BLACKPINK's Lisa recently landed back in her homeland, Thailand. It was a homecoming long overdue, as this was her first time returning home in almost three years. Between Covid-19 restrictions and her much-awaited solo album, LALISA, the rapper had no choice but to focus on her promotions.
Lisa moved to South Korea after becoming a trainee with YG entertainment. She debuted as a member of BLACKPINK in 2016 and proceeded to reach the pinnacles of success with the group.
Before this, she was just a young girl from a town called Buriram in Thailand. So, when she had the opportunity to create a self-titled solo album, she wanted to include all the aspects that made her home country special.
Five times BLACKPINK's Lisa flexed her rich Thai heritage to the world
Lisa has left a mark in the K-pop industry with her multiple luxury brand endorsements, as well as mentoring Youth With You, a Chinese girl group reality show. All these achievements come apart from her accomplishments as a member of the biggest girl group in current times.
From breaking records to strict mentoring on reality shows, there's little that the Thai rapper cannot do.
Additionally, when Lisa released her highly-successful debut solo album, she included a Thai interview in her packed schedule. The 25-year-old also participated in the creative direction by providing her opinion on the costume, background visuals, and music within LALISA to reflect her culture.
1) Traditional Thai outfit in LALISA music video
In the music video for LALISA, Lisa wears a traditional Thai ensemble, complete with headgear. The head accessory, done by a brand called Hooks by Prapakas, is based on a traditional Thai headdress that dancers wear, called chada.
The jewelry is by Sarran, with the golden jasmine ear cuff being a nod to the ceremonial breast necklace called Sangwan.
The outfit itself was by a brand called Asava and was made of traditional Thai brocade gold silk, hand-embroidered, and adorned with Swarovski crystals. All three of these brands are Thai-owned.
Lisa wanted her solo venture to reflect as much of her culture as possible. Soompi reported her saying in a press conference:
"I wanted 'Lalisa' to have a Thai feel to it. The set and outfits also capture that Thai vibe well."
The BLACKPINK singer touched upon multiple aspects of her culture. In an interview with Billboard, she said that she influenced producer Teddy Park to include traditional Thai music in the dance break.
Additionally, she featured Thailand's Phanom Rung Stone Castle in the visuals of the LALISA music video. As a result, people around the globe got a taste of her homeland.
2) Helping increase vendors' finances one shoutout at a time
Having lived in Korea for so many years, there are some things that the Thai-born dancing queen misses about home. In an interview with Thai content creator Woody, she mentioned that the meatballs at Buriram's train station have a special sauce that she finds delicious.
After Lisa's interview, the meatball vendors in Buriram received a surge of orders. In a local interview, they thanked the rapper for unintentionally promoting their product as they struggled during the pandemic.
The headgear worn by the rapper during LALISA also promoted the sale of traditional headdresses at shops in Thailand.
3) Thailand's Prime Minister praised Lisa for bringing Thai heritage to global stage
The Prime Minister of Thailand, Prayut Chan-o-cha, thanked her for endorsing Thai culture in her solo debut. He further expressed his intention to build on the country's soft power after the success of LALISA.
The Bangkok Post reported the government spokesperson as saying:
"Gen Prayut admires the success of Thai artists, including individuals whose works reflect their dedication and determination to inspire many Thais in creative industries in arts, music, and films."
4) Lisa's success as a K-pop idol
The BLACKPINK member is not the first Thai idol to debut in a K-pop group. There have been others like Nichkhun from 2PM and Bambam from GOT7. But BLACKPINK's youngest is in a whole different league of popularity altogether.
Even as a solo artist, performer, endorser, and model, the 25-year-old rapper's fame knows no bounds. With endorsement deals with Adidas, Vivo smartphones, MAC Cosmetics, and Bvlgari, BLACKPINK's leading dancer is one of the highly successful go-to artists worldwide.
In 2019, Lisa became the brand presenter of AIS Thailand, the country's largest GSM mobile phone operator. Additionally, South Korean cosmetics brand Moonshot made her the ambassador of an exclusive collection for Thailand, which included her signature on the packaging.
5) Her charity work in Thailand
The BLACKPINK maknae may be incredibly prosperous, but she never lets the success get in the way of doing something good. In 2019, when a terrible flood-ravaged Thailand, she donated 100,000 baht to the flood relief fund by Thai actor Bin Bunluerit.
The Thai rapper has donated money for several good causes with her fellow BLACKPINK members. Additionally, with YG Entertainment, she joined to help the Korean Foundation For International Cultural Exchange gather funds to build a culture center at a school in Buriram.
The center would include world-class equipment and a K-pop dance academy for young dancers.
Through the BLACKPINK star's solo ventures and brand endorsements, she has constantly kept in touch with her culture. Lisa's solo album proudly announced her Thai identity to the world, touching on aspects that she believes are important for people to be aware of.
LALISA prompted the Prime Minister to incorporate soft power as something to take note of.
With BLACKPINK slated to make its comeback soon, fans can be sure that the young rapper will astound with her rapping and dancing prowess once again.