Most people think of Kpop fans as young teenage Asian girls. Can you tell us about people you’ve met who are different from that stereotype?
You would be really surprised at the diversity of Blackjacks I have met in real life and online. Gone are the days where Kpop fans are young teenage Asian girls. Because of 2NE1, I have met so many different kinds of people, of different ages, comprising different nationalities and from all walks of life.
I, myself, am a 26-year old 4th year law student from the Philippines. I often travel to different countries just to watch 2NE1 perform live and I don’t travel alone. I travel with a 30-something American housewife who has three kids, a 30-something physical therapist, a 30-something government employee, and a 40-something banker from Dubai. And yes, they are all Blackjacks. That is the power of 2NE1.
Since you’re an admin on the OhDara website, it seems safe to assume that your favorite 2NE1 member is Dara. Have you met her in person? What happened?
Yes, my favorite 2NE1 member is Dara. I have seen her a lot of times but I haven’t met her personally. One time in Macau, I had a chance to meet her but I totally blew it [laughs].
At that time, 2NE1 was in Macau for Mnet Asian Music Awards (MAMA), so me and my friend flew to Macau in order to watch them live. Prior to the event, me and my friend waited outside the venue, because artists would just walk in the hallways to get to and from their hotel rooms and the venue.
The hallway was almost empty and me and my friend were just chatting with each other, when suddenly Dara and a manager were headed towards our direction. I went on full panic mode. Instead of calmly greeting her, you know what I did? I jumped, stepped directly in front of her, and waved at her with a goofy smile on my face. I said, “Hi…D-dd-dd-dd-ara, Dara!” Yes, I stuttered! And you know what else? I did a 90-degree bow while slowly retreating my steps far away from her. I didn’t even bother looking up. And to top it all off, I cried! Yup! I cried! Until this day, my friend still teases me about it.
What would you like to say to her if you meet her again?
Other than fainting?[laughs]
I actually want to tell Dara so many things! But after some thought, they all just boil down to four simple words, “Thank you for everything!”
Do you think more Filipinos should enter Kpop or do you think people in the Philippines should start their own groups?
Whenever possible, I actually introduce Kpop to my friends and family. I think Filipinos should listen to all kinds of music, not just Kpop. The great thing about Filipinos is that we appreciate music in any form, and in any language. Kpop is already hugely popular in the country, and I think that it’s a good thing. It is a good way to widen one’s awareness and at the same time appreciate music, produced by different countries. That is the beautiful thing about music – it knows no boundaries, no countries, nor nationalities. Music is a universal language and can be appreciated by all.
Actually, the Philippines’ OPM (Original Pinoy Music) already has a pop genre. And nowadays, there are some Filipino groups that have the similar flair as Kpop. They’re called Ppop, for Pinoy Pop. They give off a unique vibe to the genre. They’re still relatively new though, but I’m hoping that they’d enjoy the same success as the Kpop groups in our country. They’re already on their way to getting there.
Who are your other favorite Kpop idols?
I am a Blackjack through and through. I don’t have any other favorite Kpop idols. 2NE1 is the only one for me. However, I do love the music of Big Bang and I respect them as artists.
Do you like any of the other BNB artists? If you could pick anyone to collaborate with 2NE1, who would you pick?
When I found out that 2NE1 was nominated, I listened to the music of the other nominees. I like Yuna. I want 2NE1 to collaborate with her.
What do you think Blackjacks should do to encourage more people to vote for 2NE1?
First and foremost, I think Blackjacks should spread 2NE1’s music. I think it is important for other people to understand why 2NE1 has such a huge international following and why they command such loyalty and devotion from Blackjacks. Blackjacks should then spread information regarding the voting through different social media networks such as Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, etc. The worldwide web is such a strong tool to utilize in order to encourage more people to vote for 2NE1.