She’s the golden voice of a girl group that’s arguably the most popular in the world right now, appeared in music videos that have garnered several hundred million views on YouTube, made the cover of Elle and Billboard, and is the face of many high-profile brands like Reebok and Louis Vuitton.
It’s definitely not a stretch to label her one of the world’s biggest pop stars right now. And yet, there’s a decent chance you won’t have any idea who she is.
Meet Melbourne’s Roseanne Park – or as she is better known, Rosé from BLACKPINK.
— YG FAMILY (@ygent_official) February 10, 2019
After debuting as the main vocalist of BLACKPINK back in 2016, Rosé and her group quickly rose to the top in South Korea, selling out shows and countless records, garnering a massive worldwide fanbase and establishing themselves as one of K-pop’s leading acts.
But 2019 sees the group attempting to do something that only one K-pop group (that would be BTS) has managed to far in the last few years: make it in the West.
And all signs so far are overwhelmingly positive.
Despite having not performed a show or even an interview in America, the group’s recent publicity circuit ahead of their first ever US concert tour was well-received and garnered a big response from fans and newcomers alike.
This kind of rapid success is perhaps not surprising. Offstage, BLACKPINK are quirky, fun and fashionable, while onstage they’re fierce, charismatic, and intense. Their songs are also some of the most eclectic pop music to come out of South Korea today, so much so that the group are being asked to collaborate with some big-name Western artists like Dua Lipa.
It also definitely helps that three of the four group members speak fluent English, which helped enormously with the transition from South Korea to America.
It’s a moment that Rosé has seemingly been building towards for several years now. Whereas the singer is more reserved and soft-spoken on Korean TV shows, she’s been confidently taking the lead for all of BLACKPINK’s American TV interviews and appearances.
All this is kind of amazing when you consider that Rosé initially got into this whole K-pop business when her father lightheartedly told her to audition for YG Entertainment, one of South Korea’s largest entertainment companies, back in 2012 – since she was into music and stuff.
What started as a joke soon became reality as Rosé was accepted into YG and soon underwent the gruelling journey to become a K-pop star. They say you should make your hobby or passion into a job. Well, Rosé basically did exactly that, though it did mean having to leave her family behind in Australia and moving to South Korea.
But while she may get mobbed if she walked down the streets of Seoul, she remains a virtual unknown if she wandered around her home city of Melbourne. To South Koreans, she is Rosé the talented idol with one of K-pop’s most unique voices.
But to most Aussies, she’s just an average 22-year-old music-loving woman who lived in Melbourne and went to high school at Canterbury Girl’s Secondary College. For all the exposure K-pop has gotten in recent years, it remains something of a niche in Australia, albeit one that’s growing quickly.
It seems fitting then that after nearly seven years since being accepted into YG, Rosé’s journey is seemingly about to come full circle as BLACKPINK are scheduled to perform their first-ever shows in Australia.
But whereas K-pop groups performing for the first time in Australia generally opt for smaller venues, BLACKPINK are going big: they’re pencilled in for Melbourne’s Rod Laver Arena and Sydney’s Qudos Bank Arena, both of which are capable of squeezing in around 15,000 rabid fans.
For BLACKPINK, their tour Down Under is another step towards the top of pop music. For Australian fans, it’s another piece of K-pop history in the making. And for Rosé, it’s something of a long-awaited homecoming.