In case you’ve ever wondered what happens to K-Pop idols when they leave their group/agency, well here’s a story for you.
In 2011, JYP Entertainment and Alpha Entertainment held auditions in Singapore and Hong Kong and it was during that time when Singaporeans Ferlyn, Tasha (real name Natasha Low), and Elaine was recruited into Alpha Entertainment with other finalists who passed the auditions. Ferlyn, Elaine, and Tasha beat 3,000 other hopefuls who also auditioned and underwent 2 years of intensive training in South Korea.
We even mentioned them briefly in a post way back in 2013!
However, in late 2011, Elaine Yuki dropped out of the group due to medical reasons and also because the training was too tough. According to Yahoo Singapore, training for the girls in Seoul, Korea, came in the form of a military-style boot camp where they were not even allowed to go to the bathroom without a minder. Their intense 14-hour days would start at 7 am and involve hours of gym, dance, singing, and swimming. The girls were also made to wear sunglasses both indoors and outdoors all the time and not allowed to apply any makeup.
After she dropped out, Elaine revealed in a blog post:
I’ve dropped out from the girl group .. due to medical reasons and there being too tough … I couldn’t take it and broke down lots of times. It’s not easy being there, all my myself. Without friends and family. Especially in places which (sic) language you don’t even know how to speak. I can’t even describe and put it in words. I went through a going-to-be superstar life. Those trainings, those diet plans. Totally being controlled like as though (sic) I’m leading my life how they want it to be
Even though I’m back, but I’m actually very happy with my life now. I can do whatever I want to, go wherever I want to and meet whoever I wish to! Something I learned: Life’s not about fame. It’s about being happy.
Alpha’s Chief Executive Officer Alan Chan later stated that the girls would be groomed together with other Koreans to form a girl group debuting in 2012.
The girl group project would later be named SKarf. The “S” stands for “Singapore” while the “C” was switched out with the “K” for Korea.
2012 came and as promised, on 8th August, SKarf released their first teaser for their title song “Oh! Dance” through Alpha Entertainment’s official YouTube channel. The next day, the individual teasers of the 4 members (Ferlyn, Tasha, Jenny, Sol) were then released to introduce each of the members. They even went on to have their own reality program on MBC Music titled “Oh! My Skarf”.
Watch the music video for their title song, released on 12th August 2012 here, titled, “Oh! Dance”:
For awhile, it was all glitz and glamour on the front but that quickly faded as SKarf member Sol decided to leave the group due to personal reasons in Dec 2013. Korean member JooA and Japanese member Hana were then quickly added to the bill before SKarf made their comeback in Feb 2013.
But less than a year later in Sept 2014, it was announced that Ferlyn has also left SKarf. At first, there were rumours that she was leaving in order to become a leader for a new and upcoming K-Pop girl group by the next Chinese New Year (Feb 2015).
Singaporean media portal The New Paper (TNP) reported that Ferlyn the new K-Pop group will sing songs in both Mandarin and Korean in hopes to make a new break in the Asian market.
But that wasn’t exactly accurate per se as Ferlyn has just launched her first solo album, titled, “First”. As a matter of fact, last Friday (30th Dec), at the launch at Bugis+ in Singapore, she performed two songs, “Luv Talk” and “Bu Jian Bu San” from the album.
Ferlyn opened up about her struggles (presumably while she was still a member of SKarf) to TNP when she revealed, “I worked so hard on so many things, but I still got criticised instead of getting the recognition I deserved.”
That having said, Ferlyn also gushed that she’s proud of “First” as she sees it as her first real work by herself:
I get to make my own music and give my own opinions. I didn’t have to consider the possibility of the album concept not fitting well with the other members. I wanted this album to encourage those who have been through the same emotions I felt in the face of setbacks.
Watch the official music video for Ferlyn’s “Luv Talk”, which was released on 2nd Jan 2015:
She went on to add, “I don’t regret what I’ve done. I’m thankful for what I have and I’m learning from the mistakes I’ve made.”