Artist Spotlight: Lisa from Blackpink

The multi-talented K-pop girl quartet, Blackpink has certainly made waves with their latest Netflix original documentary, “Light Up The Sky”. The heartfelt delivery gave Blinks and the general K-pop audience a glimpse of the girls’ lives, as they live through the ups and downs of the vibrant K-pop world. We’ll shine the spotlight on all of Blackpink in due time, but first on the list is Lisa. 

Lalisa Manobal, or better known as Lisa is not only the lead dancer of Blackpink, she also raps and sings. Born in the Buri Ram Province, Thailand, Lisa loves dancing and began taking dance classes from an early age. She won numerous dance and singing competitions before finally auditioning at YG Entertainment in Thailand. Among all the Thai applicants, her personality and charisma shone as she became the only one who passed and starting training with the entertainment agency as the first non-Korean artist in YG Entertainment. 

Lisa is a lady of multiple talents. Singing and dancing aside, she also has a knack for photography. Lisa released her own limited edition photo book, with a collection of photos taken by herself, earlier in March this year on her birthday. Lisa is also fluent in Thai, English and Korean. With her bubbly and fun-loving personality, Lisa is also the first and most followed K-pop artist on Instagram with a whopping 40.9 million followers. 

Blackpink is the epitome of girl power in today’s K-pop arena and because of the positive impact they share, they have become role models to young girls all over the world. Blackpink are the first K-pop group to perform in the annual US music festival, Coachella and to date, have recorded with Dua Lipa in "Kiss and Make Up", Selena Gomez for "Ice Cream", Cardi B in "Bet You Wanna" and Lady Gaga for "Sour Candy". It is certainly no surprise global brands are capitalizing on their global appeal and collectively, the girls have endorsed a myriad of fashion and makeup brands. The lanky Lisa herself has endorsed for Samsung Galaxy S10, adidas, Celine, Bvlgari and most recently MAC Cosmetics, making her one of K-pop’s most notable fashion, style and makeup icon in the world.

In Netflix Original directed by Caroline Suh, “Light Up The Sky”, Lisa shares her love for vintage clothes and shopping. She also added, despite her mother's nagging over Lisa's shopping habits, she doesn’t pay too much attention. Though she is Blackpink's “maknae”, a Korean word for youngest in the group, Lisa’s bright and quirky personality radiates throughout, bringing positivity to Jennie, Jisoo and Rosé in times of hardships. The girls shared their difficulties as trainees and even after debut when the going gets tough, “Lisa is the most constant one, she brings positive energy to the group" according to Jennie. 

Regardless of how likable Lisa is, she’s had her fair share of nasty remarks. In 2019, Lisa was criticized for her outfit at the red carpet of the 33rd Golden Disc Awards held in Seoul. Haters went on with racist remarks, which led to the #RespectLisa campaign, in support of the Thai rapper. According to New Straits Times Online, as Blackpink kicked off their 2019 world tour in Bangkok, Jennie lent her support and told Thai fans they should be “proud of Lisa” and that “Lisa is really strong and positive. We’ll take good care of her.” Jennie and Lisa share a special bond since their trainee days. Since Lisa couldn’t speak a word of Korean when she first arrived in The Land of the Morning Calm, she was grateful for Jennie, who was the only one who’d spoke English with her. More recently, Film Daily reported spotting BTS’ Jungkook and her together several times, igniting a relationship speculation between them, causing much conversations amongst shippers and haters within Army and Blinks. The struggles as a non-Korean K-pop artist might be unimaginably tough, but with strong friendships forged in Korea, her sunshine outlook and bold charisma, Lisa might prove to be an unstoppable force. 

Lisa, without a doubt, has become Thailand’s entertainment darling and the endearing inspiration for many Thai girls, eager to pursue their dreams. In “Light Up the Sky”, Lisa stated, she is “not sure if she’s good enough to be a role model." She may be young, but with her charismatic stage presence and multitude of talents, it is evident she was born for the show biz. Completing YG Entertainment’s rigorous training program and pulling through hectic schedules as part of Blackpink is an exhibit of her sheer resilience, worthy of respect. 

From the amazing achievements with Blackpink to MAC’s global ambassador at only 23 years old, one could only imagine the future global footprint Lisa will bring to table next. 

All images taken from Lisa's instagram.

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