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[REVIEW] BLACKSWAN’S KARMA

By Mulenga Mumba

Blackswan 'That Karma' teaser image

On May 19, Blackswan came back with their 2nd single album, ‘That Karma’. After a plethora of ups and downs for the group over the last few years, it is great to see that Blackswan (Fatou, Sriya, NVee, Gabi) is now being recognised for the talented artists that they are. The album has two main tracks ‘Karma’ and ‘Cat & Mouse’ and two instrumentals ‘Karma (Inst.)’ and ‘Cat & Mouse (Inst.)’.


‘KARMA’

The title track ‘Karma’ has amassed over 5 millions views on YouTube and has been well received by fans all over the world. With the heavy synth and bass, Karma is the perfect song to get you pumped up. Now that the music video and live performances have been released, it’s only fair to talk about the concept, outfits and choreography.


(Image Credit: from left to right ‘5 million views post’ and ‘Shooting on site’ Blackswan Official Twitter)


The concept of the music video has them look absolutely ethereal. I liked that the music video was shot in India, they really nailed the authenticity aspect. It was shot specifically in Odisha, Sriya’s hometown. Locations were spot on and the fact that they got locals involved made me very happy. One thing I should mention is that there’s a credit at the end of the music video that thanks and credits everyone involved (we don’t usually get that, which was very refreshing). They also credited the local production crew they worked with and even the young Indian dancer featured in the music video. We don’t usually get that with music videos so I have to commend DR Music for that.


Having performed on shows such as Inkigayo, MusicBank, Show Champion, THE SHOW, etc., the girls wore a variety of outfits. From stunning traditional Indian inspired outfits to fun-loving and colourful outfits, each stage reflected an aspect of the song. When it comes to the outfits, I can’t fault them at all. The stylist definitely hit the bullseye on this one. Now, I do have a few qualms about a couple of their outfits (not enough to dock any points) but apart from that, their live show performance outfits were spectacular.


Their live show performances in general were amazing. They even managed to rile up the Korean fans (we all know how hard that can be sometimes), which was lovely to see. The reception of this song both in Korea and internationally was very good, I was honestly surprised. Seeing the fans cheer for Blackswan as they finished a stage was quite touching. I remember the days of black oceans (being a K-Pop fan back in the day was brutal), so seeing the fans cheer with all their might almost brought a tear to my eye.


Choreography-wise, they ate. That’s the only way I can phrase that. I couldn’t get ‘Brrr-tatata’ out of my head for a few weeks. And then there’s the dance break. Seeing the number of tiktok edits highlighting that dance break, I have no doubt in my mind that we all felt the same way about it. The choreography was done by Layback’s Park Jun-Woo, who has choreographed for various groups such as KARD, Momoland, Lee Jun-Ki, April, etc. I have to say, the choreography really matched Blackswan’s vibe. The choreography manages to be fierce and strong while still keeping a soft and elegant vibe which I really liked.


Blackswan, Waterbomb festival instagram post
(Image Credit: Blackswan Official Instagram)

With the great reception, Blackswan were invited to perform at this year’s Waterbomb festival (Behind the scenes footage can be found here). It’s so lovely to see them get up on such a big stage. Waterbomb is one of the biggest festivals in South Korea and is held every year. Artists such as CL, Kai (EXO), Jay Park, Hwasa (MAMAMOO), Aespa, (G)I-DLE, etc. have graced the Waterbomb stage which shows just how big a deal performing there can be. Although their stage was short, the girls gave it their all and did a very excellent job.


I hope to see even more great things from the girls of Blackswan. Also, I really hope that after all the past issues, this current line-up can achieve even greater things. I’m looking forward to a Blackswan first win.


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