CL Will Make a U.S. Debut as a Solo Artist Which Should Go Fine

cl baddest female cover

In news that is kinda, sorta exciting for 2NE1 fans, it is now confirmed that CL will be making a solo debut Stateside.

The release is scheduled for the spring:

According to multiple music insiders in an exclusive by Star News on the 16th, CL is planning to advance into the U.S. market in Spring 2015. It has been reported that she has already finished recording some songs, and is planning to release a single for her U.S. debut.

According to the report, CL caught the eye of Scooter Braun, who is also the manager for Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande, and her labelmate Psy, with her rapping skills, fashion sense, and English fluency. The two will apparently work together for her U.S. debut.

In response to the insider claims, YG Entertainment just confirmed to Ten Asia, “It’s true that CL is releasing a new solo track in the States next spring.”

2NE1’s sound and sensibilities always seemed to “fit” within the Western pop scene and CL is a major reason why. Her above average rapping skills and aggressiveness could play well in an American market, especially when combined with her fluency in English. If her American debut flops, it won’t be because of some inherent flaw in her abilities.

And while the news that the first major 2NE1-related effort to crack the American charts will be a solo effort does somewhat surprise (where is that English album they’ve supposedly been recording with since forever ago?), that particular choice is prudent given the American pop landscape. Of the top ten songs on the Billboard Hot 100, the top five songs as of now are all sung by women with solo careers: Meghan Trainor (“All About That Bass”), Taylor Swift (“Shake It Off”), Iggy Azalea with Rita Ora (“Black Widow”), Tove Lo (“Habits”), and Jessie J with Ariana Grande and Nicki Minaj (“Bang Bang”). To be clear, something as quickly-changing as the Billboard Hot 100 may not be the end-all-be-all prognosticator on pop trends but one thing of note is that the only “group” in the top ten is hardly even a group anymore as much as it is “Adam Levine and Some Dudes Who Show Up For Two Seconds In His Music Videos.” While groups and bands may make waves every now and again on the American charts, it’s usually the solo artist songs that litter the pop landscape (hell, even Nick Jonas is now A Thing).

So, a CL solo debut could be seen as a best-case scenario for a 2NE1-related American debut. Fluency in English? Check. Talents that translate well for the target demographic? Check. Swag for days? Check. Talent packaged in a way which is easily understood and digested by its audience? Most likely a check. Does that mean that a CL solo debut will automatically succeed? No. The song still has to be good. What it does mean is that CL has all the right skills to have a successful American debut. Now, it’s all about the execution (as in, anything but a shoe-horned effort which presumes that CL’s fame in South Korea will automatically translate to US popularity cough, cough Wonder Girls cough, cough SNSD’s “The Boys”).




  1. Not a CL fan but yeah, I could see her pulling off a Nicki Minaj type of release.
    “The song still has to be good.” — yeah, I think too that the success is going to largely depend on the song, since 2NE1 even as a group doesn’t conform to your typical K-Pop girl group format and its respective appeal.

    1. True, when you think about a song like “Ugly” if that was written and sung in English with the same theme, that likely would have been a hit in the US if it was a new group debuting with it, or the same might apply to “I am the best.” Any catchy song by a female singer that appeals to girl power, feelings of insecurity about one’s looks/popularity, or your former flame and what a jerk he was, seems to go over well.

  2. I think another big key will be whether the producer in question can get a major American record label to get on board in a big way and really pull out the stops to promote her. YG can’t fund a proper debut in the US on their own without risking a lot of money they couldn’t afford to lose. I am certain they learned a lot watching JYP’s fiasco that almost brought that company down, and also saw SM fail to gain traction with BoA or SNSD and realize that even if it means a much smaller cut for YG, that a successful debut may more than makes up for it as it taps a revenue stream that even with a much smaller percentage might be up to 5 times the size due to the difference in market size. It certainly will be interesting to see what happens with this. Hopefully this doesn’t end up in development hell like back in 2013 when it was rumored that SNSD was recording an English language album. At least as you mentioned CL speaks English fluently and she’s lived in the West some, so she has a bit more of a handle on Western culture than some of her peers might short of Korean-Americans.

    Just do me one favor, God, do not let he open for Justin Bieber on his tour. Anything but that.

    Though as much as I dislike Bieber, that would be a pretty big break for her if she dropped a single that did well and got the chance to open for an artist like that on a tour leg in the US. That would get her in front of a lot of big arena crowds and potentially boost record sales a lot. Personally, I think she would be a good opener for someone like Lady Gaga or Pink who have some brass as well and whose fans are pretty open minded.

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