When concert-going was still a thing and Coachella happened in 2019, Blackpink made history as the first South Korean girl group to perform at the high-profile music festival. K-pop, as it’s commonly known, has certainly gained attention in the United States in the past few years, and Blackpink’s Coachella performance made clear that K-pop is mainstream. The group is now celebrated in Netflix’s newest documentary, Blackpink: Light Up the Sky, which highlights the journeys of Jennie, Rosé, Jisoo, and Lisa, known collectively as Blackpink. From clips of the girls going through rigorous training to them disclosing personal dreams and worries, Light Up the Sky viewers get well-acquainted with the four members who are currently setting a lot of “firsts” for Korean girl groups.
Though the documentary steers away from larger commentary on the intense K-pop training process for young kids, Light Up the Sky is worth the watch for its message on diversity. One Blackpink member is from Australia, one was born in Korea but grew up in New Zealand, one came from Thailand, and one is born and raised in Korea. Together, the girls represent a diverse range of cultures, identities, and languages, which they say is reflected in their fan base. People of every age, race, gender, and ethnicity form the giant melting pot of Blackpink fans. This is empowering to the artists and fans alike. “When we performed at Coachella, I looked at the audience and saw people singing in Korean! Like… what?!?” exclaims Jennie.
Blackpink and K-pop’s Western breakthrough shines a more inclusive light on what music and pop culture can mean. Music is a unifying force, and you don’t have to speak the same language to appreciate the artistry, or to have fun while doing it. Light Up the Sky shows just that.
Take Action! Watch Blackpink: Light Up the Sky now on Netflix.