Korean American K-POP star Ale Xa has wanted to go on stage since childhood, but the quest for fame in South Korea was facilitated for another reason, helping her mother find a family in which she was born. .. Her mother, who was adopted from South Korea by an American family, knows little about her birth culture and can’t speak her language. A blue-haired 25-year-old woman who recently won the American Song Contest (US version of Eurovision) told AFP that eating kimchi is one of the few cultural connections to her Korean heritage.

In other words, until AleXa discovered K-pop in 2008, “that inspired my dream and my desire to become a K-pop artist,” he danced from the age of two. Said the rising star born in Tulsa. AleXa, who grew up in Oklahoma, said she showed her “interesting path” when she saw an entertainer on the screen that could be identified as a Korean-American.

At college, she won the highest award in a K-POP contest. This was a trip to South Korea to shoot her reality show, where she met future company executives and participated in tough star-making training embarked on by many young aspirants. She moved to Seoul in 2018 and she has never spoken Korean during her growth, so she studied Korean for several months at the academy and attended intensive dance classes on movies and TV. I continued the lesson while watching the program.

Find a family

Although AleXa has been successful as a K-POP idol, her quest to find her mother’s family has proven to be a more difficult process that has failed due to South Korea’s restrictive adoption law. Born in Ilsan, northwestern Seoul, her mother was adopted at the age of five. Like many adopters of her, she wants to keep track of her own birth family, but “here Korean law is whether a child can find a birth parent and vice versa. Is a bit tough on, “said AleXa.

South Korea prioritizes the right to privacy of the birthing parent over the right to adoption. The country has long been a major exporter of foreign recruits, with hundreds of thousands of people sent out since the 1950s.

After the Korean War, it was a way to remove children from countries that emphasized ethnic homogeneity, especially those born to local mothers and American GI fathers. Even today, unmarried pregnant women face stigma in patriarchal societies and are often forced to give up their babies. “In order for the first party to get the information, the other party needs to be looking for the other party,” said the star.

Her mother still can’t find AleXa’s grandma because that wasn’t the case with them. However, she has had some success through the internet and DNA testing and has found her cousin in other countries as well. AleXa said they didn’t give up hope. “I hope I can find some of my Korean family here in the future. She told AFP that she considers Seoul a” second home. “


When the NBC decided to put together the American version of the Eurovision Song Contest, “Eurovision Fan” AleXa was invited to join to represent her hometown. It gave her and her team the opportunity to bring K-pop to an American audience, and they soon began planning. “How can staging be done, what concept works, what really fascinates the American audience while staying true to K-POP?” She told AFP. I talked about the process.

Beyond nationality and language, for AleXa, K-pop is a concept, styling and implementation effort. Hair and makeup, sets, staging and cinematography must be perfect. “I really enjoy the beauty of spectacle, art, wonder and K-POP,” she said.

At the finale of the American Song Contest, AleXa descended from the rafters to the throne stage and began choreographing military precision with the dancers while singing “Wonderland.” With her victory, her K-POP fans praise her for pushing this genre to the forefront of American reality television.

She hopes that increasing diversity in the industry will bring music to more countries. “Growing up, some of the only expressions I’ve seen myself were the anime Chinese character Mulan. I’m a Korean-American,” she jokingly said. However, since Korean bands like BLACKPINK and BTS have globalized, “K-POP has become a very safe place for many children.”

She believes that the growing number of non-Korean idols in the industry is also good for her adoption. “Korea is a fairly homogeneous country, so having all of these foreign idols is a really cool and eye-opening opportunity for South Korea,” she said. – AFP

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