ELLE Exclusive: K-pop Star AleXa Talks About Her New Single ‘Sick’ And Upcoming World Tour


When we think of K-pop, we picture music, visuals, dance, groovy beats, style, and great talent—everything that plays a part in making a succesful K-pop idol. K-pop has a massive impact on the global music industry, whether it is due to the genre’s signature flamboyant look or the performers’ indisputable talent and intensity. And when it comes to AleXa, her journey has been one to look forward to. The 27-year-old singer has never stopped making waves, whether it is through her participation in the Mnet reality show Produce 48, to her 2019 K-pop solo debut.

Last December, AleXa made history as the first Korean solo artist to perform at iHeartRadio’s Jingle Ball and now she is all set to kick off 2024 with the release of her highly anticipated single, ‘Sick.’ This track marks a pivotal moment in AleXa’s career – you will find her taking a departure from much of her K-pop repertoire. She has now moved from her go-to style, embracing early 2000s pop-punk origins, taking cues from legendary musicians like Avril Lavigne who is her childhood idol. Over the years her sound has changed and has been showcasing a fearless and sincere exploration of her musical individuality and laying the groundwork for what looks to be an incredible next phase in her career. ELLE sat down with the K-pop star to talk about all things music and her upcoming tour.

ELLE: How much has your life changed from States to Korea, being a K-pop idol?

AleXa: Coming from Oklahoma to being a K-pop idol, it’s been a wild and crazy journey filled with many ups and downs, but definitely more ups than downs. It’s been a very long journey, I’ve been here for about 6 years at this point. I’ve learnt so many things. Things I can apply to my career as an artist and also things I can apply to my every day life as a person. Being a K-pop idol in Korea has really changed me for the better, it has brought me so much discipline as well.

ELLE: You’ve announced your tour on your Instagram, are you planning to tour in India anytime soon?

AleXa: So if you look at the title of the tour, ‘Sick of you Tour Part 1’ so we have more parts planned, I know for sure. I’m not at liberty to say where yet but we are planning to go global and I’m hoping and praying that India would be another stop whether it is Mumbai or New Delhi. I would love to go back again.

ELLE: K-Pop used to be a niche subject in the past, but now that it has gone global. What do you think sets you apart?

AleXa: I’m not very good at bragging about myself but I think something that set me apart is my personality. Of course I’m not going to be wild and reckless. I like to not behave in this certain curated way because I’m in the public eye. For me, being an artist, if I can’t show my organic image then what’s the point of showing my art, my music. I don’t want to lie to the public. Nowadays it’s really refreshing to see these young idols be themselves and back then you had to more reserved with your presence. With Gen Z, it has become a lot more easier to be yourself without the fear of being judged.

ELLE: You’ve done a lot of things from your trainee days, like ballet, pop and rap. What do you think works best for you?

AleXa: I think the genre that works the best for me is just released. Sick is out now hopefully and the song that follows is the second one that we’ve performed at the Jingle Ball tour. That song is very rooted in pop punk and that’s something I used to obsess over in middle school. I’m a 27-year-old emo kid. I’m forever going to love the genre, I love the thematics and aesthetics of emo pop punk. Honestly after trying out this genre myself, I feel like I want to go down that road more.

ELLE: If you could pick from these, singing, rapping and dancing, what would you pick?

AleXa: As a female solo artist I tend to have very difficult choreography, its not typically seen on female idols. I think that kind of helps me stand out a bit. The performance aspect of my career is what makes AleXa, AleXa.

ELLE: Who was your childhood inspiration?

AleXa: There’s a few but when it come to people from the western world and the K Pop world. Janet Jackson is one of the best. I love the really outgoing and outrageous people that have presented themselves in a very loud way. Being a performer is not just about your talent but also about how you carry yourself in the world and visuals. I really love Taemin from Shinee and Hyuna. There are a handful of artists that have inspired me into following this path of becoming a K Pop idol.

ELLE: What’s our most memorable stage performance?

AleXa:  After debut I went to Singapore to perform in front of 10,000 people and I hadn’t really done any arena performances until Jingle Bell last year, I feel these two have been my favourite one so far.

Also, read: In Conversation With The New Gen Z K-pop Group On The Block, ‘POW’

ELLE Exclusive: In Conversation With The Iconic K-Pop Subunit SISTAR19 About Their New Release ‘No More (Ma Boy)’

- Digital Writer


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