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 will.i.am 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”).