Former BP RANIA Member Alex Reveals The Unfair Struggles She Went Through As The First Black K-Pop Idol

“If you’re backed into a corner, is it really a choice?”

When it comes to being a pioneer in K-Pop, former BP RANIA member Alex was one of them. She was the first black K-Pop idol when she debuted in 2015 under DR Media.

In an interview with YouTube channel GRAZY GRACE, she shared her thoughts on the reformation of her old group, what she thinks of member Fatou, and more. When Grace asked her, “What struggles would [a non-Korean] go through?” Alex had a ready answer.

She said that there were small but impactful moments that added up throughout her time in BP Rania, spoiling her experience.

There’s all these little things that I think people don’t account for, and in my situation, it was so rushed. When you’re in it, it’s like you don’t have that much perspective, but looking back at everything and seeing the trends, I’m like, ‘Woah, a lot of that was not fair’.

— Alex

Giving the example of her “Start a Fire” comeback, she revealed that parlors did not have her foundation shade and that no one knew how to handle her natural curls. As a result, she had to style her own hair before each day really started.

For example, for the second comeback, for ‘Start a Fire’, I ended up straightening my hair, like no one could do my hair curly, and they didn’t have the right tools. They just didn’t know how to do it. They just couldn’t do it. I did my own hair and it was so exhausting.

— Alex

K-Pop idols already have a jam-packed schedule during comeback season, but Alex still needed to get up earlier than the rest just to fix her hair.

You know that the hours were insane. I was waking up at 4AM to wash my hair so that I can dry it on time. While the other girls were in hair and makeup for four hours, I’m just sitting there at that point because no one’s doing mine.

— Alex

Despite reassuring the people around her that she was fine with doing the extra work herself, she realized later on that it was not fair on her part, saying, “If you’re backed into a corner, is it really a choice?”

She emphasized the need for companies to take better care of their artists especially if they’re getting extra publicity from them.

If you’re going to reap the benefits, you have to think of [how] being different is cool in front of the camera, but what does it take to sustain having someone different off-camera? If I’m a member, then there should be someone to do my hair like there’s someone to do everybody else’s hair.

— Alex

If you want to see more of Alex, check out the full video below!