[INTERVIEW] Secret's Jieun(4): A JYP Trainee

Continuing from Part 3

It was during her days as a trainee in the drama company that she began recording guide demos for artists such as Ham Sowon and TTMa. In particular, she began to get recognized for her skills when she recorded for her older sunbaes like Jang Haejin.

“I think I was the most nervous when I had to record a guide demo for Jang Haejin sunbaenim. She sometimes gave me advice like, 'Jieun, I think you have a good sense of pitch. This may be because you're still young, but I think it'd be good if you worked on your sensitivity.' Those were one of my most unforgettable moments.(laughs)”

The number of guide demos Jieun recorded from 10th to 12th grade alone comes out to about 60 songs. Doing this only grew her dreams of becoming a singer.

“The more guide demos I did, the more I wanted to become a singer. Honestly, I got a bit greedy. There were times when I thought, 'If I sang this I could do it differently and better'(laughs)”

But Jieun, who had been running non-stop towards her dreams, approached a slump, during which she made up her mind to give up her dreams of become a singer. The reason was none other than dancing.

“I had no dancing skills. But during my trainee days they were teaching me rap and popping, even though I liked ballads. Because they kept telling me to do things that I wasn't into, my passion began to die down. After that, there was even one point where I stopped singing altogether for four months because I had decided that I would give up music.”

Another hurdle was dieting. It was a necessity in order to become a singer, but to young Jieun it was a difficult and challenging process.

“I started going on diets during 11th grade, but I hated it so much. My grades began to suffer and nothing was going right. I even told my mother that I would start studying again.(laughs)”

But old habits die hard. She did, after all, spend every single day of the past few years singing song after song.

“During my four month break, there were times when I had dreams about singing. I guess I was already too used to singing. I would be walking home with my friends after school and begin belting out a song in the middle of the street without even realizing.(laughs)”

One day, an audition opportunity for JYP came to the girl who held on so dearly to her dreams.

“Back then, I couldn't even dream about becoming a part of such a huge company. I thought it wasn't a place for a person like me. Maybe I had these thoughts because the offer came at the time when I had gained a bit of weight and hadn't been practicing my singing.”

At the audition Jieun sang and even showed the popping that she learned from the days she was a trainee. The dance she hated so much ended up being an asset to her. But the JYP agents were cold.

“Then audition people told me, 'Jieun, I don't thinking dancing is your thing.' When I confidently told them that this was the only dance I knew, they asked me if I could learn a song in 30 minutes and sing it. It was a pop song, and I ended up memorizing it up to the second verse and sang it. I think they really liked that passion in me.”

But that wasn't all. She was given a week-long diet mission. JYP would make their decision after they see her a week later.

“For a week, I lived off of one sweet potato a day. I needed to get in no matter what. I ended up losing 2 – 3 kg(~5 to 6.5 lbs) and began to practice singing again.”

They say “Heaven helps those who help themselves”. Jieun was finally selected as a JYP trainee.

Part 5 (Final)
Source: Asia E (4)
Credits: dunlop09 @ secretfour