SM Trainee Who Was “Too Old” To Debut Releases Self-Written Solo

She took her destiny into her own hands!

Just months after former SM Entertainment trainee and Girls Planet 999 contestant Ahn Jeongmin confessed she was “too old” to debut, the young star has taken matters into her own hands and released a self-written solo debut.

When Ahn Jeongmin competed on Girls Planet 999, she charmed numerous viewers with her visuals and talent. She first made waves with her “Planet Demo Stage,” where she performed aespa‘s “Black Mamba” alongside another former SM Entertainment trainee, Kep1er‘s Chaehyun. Aside from captivating audiences with their skills, Chaehyun and Jeongmin quickly gained attention for choosing to perform a song by aespa — the group who they once trained alongside.

Initially ranked one of the lowest contestants among the show’s Korean competitors, Jeongmin quickly rose up the ranks. By episode five, she was ranked 17th, and in episode eight, she reached rank no.13.

Unfortunately, her rise wasn’t enough to keep her in the competition, and she sadly missed her chance at joining Kep1er in the second elimination round. However, fans of the show were convinced they’d see her make her debut in another girl group one day.

| Mnet

That’s why so many were shocked and dismayed back in March when Jeongmin crushed any rumors of her imminent debut. In a live broadcast with fans on Instagram, the aspiring singer sadly told fans she felt she was now “too old” to debut.

20 is too old. Hmm. 20 years old is too old. *reads comment* Really? Mmm.

— Ahn Jeongmin

In the international age system, Jeongmin is just 18 years old. However, the star seemed to feel that she had no chance of being accepted into a girl group at her age, despite training for years already.

| Mnet

Thankfully, it looks like that hasn’t stopped her. Refusing to give up on her dreams, Jeongmin has now taken matters into her own hands with a self-written solo debut.

| @jeomi_____/Instagram

On June 24, Jeongmin made her long-awaited solo debut with “Rainy Day” under a new stage name, JEOMi. She appears to be signed to a small agency called exscape, with her music distributed by YG PLUS.

JEOMi is credited as both a lyricist and composer on the track, which shows off her sweet, unique vocals and down-to-earth vibes. Across social media, fans who supported the idol on Girls Planet 999 have been excited to hear the news.

While it is, of course, difficult to gain traction without the backing of a big agency, JEOMi’s tenacity does spell some hope for other “older” trainees who are looking to prove themselves. That being said, fans still agree that an 18-year-old should never be considered too old to join a girl group, and many are hoping that companies will stop discriminating against aspiring stars on the basis of age.