Saturday, 29 November 2008

European talent Ilja Alexander talks to K-popped!

Wait a minute, Ilja Alexander ain’t Korean (he’s from Amsterdam, the Netherlands), what on earth is he doing in K-popped!? Read on and we’ll let you in on the connection.

Hallyuwood beckons?: European talent
Ilja Alexander wants to break into South Korea

You know that tiny rumour about Ilja Alexander being cast for Full House 2? It’s just that – a ‘lil rumour. Even the talent's manager was surprised to hear it.

Nonetheless, the 28-year-old wants to break into South Korea. So far, the only Korean-related project Ilja has done is an international commercial for Woori.

However in 2009, Ilja is heading to the land of the Hallyu to promote his music and complete his debut album, which will be released next year.

You can check out his single Fire in the Rain below. (If you dig the track, you can download the MP3 at Ilja's MySpace or official website.)

Ilja is currently doing the necessary to crossover to Korea - he's learning the Korean language.

What a turn of events. We hear about Korean stars learning English in their attempt to break into English-speaking markets (read: USA), and here we have a European talent (who is fluent in English by the way) doing the opposite.

And so, K-popped! was offered the opportunity to personally ask Ilja about his plans :-).

But first, the lowdown on the Chinese/Indonesian/Dutch talent:

Name: Ilja Alexander
Date of birth: February 13, 1980
Height: 178cm
Weight: 63 kg
Blood type: Don’t know
Family: Gonna be uncle soon! :-) Two sisters, one brother, father, mother & stepfather, my best friends and two cats.
Education: Masters degree in Economics from the Free University of Amsterdam (Vrije Universiteit van Amsterdam)
Hobbies: Karate, fitness, swimming, skiing, cooking and watching movies

Likes: 'The lips of Jeon Ji Hyun are very sexy.'

What Korean movie/drama have you watched and who is your fav Korean actress?

Hahaha…Korean actresses are very beautiful, do I need to make one choice?!

Well, the lips of Jeon Ji Hyun are very sexy and she definitely is very cute. I like her movies My Sassy Girl and Il Mare. There are however many other movies I have seen like Secret Sunshine, A Moment to Remember and action movies like Old Boy and A Bittersweet Life.

You speak English, Dutch, Bahasa Indonesia and Japanese…and are currently learning Korean. Tell us – in English, please – a funny incident while learning the Korean language.

Well, I have two cats that seem to enjoy studying Korean as I do. Each time I play the audio disc to listen to the Korean pronunciation lessons, one cat sits next to the speaker on my bed -- listening with his eyes and ears wide open. The other cat would normally jump on my desk and carefully examine me writing Hangul on my exercise papers.

At these moments, my cats really appear to be children…the 2nd cat that appears to read Hangul must have been a human in a past life. I really think she is reincarnated.

Relationship: 'If I'm pretending to be single I would
never tell you.'

Are you still single or pretending to be single to, you know, give fangirls a (false) sense of hope?

Hahaha…if I'm pretending to be single I would never tell you. But the truth is I’m really 100% single…or maybe something less than 100% :-).

But I really love pro-active girls who take the first step, so please attack me when you get a hold of me and we’ll grab dinner somewhere!

What exotic dish would you whip up to woo a girl?

Well, I tried to make dessert for a girl during a romantic dinner at my house once.

I wanted to make flamed bananas with vanilla ice cream, orange liquor and melted chocolate sauce. So as I had seen in a restaurant, I took a big pan into the living room, put the bananas in the pan and poured orange liquor on top of them.

The next step was to put the bananas on fire. I lit a match, tried to set the liquor on fire….but nothing happened! A little more liquor didn’t help, so in the end I took a stronger alcoholic drink (actually, the bottle with the highest alcohol percentage) to help me fire the bananas.

I used stro-rum. Poured a little rum on top of the liquor, lit another match, fired the bananas and it worked! I got flamed bananas.

Unfortunately, the rum was too strong so the fire didn’t stop as quickly as it should have. So I got black bananas smelling like rum. No, the dessert wasn’t a big success, but my date was!

Chicks: 'Looks are not the most important thing I value in a girl.'

Would you mind if your girlfriend is someone who had undergone cosmetic surgery to enhance her looks?

You mean surgery to give her bigger breasts? :-) Don’t you know the answer to that? Hahaha. No kiddin’, actually to me looks are not the most important thing I value in a girl. It’s more about character, personality, inner beauty, ambition and life experience. Generally, the girls I am attracted to don’t care for cosmetic surgery and neither do I.

Why are you interested in breaking into the Asian market, especially South Korea? Are you not interested in the European market?

I really like living in the Netherlands, but life in cities such as Seoul, Tokyo, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur or Bangkok is much more happening, exciting and challenging than in Amsterdam. I like to see the world, experience other cultures and broaden my view.

Particularly in countries like Japan and South Korea, I think I would feel at home.

The other reason why I’m interested in breaking into the Asian market is because the market is much bigger than the European market and because it is still more difficult for Asians to break into western markets. But I’m interested in both the Asian and European markets, even in the US market.

The South Korean entertainment scene has so many fantastic homegrown entertainers. What is Ilja Alexander bringing to this already saturated platform?

I can bring Europe closer to South Korea. South Korea is very eager to export their artists to foreign countries, but until now they haven’t succeeded in launching their artists in Europe.

Also, it still seems difficult for Asians to become major international pop stars in western countries. I think the time has come to change this, to tear down this wall. By moving to South Korea, I think I will succeed in targeting both Asia and Europe. I’d become a local (Korean) artist, yet at the same time a European singer/songwriter.

Besides, any market in any country is never saturated. The public always wants to hear new artists with a slightly different sound than the status quo. When I lived in Japan, I noticed that the Japanese really liked my songwriting and I’m confident this will also be the case in South Korea.

Wish: 'Would be great though to record a duet with Hyori Lee.'

Which Korean singer would you like to work with and why?

Hahaha…maybe Rain can teach me some sexy dance moves. No kiddin’..uhm…would be great though to record a duet with Hyori Lee. Wouldn’t mind if the rehearsals would never stop. It would be a perfect day without an ending :-).

How would you like to break into the Korean entertainment scene – as an actor or a singer?

I would prefer to break into the Korean entertainment scene as a singer/songwriter. But accepting a role in a drama or movie might help me break into the Korean entertainment scene faster.

If you weren’t a songwriter/singer/actor/model, what would you be doing today?

I would start my own multinational trading and manufacturing company.

Dream: 'One of my projects is to set up the framework
for the Ilja Alexander Foundation.'

Tell us what projects you have lined-up.

One of my projects is to set up the framework for the Ilja Alexander Foundation. The foundation will subsidize poor students from Third World countries to study about each other’s culture, economy, history, religion, spirituality and martial arts (body and mind).

These students will be placed in classes with students from Western countries, so the courses will also tackle Western topics. My objective is to set up an economic study program in association with a university.

The objective of the study program is to overcome cultural differences, to create more understanding for other values and beliefs and to lower the causes for war for future generations.

When you bag your first Korean drama role, would you invite the K-popped! Trio to spend a day or two on set with you?

Of course…can I ask you to bring some Malaysian snacks?

Sure Ilja, sure. We'll be waiting for that phone call of yours ;-). With that said, all the best for your K-popped! plans.


Anonymous said...

he's hot!!

Eunji said...

~I love you Ilja!!~ Your song rocks :)

SC said...

Aw, as someone from Amsterdam that's nice news to hear! And he's cute enough.

Don't really like the track though; his English might be fluent, but his lyrics could be more eloquent...

Tyler said...

The song kinda sucks.

Candy** said...

Great song, I just downloaded it ^_^ *Candy

Anonymous said...

WOW!! :-)

I googled the guy and found him naked haha

*gosh* he's hot! I will definitely wait for him at Seoul airport *wah*

Eunji said...

chocolate abs~

fraye said...

Wow, how did you meet up with him? :) But he's hot.

K-popped trio are very good at giving interviews. :D

オリビアゆみ said...

I'm looking forward to learning more about him!!!

His comments about his cats made him seem real, so when he comes out with something in Korea, I will support him!

peepoo said...

he's cute but i'm so not feeling his song.

LiLY said...

So sweet song, luv!!

Anonymous said...

His voice seems nice but was he reading or singing?

fraulein said...

He is cute but not my cup of tea.

And the only similarity I see between him and Rain's character are the longish tousled locks.

betty said...

i doubt he'll be given the time or day if he wants to break into the European market...

oh so.. mixing up Chinese, Indonesian and Dutch blood will actually give you a korean look. i better avoid that for my future son's sake lol

daisyj said...

congratulations to K-popped on this exclusive interview!

Ilja is okay. He sounds very down to earth.

Anonymous said...

Ilja oppa!! ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

wawa said...


your interview was great!
i love all the questions...
multi-language!!! so, we can speak malay with him too???

Orchid said...

Thanks for the interview Ilja! We will be keeping close tabs on you...and we wish you all the best in your projects!

Hey readers, Ilja might just read the comments you make here! ;-)

Orchid (^o^)v

aya said...

wow. Didnt expect he sound like that.. well, not really my type

NUMI said...

ilja you really made my day! xx

|| Lyññ || said...

nice interview!
oo... can't wait for more news... hope he lands a role and u guys can see him!! haha... nice job~~

Nozomi said...

I always wondered if anyone outside of korea would try to break into the korean entertainment industry.

This guy is hot! I wish him luck on his adventure.

iyah said...

waa~~ its good to see people taking up interest in the korean showbiz..

&& this guy might be the next big thing~!

must watch out!

the interview is
can we add him on facebook tho??..

Tina said...

Wah, this Ilja guy sounds interesting but I'm not too sure about his song. It's not my kind of music. If he makes it big in the land of Hallyu good for him. Best of luck, Mr. Alexander.

Anonymous said...

well his voice is kinda crap..such a body and then a voice like i dont know like a douche bag?! i thought he had a nice husky voice..but bad..

Sophie said...

he's dutch! i'm proud ^_^ and he's hot. ;p


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