Treading the path to fame and fortune
Members from some of Thailand’s newest idol group talk about why they auditioned and what they hope to be in the future
For many young girls who dream of stardom, becoming a member of an idol group is probably the best way to start. Not only is it easier than starting on the bottom rung of the artistic ladder and spending years climbing up the steps only to fail to reach the top, becoming an idol takes just a few months of learning and rehearsing singing and dancing.
Witnesses to the success of BNK48, the overseas sister idol girl group of Japan’s hottest music group AKB48, many girls in this country flock to auditions for new idol groups, among them Secret12, 7th Sense, Fever and Akira-Kuro.
We talk to a few of the young ladies who’ve been snapped up by the promoters and in addition to being members of new idol groups are now also finding fame as actresses and TV hosts.
Chanyanuch “Dear” Laorchawee, 24, and Patneeta “Mylove” Dhanasunthorn, 14, from Secret12
Dear: “You don’t have to be perfect at singing or dancing to be an idol but you must be determined to develop yourself. An idol’s charm doesn’t depend on looking pretty. My first dream was to be an air hostess, but being picked as an idol is a rare chance.”
Mylove: “I was inspired by the idol ‘manga’ (comic). My mum is a model and she encouraged me to be a performer. I would prefer to be an actress than a singer though.”
Dear: “I think the field is wide open for idol members to become emcees or performers rather than singers. But our production house Sonthana wants us to become skilled in every aspect of the entertainment industry.”
Mylove: “An idol is an inspiration in addition to a product.”
Nutruge “Tang Tang” Wisawanart, 25, of 7th Sense.
“I’ve wanted to be a singer since I was a kid. When I was young, I sang and danced along to songs on TV shows. I couldn’t take any lessons though because my parents couldn’t afford it. But I’m happy when I sing.
“I was selected to be the band leader due to my experience working a emcee and in solving problems. However, I’m under pressure to take care of and control the other 16 members.”
“Idol and otaku [fans] are like siblings. Once, a fan told me that he used to feel discouraged but is better since following 7th Sense.
“Today 7th Sense is like a family and our home. Our aim is to make our home warm and become better known to fans.”
PHOTO IDOL MASTER
Kamonporn “Beam Beam” Kosriyarakwong, 24, a member of Fever and an air hostess with Thai Smile Airways
“Actually, I’m a fan of K-pop bands and used to be in a Wonder Girls cover band. I love the way K-pop artists are constantly developing their skills.
“I think that an idol is an inspiration to any girl who is following her dream. I would like to be like Phi Bird [superstar Thongchai McIntyre] who is both a singer and an actor. He’s a legend.”
Pattinee “Bambie” Kanlayanasant, 25, and Saifon “Nana” Pilachai, 26, of chika idol group Akira-Kuro
Bambie: “I’ve been following BNK48 since it started. I’ve worked as a presenter since I was a child and becoming an idol is a longheld dream. It’s a challenge too. Akira-Kuro has the same format as other idol groups but the difference lies in our music. Right now, we’re listen to the demos of three songs and will lay down the vocal tracks next month. We must hone our skills and develop our singing and dancing.”
Nana: “I like to listen to heavy music or metal like Japanese visual rock artists Dir en Grey, The Gazette, and Miyavi as well as Thai artists from Genie Records and Banana Records. Akira-Kuro is a new girl idol group with a sound of metal music. Before coming to audition, I already knew about the direction of this idol group. I must practise my roar!
“Chika idol is a small group without a lot of support like the mainstream idol, and each of members must help each other.”
Bambie: “We don’t have anyone to support us so everyone from the members to the production team helps each other.”