Minatozaki Sana, better known among ONCEs as Sana (사나) from TWICE, recently opened up on why she ended up becoming a K-pop star rather than debuting as an idol in her home country of Japan in an online interview with Seventeen.
The Osaka-born starlet has always dreamed of becoming a performer growing up. She began training under one of the country’s most renowned dance studios – the EXILE Dance Academy – at around sixth grade.
In this case, it’s possible Sana would’ve debuted as a member of a J-Pop idol group if it wasn’t for one fateful day in middle school. In 2012, she was scouted by a casting associate from JYP Entertainment, and thankfully enough she was accompanied by a friend who’s fluent in Korean. Sana eventually auditioned for the company, and well, the rest is history.
So what actually drove Sana to make the leap to South Korea and K-Pop? The 25-year-old opened up about her reasoning to Seventeen.
“In Japan, a lot of teams set individual positions for vocals and dancing,” Sana explained. Conversely, the “I Can’t Stop Me” stated that K-Pop groups aren’t like that. That was the biggest appeal about K-Pop groups, at least in her opinion.
In previous interviews, Sana has shed a little more insight into her decision to join JYP Entertainment. One of the first things that hooked her in was how the casting associate persuaded her by showing photos of the cast of the popular teen drama “Dream High” (Sana was already a big fan of the K-drama).
In addition, Sana’s mother brought her to a 2PM concert, after both her parents went against her decision to travel overseas to become a star. After watching the beastly idols perform, Sana pleaded with her mother that she wanted to be on the stage just like them. Luck was indeed on Sana’s side, as she eventually landed an opportunity to work with 2PM member Junho and appeared in the music video for his solo song “Instant Love”.
At the same time, fellow TWICE member Momo also shared the same sentiment and revealed how she was inspired by established K-Pop groups like SNSD in pursuing a career in the Hallyu industry. The talented performer dished, “For me, (it was) watching senior artists like Girls’ Generation… I thought I wanted to do that as well.”
For those interested, check out the full interview with the girl group here: