Former CLC’s Sorn recently opened up about her struggles being a K-pop idol.
In a recent interview with a Thai media outlet, former CLC member Sorn, a Thailand-born idol, talked about the arduous process of being a K-pop trainee and the difficulties of working in Korea’s entertainment industry. Sorn said that she and CLC members often fell asleep in the practice room because they were too tired after intense training.
Exhausted from training, fear of being kicked out of the company
Sorn revealed that many K-pop entertainment companies have surveillance cameras everywhere, including training centers, practice rooms, etc. Therefore, the supervisors can easily see if the trainees are focusing on their practice or not. If caught being lazy, trainees will be given a “warning sticker”. If a trainee has more than 5 stickers, he or she will be kicked out of the company.
Sorn was never fired. Instead, after only two years of training, she was included in a project where she was given an opportunity to debut. However, to debut meant Sorn had to practice harder and was put under even more pressure.
Sorn had to drop out of school. Like other trainees, she often slept in the practice room because they often completed their training late at night, and they were too tired to walk back to the dorm.
Sorn emphasized that the living environment of a trainee was not ideal at all. It is very strict as the trainees live in fear of being eliminated. Even after Sorn debuted as a member of CLC, the struggles were not over.
Sorn said that when CLC was about to debut, she and the members were so tired that they lied on the floor, looked at each other and burst into tears. They were so exhausted that they fell asleep on the practice room floor.
For foreign idols like Sorn, the pressure is even greater. She once told The Korea Times: “Foreigners working in K-pop is not as easy as people imagine. Korean is not my native language, but I still have to sing and communicate in Korean. I started living away from my family when I was young and the competitive K-pop environment is fierce. When I was a member of CLC, I constantly had to think about what I could do to stand out and take the group to the next level.”
Faced with malicious comments
Kpop groups often change their concept and image after each promotion. But in the case of CLC, the changes were so frequent and drastic that the members felt tired.
“The members check fan feedback regularly. Viewers also expressed concern for CLC. We were angry and disappointed because after the group received a positive response on a song, the company forced us to immediately change our concept. The members were upset when the company forced the group to sing inappropriate songs and wear clothes we didn’t like,” Sorn expressed.
When things exceeded the limit of their tolerance, the members decided to talk to the company to fight for themselves. They discussed the concept they wanted and Sorn was the member sent to convince the company. The result was well-received songs like Hobgoblin, Black Dress and No.
Sorn said that HyunA gave the group some advice while promoting the song “Hobgoblin”. Before releasing the song Hobgoblin, the company required the members to lose weight in order to be slim. However, everyone is born with a different body shape and not everyone can easily lose weight.
Therefore, HyunA asked the stylist to choose outfits that fit the members. She said that she wanted to show off each member’s beauty instead of forcing them to wear revealing clothes.
Sorn added that she had been bullied a lot online. The female singer was criticized because netizens thought she was the cause of CLC’s failure. Those hateful comments not only affected her but also upset those who loved Sorn or her family.
“Depression remains a sensitive topic in South Korea. It is not discussed publicly. Koreans consider it a burden. Therefore, I try to keep a positive attitude, focusing only on my family, friends and kind fans who text me with sincere words of encouragement,” Sorn said.
At the time when CLC’s contract with Cube Entertainment expired and was calculating whether to decide to renew it, the members informed the management company that they wanted to continue promoting as a group. However, the company had different plans. They want each member to promote individually. The girls saw that they had no reason to stay in the company if they weren’t a group, so they decided to leave.
Around this time, Choi Yujin decided to participate in the show Girls Planet 999. So, although Sorn decided not to renew her contract with Cube Entertainment, she postponed the announcement for fear that this news might negatively affect Choi Yujin.
Sorn has moved from Cube Entertainment to WILD Entertainment. The singer hopes to continue working as an artist and challenge herself with different styles.