It’s not exactly unusual to see at least one English speaking member of a KPOP group—in fact, I have a hard time naming more than two or three without one. To Korean companies, it seems like the USA is a goldmine of Asian-American talent. It’s easy to see this: they have multiple auditions every year around North America, and more and more groups are debuting nowadays with members from all over the continent, more notably LA, New York City and Washington State.
It’s a little harder to find a Canadian in the KPOP world, but there are a few big names that have me proud to be from the same country as them—proud to call myself a Canadian, too. I’ll introduce three of the more famous ones here, but you should certainly take a look to find out more about the stars that are representing our country in the South Korean music industry.
Henry Lau – Super Junior M
(photo by Lan Tran; posted with permission)
Born in Toronto, Ontario to Chinese parents, Henry grew up a musician, learning to play the piano and violin starting at the age of 5. He started showing interest in dance during high school, and though he planned on becoming a professional violinist, he opted for being an idol instead after he passed the Global SM Town auditions in Toronto in 2006.
He made his debut in Super Junior’s Don’t Don music video, showcasing his unique violin skills during the dance break. He later was announced as one of the two new members (alongside Zhou Mi) of the new sub-unit, Super Junior M, a group of immense popularity who actively promote across China, Taiwan and Korea.
G.NA (Gina Jane Choi)
(Photo by me)
G.NA, a soloist under Cube Entertainment, is an Alberta native who grew up in Vancouver, British Columbia. She’s got a stunning voice and extremely powerful vocals, but one of the things that makes G.NA stand out as a celebrity is her unique beauty and her body—which no one can really deny as being quite wonderful, and something I certainly envy.
She has a great range of songs and is amazing live. I’ve actually had the pleasure to meet her twice, and I’m very surprised at how lovely of a person she is. She’s extremely polite, well spoken, and as a Canadian who loves KPOP; I’m definitely proud to call her a true representative of Canadians in KPOP.
Kris (Wu Fan) – EXO
(photo by me; please do not edit, remove, or claim as your own)
I left Kris until last because he is a personal favorite of mine, hailing from my ultimate number one idol group, EXO of SM Entertainment. Kris is native to Guangzhou, China, but he spent the majority of his childhood in Vancouver, BC, until he passed the 2008 Global SM Town auditions and moved to Korea to begin his training, later debuting as the leader of EXO-M, the Mandarin Chinese counterpart of EXO-K.
He’s a full Canadian citizen and he shows his pride in subtle ways—which somehow seem to cause a huge domino effect that have pictures of him at the airport holding onto his Canadian passport going viral in the online KPOP community. He’s new to the industry, but he’s certainly a rising star, the one you should be looking out for.
Categories: 2012 (Pilot Project)