2NE1 Bringing K-Pop ‘Girl Power’ Stateside With will.i.am-Assisted Debut
Korean girl group talk to MTV News about paving their way to Stateside success.
As demonstrated by the undeniable success of overnight sensation Psy and his “Gangnam Style,” Korean pop music, otherwise known as K-pop, is certainly making its mark on American culture. And Psy isn’t the only one making a name for himself, as K-pop girl group 2NE1 (pronounced “twenty-one”) may be the next on the horizon for crossover success.
In just three short years, the group — CL, Dara, Minzy and Park Bom — has sold 27 million digital downloads, was voted MTV Iggy’s Best New Band in the World in 2011 and had their first American performance at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey.
MTV News recently caught up with 2NE1, and after sharing some surprising secrets about themselves, they revealed that they have been hard at work on their English-language debut album with none other than will.i.am.
“We did a lot of studio sessions and we’ve been working on some songs, but we are waiting for the perfect song, the magical song,” CL said. “It was really fun and [will.i.am] invited us to his house studio and we just had fun making music and talking, just like we do back in Korea.“
2NE1, who are currently on their first ever New Evolution global tour, admit that they don’t have a timeline of when their debut album will be released, but CL said they hope to release “at least a single” by the end of the year. “I really want an English version of our song or whatever it is to have people connect to it,” she added.
The group, which credits the Spice Girls and TLC as their girl group influences, have become sensations in Korea for their eclectic style, impressive rap skills and catchy songs.
Yet, they aren’t the only K-pop girl group gaining attention, Girls Generation and the Wonder Girls have also exploded onto the scene, but according to 2NE1, there is no competition between the different groups since they all bring something different to the K-pop scene.
“Korea right now is so passionate about music and about performing. I think people feel that, people really feel the energy and passion, and I think that’s what’s different,” CL said. “I love the fact that its girl power right now. It’s all girl groups that are rocking K-pop right now so I’m happy about that and I respect that we all have different characters of the groups.“