The journey from being a trainee in practice rooms rehearsing for hours a day, to having their first track recorded, to the group’s first performance on any music show on national television is no doubt an arduous one.
Evidently, this process is recently seen to be a lot tougher than many might expect, because the music scene in South Korea is always known to have throat-cutting standards, selecting only the creme of the crop to make their debut.
We had the honour to sit down for a chat with Cheris Lee, a local Singaporean who debuted in a quintet GBB (whose Korean name roughly translates to Rock Paper Scissors). The group made their debut in May 2018 with their first mini-album “Girls Be The Best” with their title track “Kemi”, based on a retro and girl crush concept.
Behind the glitz and glamour, Cheris shared that it was not easy at all scraping through these years. Looking back at how far she came after her very first arrival in South Korea about 7 years back, she had a total of 3 opportunities, which were all unfortunately called off, to debut in a group.
In a local documentary “Green Pastures”, she revealed that she had thoughts on giving up on becoming a K-pop star, and wanted to come back to Singapore to find her new footing. However, what made her go on was her mother, as she wanted to make her mother proud and show her of what she is capable of doing.
The journey of Cheris’ trainee life can be seen in juxtaposition with a gamble. The 22 year-old singer threw in so much effort, time and even her youth into preparing for her debut, without knowing what she will harvest, and more importantly, when she could expect her effort to turn into fruition. But even after her debut, more and more challenges came her way.
“It was hard for me to communicate (with the members) at first”, said Cheris because of the initial language barrier. This was especially the case when their dance and vocal assessments were drawing nearer and she was not able to understand what her members had to say.
Just like anyone of us, Cheris also told us that if she had one day of rest, she would drop by a cafe and snap some nice photos as well. However, this is not always the case because she starts her day at 11AM when she reaches her agency for some warm-ups and lunch, before going all-out on practices for easily 10 hours, which spans till 10PM.
Despite living in another country far from home for 7 years, Cheris certainly kept our local food close to her heart. Chilli crab, chicken rice and Hokkien mee is definitely on her list of local delicacies to introduce to her bandmates.
We thank Cheris for taking time to sit down with us for a chat, and we wish her all the best in her future activities and endeavours.
Watch the full interview below:
This interview was done in collaboration with local online media site, KBeats.
Words: Avier Tan
Photos: Avier Tan / Mirza Abdul Halim / Joanne Tung