They have already released songs together with pop stars like Selena Gomez or Lady Gaga. Blackpink's internationally successful hits include "Ddu-du-ddu-du" (2018) and "How you like that" (2020). Now the quartet from South Korea is on a largely sold-out tour of Europe with their new album "Born Pink" and well-known hits.
The four young women Jisoo, Rosé, Jennie and Lisa are around 20 years old and sing and rap in Korean and English. The band was formed in 2016 by YG Entertainment, one of many record companies in South Korea. Alongside BTS, the boy band that caused a stir last year with their performance at the United Nations, Blackpink is currently one of the most internationally renowned K-pop groups. Three years ago the band took the stage at the "Coachella" music festival in California, this year they won an award at the MTV Europe Music Awards.
According to music experts, K-Pop is the most innovative music industry at the moment, says Eun-Jeung Lee, a professor of Korean studies at Freie Universität Berlin. In this type of music, very different musical styles are combined with one another, for example hip-hop, classic pop ballads, elements of rock music, electronic music, jazz or soul.
Not a typical image of young women in Korea
Blackpink's music has power. The four women, who have also released solo songs, present themselves in their videos as "naughty nasty girls" who dance and sing in a cool and sexy way. On the posters for their tour, they pose in short outfits and long boots. Sweet, prudish, sometimes naive - Blackpink does not correspond to this image, which is repeatedly drawn by young women in the Korean entertainment industry.
"Louder than ever" was the audience at the start of her tour in London in early December, said singer Rosé in a YouTube video from the concert. The four women, who also model for fashion brands, stood on the stage very self-confidently and in some skimpy outfits, surrounded by pink glowing hearts that the audience held up. The stage and light show was very elaborate, with lots of confetti and video overlays.
New album "Born Pink"
There was much applause for the songs from the new album "Born Pink", which was released in mid-September and which fans had been waiting for for two years. Just like the previous album, there are eight songs that deal with the themes of independence, self-determination, freedom and love.
Especially the first three hits "Pink Venom", "Shut Down" and "Typa Girl" are extremely different from each other and are special because of their catchy refrains. "Especially with the first three songs with different parts, it's not always the typical song AA-BA form or verse, prechorus, chorus, middle part - it's built differently, and for me there's really only a comparison with Lady Gaga up," says Udo Dahmen, artistic director of the Baden-Württemberg Pop Academy.
Within a very short time after publication, the first two titles reached seven-figure likes and plays on YouTube and Spotify. "Pink Venom" now has 14 million likes, "Shut Down" nine million on YouTube.
"Very own color"
"What really convinced me was the treatment of the voices - both on the production side, there was really a lot of work done on it, also technically, but that gives it a very unique colour," says Dahmen. "And that you dare to go to extremes and don't play the sounds as softly as with many of the girl bands." With the music producer Teddy Park, Blackpink also has one of the best producers in Korea at its side, says Gyewon Byeon, a researcher at the Faculty of Korean Studies at the Ruhr University in Bochum.
The next Blackpink concert is on Monday in Barcelona, in Germany fans can look forward to performances in Cologne (December 8th) and Berlin (December 19th and 20th). Music expert Dahmen is certain: It will not be the last in Germany.