How BLACKSWAN’s Fatou Went From An Airport Worker To A K-Pop Idol

Her parents didn’t believe being a musician was practical.

K-Pop group BLACKSWAN boasts members from all across the world and has recently announced that two new members will be joining the lineup, Sriya and Gabi.

BLACKSWAN’s Fatou, Youngheun, Judy, and Leia | @blackswan___official/Instagram
Sriya and Gabi | DR Music

In the past, member Fatou, born in Senegal before moving to Belgium, has opened up about her journey into the world of K-Pop. Explaining that “a friend at school showed her SHINee‘s “Replay” music video on their phone.”

Watching the iconic music video led Fatou down a rabbit hole familiar to K-Pop fans, where she started to quickly fall for K-Pop.

I was like ‘Oh, that’s something I’ve never seen before.’ After school, I went home on my computer searched [K-Pop] up and there was a whole other world of music.

K-Pop is so bright, fun, and light-hearted, you know – all about being one and everything. That’s what really caught me [and] made me fall for it.


Fatou | @b_fatou_s/Instagram

Although she was fascinated by the world of music and interested in the possibility of exploring a music career, Fatou’s parents urged her to pursue more realistic dreams, wanting her to have a stable job.

Back when I was a teen, I actually asked my parents if I could attend a music school, but music is not a very stable [career].

They were like, ‘I don’t think that’s a good idea.’

So since I like traveling, I love languages and learning about other countries’ cultures, I chose tourism.


| @b_fatou_s/Instagram

After college, Fatou took a one-month vacation in South Korea, where, at first, she felt incredibly out of place.

I could not see any people like me. I was like, ‘Oh my god, I’m sticking out so much.’ People would look [at] you [and] stare.


Fatou then returned to Belgium, where she worked in an airport before, ultimately, she decided to take a risk and return to South Korea on a working visa.

[Working at the airport] was fun work. But [it] is not something I could do for the rest of my life.


| @b_fatou_s/Instagram

Finally pursuing her music dreams, Fatou joined a K-Pop cover dance group and signed with a modeling agency.

But Fatou’s modeling career was brief as she then met the CEO of DR Music, where she signed on as a trainee. Fatou was revealed as the fourth member of BLACKSWAN after two years of training, which, while the idol admits that her work paid off, was an incredibly arduous process.

Let me tell you the cold hard truth: It’s so goddam difficult. But it’s all worth it at the end of the day.


| @b_fatou_s/Instagram

And while her idol journey certainly hasn’t been an easy one

I don’t really think of it like, ‘Oh, I’m the only Black K-Pop idol,’ I just do what every other colleague in this industry is doing. I try to stay as far away from that thought as I can, because I feel like if I would think about it, I would drive myself crazy.


She can endure any hardships because of the support she feels from her members.

I almost gave up. But [my members] believed in me so hard that they [said], ‘You know what, no, we’re here for you. If you have a hard time, come to us, we’ll always be here. We are here, Fatou, talk to us.’


| @blackswan___official/Instagram

Fans can look forward to what Fatou and BLACKSWAN will continue to do in the future.

You can read more about Fatou here.

BLACKSWAN Fatou’s Dream Of Being A K-Pop Idol Was 10 Years In The Making—Here’s What Inspired Her

You can watch BLACKSWAN’s most recent comeback, “Close to Me,” here.

Source: Rolling Stone

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