“BLACKSWAN’s Gabi: Unveiling a Latin Twist in K-pop Through Her Dabbling Journey”

By: MRT Desk

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The Global Popularity of K-Pop Hits Latin America

The global popularity of K-pop hit Latin America a long time ago, and interest only seems to be intensifying. The K-pop agency JYP Entertainment, for example, incorporated Spanish, in addition to English, Japanese and Korean, in the promotion of its new girl group NMIXX; K-pop tours are reaching more and more Latin American destinations; and K-pop hits are incorporating Latin styles, from reggaeton grooves on LE SSERAFIM’s “Antifragile” to TWICE’s bossa nova summer anthem “Alcohol Free.”

BLACKSWAN: A Latin Twist in the K-Pop World

But South Korean girl group BLACKSWAN has gone a bit Latinized by including a Latina among them. Originally formed as Rania in 2011, the DR Music label changed the group’s name to BLACKSWAN in 2020, with a mix of Korean and non-Korean members. Today, the quartet is made up of non-Korean members like Gabi (real name Gabriela Strassburger Dalcin), a Brazilian-born singer and dancer. Gabi, who joined BLACKSWAN in May 2022, moved to South Korea in the fall of 2021 hoping to pursue a career in K-pop.

Gabi’s Journey to Becoming a K-Pop Artist

Billboard caught up with Gabi to follow her move from Florianópolis, Brazil to the stage in Seoul and to talk about BLACKSWAN’s new single “Karma”. The song was released in May with a colorful and lavish video shot in India, one more sign that K-pop is going global. Read our interview with the Brazilian K-pop artist below.

Discovering K-Pop in Brazil

Brazil is a melting pot of cultures. Did you discover K-pop in your country? Yes. The first memory I have of K-pop as “K-pop” was when a friend showed me a video of BTS in 2016. [Ya había] many Brazilian K-pop fans. But later I found out that K-pop was also a style. It offered phenomenal songs that were heard all over the world.

Pursuing a K-Pop Dream

What was it like the day you decided, “I, Gabi from Florianópolis, Brazil, am going to train to become a K-pop idol.” Since I was young I wanted to work in the arts. So I always trained my voice and also did musical theater. In musical theater you have to act, sing and dance at the same time. So when I saw K-pop, I was really impressed. Ah, so there is a style where people sing and dance at the same time and then they can perform and produce their own songs. I want to sing and dance and do what they do, because they are such an inspiration. Continue reading the story

The Support of Fans in Brazil

What has been the response from the fans in Brazil so far? It’s not just from the Brazilian fans. I guess from all the countries in the world they are giving me a lot of love and support in these times. It makes me want to continue producing music and producing new content for them. And what I love, I hope the fans love it too.

Overcoming Difficulties as a Non-Korean

Have you encountered any difficulties as a non-Korean? The main one [dificultad] era [hablar] Korean. I need to learn your language, and I have to work twice as hard to learn a new language and be able to respect [su cultura] and work here [en Corea] with them.

The Combination of K-Pop and Latin Music

What do you think of the combination of K-pop with music from Latin America? I really love it, because the music is global. Everyone can make music, everyone can listen to music regardless of the style of a type of song. So I really love the fact that K-pop is introducing Latin styles into their songs because it shows that they like it [la música latina]. I hope that in the future BLACKSWAN will also do some songs [de estilo latino].

Introducing “Karma”: BLACKSWAN’s New Single

Tell us about your new single “Karma”, which you released in May. I like the meaning of [la palabra] “karma”, because it can be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on what you do. I see “Karma” as a good new face for BLACKSWAN. We are making this comeback with a lot of enthusiasm, passion, and our harmony as a group is very real. I feel like good karma is coming. Since we are doing this with love, hopefully we will also receive love.

More from Billboard. Click here to read the full article.

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