With ‘Lalisa,’ Blackpink’s Brightest Star Steps Into the Spotlight

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2021 has been a year of hotly anticipated music releases, but few have been as eventful as the debut single from BlackPink wordsmith , Lalisa Manoban aka Lisa. As one-fourth of the world’s biggest girl group, Lisa has broken barriers for K-Pop performers, but stepping into her own with new music meant reintroducing herself to the world. “2021 has felt like fate, like destiny,” she shared via email. “Releasing my long-awaited first solo album was truly a dream come true. I don’t think I can ever forget that. I was excited and nervous; I wanted to show who I am as an artist, as well as share the exact message that ‘Lalisa’ carries.”

The song takes the confident, playful persona she’s been known for since her days as a YG Entertainment trainee and sets it to music with lyrics like “being the greatest of all time ain’t a fantasy.” Originally from Buriram, Thailand, she incorporated elements of her heritage into the sound. “My ideas are reflected in the album, from the Thai-style melody line within the song to the music video sets, styling, album design, and choreography,” says Lisa. “I actively participated throughout the entire process, [so] personally it was an extraordinary experience. I worked hard just imagining the day I would get to showcase it and enjoy it with all my fans.”

Instantly viral—it has racked up 110 million streams since being released—the single currently sits atop Spotify’s charts and has been warmly received by critics and the “BLINKs,” BlackPink’s army of fans. Thanks to Spotify and social media, Lisa has been able to see the responses in real-time. “It’s cool to be able to directly see and hear what my fans like and are currently listening to,” says Lisa. “It also feels like we’ve become closer since we’re all sharing something that we enjoy through the platform. If this album brought joy to our BLINKs, then I couldn’t be more grateful. They’re the reason my music has received so much love and support.” Thanks to their devotion, Lisa now sits atop the Today’s Top Hits playlist, next to superstars like Dua Lipa and Adele. “I’m honored to have my name alongside such amazing artists,” says Lisa. “[Spotify] is so helpful for catching up with global music trends. You get inspired through all the diverse music you get to see at just a glance.”

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