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Who is CL? Born in South Korea, Lee Chaerin began her musical career at the age of 15. She traveled a lot as a child, moving to Japan and stayed there until the age of 12. In Japan she studied at a Japanese international primary school, an American elementary school for two years, went to France and attended a French middle school for some time, and then went back to an American school for her high school years. When not in school, CL attended dance classes and would often translate for the foreign professional dancers who would visit.
Due to her exposure to many different languages, CL is now fluent in Korean, English, Japanese, and French, but is most comfortable with Korean (although she knew little to no Korean when she moved back to Korea).
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She comes from a pretty conservative background: raised in a Roman Catholic household, having a physics professor as a father and a potter for a mother and one younger sister. Looking at CL’s stage presence and charismatic and somewhat theatrical personality, it may come as a huge surprise.
CL debuted as part of the group 2NE1 in 2009 under YG Entertainment. With the debut of their first single “Fire,” they topped the charts for weeks and with the release of their next song “I Don’t Care,” from their first mini-album, they continued to remind South Korea why they were the number one girl group to watch out for.
Prior to 2NE1’s debut, the K-pop (Korean pop) world was filled with very similar types of girl groups. They all had one thing in common: they were just cute. However, 2NE1 transformed the music industry with their edgy, “bad girl” concept.
As the leader of the group, CL shined as the star. She could rap, sing, write lyrics, dance, act, model, etc. She had the whole package. In Korea, it is common for some members of the boy or girl group to release their own solo songs. CL had previously done solo work, but when she finally released her first solo single “The Baddest Female,” in 2013, she affirmed to the world that she is here to stay.
So for the main point and question, why should we be keeping our eyes on this Korean pop star? Well, first of all, she is queen.
But besides that, this talented musician is rising in America as a solo artist under the management of Scooter Braun. CL’s progressive musical talents appeal to an array of people. I don’t speak Korean, but I still listen to her music because it is catchy regardless of if I understand the lyrics or not. However, she does still incorporate some English lyrics into her songs and just by watching her music videos, you can see what kind of image she’s trying to portray. She’s that edgy, popular, older sister that we can’t figure out if we want to be best friends with or actually be.
In 2015, CL premiered her first single, “Hello Bitches,” as a preview for what she’s going to hit the world with next. With a lineup of already four songs, CL continues to amaze us with her talents and drive.
I don’t know about you guys, but this is one EP that I will not be sleeping on.