Hard work and passion paved the way for Dream Run | Bhubaneswar News

Bhubaneswar: When one of Sriya Lenka’s classmates showed her a music video of Korean-Chinese boy band Exo in 2017, she could hardly imagine that her friend would end up becoming a global idol one day.
Within five years, Sriya, now 18, became the first Indian girl to be part of the popular Korean group Blackswan. She was chosen along with 19-year-old Brazilian Gabriela Dalcin (Gabi) out of 4,000 odd applicants from around the world for the Blackswan audition.
After landing in the city on Friday, Sriya met Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan at the airport. “Sriya Lenka from Jharsuguda is one of those talented youngsters who pursued her passion. She represents the spirit of the youth of the new India, which is not afraid to venture into uncharted territories. May she charm the world and keep the K-pop juggernaut rolling more.
Born in Rourkela, Sriya moved to Jharsuguda in 2007. “As I started watching music videos, my interest in K-pop grew. I felt like I wanted to be like them. I dreamed of becoming an idol,” Sriya told TOI.
Deciding on her goal, Sriya started preparing for various online auditions during the Covid-induced lockdown in 2020. “Because of the lockdown, I couldn’t go out to practice. So I used our terrace to improve my dance skills and submitted videos for auditions. Last year I heard about Blackswan’s global audition and submitted my application.
Following his selection in the premiere in May of last year, Sriya started working on his voice. “My grandmother took me to a music teacher. In the second round, I uploaded videos of my dancing and singing. Also, I submitted a snippet of a rap song. Eventually, I was selected for the third round,” she added.
“Shortly after, I went to South Korea to train. Due to the pandemic, I faced a lot of problems to get there. But our company DR Music tried hard to take me there. Our six month training started after I arrived there, it was a very difficult task for me to understand their culture, their food, their language and most importantly to stay in a foreign country away from my parents for months said Sriya.
Women’s College Arts Plus II student Jharsuguda said she has always been interested in learning several forms of dance, music, painting and yoga outside of school, said, “I can speak korean now. My friends are very happy that I was selected as the new member of the group. I will start working on a project soon after I return to Korea after three weeks.
Sriya said she wanted to do a world tour and attend the Grammys and the Billboard Music Awards.