Music Features

AleXa: The K-Pop Star from Oklahoma

Watch the singer-songwriter talk to Jordan and Demi about her latest music and evolving sound

Courtesy of the Artist

For the last few years, AleXa has ascended through the world of K-Pop. Adopting a cyberpunk aesthetic with hypnotic choreography, she's racked up more than 160 million views on her YouTube channel.

Now, she's aiming to carry that momentum into her home country of the United States. Raised in Oklahoma, she grew up loving musical theater and practicing ballet. American audiences got to know AleXa two years ago when she won the first and only season of American Song Contest. She formed a bond with cohost Kelly Clarkson, appearing as a guest on her show this January.

AleXa's latest single "sick" leans away from dance pop in favor of a more pop-rock sound that recalls P!nk and Avril Lavigne. She looks forward to trying out new styles as she aims to grow her brand in the U.S.

Watch her talk to Jordan Edwards and Demi Ramos about her early days in Tulsa, rise in South Korea, and her favorite metal bands.

Plus, stick around for the new segment Demi's Rising Stars featuring Ayleen Valentine.

AleXa on Life As An American K-Pop Star | It's Real with Jordan and Demi

For more from AleXa, follow her on Instagram and TikTok.

Culture Feature

Why Is an AP Exam Asking Questions About Taylor Swift?

Is education meant to challenge students and expand their awareness, or should it just tap into their existing interests?

Taylor Swift at the Toronto International Film Festival

By Evan Agostini (Shutterstock)

Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, Rosa Parks, Taylor Swift.

One of these things is not like the others. In this case, we're not talking about the fact that one of these people enslaved hundreds — including several of his own children — or the fact that one of those women was a descendant of enslaved Black Americans. We're talking about the pop star.

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Film Features

"Space Sweepers" and the Strangeness of Korean Gender Politics

The Korean sci-fi blockbuster offers a window into cultural norms on gender.

Space Sweepers | Official Trailer | Netflix

Netflix /

On Friday Netflix premiered a new Korean sci-fi adventure movie called Space Sweepers.

The film's most notable achievement is its stunning visual effects, reminiscent of Blade Runner 2049 and Guardians of the Galaxy — despite working with around 1/10th the budget. These effects serve a story that is largely just a fun space adventure. But if we look deeper, Space Sweeper has some cultural insights to offer.

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Music Features

Good News for BTS ARMY — BTS Doesn't Have to Join the Army (Yet)

The newly passed "BTS Law" allows K-pop stars to defer mandatory military service.

Boyband BTS recognized for developing Korea's national culture

This week South Korea's National Assembly passed a law that is sure to have BTS ARMY cheering them on.

Generally speaking, all South Korean men are required to spend at least 18 months enlisted in the military, with the final cut-off for entry at age 28. But the new legislation — informally referred to as "The BTS Law" — will allow K-pop stars who meet certain requirements to defer until the age of 30.

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Singer Selena Gomez wearing a Versace dress arrives at the 2019 American Music Awards held at Microsoft Theatre L.A.

Image Press Agency/NurPhoto/Shutterstock

Selena Gomez and Blackpink just released their first collaborative single, "Ice Cream."

Both the former Disney star and the K-pop girl group are juggernauts in their own right, and the single came complete with ample buzz and an ambitious marketing campaign. To promote the single, Gomez purchased shares in the company Serendipity and launched her own ice cream flavor called "Cookies & Cream Remix."

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New Releases

Should BTS's YouTube Record for "Dynamite" Even Count?

BTS ARMY made sure the new single broke records—whether it was the group's best song or not.

BTS arrives at the 62nd annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles on Jan. 26, 2020. The South Korean boy band BTS HAS won a leading four awards including best song for "Dynamite" and best group at the MTV Europe Music Awards while Lady Gaga took home the best artist prizeMTV EMAs, Los Angeles, United States - 27 Jan 2020

Photo by Jordan Strauss/AP/Shutterstock

In April of last year, sensational K-pop girl band Blackpink broke a major YouTube record with the premiere of their music video for "Kill This Love."

The video garnered nearly 57 million views in its first 24 hours, narrowly edging out the record Ariana Grande had set several months earlier with her cringeworthy ex-smearing anthem "Thank U, Next."

But less than a week later, Blackpink's record was thoroughly smashed by the slightly more sensational K-pop boy band BTS with the video for their single "Boy With Love," featuring Halsey. The record that had taken more than 14 years of YouTube's slow, incremental growth to set, was—in a matter of days—surpassed by a wide margin.

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