Have you ever wondered what ex-members of a K-Pop group think of the new members? This was answered when former BP RANIA member Alex talked about BLACKSWAN, the struggles she faced as a K-Pop idol, and more in a recent interview with GRAZY GRACE.

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Alex Reid. | @thealexreid/Instagram

Alex joined DR Music‘s RANIA in 2015 right on time for the release of their third EP Demonstrate.

On October 16, 2020, BP RANIA rebranded as BLACKSWAN and debuted with members Hyeme, Youngheun, Leia, Fatou, and Judy.

When talking to Grace about her life as an idol, the topic of BLACKSWAN, particularly Senegalese member Fatou, naturally came up.

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BLACKSWAN’s Fatou. | DR Music

Alex shared her personal opinion about them. Contrary to what some of her fans may have thought, she holds no malice against the new member.

I think it’s amazing because they never did that before—no one did that before. They didn’t know what to expect, and I didn’t know what to expect. And so I think that after my experience, they were able—hopefully—to refine that idea and hopefully make it easier for the girls behind the scenes.

— Alex

She described how it felt to be the only idol who looks the way she does and why it is so important to have representation in K-Pop.

I’m excited because it’s really exciting for girls like me to have representation. To have representation is so important. I didn’t see anyone like me, not even close. Now it’s cool to think that there are girls who can look and say, ‘There wasn’t just one at this point, but now there’s another black K-Pop star, and she has darker skin’.

And with colorism there’s so many layers where it’s like people will favor lighter skin, so I think seeing more different complexions is so important.

— Alex

Although she is excited for Fatou, she can’t help but feel worried for her at the same time.

I think it’s really, really exciting. On one end it’s amazing, and it’s exciting, but part of me just has this little bit of worry, hoping that things are nice behind the scenes, hoping that things are smoother and that the company learns something from me being there.

— Alex

Remembering the struggles she went through alone, she hoped that Fatou is having an easier experience.

I found myself making sure that her smile was genuine. I had so many moments where I was trying so hard to put on a smile. I wanted to be there for girls and give other people a chance to be in that position, so I didn’t want to ruin it by letting what I was going through come out.

— Alex

Alex ended the topic by expressing her sincere desire that Fatou is happy and is being treated well by the people around her.

I found myself looking and just being like, ‘I hope that her smile is genuine and that people are being nice to her and she’s not just really going through it’.

— Alex

blackswan
| @blackswan_drent/Twitter 

Watch the full interview below.