This female idol was once one of YG’s brightest trainees, but few know that she has suffered a lot of pressure and rigorous assessment during her practice at YG Entertainment.
Hannah Jang used to belong to YG’s project “PINK PUNK” and is one of the brightest candidates for the BLACKPINK lineup. However, Hannah Jang left YG in 2017, 3 years later she debuted as a solo singer. In an interview with KPOP IDOL OLYMPIC recently, the former trainee revealed about her time at YG, her feelings when deciding to leave and how she has changed since then.
Hannah Jang’s musical journey began in 2013. At that time, the female student, Hannah Jang, participated in SBS‘s K-Pop Star 3, one of the most popular survival shows of the decade. Despite being in the top 10 final, she was eliminated in the 2nd live show, while Bernard Park became the eventual winner.
After the competition, Hannah Jang decided to focus on her education, gaining acceptance to a good school, and studying hard. However, she received a call from YG Entertainment out of the blue. They asked her to meet with them, and right away, she decided to sign a contract and became a trainee under this company in 2014.
According to Hannah Jang, she felt extremely grateful to join the company as a trainee for the opportunity to do so many things under YG. For example, when Hannah was 19, they gave her the opportunity to feature one of Jinusean’s songs (Tell Me One More Time) and perform with her seniors on stage in 2015.
Hannah shared: “It happened so suddenly. The song was produced within such a short amount of time, as were Jinusean’s promotions.”
Of course, despite how grateful she was for the opportunity, it wasn’t easy. Hannah Jang shared with KPOP IDOL OLYMPIC that YG Entertainment’s scheduling meant she “had to lose weight in a short amount of time“. On top of that, she had to deal with the difficulties of her first official music show performances.
Because Hannah Jang was still a trainee at that time, she faced harsh scrutiny from her seniors. During a filming session, Hannah Jang was told that “you should do it like this and that”. The pressure was so high that she burst into tears when filming. Luckily after that, Hannah Jang was able to control her emotions, but she revealed that she still remembers that moment clearly.
She confessed: “A lot of people [at the company] were like, “Let’s see how good of a trainee you really are”. Since I was a trainee, I wasn’t very confident.”
After a few years of practice, the girl born in 1996 decided to leave YG in 2017. When the interviewer asked Hannah Jang if she regretted leaving a big company like YG, Hannah explained that she gets asked the same question often. However, she says she’s “not regret at all“.
In fact, after leaving the company, Hannah Jang is now extremely happy. The former trainee of YG said that at that time, she had just passed her teenage, so she did not have the opportunity to experience what other people went through. Hannah Jang said: “It’s true, I’m really happy… 20 years old is when you get to have fun and do all sorts of things but I didn’t get to…”
And since then, her musical style has grown a lot. In the past, Hannah Jang says her voice was “very explosive“. Since leaving YG Entertainment, however, she makes music “that is completely R&B style“. On top of that, she described her melodies as “sophisticated” and revealed that she writes her own lyrics. In short, she says her voice is very different from her earlier days as a trainee and K-Pop Star competitor.
After leaving YG Entertainment, instead of joining another agency, Hannah Jang decided to become an independent artist. But, while she says “it is tough in many ways” (for example, difficulty in promoting and appearing on shows), she still has plans to release more albums in 2021 and create more relaxing songs for her listeners.