An 18-year-old from Odisha has become the first Indian to become a member of the South Korean girl group band `Blackswan’.
Kalinga TV reported that Shreya Lenka was selected among thousands of applicants in a global audition organized last year by Blackswan’s label DR Music.
Blackswan held global auditions starting May 2021 to select a new member after Hyemi’s exit from the group left one spot open. Initially, Shreya Lenka (who stylizes her name as Sriya) reached the final round along with Gabriela Dalcin of Brazil, and the group was expected to select one from among the two artists.
On Thursday, however, DR Music announced that both Lenka and Dalcin would be joining Blackswan. “Shreya and Gabi were finally selected as members of Blackswan after participating in the global audition program for the last 6 months. With their debut, we will be back with the new Blackswan,” the label announced.
Formed in 2020 by DR Music, Blackswan consists of Youngheun, Fatou, Judy, and Leia. Lenka and Dalcin will join as the group’s fifth and sixth members.
Gabriela Dalcin and Shreya Lenka moved to South Korea after reaching the final round of auditions. Over several weeks, they reportedly underwent rigorous training in standard vocal, dance, and rap, as well as musical instruments.
Reacting to the news of her becoming India’s first K-pop artiste, her father Avinash Lenka told Kalinga TV: “Though I had faith in her hard work, I never expected that Shreya would make it. Despite all my misgivings about her future, I encouraged her to follow her passion for dancing as she always wanted to be a dancer and participated in several dance competitions.”
Born in Rourkela, Odisha, in 2003, Shreya Lenka is trained in Hindustani classical and Odissi. She has also learned forms of contemporary modern dances.