Our teacher Michael recommended Angela for this month’s Student Spotlight. Angela has lots of skills and accomplishments, including singing and dancing, and has participated in a number of auditions for South Korean entertainment shows. Here’s what Michael had to say about her: “Angela is great. She has really good natural singing ability, and has made rapid improvement. I can tell she works hard and puts in the practice to develop techniques with her voice (and most recently guitar!) She introduced me to K-pop, which is really cool and something new to me, and we always have a good time working through the songs she’s learning.
MM: What are some of your favorite hobbies, outside of music? Favorite school subjects, books, movies, shows, sports?
AT: Besides music, I like dancing because exercise assists me to release stress. I also like to read books about psychology. My favorite book is Transformation by Keigo Higashino, who is a Japanese author.
My favorite sport is bowling.
My favorite subject is world history. As far as movies and shows, I love A Dog’s Tale, Mental Crime, Weekly Idol, and the K-pop show M Countdown.
Basically M Countdown is not a program to pick the new idols or artists. It is for all the artists to get on the stage when they release a new song, and everyone who comes back at that time can join the performances, and there is a special scoring system that calculates the score of the artist’s song and album. It is kind of like a small reward for every week. The online music sale, album sale, and the social media searching rate will be counted in the system. two groups of artists will compete with each other, and the artist gets the highest score based on the system will get a refers to reward by the program.
MM: What’s something most people don’t know about you?
AT: I have been to many entertainment auditions (mainly South Korean companies). Different companies have different styles of choosing people, but mostly they will ask the people who join the audition to either dance or sing, and two judges will record the process of performing and send the video back to their company in South Korea. They won’t directly evaluate the people but they will say,”great you did a good job” after you perform well, but they will not tell you the result right after audition. They will discuss and see the videos with the whole team, and they will pick the people they want by emailing them or calling them. Basically every person has to sing without any background music, but a guitar is allowed. People who choose Dance have a background music to accompany with their dance.
MM: Oh wow! What’s your favorite audition?
AT: My favorite audition experience is my first audition experience with a company called YG Entertainment. It is my favorite entertainment in South Korea because my favorite artists are in this company and I really like the style of this company. It is very impressive experiencing it, but I was also nervous about performing well. I sang a song called “Lonely” by 2ne1. At that time I really had a lot of shortages and things to conquer because I was too nervous so I couldn’t sing very well at the beginning . My volume was too small but after many experiences of auditions, I’m no longer scared to perform before people.
MM: How did you get started with music, and how long have you been singing? How long have you been taking lessons?
AT: After I saw the reaction of fans while they watch the concerts of their favorite artists, I decided to start with music because I feel like that music has power to bring people happiness. I want to make more people happy by listening to my music. I have been learning singing for 4 years. Initially, I learned classical rather than contemporary music. The singing style is pretty different from what I am doing now, but it helps me a lot with my basic skills. I learned classic singing for about 2 years and the contemporary singing for another 2 years.
MM: Who are a few bands/artists that have inspired you, and why?
AT: I am inspired by a group called Bigbang. Their music style varies but is mainly hip-hop. They also dance while they are singing, which is appealing to me a lot. They are the first group that made me desire to understand music and motivate me to perform on stage.
MM: Oh, are they why you also began dancing?
AT: Actually my parents asked me to dance when I was about three-years-old. I danced in a traditional dance style, but I’m not really interested in dancing because I just follow the order of my parents. Bigbang promoted me to learn singing more. Compared to singing I’m not that passionate about dancing, but after I saw some YouTubers dancing in the pop style, I found that is really cool to dance with the music. And at that time I went to a school that specializes in training people who want to be an idol. That’s the first time I learned dancing. I’m quite happy after taking the class. My friends say they can see the change in me after taking class there. Unfortunately, due to the time conflict I cannot take hip-hop class right now, but I’m planning to find new schools to learn more about dance.
MM: What are some of your favorite songs, and why?
AT: My favorite songs are: “Fighter” by Christina Aguilera (intense vocal, special tone); “Whistle” by Blackpink (impressive chorus); “Bermuda Triangle” by Dean, Zico and Crush (fancy rap).
MM: Do you share your musical skills with family, friends, or your community? How? And what’s been your favorite way to do so?
AT: I have shared many musical skills with my friends. My friends also like singing and dancing. I think it is intriguing that people grow together and enjoy the time performing together. I normally share some short vocal training music with them and give them suggestions while they are singing.
MM: What makes you keep up your practice, and what are your goals?
AT: I think it is my passion for music that makes me keep up practice. I will record my singing and check if there is anything I can improve. My goal is to have a better volume and learn more skills to make my voice sound better.
MM: Can you share about a technique, skill, or song you struggled with, and how you are overcoming or have overcome it?
AT: I used to struggle with the song “Love Me Harder” by Ariana Grande because there is a lot of vibrato, and I do not know how to sing it at all. After the class by Michael, I learned that I can separate the note to another three or four and practice slowly then speed up.
MM: What advice would you give to other students just starting out?