KEY POINTS

  • Lisa Manoban first performed at a school event when she was 5
  • “Lalisa,” her first solo album was released on Sept. 10
  • Lisa said her iconic bangs was her mom's idea

When Lisa Manoban first met the group that would later be known as Blackpink, she gravitated to just one person -- the only person who greeted her in English, Jennie. 

There was an understandable language barrier in the beginning as Lisa - a Thai native, joined YG Entertainment as a trainee with other young girls hoping to debut as part of the girl group Blackpink. 

“I met Jennie first and then after that, Jisoo and Rose,” Lisa said in an interview with Rolling Stone for “The First Time” series.

“I remember Jennie, she was the only one to say ‘hi’ to me in English because other people can’t talk in English and we were super close…and Jisoo, unnie, I remember that when I first saw her, she wore a red hoodie. And she would always wear that. Seriously, every day she wore that to practice. And for Rose, she had a guitar with her,” Lisa said with a laugh. “I remember I was like, wow! She’s from Australia and she’s the same age as me which was really cool to have a new friend come in.”

Since their launch in 2016, Blackpink has toured the world and performed in sold-out concerts but for Lisa, her first performance was in her kindergarten years at a school event.

“I was like, five… I did a traditional Thai dance. It was fun.”

Even before the release of “Lalisa” on Sept. 10, Lisa had already won the hearts of many with her charm and talent as proven by her massive Instagram followers which now stand at 60. 2 million.

In February, she was first proclaimed as the most followed K-pop idol on the popular photo-sharing site followed by Jennie who has 51.8 million followers, Rosé who has 46.8 million followers and Jisoo with 46.5 million followers.

Lisa still holds the title of having the greatest number of followers in the Korean entertainment industry and she is definitely happy about it.

“It makes me so happy, but I’m not sure how to express my gratitude… Thank you to all the Blinks around the world. Thank you that you like me” she said with a chuckle.

Lisa also recalled learning Korean easily because of her teacher’s unique style of teaching. 

“My teacher, she doesn’t want me to keep speaking in English. She’s trying to keep me speaking in Korean during the hour-long class, we spoke only in Korean. I didn’t know any Korean but she only spoke in Korean so it was really tough. But I think because she did that, I was able to improve quickly," the singer told Rolling Stone.

On her iconic bangs, Lisa said it was her mom’s idea to conceal her forehead. Though she initially objected to the idea, she is now grateful to her mom because her bangs make her memorable to people.

“If you think of Lalisa or Lisa, you’re gonna remember, ‘oh Lisa has bangs,’” she said.

Her first solo album, "Lalisa" debuted at No. 84 on this week’s Billboard Hot 100, which ranks the week’s most popular songs in the United States.

Blackpink member Lisa NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 12: Lisa of Blackpink attends the Michael Kors Collection Spring 2019 Runway Show at Pier 17 on September 12, 2018 in New York City. Photo: Larry Busacca/Getty Images for Michael Kors