If you’ve ever been interested in knowing how K-Dramas and K-Pop became globally popular and wanted to dig about it, you must have come across the term “Hallyu”, which means the Korean Wave in English. It was in the 90s when China started consuming South Korean content and that’s where this term was first coined. The popularity of Korean films, songs and dramas then started to spread across rest of Asia and then Europe, and ultimately all over the world.
Korea kept on working on its content and the entertainment industry there kept on getting bigger and bigger. Currently, the Korean stars are simply global stars who are recognized all around the world. Anyone from any part of the world who spends their significant amount of time online most probably knows about BTS, BLACKPINK, Parasite and Squid Games. That says it all.
Now let’s talk about K-Pop.
What I love about the industry is how inclusive they are as they welcome even the foreigners with open arms. Korean labels and agencies sign non Koreans too — and there are many popular idols who aren’t actually Korean — Thai superstar Lisa of BLACKPINK being one of them. Minnie (Thailand), Jackson Wang (Hong Kong), Sana (Japan), Momo (Japan), BamBam (Thailand), Tzuyu (Taiwan), Yuqi (China), Aria (India) are just some of the names that are part of the industry.
And guess what, if everything goes smoothly, there might be a Nepali K-Pop idol soon too. No Kidding!
Interesting, right? Let’s find out who she is.
Suchana Bohara, a 20-year-old aspiring dancer and singer from Kailali, was introduced by GBK Entertainment as Hara earlier this year in March. She is one of the trainees in company’s online training platform called Girls’ Universe. GBK is looking for members for their new multi-national girl group through this platform. The group, that’s been named MEP-C, is to debut soon.
So yep, it’s a possibility that Hara can be the first ever Nepali to become a legit K-Pop idol. That’s so exciting!!
I recently had a chance for a quick chat with Hara, here’s what we talked about.
Anyeong Hara. How are you and how is everything?
Hi, anyeong and Namaste! I am good and everything’s going great.
Fantastic. Where are you located at the moment?
I am in Kathmandu.
Yes. Having finished my +2 from Xavier International College here; I am currently pursuing my Bachelor’s in Electronics, Communication and Information Engineering from Pulchowk Campus in Lalitpur.
That’s nice. Who have you got in your family?
My parents and two siblings – a brother and a sister.
Lovely. Now let’s talk about the big thing. If you debut with MEP-C, you will be the first ever Nepali K-Pop Idol. How excited are you?
Extremely. And I will be even more excited if I make it and get a chance to represent Nepal in K-Pop.
So cool. I mean, if you do become an Idol, you will be part of the same industry with BTS and BLACKPINK. How huge is that, right?
It sure is. From seeing them on social media to performing on the same stage, it will definitely be spectacular.
How did it happen? How did you get into GBK entertainment’s online trainee program?
Well, I sent my audition tape to GBK for their online program Girl’s Universe and was selected to become part of it.
You are currently under the ‘Busted’ category, which means that you might or might not be part of the group. What do you think are your chances?
Honestly, I think I can make it. But there’s also a part of me that makes me think what it would be like if I don’t. Anyway, all I can do for now is work hard and that’s what I am doing. Fingers crossed.
Can people help you get into the group, by like voting or something?
Yes, they can help me by voting online; and for that, they will need to get “Citizenship” of this Universe program. The tutorial for it is available on MEP-C’s Instagram handle. That would really mean a lot to me.
[Side Note: Here’s the link to apply for the “Citizenship” and then vote for her.]
Have you always been a K-Pop fan? Who are some of your favorite idols?
More than a fan, I have always considered myself to be a big-time learner. I listen to and watch them all and try to learn from them. It would be difficult for me to pick; I simply love all the groups.
We have seen you dance in your intro clips and heard you singing as well on your Instagram clips. Are you more confident about your dancing or singing?
I am more into dancing but singing and rapping are also the skills that I have been working on. So I would say, I am better at dancing, followed by singing and then rapping.
Have you ever taken any trainings or workshops for dancing or singing?
Not really. I am self-taught, and I have mostly learned watching television and YouTube videos. And I haven’t been to a studio yet. I’ve been working on developing my skills on my own as of now.
How did you get your stage name of Hara?
The name was recommended by GBK reps for me and I actually liked it so we went ahead with Hara.
Are you in touch with other potential members of the band?
Yeah, we communicate on regular basis and try to help each other.
What happens next if you become part of the group?
If I get selected as one of the final members, I will be called to Korea for training.
Are you learning Korean at the moment? If you do make it, you will have language classes in Korea too, but still some basic knowledge for now would be beneficial, right?
Yes, that would be beneficial for sure. I am currently just learning from the songs only and working on the pronunciations. And I do look forward to learn the language better.
There have been some controversies about how GBK is marketing the group — especially with the intro posters with the comparisons of the members’ skills and then the extremely photo-shopped photos. How do you see it? Do you think it might affect the group’s debut?
Once the voting is done and final members are selected, we will able to showcase our real talent. And I believe that once we start doing that, people will support the group. Currently, they are mostly upset about some of the AI generated materials.
Do you listen to Nepali music? Who are your favorite artists right now?
Yes, I love Nepali music. Sushant KC, Sajjan Raj Vaidya and Samir Shrestha are some of my favorite artists.
At last, what do you wanna tell your well wishers who want to see you become the first Nepali K-Pop idol?
I just want to tell them that I appreciate all their support and I wish they continue to keep supporting. I will definitely work hard to achieve this dream.
Well, I hope she achieves this dream. That would be great. I look forward to the day when I will be writing a story with the title, “It’s Official, Hara is Now the First Ever Nepali K-Pop Idol as MEP-C Makes a Debut”