[Herald Interview] ‘I learned how to love my fate’: Sohee of Elris

By Hong Dam-young

Sohee of Elris talks about how she climbed the ladder of the K-pop world, what makes her feel confident

  • Published : Dec 10, 2018 - 15:26
  • Updated : Dec 11, 2018 - 10:00

One gets the impression that Sohee has got the competitive showbiz world all figured out.

In middle school, the current Elris member learned that “acceptance” was key to coping with the whirlwind life of a K-pop trainee.

There were times when she almost succumbed to countless cut-throat competition in the course of making her debut, which she recalled as the “hardest thing” during her trainee years. But what always empowered her was the Latin phrase “amor fati,” meaning to accept and love everything that life brings you, whether good or bad. 

(Video shot by Lim Jeong-yeo and Kim Hye-soo, edited by Lim Jeong-yeo/The Korea Herald)

“‘Amor Fati’ has been my motto since I was a seventh grader, and I had set up the phrase as my cellphone’s home screen. During my trainee years, competing with my friends was so hard, as I had to see some of them leaving the company for failing in the competition,” said Sohee during a recent interview with The Korea Herald in Seoul.

“Then I would look at my phone, thinking, ‘If that’s my fate, what am I going to do about it?’”

Despite being a young woman who has just started her career as a K-pop singer and solo artist, Sohee has an attitude toward life of a veteran musician’s caliber. She doesn’t feel nervous when onstage and doesn’t fear competition anymore. And she credits such audacity to the audition program “K-pop Star,” on which she participated as a trainee in 2016. 

Sohee of Elris poses during an interview with The Korea Herald in Seoul (Park Hyun-koo / Korea Herald)

Sohee of Elris poses during an interview with The Korea Herald in Seoul (Park Hyun-koo / Korea Herald)

Through the program’s sixth season, Sohee not only became a star in her own right after receiving acclaim for her top-notch performances, but also gained valuable hands-on experience as a K-pop wannabe.

“‘K-pop Star’ definitely taught me a lot of things, such as onstage experience and getting used to evaluation. In order to survive in the program, I had to work on leaving strong impressions in short moments, and that really helped me push boundaries. Actually, I didn’t feel nervous when I debuted with Elris and even when I had to perform in front of my agency’s CEO,” she continued.

“So yeah, maybe I’d reached my limit during the program, and I have nothing to fear.” 

Sohee of Elris poses during an interview with The Korea Herald in Seoul (Park Hyun-koo / Korea Herald)

After appearing on the program, Sohee launched her solo career in May 2017 with the single “Spotlight” and debuted with five-piece girl group Elris in June of the same year with the album “We, First” under Hunus Entertainment.

Most recently, she released her new solo project “Hurry Up,” featuring Bolbbalgan4, in which she veered away from her previous girl-next-door image and revisited the charismatic self she had shown on the audition program.

Bringing to light her powerful dance performance, the song is a dance-pop track that urges one’s lover to quickly express love.

“Since I gained attention with my dance performance in the program, I’d thought I would showcase my dance skills in ‘Hurry Up’ for those who’ve been missing my previous image. So I practiced really hard to dance and sing at the same time,” she said. 

Sohee of Elris poses during an interview with The Korea Herald in Seoul (Park Hyun-koo / Korea Herald)

Turning 21 in Korean age next year, the young musician appears no different from other youths offstage. When off work, she explores coffee shops with friends, enjoys sushi and wine, and watches fantasy films, with her favorite being “Avatar.”

But when it comes to her profession, her eyes twinkle with passion.

Asked about her New Year’s resolution, she simply said, “I just hope to promote myself and Elris more to people.”

“It’s enough for me with just those two.”


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