Is ‘Eurovision – Australia Decides’ star Leea Nanos about to become the next big K-pop idol?
It seems that 'Eurovision - Australia Decides' star Leea Nanos (now stylized as LeeA) could become the next big K-pop idol after being shortlisted as a potential fifth member to South Korean entertainment company DR Music’s global girl group Black Swan.
After several months of an auditioning process, DR Music has selected four young women who will fly to South Korea to commence two months of intense training, after which the girl group’s final member will be selected.
LeeA was one of four chosen from around 4,000 applications from girls all around the world.
She is up against Gabriela Strassburger Dalcin from Brazil, Kellie Faughnan from the United States, and Shreya Lenka from India.
Black Swan is a recently rebranded K-pop group that was known as RANIA when it first debuted back in 2011. The group became famous in the K-pop community for its diverse appeal with non-Korean members.
We spoke to LeeA about this opportunity and what else she's been up to since 'Australia Decides' in 2019.
Thank you so much for talking with us Leea! We have been excited to hear about some of your career progression over the last few years. We would love to know what you have been doing since appearing on ‘Eurovision – Australia Decides’ in 2019.
Since Eurovision Australia decides, I have been in the studio so much! Writing music and have been honoured enough to win many songwriting competitions since. Since Eurovision I found a new love called ‘KPOP’ and have been focusing on this being my new brand. I auditioned for a KPOP group in South Korea and out of 4,000 entries around the world I am in the top 4 and going to South Korea to compete which is crazy. I also auditioned for 'The Voice - Australia' this year and had the best time, got to the Blind Auditions Top 80 and performed in front of all the judges, it was so much fun. I have many songs in the works. I have also been focusing a lot on social media and started doing Tiktok, I now have a pretty big following about a month with 256k+ followers and all my Tiktoks getting over millions of views.
How did competing at ‘Eurovision – Australia Decides’ change your career?
It changed everything for me. It really started my career off and made me realise that this is truly what I’m meant to do. I still remember being on that stage like it was yesterday. It opened so many doors for me and I’m so grateful and so blessed. It was a dream come true for me.
On your YouTube channel, you have posted reaction videos and covers of some of the most popular songs from around the world, including 2019 Eurovision winner Duncan Laurence’s ‘Arcade’. What has been your favourite cover to do so far, and why?
My favourite cover to do was actually ‘Arcade’ I love that song so much. It’s so meaningful and when I sing it I always feel so emotional. The lyrics are beautiful and really relate to me.
Would you ever consider returning to partake in ‘Eurovision – Australia Decides’ again in the future?
Yes 100%, I do have many songs ready to submit for this year's 'Eurovision - Australia Decides' again which I submitted when the portal opened and I would be honoured to take part again in 2022.
For your most recent release, ‘Domino’ featuring the rapper MOTI, you joined forces with Bias Dance Crew to film a ‘K-pop in public’ style dance video. What was this experience like?
Working with an incredible KPOP dance crew from Melbourne like ‘Bias dance’ was incredible. I had so much fun and learnt so much. They are so incredibly talented. Performing in public and dancing for the first time and really cool experience as well. I loved our dance rehearsals so much, we formed a really close bond too as friends.
If you could collaborate with any of this year’s Eurovision artists, who would it be and why?
I would collab with Montaigne, her vision and uniqueness is so inspiring. I love how she embraces being different and being herself. Her music as well is definitely my favourite!!!!
You were recently announced as one of four shortlisted artists who will be training in South Korea with DR Music with the potential of joining establish idol girl group Blackswan. What was the auditioning process for this like, and what excites you most about the training experience you are about to take part in?
It actually reminds me a lot of how I auditioned for ‘Eurovision - Australia Decides’ I saw this ad on Instagram for it and last minute put my details in and singing, dancing videos etc. Then on a YouTube live they announced I was in the top 20 and only person to make it from Australia out of 24 countries who entered. I then had a second round where I did more singing, dancing etc like a ‘callback/second audition’ and got told I made the top 4. What excites me the about the training experience is everything I’m going to learn. I love KPOP so much and it’s also one step closer to my dream. Meeting the other trainees and working with different artists and musicians will be incredible also.
Do you have any other exciting news, recent or upcoming releases, or anything in particular you would like to say to your fans?
New music is coming very soon, and many songs are ready to release and I’m so excited about that. To my fans, thank you so much for supporting me always, I’m so incredibly grateful. I can’t thank you enough. Thank you for being there for me and watching my journey. I love you all and very grateful to my supporters and my family and friends and everyone in the music industry who encourage me and inspire me.
And I want to again thank LeeA for taking the time out of her schedule to answer our questions, and we wish her the absolute best of luck on her future music career in South Korea!