Sorn has been through a million of the paths an artist can take, from being a K-Pop idol, to a social media aficionado, and now as a solo artist taking on the world. She’s committed to her craft, constantly evolving and solidifying herself as a superstar. For her recent song, “Rowdy,” she collaborated with CLC group member Seungyeon on the fiery, high-energy banger that’s become a reminder of her versatility and immense talent. Keep reading for the full interview!
Let’s talk “Rowdy”! What was it like putting together the track with Seungyeon to collaborate with?
Sorn: First of all, it was a really fun project. I told Seungyeon a long time ago that I really wanted to work with her, and I wanted to put a performance song together because as we all know, she’s really good at dancing. So, I wanted to bring her strength out and make a song surrounding her, to be honest. And that’s why we thought of the concept for “Rowdy.” It’s the type of song that’s more suitable to sing with another person. It’s something that I feel like I would be too scared to release on my own. So, having the help of Seungyeon – and she did all the choreography and everything – pulls out the strength of the song through her too. Having the help of her on the track has been super helpful and really suitable for us both as a feature song.
How is it being solo compared to being with six other girls all the time? Do you feel more comforted by having Seungyeon in Wild Entertainment Group with you?
Sorn: I think it’s really comfortable for both of us, being in the same company. I think she really feels comfortable because I’m in Wild too. She seems more comfortable challenging herself to do more work overseas because she’s based in Korea, but she has a really big international presence. I think working as a solo artist is super different from being in a girl group because, first of all, when I was in a girl group, I was stressed together with my other members. We share the stress together, we share the burden together, so it feels less lonely and less stressful in a way, definitely. But then when I’m on my own, I feel like I have to be more in charge with my music, with the stuff I put out, and there’s no one pushing me to do this or that. If you’re in a team, it’s like we constantly have each other to be like, “Hey, we got to do this and that!” But now that I’m on my own, I have to constantly remind myself to be responsible with the music I put out, the content I put out. It’s a bit more difficult, and especially on stage now that I do more shows by myself. When I’m on stage, I do feel uneasy because I’m so used to being on stage with other people. But I also feel like there’s more [opportunities] to do the things that I really want to do as a solo artist. Now, with the help from the company, I can literally pitch whatever I want to do. When you’re with the group, we had to ask six other members, “Do you like this?” But now, as a solo artist, I can just be free and be wild with all my ideas and everything.
So, that actually plays into my next question. I was going to say all of your music has varied in concept and vibe so far. Do you want to continue trying out different styles of music, or are you aiming to kind of find your sound eventually and do one kind of vibe?
Sorn: I’m so enjoying trying to release singles with different types of sound, theme, and concept because all of my songs are more like performance songs and faster pop songs. I’m enjoying pushing boundaries and doing different types of things because I can. But I do feel like eventually, in a couple of years, I can see myself settling down with one concept or one genre of music that I really like and just go with it. But for now, when I can still dance, when I can still be active and do all these things, I feel like I do still want to push myself to do something different.
Yeah, I feel like you say you’re going to settle down, but then in five years you’re going to hear a certain sound of music or trend or something and be like, “I can do that!” I can see that happening for sure.
Sorn: Yeah, probably [laughs].
Do you have more music that you’re working on right now? I mean, obviously you’re probably always working on music, but is there a set plan to release new material, or are you just kind of taking it by day, seeing what you like and what you don’t like and what you’d want to put out?
Sorn: So, right now, I do have other songs prepared, and we’re working on a couple of songs at the moment, but the stuff that we are planning to release will be more features. Now, I just want to feature with other international artists. We’re still working on that at the moment. I can’t really tell yet who it is or what type of vibe it is, but yeah, the next song that’s going to come out is probably going to be a feature song. Another feature song with someone very unexpected!
As a multilingual artist, which language do you feel the most comfortable making music in?
Sorn: To make music in, it would still have to be English with the lyrics and everything, but I don’t know. I feel like… I think English is the most comfortable for me. But to sing or record, I think I’m comfortable with all the languages that I know, to be honest. Because throughout the years, I did get the opportunity to sing in Thai, in Korean, in English, and in Mandarin too.
In Japanese too, don’t forget “Chamisma”!
Sorn: In Japanese too [laughs]? Oh yeah, in Japanese also. So, I feel like it’s not challenging because I’ve done it before, and I know how to do it. But to make music, I think English lyrics and English music is more comfortable for me. Definitely.
How has being active on social media, like you are, affected your relationship with your fans? How do you think that’s changed the way that you interact with your fans?
Sorn: I think through social media, I’m able to show my fans more of me. I think I have a pretty… I don’t know… quirky personality, and I think I wasn’t able to show that on stage as much when I was in K-Pop. I think after I started my YouTube, fans started to realize that Sorn, actually, she’s quite weird. She’s quite funny or whatever. I do enjoy doing YouTube, and after people found out more about that, it makes me feel more comfortable with myself. And I wanted to show more of myself through social media. And then when I started TikTok, I guess people just really liked me doing social media and being myself. I think before, I was quite scared to really express who I really am because… I don’t know… I just tried to fit in, I guess. And I was speaking Korean most of the time, so I couldn’t really show people that I could speak English, and that’s what I’m more comfortable with. And my personality will show more when I speak English. But thanks to social media, now I have that platform to really communicate and show my fans who I really am, which makes people feel like I’m more relatable to them, and it creates this connection not just through my music, but through just me being me and just expressing who I am. Expressing my thoughts and everything through social media, I think a lot of people are able to connect with that and build another relationship, another bond through just my presence on social media, for sure.
You’ve already had jewelry, makeup, and skincare collaborations. Are there any other creative outlets that you haven’t necessarily tried yet but want to, or is there anything that you have tried but you’d like to go back to?
Sorn: Right now, we’ve been talking about me releasing maybe a clothing line, because I do like fashion and I do want to create a brand in the future. I don’t really have the time yet to really dig into that, because I feel like it’s a whole thing and I’m the type of person who, if I start something, I really want to do it well. I don’t want to just make it a one time thing. I just want to push it and make sure that it’s good because it’s my name stamped on it. So, eventually probably a clothing line. And also, I’ve been thinking about bringing my little dinosaur Chonnasaurus back into the picture, but I’ve been so busy with my music that I don’t really have the time to draw him. Now that it’s toward the end of the year, we’re less busy now. That’s another project that I’m going to start drawing again.
You should make little plushies! It would be so cute.
Sorn: I will!
Speaking of style and fashion design, et cetera, what about styling and aesthetics? How would you describe your personal style? Have you felt that it’s changed over the course of your solo career?
Sorn: I would say my everyday wear is jeans and baggy clothes, T-shirts, and sneakers. I don’t like to wear heels. I don’t like to dress up or wear dresses. I normally don’t like the feminine girly look as much. So, those are my personal outfits I wear every day. But I would have to say that now that I’m a little bit older, I kind of try to dress up more on the feminine side. If you look at my Instagram, I think I reveal more skin. I try to reveal more skin and dress more girly at times. But yeah, normally I’m really into street wear, and just comfy is everything for me, for sure.
You’ve had such an interesting journey so far from your time on K-Pop Star Hunt until now. What has been the most rewarding experience in your journey as a singer?
Sorn: The most rewarding would have to be, I think, whenever it’s like small stuff. I feel like it’s not when I get to stand on a big stage, or when I get big deals and go on big shows. I do feel great being able to have the opportunity to show my talent on stages like that. But for me, other than that, I feel like whenever I meet fans, like, randomly down the street in a random country that I don’t even know I have fans in, or like, random ass areas where I don’t even think that there’s people who know me… and when I meet fans that come up to me and tell me that they really like my music, I think that’s really rewarding because it’s really unexpected and also makes me want to work harder.
What lessons did you learn while being in a group and throughout that journey that you still take to heart and use now?
Sorn: Hmm. One thing that I learned, and I keep reminding myself for the past ten years, is that I guess always try to – and this is something I’m still trying to improve myself – is just always try to be yourself and be true to yourself. Because at the end of the day, it’s my career and I have to take charge no matter what other people say. At the end of the day, don’t listen too much about what other people think you should be. You just listen to yourself and ask yourself what you want to be and try your best to just get that out of you. Because I feel like if I try to be someone else, I’m not at the end of the day, and the person who has to suffer with that is me because I’m trying to be someone else. Just do what you think is right and [what] you’re comfortable with. And I feel like my fans and people who like my music will feel the authenticity through my sound even more, for sure.
What have you been doing lately in your free time when you’re not working? Is there anything specific in pop culture that you’re obsessed with lately?
Sorn: I’ve been listening to a lot of music recently, like nonstop to the point where some people around me are, like, asking me if I’m okay [laughs]. I recently got this speaker, and I’ve been carrying the speaker around with me wherever I go, and I’ll always have music on. Now, I’m at the point where I can’t be in a room with no music. I’m really obsessed with pop music and Spotify’s Pop Rising Charts and all that, because I want to do some research and kind of improve my own sound, and to keep up on the trends and stuff. But literally, I just stay home, have my speaker on, and then I turn on music and just listen to whatever the hell is on Spotify. I’ve been discovering really amazing new pop artists. Not new, but new to me that I really like.
Sorn’s new song, “Rowdy” feat. Seungyeon, is out now.
Written by Lily Dabbs.