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TEST YOURSELF: Room to grow

Photo courtesy of Holyfox

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Ex-members of Room 39 open up about their past and future

Test Yourself is where you can improve your reading skills. Whether it’s for tests like University Entrance Exams or IELTS and TOEFL, or even just for fun, these stories help you to read, understand and improve your English.

You can download a PDF of this story to be used in class or at home. Click the link below.

Read the following story by Suwitcha Chaiyong from the Bangkok Post. Then, answer the questions that follow.

Life in showbiz can be a roller-coaster ride. One day, you’re one of the most popular singers. The next day you’re not. That's how two former members of the band Room 39 -- Olran Chujai and Chutimon Vitchitrisadee -- felt when their group of three broke up earlier this year after Isara Kitnitchee, winner of the popular singing contest The Mask Singer Season One, decided to not renew a contract with their music label LoveIs.

Life must go on though. Both Olran and Chutimon went solo and built up their fame with their own names under Holyfox, a new part of LoveIs. The 38-year-old singer-songwriter Olran recently launched a self-written heartbreaking single “Jeb Jon Por (Enough).” He also wrote a lively pop rock song “Ta Mai Jer Ter (If I Hadn't Met You)” for Chutimon. Both accepted that they were excited and scared with their new beginning. They even felt like they were rookies again.

FAN SUPPORT

"We’ve worked in the music business for a long time, but this experience is like opening a new restaurant. Our names and music labels are new. We’re out of our comfort zones, so we’ve been excited and afraid. We can't expect anything, but they are great experiences," Olran said.

Olran admitted that they were terrified when only two of them were onstage for the first time. But the fans gave them solid support.

"When we performed together for the first time in a pub, we were worried if we could go on, but the fans' support was a great answer. Some fans told us that they would be there for us. We felt that we weren't alone. The crowd might be smaller, but we could feel their desire to support us," Olran said, smiling.

While their fans continued to support them, they couldn't avoid criticism over Room 39‘s break-up. People criticised their conflicts and questioned their friendships.

"I don't read comments on the Internet. Everyone has the right to think and believe in their ideas. There is nothing wrong about them. It doesn't matter what we say, if they don't believe, they won't," Olran said.

"Room 39 was the three of us. We keep all the great things in our mind. We moved on, got a new start and look forward to our future," Chutimon said.

MOVING ON

Their new beginnings seem great, especially for Olran. As one of the songwriters for Room 39 who was behind the success of their hits such as “Love Yourself,” “The Truth” and “If Only,” Olran understands the formula for hit songs. A video of his single “Enough” hit 13 million views on YouTube in six weeks. The video tells the sad story of a girl who feels worthless because she is ignored and cheated on by her boyfriend.

"I'm not sure why the video got a lot of views, but I guess the lyrics of a broken-heart song speak to listeners. And a video can explain and convince viewers to understand more about the lyrics," he said.

From the viewpoint of a singer/songwriter, Olran doesn't want everyone to focus on the number of views on YouTube.

"Music choices are limited if we focus on the number of viewers. The CD era has ended. We should have space for other kinds of songs. But we currently have to focus on making a hit song. If our goal is to sell, the charm of our music will lessen."

After almost a decade in the music business, the singers found there have been lots of changes. Social media becomes a great channel to promote their music and connect with their fans.

"Artists can reach audiences easier. Unfortunately, our benefits from royalty-free music and other copyrights didn't develop. Thai artists still have to perform in nightclubs to earn income," Olran said.

Section 1: Read through the story and answer the following questions. 

1. Isara won The Mask Singer Season 2. True or false? …………….

2. Chutimon wrote “If I Hadn’t Met You.” True or false? …………….

3. Olran and Chutimon opened a new restaurant. True or false? …………….

4. They were scared at their first show together. True or false? …………….

5. Olran ignores comments about the band on the Internet. True or false? …………….

6.  Olran thinks the number of YouTube views is very important. True or false? …………….

7. Olran and Chutimon have been making music for nearly 10 years. True or false? …………….

8. Artists can make money playing in clubs. True or false? …………….

Section 2: Write the noun form of the following words. 

9. popular .……..…10. excited ……..…11. expect …….…12. worried .…………13. social .…………

Section 3: Read the following passage. Then, fill in the blanks with the correct words from the choices given.

The …14… from international fans …15… Olran to write an English-language song. He …16… with Chutimon on an English song called “Once in Your Life in Osaka.”

"That song aimed to promote Osaka tourism. It was fun to write an English song that …17… Japanese and Chinese phrases. To launch an English-language song is our next step. It’s …18… . If we want to send our message to reach a bigger audience, we …19… use English," Olran said.

14. a. attend b. attentive  c. attention

15. a. inspired b. inspire c. inspires

16. a. collaborated b. created c. wrote

17. a. additional b. add c. included

18. a. challenge b. challenged c. challenging

19. a. had to b. should c. need

Section 4: Find words that match the following definitions.

20. a situation that keeps changing very quickly ……………

21. people who have just started a job and have very little experience ……………

22. the act of expressing disapproval of something ……………

23. a particular method of doing or achieving something ……………

24. the words of a song ……………

Answers: 1. False. 2. False. 3. False.  4. True.  5. True.  6. False.   7. True.    8. True. 

9. popularity 10. excitement 11. expectation  12. worry 13. society  

14. c. 15. a. 16. a. 17. c. 18. c. 19. b.

20. roller-coaster. 21. rookies. 22. criticism.   23. formula.   24. lyrics.

SCORE

21-24: Excellent! 17-20: Good.   13-16: Fair.   12 or fewer: You'll do better next time!



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