“K-Pop” and “Oklahoma” are two words you don’t really think of in the same breath. But one of the 56 artists competing on the Monday (March 21) night series premiere of NBC’s American Song Contest just might change that — AleXa, a K-Pop artist from Tulsa, Okla. Born to a South Korean mother and an American father, she first learned about K-Pop in 2008, through one of her best friends.
“The first group I ever saw was Super Junior – they’re a huge senior group in the K-Pop industry, but my gateway was SHINee,” AleXa tells Billboard. “I’ve been hooked ever since.” She moved to Korea in the first quarter of 2018 and competed on two reality shows, Rising Star and Produce 48. She signed with ZB, a label owned by South Korean video production company Zanybros. Her first single, “Bomb,” was released on Oct. 21, 2019. “It was right before the pandemic hit,” she says. Two more singles followed: “ReviveR” and “Tattoo.” After living in South Korea for four years, AleXa returned to the U.S. this year to compete in American Song Contest.