LISTEN: The First K-Pop Bachata is Here, Thanks to This Oklahoma Native

Lead Photo: Courtesy of ZB Label.
Courtesy of ZB Label.
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It’s no secret the global reach that K-pop has had in the last few years, almost simultaneously to Latine artists and genres taking over the music streaming game. But collaborations between K-pop artists and Latine acts haven’t been the only times these two markets have clashed: the K-pop world also fuses Latine sounds into their own music. There’s K-pop cumbia, K-pop neoperreo, and a hearty supply of Latine pop and reggeaton fusions. And now we can add bachata to the list. 

Rising K-Pop star AleXa just made one of the most surprising moves in K-pop history with the release of the Spanish version of her new single “Juliet” (June 9). On the original version of the song, AleXa laments about a one-sided relationship over an airy, melancholy pop ballad track. The Spanish version, released in tandem with five other remixes of the song, completely reinvents the single as a rhythmic, sunset bachata. The feelings of longing and heartache aren’t lost in translation on the refreshed version, and it’s guaranteed to get you in your feelings.

“I’m a fan of Latin music and culture and wanted to do something for my Spanish-speaking fans as a ‘thank you’ for the constant love and support,” AleXa told Remezcla when asked about what inspired the Spanish version of “Juliet.” While the original English version’s lyrics were penned by AleXa herself, the Spanish lyrics were penned by her dear friend Ale Zabala, whom she met while participating in NBC’s “American Song Contest.”

As a newer face in the K-pop music industry, AleXa made major moves in 2022. Her single “Wonderland,” which helped her win “American Song Contest” as representative for her home state Oklahoma, peaked at No. 38 on Billboard’s Pop Airplay Chart and made her the sixth most-played Korean artist on U.S. radio. 

Although AleXa might not be the first major K-pop artist to release a Spanish-language song, she may be the first to enter new territory by releasing a bachata. “We were debating on keeping the original melody for the Spanish version, but we decided to go Latin all the way and give it a bachata flair,” she said via email. “I think it’s great for artists to expand their discography by branching out into other languages and cultures, respectfully. Why not show some love for global fans through their languages?”

When it comes to releasing more music in Spanish, AleXa isn’t ruling it out: “If the opportunity were to arise, I would love to!”

Listen to AleXa’s “Juliet (Spanish Version)” below.