Kris Wu

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  • Post category:China

Name: Kris Wu 

Country: China 

Date: November 6, 1990

Education: Point Grey Secondary School, Sir Winston Churchill  Secondary School

Type of Business: Rapper, Actor, Model 

Main Achievements: being the first Chinese artist to rank no.1 in the US I-tunes downloads chart

Something interesting about this person: He has popularized phrases like “Skr Skr” and “Can you freestyle?” in China

Biography:

Kris Wu is a Canadian-Chinese born singer, actor, and rapper. He is a former member of the K-pop group EXO. He was born on November 6, 1990, in Guangzhou. He moved to Vancouver, Canada, with his mother at the age of 10. He studied in Point Grey Secondary School and eventually attended Sir Winston Churchill Secondary School, where he finished high school. 

His mother wanted him to study and become a lawyer or doctor. Though Kris was a smart student, he was not very interested in studying. He was passionate about basketball, and started playing and even became the captain of a provincial team in British Columbia. However, he stopped growing, and Kris got a feeling he might not just be able to become a professional player. After graduating from high school, he felt somewhat lost. 

Around this time, SM entertainment was scouting young talent for their upcoming pop band. SM Entertainment is one of the most influential labels in the K-pop industry with acts such as Shinee, F(x), Girls Generation, Red Velvet, and, most recently, NCT.  Wu loved music, a love that began when he started watching NBA matches. This is where his love for hip hop emerged. He started looking up the music that was played during NBA matches and started listening to 50 cents, jay z, Pharell, and snoop dog.

At the time, Kris decided to give it a try. He passed the auditions and received a free ticket to go to South Korea with his mom. He decided to stay become a trainee in SM Entertainment, one of the big three entertainment companies in the Kpop industry. He started his career in the music world. He debuted as part of a pop group called EXO, where he was part of the Chinese lineup. SM entertainment believed the Chinese market had a lot of potentials to become profitable. Hence, they wanted a band to be performing in China.

Kris debuted as part of the 12 member band called EXO in 2012. He was part of the subunit EXO-M which was the subunit that performed in China. They quickly became the most popular boy band in K-pop. Some of their famous hits include “Growl” and “Overdose.”  

Despite being part of the most popular band at the time, in 2014, he decided to leave file a lawsuit to terminate his contract. Kris’s departure was a big deal because Exo opened the doors of pop to china. Ironically enough, Wu’s popularity did not decrease and was welcomed warmly upon his return to China. 

However, Wu did not start releasing music immediately. The Chinese entertainment industry was observing a high demand in movies in 2015. Hence, they started acting and modeling. In various interviews, he has stated that The film industry became a big thing. Hence he started acting for two years. After he stopped singing, he became an actor. Though his acting received mixed reviews, the return of Xander cage performed better in China than it did in the US.

In 2016, he became a brand ambassador for Burberry, being the first person of Chinese descent to do so. Not only did he collaborate with the brand to create custom “looks,” but he also walked the 2016 Fall Burberry Fashion runway in London. He has also been a brand ambassador for Bvlgari. 

However,  Wu kept releasing music in between like “Juice” and “July.” However, when he released “Deserve,” a collaboration with Travis Scott, he managed to snag the number 1 spot in the i-tunes charts. He was the first Chinese artist to do so. A feat that he repeated when he released his album “Antares” in 2018. He snagged the first seven spots in the US i-tunes chart dethroning Ariana Grande’s “Thank you, next.” This resulted in the fans of both artists. At the end of the day, though, it earned him a lot of fame in the US market. Kris has been since then attempting to become a bridge of sorts between Chinese music and mainstream American music. 

Links:

https://www.vogue.com/article/exo-kris-wu-burberry-runway