There’s no question that foreign-born K-Pop idols have to work that much harder. Not only do they have to study a whole lot of Korean, but they must learn to adapt to culture differences and living so far away from home. Throw in the task of being an idol rapper, and you’ve definitely got a challenge, which is why foreign-born K-Pop rappers like BLACKPINK’s Lisaare so great!
Lisawas born Lalisa Manoban on March 27, 1997 in Bangkok, Thailand. Her Thai name is Pranpriya, though she goes by quite a few nicknames from friends, including Lalice, Laliz, and Pokpak. She is an only child, and the stepdaughter of Swedish champion chef Marco Brueschweiler.
BLACKPINK’s Official Instagram
Before her debut, Lisa trained with YG Entertainment for over five years, having first joined the company in April of 2011. She was scouted during a YG audition in Thailand, and was rumored to be the only person who auditioned that ended up making the cut.
Lisa is known for her rapping and dancing skills. When she lived in Thailand, she was a part of a dance crew named We Zaa Cool, where she danced alongside fellow Thai idol GOT7’s BamBam.
However, Lisa also has a few other talents that might not be as obvious on stage. She can speak four different languages – Korean, English, Japanese, and her native language Thai – and she can even play the ukulele.
Back in her trainee days, Lisa first turned heads as the main model for YG Entertainment’s clothing brand, NONA9ON, where she modeled alongside iKON’s Bobby and B.I. She also appeared as a dancer and extra in Taeyang’s “Ringa Linga” music video.
Lisa made her debut with BLACKPINK through the singles “Whistle” and “Boombayah.” The girls broke the record for the fastest act to secure the first and second position on the Billboard World Digital Songs chart. Not so bad for a debut, huh?
Since then, Lisa has made a name for herself as a charismatic and talented dancer, performing on variety shows and participating in special stages with other well-reputed idol dancers.
Thanks to her appearance on “Get It Beauty” and her numerous Moonshot ads with BLACKPINK, Lisa has also become something of a beauty icon.
Most recently, BLACKPINK released the single “Like It’s Your Last,” which became the second most-watched K-Pop music video within 24 hours on YouTube. (The first? YG labelmate PSY’s “Gentleman.”) They also began activities in Japan.
While Lisa and the ladies have currently wrapped up their recent promotions, it’s only time before they make another comeback, so…
Keep supporting BLACKPINK, and keep rooting for Lisa!
In an industry saturated with up-and-coming boy groups, it’s hard for one to stand out. However, in the two and a half years since their debut, Starship Entertainment’s MONSTA X has proven they’re sticking around and making their impression on the industry.
Shownu, whose real name is Son HyunWoo, was born on June 18, 1992 in Seoul’s Dobong district, one of the city’s northernmost neighborhoods. He began his road to stardom with JYP Entertainment, signing on as a trainee back in 2008. After two years with the agency, he moved to train with Starship Entertainment, where he would remain a trainee for four years.
All Of Me
Shownu’s most stand-out talent is his dancing, as he spent a good bulk of his years as a trainee active as a dancer. Perhaps his most famous dancing gig was with veteran K-Pop star Lee HyoRi during her “Bad Girl” promotions. Getting up close and personal with HyoRi? Not a bad gig.
As for other talents, well, if you’re a fan of the beauty variety show “Lipstick Prince,” you should know that Shownu’s gotten surprisingly good at make-up art. Need help blending in your contour? No worries. Shownu’s got you.
During his years as a JYP trainee, he was working toward debuting in a trio with GOT7’s JinYoung and JB, and became close with several different JYP idols, including the Nation’s First Love, Suzy. Here he is with JinYoung and Suzy during their trainee days. Can you spot them all?
While he did not get to debut with JJ Project, he still maintains an adorable friendship with the boys of GOT7. They have repeatedly been seen hanging around with one another at events. (There really needs to be a GOT7/MONSTA X collaboration soon!)
In 2014, Shownu was one among twelve trainees selected to compete in the boy group survival program, “No Mercy.” Run by Starship Entertainment, the talented boys danced, sang, and rapped their way to the finale – with the top performers ending up as MONSTA X!
Not only did Shownu pass with flying colors, but he was given the opportunity to become the leader of MONSTA X. And on May 14, 2015, the boys officially made their debut with the single “Trespass,” which peaked at #5 on Korean music sales charts. Not bad for a debut single!
Soon enough, Shownu began solo promotions, appearing on a number of reality shows, starting with Mnet’s dance battle program “Hit The Stage.” Shownu was given the opportunity to perform a number of wild dance routines against some of the hottest dancers in K-Pop, including SHINee’s TaeMin and NCT’s Ten.
He was also given a chance to brave the wild as a cast member on “Law Of The Jungle,” where he learned to survive in the wilderness of Papua New Guinea with fellow Korean celebrities, and seemed to have quite the time getting through it!
These days, the boys of MONSTA X just wrapped up a world tour and are giving fans plenty to laugh and ‘aww’ about in their group reality series “Monsta X-Ray.” That’s only the beginning of all of the great things the boys have scheduled. And of course, since it’s Shownu and MONSTA X, we just can’t wait for more!
Keep supporting MONSTA X, and keep rooting for Shownu!
With his killer smile and effortless choreography, JinYoung is definitely an idol making an impact on today’s K-Pop scene. For this week’s ‘My Idol’ weekly feature, we’re going to fill you in on everything you need to know about him – and giving his fans plenty of pics to drool over along the way. Let’s find out more about GOT7’s JinYoung below!
Park JinYoung was born September 22, 1994 in Jinhae-gu, a small city not too far from Busan in South Korea’s Gyeongsang Province. He first became a trainee with JYP Entertainment back in 2009, training alongside not only his fellow GOT7 members, but other popular idols like Suzy and MONSTA X’s ShowNu.
JinYoung has a range of talents, but perhaps his most notable one is his dancing ability. Dancing has always been one of his favorite activities, and when he decided he wanted to try becoming an idol, he spent much of his childhood in dance studios and attending dance classes. Looks like all of that hard work paid off!
JinYoung is also known for his scholarly side. Not only is he a total bookworm, but he loves having GOT7’s English-speaking members help him practice his language skills. (And maybe we’re a little biased, but we think he’s getting pretty good!)
JinYoung first debuted as one-half of the duo JJ Project alongside fellow GOT7 member JB. Due to the fact he shares the same name as JYP Entertainment founder Park JinYoung, he was given the affectionate stage name JR – or “Junior.” Who else thought “Bounce” was a total jam?
JJ Project joined the idol-packed cast of the musical drama “Dream High 2,” where they played two talented students attending the academy. Our favorite scene? Well, there’s definitely a lot of them, but we are absolutely living for his “Troublemaker” cover dance with a very pre-debut NaYeon of TWICE.
Not too soon after, it was announced that JJ Project would be returning as a seven-member boy group. GOT7 debuted on December 13, 2014, and a month later, released their very first music video, entitled “Girls Girls Girls.” (Can you believe this debut picture? Our boys grew up so fast!)
However, it wasn’t long before the acting bug started biting again, and JinYoung began solo activities as an actor. With his boyish good looks and quiet charm, he was often cast for puppy love-style storylines, causing some Korean media to begin nicknaming him a national “first love.”
“Actor Park” became so popular that it wasn’t long before he made his big screen debut! In 2016, he played the starring role in the melodrama film “A Stray Goat,” which was first released at the 17th Jeonju Film Festival. JinYoung received rave reviews for his emotional performance.
Currently, JinYoung co-hosts the popular weekly music program “Inkigayo” alongside BLACKPINK’s JiSoo and NCT’s DoYoung. The trio – who are affectionately nicknamed “JinJiDo” by fans – have gained an incredible amount of attention due to their strong visuals and shared chemistry on camera.
JinYoung’s career has been a wild one, and it’s only getting started. We’re so excited to see not only where he expands as a solo talent, but all the greatness GOT7 will achieve!
Keep supporting GOT7, and keep rooting for JinYoung!