With over 5 million views on her music video for debut track, “126.96.36.199,” which was released on October 28, Lee Hi (also known as Lee Ha Yi) has already captured the interest of foreigners abroad, starting with Billboard.com; this is a music site that provides chart rankings, reviews and biographies of hot and upcoming artists. For her quick ascent up the K-Pop Top 100 songs chart, Lee Hi was quickly researched and given the spotlight with a thorough biography which tracks her beginnings as an artist back to her K-Pop Star Audition days. Author of the article, Jeff Benjamin even goes as to introduce several other talented K-Pop artists in the same article such as miss A and NS Yoon-G.
Ever since PSY‘s “Gangnam Style“, it appears that K-Pop has finally been able to reach a greater audience, surpassing language barriers and garnering respect and appreciation for its creativity and musicality. This is evidence by the recent boost in viewership on sites like Youtube that provide the perfect platform for Korean artists to upload their music videos, which fan will often subtitle for international fans to enjoy. You could say that the HallYu wave is now beginning to spread beyond Asia and the Pacific Islands.
To have already achieved this level of recognition from abroad as a debut artist is quite a feat for 16-year-old Lee Hi. Great expectations have been placed on the solo artist, whose distinct soulful voice is bound to continue to enrapture others in Korean culture and Korean K-pop as other artists before her have.