Ailee Tells the Ins and Outs of Singer Debut (Interview)

The first time seeing Korean singer Ailee, making people feel “as if fatefully meeting her who is such a jewel.” And this jewel almost can only be viewed via U.S. programs. Ailee officially debuted in 2012, but in her mind, the time ofher debut is 2005. “When did I begin to want to be a singer? In fact, I wanted to be a singer from a very early time, so cannot remember the exact time when it started. Very natural thought of ‘I want to be a singer’.” And then she produced video and uploaded to Internet, and become the girl of “10 million hits.”

“Previously I sang to others, everyone said that I sing well. But I do not know that it’s I really have the strength, or because they are acquaintances so deliberately exaggerated the praise. So I became curious about the opinions of the people who do not know me, and I produced a video to upload to YouTube. To confirm the messages left, I went online and found that the upload was very popular.” Since then, Ailee began to have clear understanding of her future. “From then on, I understand that people likes me to sing. The start from that moment, was a turning point in my life.”

The UCC produced at that time brought her good luck. “After I uploaded the video, the program director of United States NBC’s ‘Maury Show’ contacted me. To do a program similar to ‘American Idol’, hoping I can participate. I very much wanted to participate in that program, I was the only East Asian including Korean who participated in the program, so a little worried. I was singing on behalf of the Korean, what can I do if I didn’t sing well?”


Later Ailee won the second place in the viewers’ vote of ‘Maury Show,’ gaining the attention of the audience and media. U.S. record company was also eyeing her. “There was a lot of proposal to let her debut in U.S. music scene, but I prepared for activities for long term, and believed that one day I will be able to debut in South Korea. I hoped to debut in South Korea first. Because I’m Korean, I would like to begin here.”

When asked the reason, she replied, “In fact, since I was a kid, I very like Korean dramas, Korean singers. Fin.KL, SES, Park Ji Yoon are great, senior Lee Hyo Ri and 2NE1 are best. So I want to active in South Korea. Recently I met senior Lee Hyori when participating in a program, I was pleasantly surprised and yelled excitedly.”

Ailee who successfully debuted in South Korea, was very honored to be singing the Korean national anthem in the opening ceremony of the 2012 Korea Baseball Championship. “I sang the national anthem for the first time after I graduated from elementary school, very strange that I remember the lyrics very clearly.”

“While singing, couldn’t help but shedding tears. Now thinking of it, was very touching. (Laughs) Born in United States, but I am also Korean, and singing the national anthem before so many people, I feel very proud.”

The new song “Heaven” which propelled Ailee to popularity to become attention-seeking skillful actress, has also brought her luck. “I never expected the reaction would be so good. Originally the title song was not ‘Heaven.’ The feeling of preparing with dance with another new song, and then recorded the ‘Heaven’ was very special.”


“When recording the new song ‘Heaven,’ my mind showed the MV, choreography, clothing, etc. The overall picture was presented. No such feeling in other songs, so I told the person in charge that I wanted to sing ‘Heaven.’ Then restarted the production. In fact, never thought that this is popular music, just thought that because of just began, so do it slowly, very surprised that it’s well loved by so many people. So very grateful and happy for everything. I still thought it won’t work… I thought this was just my hobby, did not expect to earn understanding and love of so many people, I feel very happy.”

“Happiness”, Aliee is going through a very happy first year of debuting in music scene. “I was very pleasantly surprised when having activities in South Korea. Each time I’m on the stage, I am very excited, very touched. I also challenged acting, the feeling was very interesting. Eye spasm could also be seen on TV. (Laughs) Very strange. My friends saw me acting in TV series ‘Dream High 2‘, and said, ‘The feeling of friend appearing on TV is very strange.’ (Laughs) I hope to continue to enjoy the feeling of the theater like this, advancing slowly. Because it’s still a long way to go. Rather than run out of breath, might as well slowly step by step progressing into the future.”

Ailee is still awkward in speaking Korean, but when telling her plan on musical activities, she spoke very carefully and did not rave. Although sometimes she may said a few absurd language. “I am not satisfied with the status quo. ‘I am very satisfied having come this far,’ then I cannot continue to move forward. I always feel hungry. After this plan ended, immediately establish the next plan. Still feel hungry, continue to eat (to achieve), feel hungry as well, the process of planning the next step? It’s fine with read the happy doctor. I worry myself is prideful and satisfying.”

She said that her motivation to work hard is neither encouragement of parents, nor it’s “Grammy Awards.” My motivation is to eat meat! To be able to eat meat, I can do anything! Ha ha.”


Said that “Immortal Song 2” is like playground

In the three-station musical program where she competed with super idol boy group Big Bang and 2AM for championship, Ailee won the second place, demonstrating the superb singing strength of skillful singer. Later, she engaged in non-stop two-month publicity, and also participated in the KBS 2TV’s “Immortal Song 2”, once again demonstrated outstanding musical talent. “‘Immortal Song 2’ is very interesting, getting more and more interesting.”

“At first I had worried whether old-timers would like the adaptation of the song I sang, until now, still very good.”

When Ailee stood on the stage of “Immortal Song 2”, she transformed from the cute girl in the background to musician who overwhelmed the audience, the quick change of aura was astounding. The new singer Aliee was not nervous even if competing with senior singers on the same stage. “I don’t think ‘Immortal Song 2’ is a competition. I just sang for old timers, providing the fun, merely juniors sing the songs of seniors to please the public. That’s why I participated relaxingly.”

“To me, stage is like nightclub. (Laughs) It’s a fun place. I just want to ‘have a good show on stage and then come down.’ In fact, seldom nervous before stage performances. Ah, when shooting ‘Singer and Trainee’, nervous when speaking. I speak poor Korean, worried about making mistake, making a fool of myself.”


The young Ailee who sang the old songs that twice her age has unique insight. “Don’t listen when receiving the new song, look at the lyrics first. If it’s lyrics full of poetic inspiration, I ask the staff for meaning if I don’t understand the meaning. After figuring out the lyrics, listening to the melody. Therefore can sing with more novelty, and feeling is very good. As for the songs with high difficulty, in fact, are not too difficult. Those were songs that I first heard. I deliberately memorized melody instead of listening to music. I feel that adaptation is very important. Do not want to be too close to the original song. So it is easier to sing.”

To Ailee who produced and uploaded large video clip hosting site when young, and devoted herself in studying musical performance for many years, “Immortal Song 2” is just another playground.

And she found respectful seniors and like-minded colleagues here. “Senior Ali sing very great. Some people said that I am ‘Ali II,’ although our musical styles are different, but I am very grateful when I heard these words. The friend I met when filming the drama ‘Dream High 2’, SISTAR member Hyo Rin, pat on my back to encourage me when heard that I am going to participate in ‘Immortal Song’. (Laughs)”

The performance of Ailee lived up to expectations, which could not be better described as “like fish in the water.” “When teacher Kim Patti, teacher Lee Yin Ha praised me, very moving. Teacher Lee Yin Ha said I am South Korea’s Beyonce, I think that Beyonce of South Korea is senior Lee Hyori. I am just… I can only be Ailee.”

Although it’s still too early to talk about the champion, but Ailee has enough qualifications, nobody can vote against it. “For the champion, I does not greedy. I just make every effort to prepare, presenting the brilliant performances, and I feel very happy. Every time the feelings of victory when I go is good, it is because a lot of people likes the performance prepared by me. So very grateful. (laughs)”

via TVDaily





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