“It was amazing that Big Hit gave me such a chance. But I have had to delay my dream of becoming a singer, so I always had a lot of regrets. I want to sing, too.”
Singer ADORA, who debuted in November last year, is still an unfamiliar name to many. But she is a familiar name to many ARMY (BTS fandom name). She is the producer behind many of BTS’s hit songs such as “Spring Day” and “Not Today.” This is why ADORA is usually called “the singer who was a former Big Hit producer” by the press.
ADORA recently met with Sports Chosun at its office in Mok-dong, Yangcheon-gu, Seoul, and talked about her thoughts on being a “Big Hit producer-turned-singer” and the story of her new single. ADORA shared the story of how she started working on songs with the dream of becoming a singer but then stepped into the industry as a producer of a big company called Big Hit Music.
“I had dreamed of becoming a singer since I was in the lower grades of elementary school. Naturally, I was also interested in composing, and when I was in 6th grade, I started writing new melodies and lyrics to the instrumental version of the existing singers’ songs. At that time, I worked on programs like Gom Audio. Then, when I became a middle school student and took midi classes at a music academy, I started working on music in earnest. Then, I saw the audition notice for Big Hit producer right on the last day of the audition period. I collected all the songs I had and sent them. But I didn’t hear anything from the company for a while, but they gave me a chance to work on a song. At that time, I received a good opportunity to start my career as a girl group trainee, and I was surprised that I was given a chance by Big Hit as well. So I practiced during the day, and later, I went to the studio and wrote songs. As my debut failed, I naturally moved to Big Hit.”
ADORA continued to express her gratitude towards Big Hit for giving her a chance. At the same time, she started talking about the lingering feelings she has for her dream of becoming a singer, “I always had regrets about putting off my dream of becoming a singer. I has had many chances to record my voice in the chorus or as a guide, and it resolved my regret every time. But every time I look at the artists, I wanted to sing, too.”
It was an unexpected health problem that provided her with the biggest opportunity. “When I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer at a young age, I had a lot of thoughts. At that time, I felt quite sick while working. I had a medical checkup because I felt a little strange, but the shape of the thyroid gland was weird. At that time, I thought it was nothing and left it unattended for a year. But the national health checkup told me I needed to get tested. It turned out to be cancer. I was 23 years old, and after the surgery, I felt I wasn’t old enough to be in the hospital like this. I thought, ‘Is it time for me to be here?’ and ‘Let’s do what I want to do since I only live once. Let’s try to become the singer that I couldn’t be in the past.’”
ADORA soon signed an exclusive contract with Ora Entertainment in October last year, and finally achieved her dream of becoming a singer when she released her digital single “Make You Dance” in November that same year. ADORA, who had only put other artists’ voices on her music, has now become a singer-songwriter who presents her music with her own voice. However, the title of “the singer who was a former Big Hit producer” is sometimes expected to be her burden.
“In fact, I felt a lot of pressure at first. ‘Should I get rid of it and go?’ I have thought. But when I think about it, that’s what I’ve been through, and unless I’m using it in a bad way, it’s not a bad title. Thanks to it, many has listened to my music because I come from being a Big Hit producer. I think I’ll work harder and make a good result. In fact, because the agency told me to give them a name so that they can put it in BTS album credit immediately, I simply used the name of my favorite webtoon character. So when I started to become a singer, I thought about building a new stage name to separate from when I was a Big Hit producer. But it is also my musical career, and that name is pretty, so I keep it. It’s okay no matter if you pronounce it in Japanese, English or Indonesian, even,” she smiled.
Now that she is a performer, not just a producer, she has had quite a hard time. “It was harder to do mine. It’s easy to judge from a third party, but it was a little difficult for me to find my own charm. There are a lot of things I have to pay attention to. Outside of music, there were many things to pay attention to, such as facial expressions, movements, and outfits.”
As a former producer, ADORA has her own strengths. ADORA said, “I think I have a clear understanding of the music because I can do it on my own when I record or edit afterward. I have my own know-how in recordings, utilizing my experience as a producer,” she said confidently.
Maybe that’s why ADORA has been releasing new songs steadily since her debut and showing off her music gallery. Following “Make You Dance” in November last year and “The Little Name” in March, her new single “Trouble? Travel!’ will soon be released.
“‘Trouble? Travel!’ was made last December. It would have been hard if I had to come up with a plan, but most of the time, my project started naturally after a song is chosen. So there is no pressure for me to release a song quickly. “Trouble? Travel!” was the first time I heard the artist’s sketch and I liked it so much that I said I would do it. It is a song that compares the journey of life to a path. It contains a pessimistic expression that reality is a gutter, but dreams are like traveling. In other words, when you open your eyes, it’s trouble, but when you close your eyes, your dream, which is like a trip, unfolds. It’s an exciting song, so I hope you can listen to it when you’re driving on a trip.”
Although she has released 2 previous songs, ADORA will perform various activities, including music shows, for the first time through “Trouble? Travel!’. It’s also her first song with choreography. “It’s been a long time since I quit being a trainee, so I was very stiff when I danced again. I look like a squid. While practicing live performance I keep on missing the microphone. Dancing with both hands was not as easy as I thought. Still, as much as this song contains a little bright energy, I worked hard on it. Even if I don’t want to practice because I’m tired, I felt better after dancing to “Trouble? Travel!’. I hope other people can experience that too.”
As she has now taken a full-fledged step to be a soloist, everyone are curious about her future plans and achievements. “Everyone is heading to the same high place with numerical goals, but I hope this will be an opportunity where the public can acknowledge me. People who know me know me, but they don’t really know my songs. I wish I could make my face public. Starting with “Trouble? Travel!’ I want to do a lot of activities, and I hope it will be an opportunity for me to open the door. Now I’m appearing on music shows and preparing for busking performances even because the social distancing has been partially lifted. Personally, I want to go on programs such as “Running Man” and “Hometown Report,” in which I can be active with my body. I am also open to audition programs. I want to try acting in web dramas as well.”
Will ADORA be able to prove herself as “singer ADORA” which go way beyond “a producer from Big Hit” with her new song? “Trouble? Travel!’ ADORA’s new song will be released on various music sites at 6 p.m. on June 1st.