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Rebecca set for a dream pop Korea
A TEENAGER from Basingstoke has become an overnight pop sensation in the Far East after posting a video of herself singing online.
Rebecca Strachan, 19, from Aster Road, Kempshott, Basingstoke, was catapulted to attention when she uploaded a video of her and a friend singing in Korean on the popular video-sharing website YouTube.
Since it went live in November, the video has received more than 130,000 hits and led to record executives offering the pair the chance to go to the South Korean capital Seoul for a series of gigs.
Rebecca will now fly out next month to receive expert singing and dancing tuition and is set to play her first gig at a festival in May.
The trip will be funded by Korean social networking website Gypsii and record label JYP Entertainment.
She said: "I can't believe the amount of interest we've received in Korea and the whole thing seems like a dream. When I posted the video, I was totally unprepared for all the attention.
"I love Korean music and it's my dream to make it as a pop singer there.
"My family don't know what to make of it and my friends have been really supportive. I can't wait to go out there and, hopefully, with a bit of luck and hard work, I can make it as a star."
Rebecca discovered Asian music in 2003 after searching for the soundtrack to her favourite computer game Final Fantasy.
She began studying Japanese at Queen Mary's College, in Basingstoke, and taught herself Korean. She started mimicking her favourite artists and then posted a video of herself and friend Sharon Schilperoord, 18, who lives in Holland, singing a popular Korean song on YouTube.
The pair met via an online forum and managed to record the song by sending vocals to each other via e-mail.
Within five days of being uploaded, the video received more than 65,000 hits and hundreds of people were leaving comments about how well the western pair had performed tricky pronunciation.
Since then, Rebecca has covered other popular Korean songs, which have also been posted online.
Her mum, Rosemarie, 41, said: "Rebecca dreamed of being a Korean singer, so I suggested posting a video online because I've heard of people getting noticed that way.
"When she said how many hits it had received and that people wanted to fly her out there, I couldn't believe it. I've checked out that everything is legitimate and fully support her."
Kyu Sub Choi, chief executive of Gypsii, said: "Rebecca is a very talented and highly-motivated young lady. Her cover versions of Korean pop songs have attracted tremendous attention on YouTube and Korean websites and, globally, more than a million people have viewed her video.
"She is a raw diamond and we intend to make her a singing sensation in Korea."
Despite also being offered the chance to fly to South Korea, Rebecca's friend Sharon has decided to finish college first.
Rebecca is following in the footsteps of other stars from the UK who made a name for themselves online, including Arctic Monkeys and Lily Allen.