more.

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