K-TREND | May.14.2024

KARINA: The Charismatic Leader of aespa




Real Name: Yu Jimin, 유지민, 劉知珉 

Date of Birth: April 11, 2000  

Nationality: Korea   

Company: SM Entertainment   

Group: aespa   

Position: Leader   




Karina aspired to become a singer starting in 2007, when she was in the first grade of elementary school. After witnessing Girls' Generation's "Into The New World" kick dance, she was inspired to pursue a career in music. This early exposure to K-pop set the foundation for her future in the industry.





During her middle and high school years, Karina actively participated in her school's dance club, honing her skills in performance and choreography. This period was crucial in developing her talents as a dancer, which would later become a significant part of her identity as a performer.




Karina's path to becoming a K-pop idol was unique. Discovered while still in her first year of high school, she was scouted and eventually dropped out before her second year to pursue her dream. Initially popular as an Instagram figure, she was first approached through a direct message. Despite challenges, including a casting agent's departure from SM Entertainment, she was scouted again by another staff member via direct message, leading to her eventual debut.




Karina debuted with aespa on November 17, 2020, showcasing her talents as a lead rapper and vocalist. Her role in the group is distinguished by her deep tone in "Next Level," her rapid and rhythmic rap in "Savage," and her unique "alien rap" in "Dreams Come True." Her performances in aespa's songs, including "Girls" and GOT the beat's "Stamp On It" album, particularly in "Alter Ego," "Thorn," and "MALA," have been highly praised.




Karina's story is one of a dream realized through perseverance, talent, and leadership. As the leader of aespa, she continues to inspire fans worldwide, showcasing her diverse talents as a singer, rapper, dancer, and leader.