CL, the rapper/singer that acts as leader of K-pop phenomenons 2NE1, is eyeing the global music market and Scooter Braun will help her achieve her goal. YG Entertainment, the Korean record label CL is signed to, has confirmed to Billboard that the 23-year-old is prepping a full-fledged solo effort intended to cross over to America next year. The superstar exec behind Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande and PSY‘s U.S. breakout, will work with her.
As a member of 2NE1 since 2009, CL and her band mates have made great strides stateside despite no official debut. Chart-wise, 2NE1’s Crush album holds the U.S. record for highest-charting K-pop album ever with the best first week sales for a Korean album, plus 2NE1 is the only non-PSY K-pop artist to hit No. 1 on Billboard‘s World Digital Songs chart. The quartet was also the first female Korean act to hold solo concerts in American arenas.
The multilingual star has dabbled in various solo projects in both Korea and America too. In May 2013, the singer/rapper revealed her first solo song “The Baddest Female” (above), which hit No. 4 on the K-Pop Hot 100. CL wrote and co-produced on a handful tracks on Crush and had her own song on the LP, “MTBD.” This year, the K-pop starlet laid down English raps for Skrillex and Diplo track “Dirty Vibe.”
Get to Know CL
Meanwhile, CL has become more and more visible on the Western front too as a Fashion Week regular, muse to designer Jeremy Scott along with her debut bow on Billboard’s Hot Electronic/Dance Songs chart thanks to her Skrillex/Diplo collaboration.
CL told Billboard first about her solo ambitions in February 2013. “I was looking back and thinking, ‘I want to have something personal for me,'” she said in New York. “With 2NE1, it’s not personal because it’s not only about me; it’s about all the members. We’re more about influencing the world. But I have so many things I want to say. I have this other side of me that people didn’t meet in 2NE1.”
And her ambitions go further than music. “I want to represent Asian women,” she added. “I want to break that typical Asian female stereotype. There’s this standard where they’re all calm. I want to break that. I want to tell the world that there are some badass Asian female girls.”
Additional reporting by Jessica Oak