KARA‘s Hur Youngji officially made her solo debut on September 12, releasing her first single album Toi Toi Toi.
To celebrate her solo debut, she sat down with former A’ST1 member and current soloist ONESTAR (also known as Lim Hanbyul) to discuss Youngji’s current promotions and their trainee days.
An idols’ trainee days are often filled with trials and tribulations, as aspiring singers are subject to long hours and busy schedules, and often share accommodations in tight quarters while preparing for the possibility of becoming the next top globl K-Pop star.
A’ST1 was a multinational group under DSP Media that debuted in 2008 and disbanded a year later. As Youngji is currently managed by DSP Media, the two artists compared their experiences as trainees, revealing the harsh conditions they faced before their debut.
Youngji joined KARA in 2014, seven years into the group’s career. Because of this, she didn’t experience DSP Media’s old company building in Cheongdam, so ONESTAR filled her in on the experience.
ONESTAR revealed that he would have to clean the Cheongdam building practice rooms, which were filled with mold that was impossible to eliminate.
Youngji added that current-day trainees don’t clean practice rooms anymore, and she believed the task ended with her generation, revealing that she also cleaned practice rooms as a trainee.
ONESTAR continued, saying he was even asked to carry a full refill container for a water dispenser and hold it for 30 minutes for an unknown reason.
Youngji added that she and her fellow DSP Media trainees were instructed to “talk like soldiers.” She revealed that when people visited the company, they often asked the trainees if they “came from the army” because they were so “nervous and stiff.”
Youngji joked that now, thanks to her solo debut, she’s a 5th-generation K-Pop idol and isn’t required to clean practice rooms.
Check out more about their trainee days in the full video below!