Posted by AKP STAFF Wednesday, April 13, 2011

T-ara's Soyeon talks about the hardships she faced after withdrawing from SNSD


K-Pop fans are already familiar with the long list of stars that almost debuted with SNSD, but none came quite as close as T-ara's Soyeon. Soyeon fostered her dreams of becoming a star ever before she could stand in front of a mirror. After getting into an arts high school, she became a trainee at a top name agency in her senior year. Every single day, she rehearsed to the point of sweating through three different t-shirts. But was her effort not enough? Six months before she was to debut with SNSD, she withdrew from the final line-up. After returning home with an empty heart, she spent the next year and a half in what she personally declared was the hardest moment of her life. Her hardships didn't end there, though, as her grandmother and uncle - both avid supporters of her dream to become a star - met with a health crisis that eventually led to their deaths a year later. Soyeon expressed, "Up until my life right now, the year and a half I spent after leaving SNSD was the hardest point in my life. Not only my parents, but my entire family supported my dreams, especially my grandmother and uncle. But right after I had to give up my trainee life, they passed away in the same year. Both told me one thing: 'Become a singer.'" She continued, "After the funerals, I dusted myself off and tried to find my determination to reach my dreams again. I clenched my jaw and said to myself, 'Let's try this one more time.'" Coincidentally, Mnet Media released an article declaring that they were looking for one more member to complete their upcoming five member girl group. To Soyeon, it was a chance that she couldn't pass up. Soyeon stated, "I tried looking for anyone that could connect me. In the end, I had to look up Mnet's company address in order to go to them directly. A week after I begged to see the the CEO, they finally let me in. I auditioned on the spot, and it was right then that I was chosen." Soyeon debuted with T-ara in 2009 and finally achieved her dream of becoming a singer. But by then, SNSD had already made their debut, and the members of SHINee and f(x), who were both previously her juniors, were now her seniors. With a laugh, she continued, "It was really awkward when I first debuted (laughter).  At our debut broadcast, SHINee's Jonghyun and Taemin came to greet me. I treated them like I did when we were all trainees and spoke informally to them. Thinking about it now, I felt that something was off and ended up worrying a lot over it. In the end, we talked it out and decided to just regard each other like we did when we were trainees." On SNSD, she honestly replied, "After I left SNSD, I actually was very awkward with the SNSD members. But after debuting and promoting with T-ara, a lot of that has been resolved. It's only just now that my time spent with T-ara has caught up to the amount of time I spent with SNSD. I was happy with SNSD, but I don't have regrets on becoming a T-ara member. T-ara is a junior group to SNSD who hopes to become like that. I was the unni in the group with SNSD, and we all still keep in contact. Our parents are close with each other as well." After overcoming her obstacles, she's not only shining in the music industry, but in broadcasting as well. She's headlined countless times for her witty remarks on variety shows like "100 Points out of 100", and although there are a ton of idols who are deemed as 'variety idols', none have the ability in connecting with each of the guests and cast members like Soyeon does. In a recent episode, Soyeon took part in a quiz that asked guests to guess the title of a song after listening to a short sample. Despite being born in 1987, Soyeon immediately knew the answer to Kim Ji Ae's "Hateful Person", which was released in 1989. At the time, her castmembers joked that she might actually have been born in 1978 as opposed to 1987 due to her knowledge on past hits. Soyeon expressed, "(laughter) I really was born in 1987, I can even show you my ID card if you want. My parents often told me that I'd always sit in front of the TV and hum along to songs. I also had a lot of interest in music growing up, so I know a lot of our senior's songs." When asked to reveal one secret for the interview, Soyeon answered, "I might get in trouble for this, but I don't follow the script I'm given. I only check who the guests for the day are! When I go in for recordings, I just say what I feel at the moment because I think it's better to be as natural as possible without forcing a certain image of yourself onto the viewers." Now that she's achieved her dream and is at a comfortable point in her life, Soyeon concluded her interview with a bit of advice for those dreaming to become singers. Soyeon stated, "I began training 10 years ago. If I were to say just one thing, it's that I want people who 'really' and 'truly' want to become singers to pursue this path. You can't just do it, and you can't just work hard. You have to want it." She continued, "By just relying on talent alone, you won't be able to overcome the long, long years it takes. As a trainee, you might think that all you need are your dreams and passions, but once you debut, that dream and passion becomes your career and your society. You can't eat, you can't sleep, and you're left with no friends. You can't do anything except stand on stage. Really, only those who are crazy for the career should pursue it." Source: Star News via Nate

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