Sriya Lenka, a 20-year-old aspiring K-pop artist, has officially made her debut with the renowned K-pop group BLACKSWAN.
The group recently released their highly anticipated comeback titled That Karma, accompanied by an impressive music video. Notably, this comeback holds several significant firsts, including the fact that the music video for That Karma was shot in Bhubaneswar, India.
In the captivating music video, the BLACKSWAN members gracefully embrace Indian culture and pay homage to it in various ways. The video commences with the melodic beats of traditional Indian music, while each group member radiates elegance adorned in Indian attire. Gradually, the beats seamlessly transition into a more distinct K-pop style, showcasing the members’ charismatic performances.
Over 3 minutes long, the Karma music video has already garnered over 500,000 views, receiving praise from fans. Viewers have applauded the production team for creating a visually appealing and well-crafted video. The members are seen wearing traditional Indian jewellery, including mangtikka and long hoops, adding further authenticity to their portrayal.
This comeback not only marks the return of BLACKSWAN since their previous release, Close to Me, in October 2021 but also signifies the official debut of their Indian member, Sriya. BLACKSWAN is a multinational girl group with four non-Korean members who are currently active: Nvee, Fatou, Gabi and Sriya.
Who is Sriya Lenka?
Sriya, who was selected at the age of 18, shares her talents in classical Odissi dance and contemporary forms. She attributes her unique and captivating vocal style to the guidance of her grandmother, who helped her find a vocal trainer to nurture her “deep voice.” Despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 lockdowns, Sriya persevered and utilised her open-air terrace as a makeshift studio to train for the global K-pop auditions.
BLACKSWAN’s That Karma marks a momentous milestone for both the group and Sriya, as they captivate audiences worldwide with their mesmerising performances. Fans eagerly anticipate the group’s future endeavours, as they continue to push boundaries and create music that transcends cultural barriers.
Sriya Lenka, born in 2003 in Rourkela district, Odisha, has had a passion for music and the arts since her childhood. Her father, Avinash Lenka, employed at a private company in Jharsuguda, expressed immense joy when he learned that his daughter would become the first Indian K-pop star.
From the age of 12, Lenka has been honing her dance skills in various styles such as Odissi classical, freestyle, hip-hop, and contemporary. Her K-pop aspirations were sparked when she watched the music video for the K-pop hit Growl MV by the band Exo and attempted to emulate their moves.
During the Covid-19 lockdown in 2020, Lenka began auditioning for K-pop groups. She learnt Korean online and immersed herself in Korean dramas to deepen her understanding of the language and culture.
After months of practice and auditions, Sriya Lenka was chosen among 4,000 applicants through a YouTube audition program to undergo training in Seoul. This opportunity arose after Hyeme, the oldest member of the Korean pop band Blackswan, left the group in November 2020. In December 2021, Lenka was shortlisted to join the band.
Over the last five months of her training, Lenka underwent a rigorous process that encompassed vocal, rap, and dance lessons, as well as personal training, language instruction, and musical instrument practice.
Suggested Reading: India’s First K-pop Star Sriya Lenka Now Part Of Girl Band Blackswan