Any true K-pop fan knows who Blackpink are: that the girl group is made up of Jennie, Rosé, Lisa and Jisoo, that they just had a smash hit with a song called Ice Cream featuring Selena Gomez, that they wear some of the best outfits of any group ever onstage – heck, some of us are even au fait with their make-up habits.
But how well do we know them really? It’s only been four years since they blazed into the world of Korean pop music, so what were they like before they joined the group? Let’s take a closer look.
Jennie (Jennie Kim, 1996)
Anyone remember the G-Dragon song That XX? Well, if you’ve seen the music video then you might have noticed that the leather-jacketed girl on the phone throughout was in fact Jennie, a full three years before her Blackpink debut.
Jennie is multilingual, able to speak Korean, English and even Japanese. How come? As a nine-year-old she was taken to both the Netherlands and Australia on a trip with her mum. When asked by her mother afterwards if she’d like to live abroad, even at that young age, she apparently replied with an enthusiastic “definitely, yes!” She subsequently spent almost six years living in Holland.
Rosé (Chaeyoung Park, 1997)
If you’ve ever pondered just how Blackpink have managed to become so famous across the globe, you’ll know it’s in part due to the number of languages they collectively speak. Turns out it’s not just Jennie who lived in Europe. Rosé is in fact half Korean and half Dutch. Despite both her parents being Korean, she was in fact born in the Netherlands.
Rosé first showed off her voice on G-Dragon’s mini album “One of a Kind” back in 2012. She featured on a song called Without You which garnered much interest at the time due to the fact that the song was merely credited as “Without You ft.? from YG New Girl Group”. G-Dragon and Rosé went on to make a music video after her identity had been revealed.
Lisa (Lalisa Manoban, 1997)
Let’s all start by giving Lisa a round of applause shall we? Why? Because she is the only member of the group who beat out 4,000 other hopefuls at YG Entertainment auditions held in Thailand back in 2010. She was just 13 years old and already a huge fan of K-pop (Big Bang and 2NE1 were her favourite bands). Now she is one of them – every little girl’s dream right? She first performed as a backing dancer in the music video Ringa Linga sung by Big Bang’s Taeyang in 2014, just two years before her debut as Blackpink. Can you spot her in this video?
Apparently her original stage name was Pranpriya, but she tweaked it again to Lalisa after someone told her the name “Lalisa” would bring her good fortune. These days we just know her as Lisa of course.
Jisoo (Jisoo Kim, 1995)
Jisoo was particularly active when it came to extracurricular activities during her school days. In particular she was a big fan of basketball and acting. Not only did she enjoy playing ball, but was apparently good at it too. She also joined her school’s acting society and majored in theatre and film.
Those of you who have been paying attention will have noticed Jisoo on screen several times before her Blackpink debut. Putting her acting skills to use, she first appeared in the music videos for I’m Different by Hi Suhyun and Spoiler by Epik High, in both cases as the main actress.Jisoo claims that her own acting idols are Son Ye-jin and Natalie Portman, even paying homage to Portman’s character Alice in the film Closer by wearing a pink wig in the music video for Ddu-Du Ddu-Du, telling fans she chose the hair because“It’s from the character of my favourite movie”.