The face of K-pop may be changing. For their new single “Demonstrate,” Rania has reportedly added a new member named Alexandra — who is American and very noticeably not of Korean descent.
Korean news site XSports shared the news and the first photo of Alexandra (below) which was shared by the girl group’s Twitter account with the words, “Introducing our final member, her name is Alex.” According to the article, Alex is African-American, her father is black and from Texas while her mother is white and from Kansas. The U.S.-bred rapper had previously played Chris Brown‘s music-video love interest in his Jamie Foxx collaboration “You Changed Me.”
— kpopselca (@kpopselca) November 4, 2015
More curiously, Alexandra does not appear in any new promotional photos nor the accompanying music video for “Demonstrate” — Rania’s first single since 2013’s “Just Go” — even though her rap section does.
Alexandra was on hand for Rania’s first live performance of “Demonstrate” on K-pop music chart show M! Countdown (watch below), where she performed her rap section at the top of the song, left the stage and joined the girl group for final choreography steps.
K-pop groups aren’t always made up of Korean members and many acts have members with Chinese, Japanese, American, Thai and other cultural backgrounds. But Alexandra’s addition would make Rania the first group to have an African-American member.
Rania were previously being mentored by American producer Teddy Riley, who produced their debut single “Dr. Feel Good” that was premiered in both Korean and English. Riley reportedly is not involved with the group anymore, but Rania has always seemed to have international ambitions despite multiple member changes through the years.
Billboard has reached out to Rania’s record label DR Music for comment.