Rapper, model, and actor Kris Wu is making waves in America as the first Chinese artist to reach the top spot on the US iTunes charts with his single DESERVE, a collaboration between him and Travis Scott.
Wu, who moved to Vancouver as a kid, has blown up since his time in K-pop boy band juggernaut EXO–he’s starred in xXx: The Return of Vander Cage and Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, reps Burberry as the brand’s first non-British global ambassador, and is killing it on Weibo and Instagram, among other accolades. He’s also only 26 years old.
I-D’s Taylor Glasby interviewed Wu about his big iTunes recognition and where he sees entertainment going as it relates to representation and his own brand. Here are four key takeaways from the interview.
On reaching #1 on US iTunes:
“I always want to be the pioneer when I do things..if I hit the Billboard top 100, I’ll be the first Chinese male artist to do it, I think. I’d treat my entire team to a vacation!”
On the responsibility of being a trailblazer for Chinese artists in America:
“I want to set an example to the youth but at the same time, this is me, this is what I do. I say I want to be a pioneer but some things just happen, then they work out and I get more ambitious, and there is responsibility. It doesn’t get so big like, I’m representing the people of China…no way. But I want to make my fans and myself proud.”
On befriending fellow xXx star Vin Diesel:
“When I first met him on set, I was a little scared, like is he gonna be cool with me? But he was super nice and ever since then we’ve been close. You wouldn’t imagine that we’d be gaming at home, like on internet games all night. Every time I come to LA, he tells me to come over and chill. He gives me advice, he introduces me to good people. We’re like family now.”
On Asian representation in Hollywood:
“You know what, recently I actually had an offer for a lead male in a Hollywood movie, and not an action movie. I can’t tell you what it is because I said no to it–I don’t have any time and I’m doing music–so yes, I do see it happening. Not in the next ten years, but the next two or three. Five max.”