Rourkela: In a groundbreaking achievement, Odisha’s 20-year-old Shreya Lenka aka Sriya from Rourkela has marked her K-Pop debut as one of the few Indian artists to break into the exclusive and highly valued Korean entertainment industry. She has featured in the much-awaited comeback album of the popular girl group BLACKSWAN.
The recently released single, titled ‘Karma’, showcases BLACKSWAN’s new members and a fresh creative direction. The accompanying music video, shot in Sriya’s home state of Odisha, presents vibrant street scenes and picturesque ruins enveloped in lush greenery. While maintaining the signature high-energy choreography, the video also pays homage to the nostalgic red brick walls of schools and showcases a young Odissi dancer in full attire.
The BLACKSWAN members don an array of outfits heavily inspired by Indian culture and fashion, perfectly synchronised with captivating choreography and music that define K-Pop groups.
Sriya, chosen at the age of 18, along with Brazil’s Gabriela Dalcin, is well-versed in classical Odissi dance as well as contemporary forms. She attributes her ‘deep voice’ to her vocal trainer, whom she found with the help of her grandmother. During the Covid-19 lockdowns, she dedicated herself to training for the global K-Pop auditions, utilising her open-air terrace as a makeshift studio.
As the global popularity of the Korean wave continues to surge, the multi-billion dollar industry is adapting to cater to international fans while staying true to the formula that propelled it to worldwide fame.
The director, Sagan Lee, expressed his appreciation for the scenic locations in Odisha where the music video was filmed. He mentioned capturing scenes near the iconic Lingaraj Temple, as well as shooting at the heritage Buddhist site in Dhauligiri, Bhubaneswar. Lee praised the assistance provided by the local police and expressed gratitude to the people of Odisha for their benevolence.
Sriya’s debut in the K-Pop industry not only showcases her talent but also highlights the expanding reach of Korean entertainment and its embrace of global diversity.