In a new interview with Refinery29, the K-pop star spoke about feeling like a “misfit” during her childhood. The singer had spent most of her younger days in France and Japan, before later returning to South Korea to make her debut with girl group 2NE1.
“I always felt like I was an alien. Growing up in different cultures, I don’t fit anywhere. So I would always be for the underdogs and the misfits,” CL revealed, sharing her desire for those with similar experiences to feel seen. “I know there’s a lot of people that don’t feel represented, and I would love them to feel connected and understood.”
She went on to talk about her journey as a musician, adding that it was “just a natural thing” and that being a pop star was not a goal. “It wasn’t like, ‘I’m going to do this, I’m going to be a pop star’,” she added.
“I grew up […] listening to a lot of powerful female artists, and there were no Asian acts in the [Western mainstream] pop scene,” CL explained. “So that’s when, more and more, I wanted to be that for the 12-year-old me. I wanted to be an example for whoever wants to be a pop star.”
Elsewhere in the interview, singer also spoke about her long-awaited debut solo album ‘ALPHA’ and its lead single ‘Tie A Cherry’. Likening the process to sparring, CL shared that fighters had been a huge inspiration for the record.
“In boxing, like in life, sometimes, you’ve got to take a step back. Sometimes, you attack. But you need to strike that balance of movement,” she elaborated. “I had to put myself in ‘Alpha Mode’ in making the album, and had to be fearless to continue to do that.”
Earlier this year, CL spoke about how the image of 2NE1 had been “very organic” from the group’s “beginning”. She also compared it to how things are handled for K-pop groups now, saying they these days they are “done through the major label system”.