Despite choosing to pursue a career in South Korea, BLACKPINK‘s Lisa has always been vocal and proud about her Thai heritage. Born and raised in Thailand until she was recruited by YG Entertainment, Lisa recently opened up about how she specifically requested Thai-style elements for her solo—but did you catch them all? Here are five of the ways Lisa infused “LALISA” with Thai culture.
1. Thai music
“LALISA” may be a K-Pop song, but that didn’t stop Lisa from ensuring Thai sounds were seamlessly blended into the track. Alongside brass riffs and rhythmic percussion, the song also includes traditional Thai instrumental elements that make it an unforgettable listen.
2. Thai dance
Given that Lisa is one of K-Pop’s most popular dance queens, incorporating traditional Thai dance moves into her solo debut was a must. One element that really stands out is what Lisa’s background dancers are doing in this scene.
This part of the choreography appears to be a reference to the Thousand Hands Guan Yin dance, which reflects a Buddhist legend. While the dance was originally created by a Chinese choreographer, it’s well-loved in Thailand where over 90% of citizens (including Lisa herself) follow Buddhism.
3. Thai clothing
Fashionista Lisa also brought traditional costume design from Thailand into “LALISA.” Perhaps the most standout element is the mongkut headpiece (also known as the chada) she wears in the music video’s all-gold sequence. Symbolizing royalty, these headpieces are used as crowns in Southeast Asian countries like Thailand and are often associated with Buddha.
In the same scene, Lisa can also be seen wearing a stunning gold dress. Custom-made by a local Thai designer, ASAVA, the dress is intended to be a modern reinterpretation of traditional Thai attire like the sabai (breast shawl) and zin (sarong wrap).
4. Thai writing
The street Lisa walks down in the opening of the “LALISA” music video may look like a regular road, but it’s actually a melting pot of cultures. Alongside English, Korean, Japanese, and Chinese script, look closely and you’ll also notice words written in Thai on some of the set’s establishments. The faux restaurant on the right here, for example, says “food” in Thai.
5. Thailand outline
One nod to Thailand came before “LALISA” was even released. In the first “Visual Teaser” for the song released late last month, Lisa sits illuminated by lightning strikes. But while the shapes may look random, they’re anything but.
Combined, the lightning bolts actually outline the map of Thailand.