first russian Kpop idol

Meet Lana, The First Russian Kpop Idol | Interesting Facts, Profile, And 2023 Events 

Did you know that there was a Russian Kpop idol? Yes her name is Lana or Yudina Svetlana Dmitrievna. Find out more about her and the controversy surrounding Lana’s debut in Kpop in this article! 

When we think of Kpop, we think of South Korean boys and girls killing it with their music, dance, and performing skills.

But sometimes, the performers of “Korean” pop are not always Korean.

There have always been Japanese and Chinese-origin Kpop idols, but recently there has been an influx of debutants from other countries and races into the Kpop industry.

One such idol is Yudina Svetlana Dmitrievna or Lana as she’s casually known.

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Related: Youngest Kpop Idols In The Industry Right Now

Looking at Lana, you cannot really tell she’s Russian. She has Tatar ancestry which gives her features similar to East Asians so at first glance you will think that Lana is Korean.

Lana’s debut was met with enthusiasm and warmth, however there was backlash from a certain section. 

This whole controversy centers on the debate as to what exactly it means to be a “Korean” pop artist. And how Kpop can remain Korean if it’s not a Korean person who’s performing it. 

First Russian Kpop Idol 

lana kpop idol
Source: Instagram@lao.pyc

Whether you approve of Lana or disapprove of her, or other non-Koreans in the Kpop music industry, you cannot deny that she’s stirred up a conversation.

True to the expression, “any publicity is good publicity”, people are now more interested in Lana now than ever! 

So here, I have gathered all the information I could find on Yudina Svetlana or Lana as she’s known in Korea. Check it out! 

Who Is Yudina Svetlana Dmitrievna?

lana kpop idol before surgery
Source: Instagram@__lanalicious

Yudina Svetlana is a Kpop artist of Russian origin. Her stage name is just Lana but her actual Korean name is Yoo Lana.

You can spell her name in Russian as Юдина Светлана Дмитриевна  and then in Korean Hangul as 유디나 쉗라나 디미트리에브나. 

She’s not of Korean descent as both her parents are Russian. But she has East Asian features as she hails from a city called Poronaysk in a island near Japan called Sakhalin which is a part of the Russian Federation.

Lana’s father is mixed and is half-Tatar. So that makes her quarter Tatar. Her mother is ethnically a Bashkir, so these mixed genes give her facial features that are usually found in Japanese, Chinese or Korean-origin people. 

She made her debut in 2019 under HiCC Entertainment as a soloist. Lana released her first single called “Take The Wheel”, on the 27th of June. 

Interesting Facts About Lana – The First Russian Kpop Idol!

If you want to know more about Lana, the first Russian Kpop idol in the Korean music industry, I have listed out a few interesting facts about her below:

who was the first non korean kpop idol
  • Lana’s full name is Yudina Svetlana Dmitrievna
  • Her birthday is on Nov 23, 1996.
  • This makes her 25 years old as of 2022
  • Lana’s sun sign is Sagittarius and her Chinese zodiac sign is the Rat
  • Her height is 5’7″ or 170 cm tall
  • She has two Korean names as well: Yoo Eun-bi (유은비) and Yoo Lana (유라나)
  • She also has a Chinese name which is Liǔ Ēnfēi (柳恩菲)
  • Lana got interested in Korean culture after watching “Boys After Flowers” a popular Korean drama. She left for Korea in 2014 to study the language after falling in love with it while watching the show
  • She debuted with a single called “Take the Wheel” on the 27th of June 2019
  • Lana also came out with a second single shortly afterwards called “Make It Real” which was released digitally as a surprise for her fans.

What Else Is Lana Upto In 2022

Lana has nothing lined up in 2022 as far as we know as there have been no announcements by her entertainment company. 

Her last project was in 2021 where she released a song accompanied by a music video that was completely self-made. The song was titled “Flyin in the Sky” and was released on Soundcloud as well. 

Lana was also seen in Produce Camp 2020, which is a Chinese reality TV show. 

She’s Not The Only Russian In Kpop

If you’re thinking that Lana is the only Russian woman in Kpop, well you’re wrong. In 2016, Sophia Ramazanova made headlines as the first Caucasian woman to foray into the Kpop world.

She started off as a member of the Korean girl group O My Jewel. And since January of 2021, Sophia is signed to ALLART Entertainment as a soloist. 

Unlike Lana, Sophia is ethnically white and has distinctive Caucasian features. 

Lana Kpop Controversy: What Defines “Korean” Pop Music?

Not everyone was thrilled when Lana made her debut in 2019. 

There were some Kpop fans who claimed that she wasn’t ready to be an idol and that her entertainment company HiCC made her debut too soon. 

Fans claimed that her vocals were not up to par and that her dance skills were shaky at best.

A certain other section of Korean fans were not happy that a Russian girl was in Kpop.

They claimed she was a “Koreaboo” or a person who fetishizes Korean culture. 

Others were worried about how the influx of foreigners in Kpop would affect Korean culture. They wanted Korean music to be a Korean-only thing. 

But this criticism seemed ill-founded as there are other Kpop idols like Lisa from Blackpink and Momo from Twice who are, like Lana, by nationality not Korean even though they look Asian. 

I think Lana should be given props for learning a new language and trying to fit into a completely new culture. 

FAQs about Lana And Russian Kpop Idols

If you have any more doubts about who Lana is and how Russian or other foreign individuals perform in the Kpop industry, here I have answered some frequently asked questions.

Is LANA White K-pop?

Well, no Lana or Svetlana is not a white person. Do not let her name or Russian nationality fool you. She’s from a place called Sakhalin, which is a Russian island near the top of Japan. 
So there’s a lot of Asian people here. And by Asian I mean people with East-Asian facial features as technically a part of Russia is in Asia. 
Lana also has Tatar ancestry from her father’s side of the family. So she’s definitely not white. 

Are there any foreign K-pop idols?

There are several foreign Kpop idols. The most famous ones being Lisa from Blackpink, who’s originally from Thailand and Lay from Exo who’s Chinese. There’s also Fatuo from BLACKSWAN who’s of Sinhalese descent and is the first Black Kpop idol. 
Some other Kpop idols who are of foreign descent are Yuto and Shutaro of NCT, Got7’s Jackson Wang, and Momo and Sana of TWICE. 

Is LANA fully Russian?

Yes, Lana is fully Russian. She has no parents of Korean descent. Lana has East Asian facial features because the place in Russia she’s from is geographically very close to Japan. And also, she’s partly Tatar. So we can say that in nationality she’s fully Russian, but in ethnicity, Lana is mixed.

Are there any foreign K-pop idols?

There are several foreign Kpop idols. The most famous ones being Lisa from Blackpink, who’s originally from Thailand and Lay from Exo who’s Chinese. There’s also Fatuo from BLACKSWAN who’s of Sinhalese descent and is the first Black Kpop idol. 
Some other Kpop idols who are of foreign descent are Yuto and Shutaro of NCT, Got7’s Jackson Wang, and Momo and Sana of TWICE. 

Does Russia like K-pop?

There was a survey conducted in Russia about this in 2019. And the results were interesting. About 23.2 percent of Russians thought Kpop was popular in the country. But another 32 percent believed that this popularity is limited to a certain group of people in cities. 

Who is the first white K-pop idol?

While Lana is Russian, ethnically she’s still Asian. However there is another Russian Kpop idol who’s making waves these days and that’s Sofiia Ramazanova. Unlike Lana, she’s a white Caucasian person. 

My Final Thoughts on The First Russian Kpop Idol

While it might be a bit strange to see non-Koreans or rather non-Asians in the Kpop scene, things are surely changing.

A few fans of Kpop are of the opinion that having foreign idols helps increase representation and brings a ray of hope to non-Korean fans who want to be idols themselves.

There is also an argument that having foreign idols can help bring in new perspectives and musical outlooks in the Kpop industry.

However, another section of Kpop fans are strictly against foreign idols debuting in Kpop, especially if they are non-Asian. 

They argue that “Korean” pop doesn’t really remain Korean if we have foreigners singing it. And that it also deprives Korean nationals of chances of becoming Kpop idols.

Whatever your point of view, you cannot deny that there are several foreign idols in the Korean music industry right now. 

There’s Lisa from Blackpink who’s originally from Thailand, Exo’s Lay who’s Chinese and so on.

Now there are even Kpop idols of different races such as Fatou from BLACKSWAN. 

So diversity in Kpop is here to stay! 

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Kpop Idols With Birthdays In November

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