CR Fashion Book Interview With LISA
Whether it’s performing for millions of fans, walking the runway for Celine, posting for her 80 million followers and counting, or topping the music charts, BLACKPINK’S Lisa, a.k.a. Lalisa Manobal, is a bonafide superstar. Now, the twenty-five-year-old multihyphenate is on the precipice of her biggest chapter yet.
Just days after our interview, it was publicly announced that BLACKPINK would return from a near two-year hiatus this fall with its sophomore album, BORN PINK, and a world tour.
BLACKPINK consisting of members Jisoo, Jennie, Rosé, and Lisa simultaneously released “Ready For Love,” a special track which premiered in an in-game concert project. The band’s powerful fanbase, otherwise known as BLINKs, flocked to social media apps celebrating “surviving” the BLACKPINK hiatus sending hug emojis in communal relief. The unequivocal starpower of the band’s members both separately and as a unit has earned BLACKPINK the title of the highest-charting female K-pop band, breaking boundaries with a lengthy list of history-marking accolades. From Seoul to São Paulo, the world is watching and waiting for this new era of BLACKPINK.
“I slept in today. We’ve been working on our new album lately, and it’s been a while since I slept this well, so I feel really good,” says Lisa with a laugh. Over the past two years, Lisa has become a mononymous icon introducing a new side of herself, stepping into her own with her first solo project, LALISA, which had the world singing her name. The music video for the album’s lead single of the same name garnered a staggering 73.6 million views on YouTube on its release day, becoming the most-viewed music video in the first twenty-four hours on the platform by a solo artist. Lisa packs her music videos with a flurry of costume changes, dynamic dance choreography, and action-packed sets, but what ultimately shines through is her playful, charismatic sound that’s catchy and easy to pick up.
Indeed, LALISA allowed for a more intimate look at her personal narrative weaving in her heritage with a rap verse paying homage to the traditional Thai culture on the ‘LALISA’ music video in Thai in the “LALISA” music video and exploring her love of hip-hop on the album’s b-side, “MONEY.” For an artist who grew up in Thailand, learned Korean in order to chase her dreams of being a K-pop star, and who interacts with a global audience on a daily basis, the end product is an amalgamation of the cultures that influenced Lisa in her formative years. With a clear aptitude for rhythm and flow as seen in her attitude-driven verses and effortless choreography, Lisa’s solo outing has only further proved she’s a force to be reckoned with.
But what has remained a constant since her life changed forever as a fourteen-year-old prospective YG Entertainment trainee is her hard work and diligence. On the verge of a new era of world domination for BLACKPINK, Lisa discusses the new album, going on tour, and the best advice she’s ever received.
Vienna Vernose: It was announced that BLACKPINK is coming back in August. What do you think you have learned about yourself as an artist in this time?
Lisa: I had a nice vacation spending time with my family and friends. I’ve also been working on music, as well as other fields that I’m interested in, such as fashion and photography, in order to improve myself as an artist. “Enjoy the process, focus on today and do my best” has always been my motto, and it became a solid mindset preparing for this comeback. I’m willing to stay happy by always enjoying my work, taking a step back when it’s necessary, and exchanging good energy with the people around me. I’m just waiting for the day we get to see our BLINKs again!
VV: This upcoming tour is set to be “the largest world tour in history of a K-pop girl group,” according to a YG press release. Did you ever imagine you’d be at this moment in your career?
Lisa: Sometimes I feel like I’m not even over with our first world tour yet—it remains an unforgettable, precious memory to this day! Since going on world tours has been one of the biggest dreams I’ve kept as a trainee, I want to be properly ready to enjoy the bigger, wider stage that’s about to be in front of us this time. I get overwhelmed and excited just by picturing the moment I get to meet our BLINKs!
What was the conversation like amongst the group before announcing the comeback?
Before our comebacks, we always get into lengthy conversations about what we can do to improve. We try to bring out the best outcomes by discussing our thoughts on music videos, outfits, choreography, and even the littlest details such as hair colors.
What has it been like experiencing BLINKs’ initial reaction?
I think our fans are as excited about our new album as we are. Their reactions are one of my biggest motivations. Their constant support always inspires me to aim for the better.
Do you remember a specific moment when you first fell in love with dancing? What influenced you?
I remember my first dance class. Watching the masterful dance moves under that particular atmosphere of the dance studio gave me the urge to do the same one day. Step Up was also creating a phenomenon at the time, and I was completely obsessed with the film. Dancing was on my mind every single day. I would only wear clothes that were suitable for dancing, like big T-shirts, tracksuits, and sneakers. That’s how dancing became a part of my life. “Lisa” would immediately be associated with dancing. Although I get shy sometimes, I am full of confidence when it comes to dancing.
I know you’re very close with your family, did your bond become stronger after moving to Korea at a young age?
We’ve always been close. I FaceTime or send emails to my family every day, talking about everything that happens and sharing feedback. My family is my safe zone who has always been supporting and cheering me on.
What’s the best advice a family member has ever given you?
My mother always says to me, “I trust you.”
You speak five different languages and you’re part of the Celine family, a French fashion house, how do you think these cultural influences have inspired your personal style?
Because I’m extroverted, I can adapt to different situations quite easily. I absorb different cultures quickly as well, so adapting to Korean culture wasn’t difficult at all. If there’s a difference from before, it’s probably that I started to enjoy wearing chic achromatic colors! Every time I go on world tours, I examine what kinds of clothes different people wear. Doing so helps me pick and choose what style suits me the best.
What has been your favorite part about working with Hedi Slimane at Celine so far?
I enjoyed every single part, so it’s very difficult to choose only one! The more I get to know him, he is a very warm and delicate person. He’s considerate and always gives warm-hearted advice. Whenever I receive his advice, I am grateful that he genuinely thinks and cares about me. This is why I feel more passionate and happy every time I work with him. Hedi is someone who likes me for who I am, and I am thankful for that.
You recently walked in Celine’s FW22 runway show. What was that like?
Being able to walk on the runway as a model itself was a great honor, as the CELINE show is a dream stage for every model. I decided to participate when CELINE asked me to, and it became an unforgettable experience. Since I am not a professional model, I was worried at first so I practiced walking a lot in order to accentuate the clothes. Thankfully, I received positive reactions, and I was very happy about that. It was such a great experience, and if there’s another opportunity, I would do it again.
As the face of Celine’s Haute Parfumerie line, what are some of your favorite scents from the line? And are there any new fragrances you’re excited about?
Eau de Californie. I enjoy it so much that whenever I’m traveling abroad, I always take the travel size bottle with me. While other scents feel like they’re meant to be used only on special occasions, EAU DE CALIFORNIE is a daily fragrance, which suits my personality and style the best. I also love PARADE and REPTILE, and I’ve gifted a lot of those to my friends and family.
In entering this new chapter, has the immense support from BLINKs changed at all?
I’m forever grateful. BLINKs always support us from the bottom of their hearts and give back 100 percent of the energy I give them. This is why I always want to show and deliver 120 percent. BLINKs all around the world have their own different ways of cheering us, and I think this creates a good exchange of energy. For BLINKs who always support and wait for us, I am determined to live and work harder every day. I hope to continue making great memories with BLINKs.
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