By AUBREE STAMPER, Photo Editor
You might have seen his face all over billboards and ads across China, on the big screen in some of China’s highest grossing films of all-time, or even on your own TV screen. He’s a Canadian-Chinese actor, rapper, model, singer, and songwriter. His name is Kris Wu, and he’s moving in on the hip-hop scene right here in America.
Wu’s career started in 2012 when he debuted in the mega popular K-pop group EXO as the rapper and leader of the subgroup EXO-M. The unit was based in China where Wu was born before his family moved to Vancouver. EXO rose to fame in 2013 with the hit “Growl” which lead them to sell 1 million copies of their first album XOXO and garner global attention.
A year later, Wu filed a lawsuit against his company SM Entertainment to void his contract and leave the group. Though it was said he left because of health issues and mistreatment, in a recent interview with Real 92.3 LA Wu said,
“I didn’t really have much freedom, they feed you the music and you just kinda do it. I wasn’t really feeling it so after two years I left, went back to China, then started doing solo stuff.”
Now he’s basically a household name in China where he has almost 27 million followers on Weibo and 16+ awards for his singing, acting, and fashion.
But Wu wants to go global.
The 27-year-old already made his Hollywood debut in the 2017 film xXx: Return of Xander Cage alongside Vin Diesel, and released the song “Juice” as a part of the film’s soundtrack. The actor has eight other films under his belt and two in the works as well.
As for his runway debut, Wu checked that off his list when he walked in Burberry’s Fall 2016 Men’s show in London. He was also chosen as the brand’s global ambassador that year.
Wu also played in the 2016 and 2017 NBA All-Star games where he caught everyone’s attention because of his very passionate group of fans in the crowd. Twitter became filled with tweets asking who the Asian guy with more fans than Drake is.
“Idk who this Asian guy is, but everytime he touches the ball he gets reactions like he dropped a hot bar or somethin,” wrote one man on Twitter.
Wu’s biggest feat though came in October when the rapper released the single “Deserve” featuring Travis Scott and hit the No.1 spot of the US iTunes Top Songs chart.
“We started with the music first and I think that’s why this collaboration means something,” Wu told Real 92.3 LA, “I’m really trying to be the bridge that connects the east and west.”
Wu is currently working on an English album and was even in the studio with Pharrell before they performed in Shanghai together on November 11. Wu has a huge influence among the youth in China, but without many Asians in the American hip-hop scene, he knows it’ll be difficult to crossover to the west.
“I definitely feel like it’s not gonna be easy,” he said, “the music needs to be good.”
You can listen to Wu’s newest single “B.M.” on Spotify and iTunes now!