They always say change is inevitable but that doesn't mean they aren't difficult. Right now, SORN knows that more than anyone as she opens a chapter in her life where change is aplenty.
For over a decade, the Thai singer has been chasing her dream of becoming a K-pop star and it's taken her on quite the ride. From joining a singing competition show at only 14 to joining the popular K-pop group CLC, SORN's journey has been an exciting one. But now, she's facing her biggest obstacle yet: being a soloist.
The 'Scorpio' act admits it's been a lonelier path than she's used to but she's learning, growing, and maturing every step of the way hoping to, one day, become the impactful artists she dreams to be.
"[Everything's] totally different working as a solo artist. The biggest change I’ve been facing is the loneliness that I have to face because there are no longer 6 other girls who are on the same journey as me anymore... But I’m trying my best to adjust and learn to be more mature as an artist from all the experiences I had with the girls," SORN tells Bandwagon.
"I want people to be able to recognize my voice no matter what I sing and get recognition for my style that I bring to any track. I want to be able to inspire people through my music and make my listeners feel a certain way when they listen to my music."
As SORN begins anew as a soloist, Bandwagon caught up with her to talk about her journey through K-pop and the entertainment industry, what it's been like moving forward from CLC, and her latest single 'Save Me'.
Hi SORN! How has life been treating you lately?
Life has been treating me well lately! I’ve been travelling quite a lot and have been able to get the opportunity to work with different producers from all around the world. I’ve been learning a lot as a solo artist and still open to learning more things in the future too! I consider myself a rookie as a solo artist so I’m super excited to see what the future has planned for me.
Let’s start from the beginning, what first drew you into music and the world of K-pop? How did you know that this is what you wanted to pursue as a career?
I actually didn’t really know what K-pop was at first but when I saw an advertisement when I was 14 for a show called TVN K-pop Starhunt I decided to try it out and from that time onwards it’s been almost 11 years.
I always knew I wanted to be in the entertainment industry because my family already has a background in the industry since I was small. I was also always passionate about singing and music so when I saw the opportunity to enter the K-pop world I didn’t even hesitate and decided to take that risk. Thinking about it now I think I was quite a courageous kid. But I do think that was the best decision I had ever made in my life at the age of 15 to move to Korea and pursue my dreams in the K-pop industry.
What is it like going from performing as part of a group to now being a soloist? What are some things you’ve learned during your time in CLC that you’re carrying with you for your solo career?
I think everything is totally different working as a solo artist. The biggest change I’ve been facing is the loneliness that I have to face because there are no longer 6 other girls who are on the same journey as me anymore. I have to make decisions myself, practice on my own, plan things on my own, and that can sometimes be super lonely. But I’m trying my best to adjust and learn to be more mature as an artist from all the experiences I had with the girls.
I also did learn a lot of precious things from being with my girls and the most important that I’ve been trying to adjust to my life is: how to work with different types of people in different countries and different backgrounds. I think because I’ve worked and lived with so many people when I was in K-pop, that had taught me to become more open-minded and flexible with anything that/anyone I face in my career.
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How would you describe the music that you make? What impact would you like it to have on your listeners?
I would say that I’m pretty versatile when it comes to music. I am more of a pop singer now as a solo artist but to be honest I am open and down to release any type of music out there. I don’t think that I really have a fixed type of genre for myself. The most important thing for me right now is to show people my skills and what I can do as an artist.
I think there’s no boundaries when it comes to music and as an artist I would love to unite people from all around the world together through my music. As a Thai person who grew up in K-pop and now singing pop music, I would love to use my music to inspire people who might have the same dream as me and connect people together!
Who are some of the artists that you look up to?
I really like Dua Lipa and her style as an artist. I really love her music and her sense of style so I really look up to her a lot when it comes to concepts and her fashion taste. I also really admire Doja Cat. Not only she’s talented but she’s also super relatable on social media, especially on her TikTok. I think that it’s super important to be relatable these days as an artist and I think that Doja Cat really can connect to her fan on another level through her relatable music plus content.
Congratulations on the release of ‘Save Me’! Could you tell us more about the song and what story it tells?
This song basically talks about how it’s really hard these days to find real people in our society. Especially when it comes to the entertainment industry where it’s even harder to find ‘real’ people who you can really connect with and be yourself around. If you watch the music video you’ll be able to see me trying to tell a story of a person who looks completely lost but is trying her best to keep a smile on her face. But if you look in her eyes you can see that she is trying to ask someone to save her from this cruel world.
The single dives deep into the hardships you faced in the entertainment industry. What was it like navigating through all that, especially having started so young?
I would have to say that K-Pop is one of the hardest music industries to navigate through especially for me as a young Thai girl who has to learn about the differences between the culture in Korea and Thailand, plus at the same time learn I also have to learn to blend into the music industry in K-Pop. Trainee life was a completely different life what I have chosen at the age of 15.
Even though there were many things that I had to sacrifice at a young age but there were many things that I’ve learned through those years that I wouldn’t be able to learn it from anywhere else. I think that that is the reason why I feel like I am mentally tougher than people my age and still continue to work hard until today because discipline was something that was tough in the K-pop industry since I was young. I think that I was very lucky to be in a team where I have such supportive members who helped me navigate this whole journey. I wouldn’t have been able to make it as a successful artist today if I didn’t have their help and support from the beginning.
What’s been the most memorable moment of your music journey so far?
I would have to say there were many memorable moments when I was still as a group. But now that I’m a solo artist I would have to say that the most memorable moment so far was when I was filming and preparing everything for my first ever single as a solo artist with ‘Sharp Objects’.
While I was preparing for this song, it felt really weird because I no longer have 6 other people going through the process with me. It made me quite emotional at times but I also tried my best to use all of the experiences and knowledge that I have while I was with them to help me while I was prepping for my first debut. I felt really proud of myself when the song came out because it was my first time being able to do everything on my own and fully express my creativity to the max with the help of my new management.
I was very terrified about the feedback that my listeners will have about my music but the responses were super supportive and everyone seems to really like my music. So that made me feel like all of the hard work that I’ve put in for the past 10 years has finally paid off and that really motivates me to work harder.
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What are some goals you have for your music?
I want people to be able to recognize my voice no matter what I sing and get recognition for my style that I bring to any track. I want to be able to inspire people through my music and make my listeners feel a certain way when they listen to my music because that means that my music is ‘’impactful’ and that is what matters for me. I don’t really care how many people stream my songs or watch my music video, all I really care about is that my music can impact someone else’s life no matter who they are or what language they speak. I think that’s the biggest goal for me as an artist!
Outside of music, you’re also quite active on social media, sharing bits and pieces of your daily life with your fans on TikTok and YouTube. How do you balance creating content and your music?
I think I learn to balance and treat everything the same. I give in as much effort and attention to everything that I do because I do believe that my music is a big compliment to my content and content is also a big compliment to my music. Both of these go hand in hand, especially in this day and age. I want people to connect to my music and at the same time feel comforted when they watch all of my content.
What can we expect from you for the rest of 2022?
I will be releasing music as much as I can this year. I’m still aiming for a tour before the end of the year! Now that the world is opening up I want to be able to meet all my fans and perform for everyone. I’m working really hard towards my goal so I would like everyone to have patience with me. I promise I’ll try my best!
Listen to SORN's 'Save Me' here.
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