[INTERVIEW] Secret's Jieun(2): The Birth of a Vocalist

Continuing from Part 1

Overcoming difficulties to attend music schools, Jieun trained herself harshly. It was to the point where those around her called her the “Training bug”. Of course, she had musical talent she was born with, but her hard work had made her skills even stronger. Seeing her talent, Jieun's teacher selected her to become a vocal coach. Jieun was only in 9th grade at the time.

“I began attending music schools before I graduated from Junior High(T/N: Junior High ends in 9th grade in Korea). But three weeks in, the teacher asked me if I wanted to be a vocal coach. At first, I turned it down because I thought I was too young, but later I ended up lying about my age and became a vocal coach.(laughs)”

But lying about her age and working led to some unexpected consequences.

“People older than me would ask, 'Teacher, how do I do something like this?'(using formal speech) and that really made me uncomfortable. I was only a 9th grader and I just couldn't get used to the fact that people older than me were speaking so formally to me.”

In the end, due to her guilt, Jieun ended up telling her students that she was, in fact, a 9th grader, and went on to properly teach them.
While juggling her priorities as a student and a teacher, her first opportunity to become a singer arose. She was to sing in the OST of an MBC drama called “Air City”.

“The director of the music school had set up an agency and I became a trainee. After that, I became acquainted with various people and ended up singing 'Learning to Fly' from the 'Air City' OST.”

Jieun officially debuted as a singer through this OST album. She was only 17 at the time(15 or16 in America.). With her ambitions in music ever increasing, Jieun wanted to resign from the music school and go out into the real world.

“When I was in 10th grade, I formed a band named “Brown City” with 12 other people from my music school who also felt the same way. We made the band with the desire to perform music that Koreans would enjoy. We performed every two weeks at clubs and began to get better and better. We even accumulated about 3 thousand fans with our hard work.(laughs)”

Jieun, who used to be shy, began to enjoy being on stage.
“If I had to pick a time when my skills grew the most, I can confidently say that it was my time with Brown City. It gave me a chance to make solid foundation as a singer.”

Her second chance would come while she was still an active vocalist in the band.

Part 3 coming soon

Source: Asia E (2)
Credits: dunlop09 @ secretfour